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Thread: Grand Rapids City Commission Meeting Jan 22nd @7pm

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    Grand Rapids City Commission Meeting Jan 22nd @7pm

    Jan 22nd at 7pm on the 9th (top) floor of City Hall. 300 Monre Ave N.W., Grand Rapids. Feel free to park in the parking ramp under City Hall which you can access from Monroe Ave. Bring your parking stub to the meeting to get your parking validated. If you can't make it by 7, it is OK to walk in late. I recommend no later than 8pm.

    Schedule with Address at bottom: http://grcity.us/city-clerk/Document...s%20Annual.pdf

    The City of Grand Rapids has a few ordinances that are preempted by State law and are essentially refusing to do anything about it. Mayor Hartwell has said that he is in favor of people being confused about their rights and that he does not care if the City of Grand Rapids is violating state law.

    Mayor Hartwell: "Hip hip hooray if we're creating confusion and one more person doesn't bring a gun in a city council meeting because they are confused about their rights, I'm okay with that"
    http://www.wwmt.com/shared/newsroom/...nce-6920.shtml

    You can also reference this for more information. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...e_hear_16.html

    You do NOT have to be a resident of Grand Rapids to attend the meeting or to speak. However, if you plan to say something, I would include a comment or story about your work/visits to the city.

    Many of us have openly carried to previous meetings, some of us to many meetings. There should be no issues for anyone openly carrying, so carry as you wish.

    If you wish to speak but are not sure what to say, here are a few things that might start you off. Your comments are your own.
    Suggested Talking Points
    -This is not a gun issue, this is a law issue
    -The city is violating state law

    Other Potential Talking Points
    -The Mayor, an elected official, is in favor of citizens being "confused about their rights"
    -The Mayor does not care about the city violating state law.
    -The Mayor openly disobeys state law, yet wants everyone else to obey new laws that he would like the state to make.
    -If you are not a city resident, address yourself as a resident of the State of Michigan and you are concerned with the city violating your laws.

    If you live in Grand Rapids and are unable to attend the meeting, or even if you can, consider contacting your commissioners. Grand Rapids has three wards and each ward has two commissioners. Find out what ward you are in http://grcity.us/city-clerk/Pages/Ci...Precincts.aspx. Then contact your officials http://grcity.us/city-manager/Pages/...Officials.aspx

    Dinner afterward at Big Boy. 407 Pearl Street Northwest. Go south on Monroe from City Hall, then go west on Pearl. Big Boy is just on the other side of 131. You will literally run into it if you don't follow the bend in the road.

    I will be sitting in the front row. Please join me there. -Tom Lambert
    Last edited by bigt8261; 01-16-2013 at 10:32 AM.

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    Regular Member Amandat's Avatar
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    amandat

    my husband and I plan on attending and will be open carrying i hope we can make it! !

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    Regular Member griffin's Avatar
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    Michigan needs to have a law like Florida has. If a city, town, or other entity violates their preemption law...

    (3) Prohibitions; Penalties.—

    (a) Any person, county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity that violates the Legislature’s occupation of the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, as declared in subsection (1), by enacting or causing to be enforced any local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation impinging upon such exclusive occupation of the field shall be liable as set forth herein.

    (b) If any county, city, town, or other local government violates this section, the court shall declare the improper ordinance, regulation, or rule invalid and issue a permanent injunction against the local government prohibiting it from enforcing such ordinance, regulation, or rule. It is no defense that in enacting the ordinance, regulation, or rule the local government was acting in good faith or upon advice of counsel.

    (c) If the court determines that a violation was knowing and willful, the court shall assess a civil fine of up to $5,000 against the elected or appointed local government official or officials or administrative agency head under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred.

    (d) Except as required by applicable law, public funds may not be used to defend or reimburse the unlawful conduct of any person found to have knowingly and willfully violated this section.

    (e) A knowing and willful violation of any provision of this section by a person acting in an official capacity for any entity enacting or causing to be enforced a local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation prohibited under paragraph (a) or otherwise under color of law shall be cause for termination of employment or contract or removal from office by the Governor.

