Cops are defending a gun rights advocate for exercising his Second Amendment right to bear arms in a somewhat sketchy manner. An unidentified Georgia man was apparently intimidating parents and other bystanders at a children's baseball game by wearing a gun in a holster.
Since he kept the gun in the holster and holds a permit for the weapon, and he's not breaking any laws by packing heat, my first inclination is that it sounds like we've gotten way too wussified and politically correct when it comes to guns in this country. I mean really -- a guy carries a gun to a kids' baseball game and we're all going to freak out over it?
Come on! Personally, I'd feel much safer if I knew there was someone that could take down another potential Adam Lanza or Jared Loughner or James Holmes, but if people want to freak out about guns in general as evil, instead of the bad guys that shoot innocent people with them ... well, then I'm going to start blaming spoons for the fact that my thighs touch.
Anyway, it seems that there was a little more to the story than that, and even this gun-clinger likely wouldn't have felt comfortable around this guy.
He wasn't just attending the game and happened to be wearing a holstered gun -- he was reportedly loitering and making intimidating comments to anyone who would listen.
One mom, Karen Rabb, told the local news station, "He's just walking around [saying]'See my gun? Look, I got a gun and there's nothing you can do about it.' He knew he was frightening people. He knew exactly what he was doing ... he scared people to the point where we stopped the game, took the kids out of the dugout and behind the dugout, and kind of hunkered down."
Whoa. That kinda changes the perspective, doesn't it? 22 people called 911, and when police got there, they couldn't do anything as he wasn't technically violating any laws since he had a permit, kept it holstered, and didn't directly threaten anyone with it.
OK, there's the letter of the law, and there's the spirit of the law, and this guy was just being a jerk. Can he get a ticket for being a jerk? He was definitely violating not just the peace, but also the peace of mind for the people at the park that day.
Deputy Doug Rainwater said, "A park is one of those places where you can openly carry a weapon if you do have a permit ... a lot of parents with their kids at Fowler Park don’t understand that in Georgia you do have that right." He also increased police presence in the park, mostly to reassure parents that it's safe.
Hi, parent here. It has nothing to do with whether or not people have a right to bear arms in public, and everything to do with a creepster walking up to my child and saying, "Look at my gun."
Guns should be respected, not feared. I'm not afraid of the chef's knife in my kitchen drawer, but you can be dang sure I'd be afraid of someone flashing one in public, insisting that everyone look at his knife. That's some scary crap right there. It's suspicious behavior with a weapon that can kill or seriously harm people. It's not the weapon, it's the person holding it.
I get that this guy was likely trying to make some political point about the Second Amendment, but he's doing a disservice to everyone. Even just look at the fact that they increased police presence at the park -- those are cops that are not out doing things to actually catch criminals. And who do you think pays their salaries? You do, fellow taxpayer.
And what if enough people get scared enough to petition to ban the right to carry? Like it or not, there are more gun crimes in areas with stricter gun control laws, and the criminal pointing the barrel at you isn't going to care if you signed a petition to ban his weapon. Everyone on either side of the gun debate is safer when private citizens are allowed to pack heat in public.
This dude may not have broken any laws, but he didn't do anyone any favors with his little stunt.
Do you think the police should have defended this man?
Image via Stan Weber/Flickr