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Indiana Gun Bills Under Attack

I think there are plenty of good libertarian arguments for why the “Parking Lot” bills pushed by the National Rifle Association elevate one freedom over the expense of others, but I’m not sure these arguments here are among them. The author also seems to make a bizarre case against the Katrina language in the bill:

The National Rifle Association claims that the new law will ” … prevent state or local government authorities from confiscating lawfully owned firearms during declared states of emergency, such as occurred in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.”

Really? By what authority did government ever confiscate guns? Do new laws protect constitutions? From who?

They had no lawful authority, but don’t you think it makes sense to have a legal recourse available for addressing such illegal action that doesn’t involve expensive and lengthy federal civil rights lawsuits? It’s a nice idea that the constitution is self-enforcing, but sorry, I don’t want to live in a world where all I have is a promise from public officials.

Read our state and federal constitutions and you’ll find that not even courts were given any power over constitutions. Both are clear and regarding an individual’s right to bear arms.

Ah, now we’re told to read the constitution, which the author has read and clearly understood, unlike the rest of us rubes. One wonders what he thinks “judicial Power of the United States” over “all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States,” means if Marbury v. Madison was wrong? I’m completely open to libertarian arguments against the “parking lot” language in the bill, but simplistic arguments that the constitution is somehow self-enforcing is weak, at best.

Andrew Horning, an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, was the Libertarian candidate for governor in 2008.

I guess I should have skipped ahead to the end. This explains everything.

11 Responses to “Indiana Gun Bills Under Attack”

  1. thirdpower says:

    So by Mr. Hamm’s logic, the carrying of firearms by police is a foolish thing.

    I’m sure he remembers the ‘I’m the only one responsible enough’ video by the police officer who promptly shot himself in the foot.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I blogged about that a few days ago. I’m not sure that has a whole lot to do with open carry, since I believe that guy is probably going to be an idiot no matter what mode of carry he chooses.

    The problem is, how do you identify which people are going to be idiots and which are going to be responsible? That’s not just a problem for citizens, but also for hiring police. Your organization wishes to default to not trusting anyone (except the police, who for some reason must always choose wisely) with a gun in public.

    My preferred method is to trust until you have a concrete reason not to. For instance, in Arizona, this guy is charged with six counts of endangerment. In a case that involves risk of “imminent death” that becomes a felony. So if this guy is convicted on even one count, he loses his right to bear arms. I’m fine with that result.

  3. Pete says:

    Sorry Petey, idiots exist everywhere. This guy is going to lose his guns with this conviction, and you’re not going to see anyone in the gun community defend him for being an idiot. Do you really think that if he was carrying concealed it would make a difference? Oh that’s right, you don’t know jack shit about guns.

    Oh and by the way, how’s that sting from SB 1108 passing out in Arizona? That’s gotta hurt.

  4. Mocie says:

    [quote]Peter Hamm Said,
    April 13th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Why open carry is a foolish thing for genuinely responsible gun owners to do…[/quote]

    Dumbass–he was brandishing!
    It wouldn’t matter if it was from an unconcealed holster, from a concealed one or from a dark body part.

  5. Peter Hamm says:

    Okay, here’s the point: my Dad told me don’t ever flaunt your gun. The open carry activists, for the most part, seem to be a stalwart set of people. For example, I like John Pierce personally – he seems like a truly affable guy who means well. But I think it’s quite possible Walmart guy TOOK HIS LEAD from the activists – in other words, the people who probably aren’t a danger are come-hithering the brandishers. Therein lies the risk.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Peter:

    Without disputing your overall point, I’m not sure this guy is an example of that. Understand that Open Carry is Arizona isn’t uncommon, and they’ve had a cultural acceptance of it that goes back to the days of the Arizona Territory. It’s quite likely, especially given the shirt he was wearing (a corrections office uniform shirt, apparently), that this guy was a cop-wannabe with some mental issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t have any connection to the open carry movement or gun rights movement, and wasn’t really inspired by it.

    Given that he gives off strong “cop-wannabe” vibes, I would say it’s just as plausible to blame the police gun culture for this guy as it would be to blame open carry activists.

  7. Acksiom says:

    I tried running Peter’s argument through my Civil Liberties Babelfish (set on ‘from 2nd Amendment to 1st Amendment’). This is what came out:

    Okay, here’s the point: my Dad told me don’t ever falsely accuse other people. The free speech activists, for the most part, seem to be a stalwart set of people. For example, I like those Pruneyard Shopping Center vs. Robins kids personally – they seem like a truly affable bunch who mean well. But I think it’s quite possible my false accuser back in the 80’s TOOK HER LEAD from the activists – in other words, the people who probably aren’t a danger are come-hithering the false accusers. Therein lies the risk.