    (f) A person or an organization whose membership is adversely affected by any ordinance, regulation, measure, directive, rule, enactment, order, or policy promulgated or caused to be enforced in violation of this section may file suit against any county, agency, municipality, district, or other entity in any court of this state having jurisdiction over any defendant to the suit for declaratory and injunctive relief and for actual damages, as limited herein, caused by the violation. A court shall award the prevailing plaintiff in any such suit:

    1. Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in accordance with the laws of this state, including a contingency fee multiplier, as authorized by law; and

    2. The actual damages incurred, but not more than $100,000.

    Interest on the sums awarded pursuant to this subsection shall accrue at the legal rate from the date on which suit was filed.
    "If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." – William F. Buckley
    "...go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." – Samuel Adams
    Wheels

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    Reminder, the next meeting is tomorrow night.

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    Tonight I will be pushing the city to amend it's ordinances and volunteering for Mayor Hartwell's new coalition. My hope is to get everyone to focus on preventing crime as opposed to preventing rights.

    If you live in Grand Rapids and are unable to attend the meeting, or even if you can, consider contacting your commissioners. Grand Rapids has three wards and each ward has two commissioners. Find out what ward you are in http://grcity.us/city-clerk/Pages/Ci...Precincts.aspx Then contact your officials http://grcity.us/city-manager/Pages/...Officials.aspx

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    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Thumbs up +1

    Go get them guys & gals.

    We wish you all the best in this fight for rights and accountability on GR's part for keeping misleading ordinances on the books.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" by Mahatma Gandhi

    “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” by Mahatma Gandhi

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    Results

    Last night pretty much went the same as the rest. I talked, they ignored.

    Here are a few articles from last night.

    Moment of silence against guns at Grand Rapids City Commission meeting
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...inst_guns.html

    Will Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell accept gun-rights advocate's request to join his Coalition for Gun Control?
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...or_george.html

    I have already sent a few emails to the writer expressing my concern about the one-sidedness of the first article.

    Here are my comments from last night:
    Hello, my name is Tom Lambert.
    Tonight marks almost two months of me attending these meetings and, much to my disappointment, I have sometimes been maligned personally despite the offenders knowing next to nothing about me. So tonight, allow me to provide some background about myself.
    I was born, raised and educated in West Michigan, and I can easily see why WM best place in the nation to raise a family
    I am also an Eagle Scout. While earning that honor, one of the biggest things that I took away from scouting was to leave things better than you found them, and that is exactly why I am here tonight.
    My only goal here is to do what I can to help the City of Grand Rapids fully abide by State law.
    I’m not asking city to like the law, I’m not asking the city to agree with the law. I’m just asking the city to FOLLOW the law. I believe this is in the best interest of everyone.
    Thanks to recent comments by the Mayor, if the city were to somehow slip up or make a mistake, the city would likely face a costly lawsuit it would almost certainly lose. Additionally, based on my reading of other laws, if this were to happen, it is possible that the entire commission and not just the Mayor could be guilty of a misdemeanor, and depending on how things go down, potentially even a felony.
    I do not see those things as in the best interests of the City, nor do I see its commissioners gambling with that possibility as in the best interests of the City.
    Over the past two weeks, I have continued my research on the matter. I am not the first to press the city to amend its ordinances. A few years ago, one person received a response from the CURRENT City Attorney that stated that the ordinances were in fact NOT preempted. I believe this assertion to be incorrect and I assume the city does as well, which is why the ordinances in question are supposedly not enforced.
    Other municipalities in the area have amended their ordinances in the past without commotion. The two most notable ones are Rockford and East Grand Rapids. To the best of my knowledge, neither of them ballooned into a big deal because in both cases everyone understood what their duty was. As recently as 2006, the city of Grand Rapids amended many of its firearm ordinances to comply with newly enacted state laws. Many of YOU held your current seat at that time, which begs the question, why then and not now?
    Furthermore, in the interest of doing what I can to leave things better than I found them, I would like to publicly volunteer for Mayor Hartwell’s new coalition. I offer my time and knowledge as well as that of those who support me. I believe we can assist the Mayor in finding ways to help curb violence, not only in WM, but also across the state.
    To do this, I believe we will need a clear understanding of current Federal law, State law and local ordinances. Recently, Mayor Hartwell, you gave an interview in which you described your understanding of many facets of these three things. Unfortunately, the vast majority of what you said was incorrect. Most of what you stated to be law really isn’t, and some of what you stated should be law, already is. Not only do I think that I can help increase the effectiveness or your proposals, I believe that I can provide support you will need to get your proposals adopted. If your goal really is to curb violence, rather than restricting rights, then let me help.
    Here is the letter I sent to the Mayor volunteering for his coalition:
    January 22, 2013

