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Currently Browsing: Carrying / Self-Defense

DC Still Presses for More Time

The District of Columbia wanted to keep their ban on carry by law-abiding citizens. The court said no. Then, DC said they needed 180 days. The court said that 90 days was plenty. Despite the fact that the sky did not actually fall during the couple of days of lawful carry, DC is still spending their time begging the courts for more time to decide how they can most restrict individual rights.

A New Day, A New Gun Ban Initiative

After the embarrassing political loss for a county office, we knew Bloomberg wouldn’t sit back and let that slide. Now he’s sending the Moms who are continuing to use their brand, despite being rolled into Everytown Against Illegal Mayors Who Hate Guns (or whatever their name is), after grocery stores thanks to images offered up by open carry activists with rifles.

So far, it seems like Kroger is willing to stand by their policy of just letting state and local laws prevail. The company spokesman told HuffPo, “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.”

The Dignity of Being Armed

I’ve generally believed when you make a decision to be armed, you try to do your best to be armed in all circumstances where you can. But sometimes, you just have to give in. Caleb seems to be in the same place, describing that there are no good solutions for jogging. When I used to bike regularly through Fairmount Park in Philly, I usually figured out a way to carry. It’s not difficult if you eschew the typical biker spandex and go with shorts and a loose t-shirt. You’ll probably print a bit, but if it’s legal, who cares.

But I don’t really concern myself anymore about difficult situations. When that comes up, I just leave it at home. I’m working in New Jersey now, which means generally not carrying very often. I don’t want to risk strapping on in the morning and then forgetting about it if I get called on-site. Do I worry about being unarmed? No. Not really. The more I’ve thought about this, the more I think mindset is more important than the weapon. Firearms are just tools. It’s the mindset that makes them weapons.

Statistically I’m taking a much bigger risk indulging in my love of fried foods and distilled/fermented beverages than I am leaving the gun at home. Caleb’s probably doing more to protect his life jogging than he would spending equivalent time driving car while armed. For most suburban dwelling middle class folks, the odds that you’re ever going see the balloon go up are smaller than being in a serious car wreck, or coming down with a life threatening illness before you’re 60.

But even for suburban dwellers, the odds of being the victim of a violent crime over a lifetime is not so insignificant as to make it something to just casually dismiss. Most of us know a few people in our lives that have been victims of violent crime. Maybe we only know a few more than have ever had cancer. Over the years thinking about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that carry is not a numbers game. If it were, we’d spend less time with the guns and more time at the gym, and we’d try to fly and take trains instead of driving places.

I believe the reason we all carry is because most of us demand a high level of personal autonomy, and the individual dignity that comes with that. That’s why people who have a weak sense of individuality don’t understand it, and why it’s such an affront to collectivist thinking. I’d much rather die in an accident, or from a health issue, than die on someone else’s terms. I can’t honestly think of a worse way to go.

If I were one of the 40,000 Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar, staring down the ISIS horde, I’d much rather having a gun in my hand, pondering a strategy for taking at least 5 barbarians with me, than have to contemplate submission. Even if submission would mean living, I’d rather die on my own terms, as a free thinking and acting individual, than submit to the barbarian horde.

That’s probably also why I’m not keen on spending more treasure helping the Arabs, but I’m willing to do so for the Kurds. The Arabs have largely thrown down their weapons and submitted when confronted. The Kurds are fighting, and at the end of the day I’m always going to be willing to throw my lot in with people who are willing to stand up for themselves, even against terrible odds. The reasons the Kurds are fighting barbarians are the same reasons we carry. It’s not about statistics, or odds, it’s about dignity.

DC Gets 90 Days

We knew the District of Columbia would likely file for a stay to the ruling allowing carry, and they did yesterday near the close of business. This morning, the federal judge granted it, but only for 90 days instead of the requested 180 days. This is one reason most people were urging folks not to carry in DC while this case in process.

It will be interesting to see what happens come October 22 – the deadline. It’s clear that the DC police proved they could come up with a somewhat workable policy on the fly with multiple memos that covered most situations for lawful carry. I see no reason why the DC City Council can’t come up with a clearer policy similar to the Police Chief’s in 90 days – assuming they don’t just appeal this and hope for more favorable decisions.

The DC Firearms Carry Memo

Alan Gura posted the memo that went out the DC police officers about how to handle carry situations. He specifically posts this important detail with the memo:

The District has indicated that they will seek a stay of the decision. If a stay were to be granted, this policy would doubtless change, and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to update this blog post in real time. So be careful out there.

Looking at the memo and the scenarios they outline, it does appear that anyone caught carrying will have all of their information taken down and the police will pursue “potential further investigation” even if they are perfectly lawful to carry at the time they stop you.