  8. Justin says:

    This bill has definitely generated some waves around here (I’m a central Indiana resident) – The fight got pretty vicious at times . . .

    I’ve grown tired of arguing this bill, mainly because every comment I make to logically rebuttal an author seems to disappear. As to the linked article, I agree that it’s not a logical argument. I don’t understand this guy’s point of view what so ever. He’s taking a very originalist point of view which doesn’t exactly float in relation to the argument he’s making.

    As to the bill in question: everyone seems to be forgetting a few key points that I try to make people aware of.

    In Indiana, this bill does little to actually enforce anything, and merely creates a technicality, and here’s why:

    Indiana is an at will state, which means hiring and firing is done at will. So in a nutshell: as long as the employer doesn’t say something like “your being let go because your black”, they are pretty much covered. Also, it is not ILLEGAL to break company policy by carrying a gun into a zone that has been dubbed “gun free”. Therefore: Indiana leaves it to the employer to punish a “misbehaving” employee. Right now, an employers only recourse is to FIRE the employee for “bringing a gun to work” – Obviously there are laws against reckless endangerment, etc . . but you break no LAW by breaking your companies policy and bringing a gun to work (assuming you don’t work for a school, jail, etc . . )

    After this law takes affect, an employer can STILL fire you, so long as they don’t say “it’s because you bring a gun to work”. It also prevents them from writing a piece of paper that makes it a policy to not bring a gun to store in your car, and basically nothing more.

    Indiana law breaks down into three categories:

    Invitee – Someone like an employee, or patron
    Licensee – Meter reader, Police officer
    Trespasser – Someone breaking the law to enter your property
    (and “owner” . . so technically 4))

    As it sits now, an employee is an invitee until terminated, or until issued a trespassing warning. This law actually furthers companies rights in the fact that they can’t be held liable for policy enforcement, and they can’t be held liable by firearms violence. Companies now enjoy the right to not have to enforce a firearms policy for insurance purposes, they will now enjoy the right to freedom from litigation concerning violence, they will STILL CONTINUE to enjoy the right to fire you’re a$$ off for any given reason. It also helps remove them from responsibility for MY GUN. As is, a company could be sued for NOT enforcing a firearms policy should an accident occur, so I would argue, how is the “current law” fair to business? Why should I be held liable because I didn’t want to take the time to write a weapons policy?

    So in affect, all this bill does is shuffle paper around. Yes, it technically opens up the door to law suits should an employer fire you for the sole reason of gun possession, or for the reason of continuing an anti-gun policy, but I honestly think those cases will be very few and far between.

  9. divemedic says:

    @ Justin:

    A business can fire you for being black, and they can fire you for having a gun, despite laws to the contrary. To use the fact that a company can lie about the reason for termination as a reason for not having such laws does not make sense to me.

    It is up to the fired employee to prove that the firing was illegal. That is why we have courts. There has been no shortage of successful anti-discrimination lawsuits for racial discrimination, so a company not admitting that they fired an employee for discriminatory reasons is obviously not a bar to a lawsuit.

    As to the “one right trumping another” charge that I hear so many spout off about:

    I refuse to accept that I give up all of my rights merely by entering your property. If I am on your property, you cannot murder me, assault me, nor can you prohibit a female employee from wearing undergarments simply because she is on your property. You cannot tell me that I must vote for a particular candidate in order to be employed by requiring me to bring my absentee ballot to work for you to examine and mail. I am my own person, and I do not become your property because I enter your land.

    Similarly, my car does not become your property simply because it is on your land. You cannot authorize a police search of my vehicle, you cannot set it on fire, nor can you sell it, without due process of law.

    Now, the rules for your home are a little more strict for invitees and allow more latitude to homeowners, but when you open your property to the public, you agree to a certain amount of debt to the public that you allow to enter. This is the theory behind firecodes, for example.

  10. Ian Argent says:

    This is one of those hearts-and-minds deals; and it will probably take lawsuits against businesses that restrict before they change their minds.

    The necessary basis for those lawsuits will be the legal right to carry generally for self-defense (“bear” in “keep and bear”). At that point, forbidding firearms in vehicles infringes on the employee’s right to self-defense outside his place of work; by restricting their ability to be armed between work and home, and requiring them to go home before re-arming.

    Laws generally follow attitudes, not the other way around. That having been said, the early-adopters are necessary – we wouldn’t hav gotten Heller without all the early-adopters…

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