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Monday, February 16, 2015

Legally Armed and in Full Public View

A few months ago, I was eating at a very busy restaurant here in Boise when I watched an older gentleman get up to leave with his family. He had a Glock handgun holstered on his right side.  He was probably too old to be a police officer of some sort and I saw no accompanying badge or identification.

I was a little shocked at his candor and willingness to draw attention to himself. I think maybe, he was making a statement.

I instantly scrolled my law enforcement memory banks but I could think of no law in Idaho that would prevent someone from carrying an unconcealed handgun. In fact, were someone to walk around with a rifle or a shotgun- I am not sure that any law would prevent that either. There is a law about carrying an uncased firearm in the field- that is the law which requires Idaho citizens to purchase a hunting license. In the strictest sense of the Second Amendment, Idaho's law infringes on the citizens right to bear arms.

As my dinner companions were yakking away, I contemplated the possibilities.

I think I like concealed weapons because at the very least- what people don't know won't cause them to act like idiot alarmists. Years ago, I actually received a complaint from the head nurse at a small area hospital because our employee was carrying a gun. I let her run her mouth for a bit complaining about how offensive she thought it was. When she eventually gasped for some air, I explained to her that police officers- including that detective- were required to carry guns. In fact I said, if an employee of the police department objected to carrying a gun we might very well find him a job in the water and sewer department instead.

People hate calling the police department and having their idiotic impulses addressed with the bedside demeanor I always reserved for idiotic impulses. Come to think of it, that is the same demeanor and tone that I employed with various city and government employees as well. Small wonder I made it as long as I did.

Today I was reading how an armed man- thwarted a robbery at a Sonic Drive Inn- a company that forbids patrons from protecting themselves. Thankfully, he ignored their wishes.

I am reminded of the Oct. 1991, Luby's cafeteria shooting where 43 people were shot including the now deceased parents of one gal who had left her handgun in the car courtesy of Texas laws which infringed upon the rights of people like her to carry guns.

In response to the incident,[21] the Texas Legislature in 1995 passed a shall-issue gun law, which requires that all qualifying applicants be issued a Concealed Handgun License (the state's required permit to carry concealed weapons), removing the personal discretion of the issuing authority to deny such licenses. To qualify for a license, one must be free-and-clear of crimes, attend a minimum 10-hour class taught by a state-certified instructor, pass a 50-question test, show proficiency in a 50-round shooting test, and pass two background tests, one shallow and one deep. The license costs $140 for a four year license; in addition applicants must pay $10 for fingerprinting as well as instructor costs which vary.

The law had been campaigned for by Suzanna Hupp, who was present at the time of the shooting where both of her parents were shot and killed. She later expressed regret about deciding to leave her gun in her car lest she risk possibly running afoul of the state's concealed weapons laws; during the shootings, she reached for her weapon but then remembered that it was "a hundred feet away in my car."[22] She testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996.[23] The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush.[24]

People will obey rules and laws up to such point- that the law flies in direct conflict with common sense. At that point, rules and laws become useless, people will simply refuse to obey them. I believe we've arrived at that point in time.

In 2008, I found myself in a similar situation. I had a man stalking me who had already killed two people and he should have still been in prison rather than stalking me. In response to this man who had taken a dislike for me and was quite deranged, I began to carry one of my twin .40 cal Berettas irrespective of whatever the law was in Louisiana or New Orleans at the time. In fact, I didn't care enough to read the law. The truth was and still is that I would rather give myself a fighting chance for survival rather than risk some petty arrest for a right which is allegedly guaranteed to me by the Constitution of the United States and the Second Amendment. That and I'll be damned if some sick bastard with a bad reputation is going to influence how I live.

I feel the same way about arming college kids. I'll be damned if I would have wanted my kids being slaughtered while begging for their lives. Of course, they would have been trained and instructed well. Guns and booze never mix.

Law abiding citizens should never have their rights stripped away or punished because of the misdeeds of criminals. In a perfect world, a business like Sonic might understand the difference. As it currently stands, I will never patronize Sonic again- and if that changes- I might be wearing a gun with all due respect to Sonic's policies undoubtedly determined by some staff attorney.

I am entitled to carry a concealed weapon by law. However, I have actually been contemplating the idea of wearing a handgun in public, in full view. Not because I am some macho guy. Not because I enjoy drawing attention to myself. I have actually been considering it because I want others to recognize that we have this right. I want to set an example. I want to say, "this is OUR right." I also want to let the bad guys know that people like me are out here. I am not ashamed to have been a law enforcer and good citizen and I'm not afraid to stand up and be counted if I'm around when the shit hits the fan. But I also know this isn't for everyone.

Oppressive governments and regimes always try to strip citizens of their rights. The right to free speech, to bear arms, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, trial by jury, and the right to due process of law. What were our forefathers thinking? Historically these were the rights that were always under attack by ruling bodies and Kings. They knew that. If you are somehow skeptical of history, the facts are out there. FDR's executive order seizing gold without warrant or due process (1933) the untried and imprisoned American Japanese citizens numbering in the hundreds of thousands (1942) anyone submitting to a TSA search and having harmless items seized and unreturned, or anyone paying an Obamacare penalty circa 2015.

That's why I really want to carry a gun. Just to let the bastards know that I still can.