Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guns, Privacy, and Probable Clause

In a news report covering the single incident that is prompting Culver's, a restaurant chain, to look into their firearms policies, an underemphasized detail was revealed that left me wondering just how routine trampling civil rights is.

The story is that several members of an organization of Wisconsinites who advocate the open carrying of firearms, Wisconsin Carry, went out for dinner at Culver's in Madison while using their Constitutional rights to bear arms. One ignorant but well-meaning woman called the police.

Once they arrived, the first thing the officers did was demand identification from the group, on threat of citation; all but two consented to the unlawful orders.

"Two of the individuals would not produce identification, saying they didn't need to because they're law-abiding citizens," said [Police spokesman] DeSpain. The officers said, 'That's probably the case but we'd like to check it out.'"


Oh, you'd like to check it out?

Very well... check it:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." ~Fourth Amendment to the Constitution


Ergo, with the arrest of a presumably innocent person, which has been already defined by the Supreme Court as seizure, for not producing papers on command, especially considering the fact that the officers themselves admit they thought it probable that the men were not in violation of any laws, the police were usurping their authority as law enforcement officers. Why they have not been relieved of their handcuffs for frivolous and false arrest, I don't know. There were no warrants for their papers, there were no warrants for their arrest, and police admit there was no suspicion of crime.

Not only that, but the police should have ignored the call, as it was, by its very nature, a non-emergency call, which was placed due to the ignorance of law by a bystander, something that the 911 operator should have made clear. It is absolutely legal to openly carry a firearm, though some unlawful legislation prohibits it in some cities. I used to be supportive of concealed carry permits, as I thought, erroneously, concealed carry was not covered by the Second Amendment, as concealing is the opposite of bearing. But the nature of the Second Amendment, as a good friend and I discussed (and I subsequently recanted my opinion on CCP's), is not to establish our right to keep and bear arms, but to restrict the government's encroachment thereof. Therefore, it is not given to the government to regulate the purchase, ownership, transference, or carrying of firearms, open or concealed.

So, the police had it wrong on two counts, in what turned out to be a relatively high-profile incident, but how many times a day does this occur? Why are our police so uneducated on the law? Why are our citizens so afraid of guns in the hands of fellow citizens, when police are just as susceptible to error and poor judgment as the Average Joe? I can tell you, it has been by design that slaves are trained to shriek at the sight of another slave being armed.

It is our right, it is our duty, and it is our essence as freeborn Americans to protect and defend our inheritance of rights like men, standing erect, stalwartly and with uncompromising resolve, with all sincerity and sobriety.

4 comments:

The Rattler - III said...

"concealed carry was not covered by the Second Amendment, as concealing is the opposite of bearing"... Not quite sure... not I am quite sure I disagree with that. To bear is simply - to carry from one place to another. The distinction of placement was never mentioned or implied. If these folks had gone to eat with their 'defensive' arms hidden, none of this would of happened. In a way it is almost safer because who will the perp take out first? Probably the one with a colt on their side. I am not saying that I disagree with open carry. In San Diego it is somewhat allowed so long as it unloaded. THAT is a stupid law.

Good post again! III

Johann said...

Right on, Son3!

Son III said...

Thanks, Rattler! I mentioned that because I recently had a discussion with RG Miller in which he convinced me that concealed carry laws are without Constitutional authority. Of course, I felt kind of silly that I would even think that they were, but my reasoning was that to bear something means to show it, and to keep something means to own or have it in your possession. I subsequently realized concealed carry could be covered in the keep part, but even if it is not, it is not given to government to legislate on the matter.

Personally, I see open carry as a deterrent to crime - if someone is going to be out shooting people, seeing an armed individual can only deter him, unless he is so determined to kill that nothing would keep him from doing so, in which case, a man with a gun would be seen as no obstacle in his warped mind.


Good to see you in these parts again, Johann! (Haven't been in these parts too often, myself. :))

Son III said...

PS to Rattler, I see what you mean about to bear meaning to carry, but what I meant to say was that while the words keep and bear can mean the same thing, the two words used together clarify the others' meaning (one may be keeping a firearm in his house or on his person, or one may equipped with, or bearing, a firearm).

Six of one, half dozen of the other: keep your gun-grabbin' hands off my rights.

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