The Letter Kills

The Maine Sun-Journal reports: “A man who strolled through Maine’s largest city with an assault weapon similar to the one used in the Connecticut elementary school shootings is drawing fire from both gun control and gun rights advocates.  Portland police received more than 65 calls Monday reporting that a young man was walking through the Parkside neighborhood and the Back Cove area with an AR-15-style assault weapon. Justin Dean, 24, insisted he wasn’t making any sort of statement but rather had the loaded rifle for protection while exercising his Second Amendment rights.

Do you think scenarios like this are the intent of the second amendment? I don’t. My reaction would be the same as that of the 65 people who called the police department to report this guy because I would have thought he was on his way to his own private massacre somewhere.

It only takes a few people like this to start a domino effect of laws that do everything possible to restrict gun ownership. Yes, according to the letter of the law he has the right to carry this weapon in public. But that isn’t the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is to have firearms to protect your family, kill meat for food and to be ready to form a militia if needed to protect your community. In that case yes, by all means carry your AK-15 around in the street. In our current climate where most of us are still grieving the tragic loss of life in Newtown CT, that used a similar weapon, this type of firearm use is irresponsible at best and a sign of questionable mental health at worst.

We had a similar situation near where I live where a parent, who was called in to talk to the principal about their child’s behavior, came to the meeting with a holstered pistol, which he then made sure the office staff  saw by opening his coat and putting a hand on his hip so that the pistol was clearly visible in some sort of an implied threat (or else why didn’t he keep his concealed weapon concealed?). Needless to say, the staff was upset and called the police. It turned out that the guy had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and at the time, there was no local law prohibiting weapons on school property. Too bad he didn’t have a permit for common sense.

So, how about using some common sense with firearms?  Is that too much to ask, and even expect, of gun owners? I see this kind of behavior as akin to making terroristic threats. Does it deny gun owners their constitutional rights to expect them to either exhibit common sense or forfeit their firearm license?  Should local governments have the authority to define and regulate “common sense” gun ownership? Or do we just have to learn to live with people walking around the streets with semi-automatic weapons?  Is this the kind of society we want? I’d love to know what you think.

Regards to all,
 Christian Liberal ~ right of center on some things and left of center on others