Friday, October 28, 2011

Protected by the Law?

I’m no lawyer, but I do know that laws don’t protect people from what may happen to them; rather, laws describe the consequences for transgressors of the law if they get caught breaking that law. Therefore, one should never trust The Law to keep them safe. For example, the fact that pedestrians are to be given the right-of-way at intersections should give no one the confidence to walk out in front of a moving vehicle, especially in areas frequented by drivers who do not recognize pedestrians (or bicycles, dogs, etc.) to be legitimate occupants of the roadway. Yes, if the vehicle hits you, you can make the case that the driver was in the wrong (or your family can, if you are killed;) but the law will not keep you from being injured. You should take preemptive action to protect yourself by not walking in traffic.

Since laws do not protect us from harm, we should, and indeed should be required, to take preemptive action to keep ourselves and our families safe. This means, among other things, the carrying of a means of defense of ourselves and of others, if need be. This means carrying it everywhere. Yes, I’m talking about a handgun. A concealed handgun “permit” holder should be allowed to carry anywhere, especially public places like schools and businesses. (The holder should not need a permit, but that’s the subject of another discussion.) If denied that right to defend himself, the CHP holder should stay away from those places and businesses. If a government facility or business denies your right to carry on its property, then the operator of that facility assumes responsibility for your safety. But just like the pedestrian, don’t assume that promise will keep you safe. Sadly, the truth is that those government officials and business owners don’t trust law abiding citizens to do the right thing.

This flies in the face of the US Constitution, not to mention the North Carolina Constitution Bill of Rights of 1776, which states: “[T]he people have a right to bear arms, for the defence (sic) of the State; and, as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” - North Carolina Ratifying Convention, Declaration of Rights and Other Amendments, § XVII (1776)

“Oh, it’s not the lawful ones we’re worried about! It’s the criminals!” Is your mind so clouded by your belief in the basic goodness of people that you really think a sticker on a door is going to be obeyed by someone up to no good, who knows that there is no one standing between him and his criminal intent? You’re placing a huge bet on that chance. I’d sooner buy a lottery ticket.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our Oath

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

This is the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America taken by immigrants. Should natural-born citizens swear no less?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where You Can't Carry in North Carolina

Schools, school grounds or campus, school bus. NCGS 14-269.2; 18 USC 922.
Assemblies of people where a fee was charged for admission. NCGS 14-269.3 [Huh?]
Places where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. NCGS 14-269.3.
Courthouses. NCGS 14-269.4.
The State Capitol. NCGS 14-269.4.
The Governor’s official homes. NCGS 14-269.4. [I haven’t been invited anyway]
Parades. NCGS 14-277.2.
Funeral processions. NCGS 14-277.2.
Picket lines. NCGS 14-277.2.
Demonstrations at private health care facilities. NCGS 14-277.2.
Any public place owned by a local governmental unit [where an ordinance is effective AND a sign prohibiting is posted]. NCGS 14-277.2.
Any place (except one’s premises) where a state of emergency exists. NCGS 14-288.7.
Any place (except one’s premises) at or near where a riot is occurring. NCGS 14-288.7.
State legislative buildings and grounds. NCGS 120-32.1.
Any place prohibited by federal law. NCGS 14-415.11.
Law enforcement facilities. NCGS 14-415.11.
Correctional facilities (jails, prisons). NCGS 14-415.11.
Buildings housing only State or federal offices. NCGS 14-415.11.
State or federal government offices. NCGS 14-415.11.
Financial institutions (banks, etc.). NCGS 14-415.11.
Premises with a notice posted prohibiting concealed weapons. NCGS 14-415.11.
In other words, just about anywhere you would need to.

Where You Can Carry

Basically, Walmart and your own property. Just don’t shoot anybody.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Human Shields

There is a great deal of discussion about education spending everywhere, especially in North Carolina. Many well-meaning people on both sides have made their views known. What bothers me is how arguments are made "for the children," especially among those in education. Some mean it; some don't.

My message to them is, if you don't want to lose your job, then say you don't want to lose your job. If you don't want to lose funding for your pet project, then say so. Just don't play the "For the Children" card if you are more concerned about your longevity and don't give a rat's rear end about "the children."

If it were really about the children, those screaming loudest would shut up and just do their job. If the Educrat (someone who doesn't teach, but holds a desk job with a six-figure salary) is truly there "for the children," he can give up his job so that several teacher assistants can keep theirs. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Part of "Shall Not Be Infringed" Do You Not Understand?

I recently received my North Carolina concealed handgun permit. Ready and authorized to carry a concealed handgun, I am nevertheless flummoxed by those who would seek to deny me a right I am already guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

There seem to be more places in North Carolina that one cannot carry than where it is permitted. Schools, banks, Federal and State buildings and offices, plus “public gatherings” are all off-limits. In other words, the places criminals would logically seek out, since there is no one to stop them.

“But, we can’t have people packing guns everywhere! There would be anarchy!” Actually, studies show more crimes are prevented by responsible gun owners than are committed by criminals.

Besides the fact that one should be allowed to arm themselves (again, a right already granted, or, more correctly, not to be infringed upon,) one must be armed to provide a measure of self-defense.

In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court ruled that citizens do not have a constitutional right to protection by law enforcement, even in the presence of a restraining order. This decision ignited a firestorm of controversy, but the facts in question miss the point.

The point is that if law enforcement (i.e. the government) has no legal obligation to protect you, then you should be allowed to protect yourself.

Please don’t misunderstand. My problem is not with law enforcement, since to require protection of the citizenry would open public safety agencies up to so much litigation as to severely restrict (or outright prevent) them from doing what they are sworn to do. They do an excellent job with the resources they have. Nevertheless, the job of the criminal justice system is justice, not defense. That is the job of the citizens.

My problem is with a government that doesn’t trust me to do the right thing (or to spend my own money either, but I digress;) yet at the same time thinks that criminals care whether a business or public building has a little sticker that tells them they can’t have a weapon on the premises. The very places that prohibit possession of firearms would benefit the most from a responsible, armed citizenry.

For the business owner who prohibits weapons, the concern is liability. My question is, in which lies the greater liability: the discharge of a firearm by a responsible, law-abiding citizen; or a firearm injury inflicted during the commission of a crime by the perpetrator?

Responsible gun owners should boycott businesses that (rightfully) refuse firearm possession. We should also remind our elected officials that, by denying us the right to defend ourselves on public property, that government agency assumes responsibility for our safety. Yes, we usually have a choice whether to enter the building or property, but no one can dispute the fact that such a policy denies the citizen his or her right to self-defense.

The position that criminals should be denied access to guns, while noble on its face, is nevertheless only half the argument. It ignores the need of potential victims to protect themselves and their families. Why are guns always the problem and not part of the solution? The need of the individual is sacrificed for some lofty social goal.

Trust is a two-way street. A government and society that doesn’t trust me to do the right thing does not earn my trust.