    Mayor George Hartwell
    Grand Rapids, Michigan


    Mayor Hartwell,
    It has come to my attention that you are planning to form a “Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Control”, with the goal of amending State law in order to help curb violence in relation to guns. I would like to offer you sincerely and in good faith, my time, knowledge, and support to assist you in the goal of curbing all types of violence both locally and across the state.
    Recently, I have seen some of your comments in the media about Local, State and Federal law that were, in some cases, grossly incorrect. It only seems proper to me for someone to approach this endeavor with as much understanding and clarity as possible. I believe, at the very least, I am able to assist you, and your coalition, in obtaining this clarity.
    I have also reached out to numerous people in varying professions all across the State to solicit ideas on how we can curb violence without infringing upon the rights of individuals. In the hopes of getting varied responses, I not only solicited people who obey the law, I also sought the advice of those who enforce the law and those who prosecute the law. Furthermore, and I believe more importantly, I put an emphasis on those things which both sides might be able to come together behind to support. I agree with the notion that just because we can’t fix everything, doesn’t mean we should do nothing. I believe the people of Grand Rapids, as well as the rest of the State of Michigan, would only be served if we can come together and at least identify the easy and obvious.
    The responses I received were numerous and varied. They ranged from adjusting penalties to enforcing existing laws differently. One individual in law enforcement expressed a particular interest in making both existing and new laws as clear as possible. His thoughts were that clarity doesn’t just help people to obey the law; it also helps law enforcement enforce the law confidently and without repercussions.
    I know there are issues that we stand apart on, but that doesn’t mean we can’t, at least temporarily, set those issues aside to work in the interest of everyone else. Just because we can’t agree on everything, doesn’t mean the people should get nothing.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Lambert

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    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Tom, Phil, and others showing up, appreciate your time and energy on this. The way you are calmly approaching this and even extending a hand to collaborate with the mayor will pay dividends. I'm sure many people notice that in response to the mayor doing immature things like saying he's ok with confusing people, you are responding to him with a far higher level of maturity.

    Good job, guys!
    Last edited by DanM; 01-23-2013 at 04:31 PM.
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    “He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    Keep doing EXACTLY what you are doing here. Be reasonable in the face of their unreasonableness. Sooner, rather than later, the tide will turn in your favor.

    It took us 1-2 months, and quite a bit of media coverage with proper information presented, to get Royal Oak to change their Arts, Beats, and Eats Contract to follow State Law and allow Carry on Public Property. Additionally, it took me 16 months to get them to change their Civil Emergencies Ordinance to follow State Law within the bounds of MCL 123.1102. I certainly hope that your success lies somewhere in between these time frames.

    Just know that at some point, you may have to consider Legal Action against the City to get them to change to the ordinances. MCRGO did this with Ferndale, even after Ferndale lost the MI COA Case and was refusing to change their ordinances.
    Rights are like muscles. You must EXERCISE THEM to keep them from becoming atrophied.

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    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    not a biggy but note the spelling of his name


    Quote Originally Posted by bigt8261 View Post
    Last night pretty much went the same as the rest. I talked, they ignored.

    Here are a few articles from last night.



    Moment of silence against guns at Grand Rapids City Commission meeting
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...inst_guns.html

    Will Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell accept gun-rights advocate's request to join his Coalition for Gun Control?
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...or_george.html

    I have already sent a few emails to the writer expressing my concern about the one-sidedness of the first article.

    Here are my comments from last night:


    Here is the letter I sent to the Mayor volunteering for his coalition:
    My reasons to OC
    1. to raise awareness of the legality of open carry in Michigan
    2. To raise awareness that good people carry guns
    3. A deterrent to people so that I won't be targeted
    4. Because it's more comfortable than CC in most situations
    5. Because I can and want to
    6. Because it's perfectly legal
    7. Self defense

  11. #11
    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raggs View Post
    not a biggy but note the spelling of his name
    Reminds me that one of the anti-gun Royal Oak council members we dealt with was Terry Drinkwine. Boy, did that guy ever live up to his last name, when you heard how impaired he sounded when opining on gun owners and what he thought Royal Oak could do in contravention to state law.
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    “He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    Today the Mayor responded to my offer to join his task force.
    Dear Mr. Lambert,

    Thank you for your offer to participate in my gun control task force. You are correct in your assessment that the goal for this group is to amend State law in an effort to curb gun violence. Having recently attended the US Conference of Mayors meetings in Washington, DC, I was struck by thenear-universal call for more control on guns – background checks, local regulations on registration, large capacity and automatic weapons – from mayors of America who were in attendance. While you and I are at very different places with respect to this question I felt my position affirmed by my colleagues from every part of the country.