Carrying in DC

Well, we’re to Monday morning and it appears there’s no change in the situation from Saturday evening when it comes to the Washington, DC gun situation. In fact, last night Emily Miller was reporting on Twitter that the DC police have apparently conceded on the carry issue for the time being.

Dave Kopel notes that before you strap a gun on your hip and head into DC, you should probably try to find out more about this very fluid situation.

As of 1:30 a.m. ET on Monday morning, I was not able to find a copy of Chief Lanier’s order on the websites of the D.C. Police, D.C. Attorney General, or city government. It would be helpful for non-residents who seek to comply with the D.C. government’s interpretation of the current situation if the order were speedily made available to the public.

And he also reminds people that there are many laws on the books that were not invalidated by the court.

Nothing in the District Court’s opinion invalidates the D.C. ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Nothing in the opinion addresses the numerous federal and D.C. laws which prohibit carry in a huge number of locations within the District–such as most federal buildings, lots of federal property, as well as schools and colleges. (The D.C. “school” ban even encompasses a school of cosmetology whose students are all adults.)

Winning with a Case Dismissal

From NRA today:

Earlier this year, the National Rifle Association (NRA) sponsored litigation against the state of Illinois for its unconstitutional system of denying concealed carry licenses without any notice or opportunity to be heard. Before the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) filed suit with NRA backing, many residents were denied the right to carry a firearm without any indication as to why the state had concluded they were a danger to themselves or others. Furthermore, the state of Illinois also denied these individuals any opportunity to rebut this unsubstantiated conclusion.

The ISRA, with the backing of the NRA, challenged this scheme as a violation of due process, and the State effectively conceded as much by ending this unfair treatment of law-abiding Illinois citizens. In light of this act of submission by Illinois, the current suit has been voluntarily dismissed.

Responding to Parking Lot Law Critics

Pennsylvania is pushing a parking lot law to protect employees who carry and lock their firearms in their cars while at work, and at least one newspaper editorial writer isn’t too happy with it. Rather than ignoring it, the primary sponsor, Sen. Rich Alloway, is responding directly to the criticism.

Currently, many of our friends and neighbors risk losing their jobs by carrying their firearm with them in their vehicle on their way to work. Twenty-three states have already enacted laws to protect their citizens from losing their jobs, and Pennsylvania should join them.

Today, daily commutes are punctuated by short errands.

Whether at the dry cleaners or at the grocery store, headlines remind us that crime can, and does happen anywhere. Furthermore, many work shifts are during non-traditional hours, when crimes are potentially more likely to occur.

Mr. Major dismisses these concerns as “What if factors” that needlessly frighten people. The irony is that his newspaper is regularly reporting violent crimes, that clearly demonstrate that sometimes the “What if’s” do occur.

Target’s Statement on Open Carry

From Target:

The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision.

As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores. Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.

We’ve listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved. In return, we are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.

This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.

So, they’ve made clearly that they will continue to follow local laws on the issue, and they are specifically targeting “open carry” in their statement. This goes to that carrying guns just to get attention is the problem.

It’s funny to read some of the “mommy” comments on the post. Most are pretty much in the “we’re declaring victory even though the said they would keep their same policy” category, but one woman seems to realize that the stores aren’t going to actually enact a real gun ban:

Nice request but when they show up carrying today, in droves, to protest your decision, what are you going to do? Will you ask them nicely to leave (they won’t) or will you have them removed from your private property?

UPDATE: There’s this article that notes an important statement from Target’s spokeswoman:

Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said the retailer will not post signs at its stores asking people not to bring guns inside. “It is not a ban,” she said. “There is no prohibition.”

Fairfax County Playing Games with License Holders

Virginia gun lawyer John Frazer has information for Fairfax County concealed carry permit holders who may be facing minor misdemeanor charges that won’t impact their eligibility. According to John:

Fairfax County gun owners should be aware that the Circuit Court clerk’s office may treat concealed carry permit applications as incomplete, and forward them to a judge for review, based on disclosure of pending criminal charges. …

People whose applications are denied in this situation can either wait until their pending charge is resolved, or challenge the denial in an ore tenus (“word of mouth”) hearing in circuit court.

There’s a little more that people who might know someone in this situation should read.

When I renewed my permit there, they tried to play games with me, too. I was told that I would hear back in just beyond the deadline. I asked her if she meant to say that they would have a permit to me before the deadline, and it’s clear she was not happy about an informed applicant. I got my renewal on the last possible day.

Of course, she was also probably a little angry at me because when I said I was renewing, but the county it was issued from was Montgomery County, she went off about how it’s not a renewal from another state and how I needed to learn my new local laws, etc. When she stopped, I finally let her know that there is, in fact, a Montgomery County in Virginia that issues Virginia carry licenses. (h/t to VSSA)

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