    In offering to serve on my task force you suggested that we could, perhaps, find a middle ground. I am not interested in finding a middle ground and I suspect – let’s be honest here – that you aren’t either. My objective is to remove guns from government buildings and voting stations and to keep them out of the places where they are currently banned such as schools and houses of worship. Given your clear and strongly-held position on this matter I must decline your offer of service.

    We share the distinction of Eagle Scout – mine earned in 1964, with Distinguished Eagle conferred in 2005 – and I see it as a reflection on the character of America that two citizens who obviously love God and country arrive at such different places on this subject, both having all the rights and feeling all the obligations to represent our position. Whether or not you respect my determination, I certainly respect yours. I will, however, continue to do my best to see that reasonable limits are putinto place concerning ownership and open carrying of firearms.

    Sincerely,

    Mayor George K. Heartwell
    City of Grand Rapids
    300 Monroe Ave. NW
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    Gheartwell@grcity.us
    Off. (616) 456-3168
    Here is what will likely be my final response on the matter:
    Mayor Hartwell,

    I sincerely thank you for taking the time to respond. I did not know you shared the distinction of Eagle Scout. I commend your honored distinction and share your sentiments on arriving at such different places on a subject.

    I am saddened that you do not believe me when I say that I am interested in finding middle ground. I understand that we have different overall goals, but I not believe that our goals are without overlap. This is why I sought input from others on what that overlap might entail. Furthermore, I do not believe that working apart on contrasting goals precludes us from working together on common goals. After all, isn't this the very standard that we demand from our officials in Lansing and Washington?

    Again, my offer is sincere, and in the interest of duty to others, it still stands should you ever change your mind. I thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Tom Lambert

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigt8261 View Post
    Today the Mayor responded to my offer to join his task force.

    Here is what will likely be my final response on the matter:
    I hope you will correct his misstatement of fact in your response.

    "My objective is to remove guns from government buildings and voting stations and to keep them out of the PLACES WHERE THEY CURRENTLY BANNED such as SCHOOLS and HOUSES OF WORSHIP. "
    Last edited by scot623; 01-24-2013 at 02:02 PM.

  14. #14
    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayor Heartwell
    I felt my position affirmed by my colleagues fellow aspiring municipal dictators
    Fixed it for him.
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    “He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.”--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    Fresh off the presses

    Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell on guns: 'I am not interested in finding a middle ground'
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...e_hear_18.html

  16. #16
    Regular Member FreeInAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Rapids City Commission Meeting Jan 22nd @7pm

    As others have posted this is a typical reaction from local officials. Do not let them get your spirit down. Royal Oak, Ferndale, Birmingham MI and many other municipallities have gone down this road. In the end they find no help from Lansing and are left looking like what they are foolish people with no respect for "our" laws. Those who want to pick and choose what laws to obey are revealing their true character - criminal.

    I would suggest you work with forum members and other pro "rights" groups (2A helps preserve all other rights from tyrants) to see that GR has multiple open carry events in their public venues as the weather warms up this spring. Parks, community events and so on are a great way to show the public that we are simply law-abiding people and not the three headed monsters Mr. Heartwell would have them believe we are.

    Bless you all for standing up for all of our rights, not just those Mr. Heartwell deems acceptable.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" by Mahatma Gandhi

    “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” by Mahatma Gandhi

  17. #17
    Regular Member Raggs's Avatar
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    maybe it is time for LGOC or IHOC, ok just kidding... or am I
    My reasons to OC
    1. to raise awareness of the legality of open carry in Michigan
    2. To raise awareness that good people carry guns
    3. A deterrent to people so that I won't be targeted
    4. Because it's more comfortable than CC in most situations
    5. Because I can and want to
    6. Because it's perfectly legal
    7. Self defense

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