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Thread: Trouble at the Washington Co. Fair

  1. #1
    Regular Member ChadW's Avatar
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    VA: Harrassed while exercising my right to go armed at county fair
    http://www.tricities.com/tristate/t...09-23-0005.html
    Harrassed while exercising my right to go armed at county fair

    Sunday, Sep 23, 2007 - 12:06 AM
    BY TONY MCKENNA
    SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER

    On a recent Saturday, I put on my "Jesus is my Boss" hat, my light jacket and a tight shirt. I wore my 38-caliber revolver outside my shirt and under my jacket, instead of under a loose shirt.

    When my wife, three children and I arrived at the Washington County Fair, the weather turned very warm so I left my jacket in the car. After two hours at the fair, three sheriff’s deputies approached me about my holstered sidearm. They told me Sheriff Fred Newman sent them over to tell me not to wear my holstered gun because he received some complaints.

    Evidently, this woman who was standing near us, while my wife and I laughed and smiled at our children as they rode the same ride three or four times, thought that this man wearing a Jesus hat and carrying a gun was blasphemy to the worshipers of political correctness, used her cell phone to call the sheriff’s department and complain.

    The deputy, knowing I had a concealed carry permit and knowing there was no law against carrying a holstered gun in public, asked me to carry my gun inside my bag as a favor to him. So I did.

    AFTER A WHILE, I realized that I could no longer ask the kids or my wife to hold the bag because there was a concealed weapon inside it. So I took the gun out of my bag, put it back into my holster and pulled my shirt out of my pants and just let it hang over my gun, although it was a tight shirt and you can see an obvious bulge.

    From that point on, not 30 minutes passed when there weren’t a number of deputies within 15 feet of us for the rest of that afternoon. Like I said, the first two hours there was not one deputy to be seen. I know this because we were watching for them to open their trailer so my son could go and look at the things that they had to offer.

    I am disabled. My wife is disabled. We have three small children.

    Who’s to protect them if someone starts shooting the place up like at Virginia Tech a few months ago? Who’s to protect them if members of the notorious MS-13 gang that has taken up residence in Tennessee and Virginia, decide that for a new members initiation they are to take or kill a small child? The FBI considers MS-13 [from Mara Salvatrucha] to be the most violent gang in the United States with more than 6,000 members in Virginia.

    POLICE ARE only a deterrent force and are under no legal obligation to protect us from crime. In 1982, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit said: "... there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: it tells the state to let the people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order."

    Sheriff Newman should not have sent his deputies out to harass me, but should have told the people who called in to complain that I not only have that God-given right of the 2nd Amendment, but also the obligation to be diligent and protective of my family at all times.

    The last election cycle I voted for Sheriff Newman; not this time. This time, I’m going to vote for the other guy, whoever that may be.

    One more thing, I’ll wear my gun the way that is comfortable for me. And the loco anti-gun bleeding hearts club, just needs to get over it.

    Tony McKenna lives in Abingdon, Va.

    (Comments link at the bottom of the page)

    Letters to the Editor go to both:
    lbazner@bristolnews.com
    ahopkins@bristolnews.com


  2. #2
    Regular Member ChadW's Avatar
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    It seems that the gun haters have found their way down south to Abingdon, looks like its time to start calling the sheriff on Monday. Look out!

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    I would not view a family man with kids to be a credible threat.

    Not sure why the Sheriff decided he needed his staff to watch him so closely.

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    I will call the Sheriff on Monday. I also posted a comment to the story asking the Sheriff to apologize for his reaction.

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    ChadW wrote:
    It seems that the gun haters have found their way down south to Abingdon, looks like its time to start calling the sheriff on Monday. Look out!
    Let's be careful about attacking Sheriff Newman without knowing if there is more to this story.

    Washington County is where I live and I have attended the Washington County Fair multiple times EVERY YEAR for almost a decade and open carried every time without having a deputy say a word (even though I KNOW they notice the gun as I enter the Fair).

    Last year after the Staunton event, I felt that it would be nice to write a positive letter for a change and wrote Sheriff Newman a letter of thanks for the professional conduct of his deputies at the Fair and other local events where I encounter them while open carrying (again never hearing a word). I have attached the letter to this posting.

    The Friday before the Fair started this year (about 2 1/2 weeks ago), I was standing in line to get into the football game at the local high school where my sons plays varsity football (with an empty holster as usual) when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn and there is Sheriff Newman ... he shook my hand and told me that he really appreciated the letter and that he worked very hard to make sure that his deputies knew and respected the law.

    I am not trying to blindly support the Sheriff, but given his proven record, I think we should not go in "guns blazing" without getting more details. I will call him on Monday and let you all know what I find out.

    PS. I was at the Fair that same day and stood in the middle of the main livestock ring while my 2 year old son, then my 6 year old niece, then my 11 year old daughter and then my 14 year old son all participated in the age-segmented, greased-pig events. I also rode literally dozens of rides with the younger kids. During that time, I was clearly visible to thousands of spectators.

    Interestingly, there was a DEA agent in full gear there as well who saw my gun, nodded when I established eye contact and then turned to speak into his radio. I am sure that he contacted the deputies contingent, but even though I was at the same ride for at least 20 minutes, I never even saw a deputy.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm kinda curious why there was a tacti-cooled-up DEA agent at the greased pig contest!
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    I think you shoudl file some sort of complaint

    Police:
    "to punish and to enslave"

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    paramedic70002 wrote:
    Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm kinda curious why there was a tacti-cooled-up DEA agent at the greased pig contest!


    Actually, he was in the rides section talking to a group of guys. I suspect he was there with the DARE program which had a booth at the Fair.



  9. #9
    Regular Member ChadW's Avatar
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    Went to the fair this year for the first time in about five or six years and when I walked to the gate there was a big ole sign that said no guns allowed. I am reckoning that some how they have got scared and banned guns. It's a shame, since I carried there in times past and judging by some of the characters there I would much rather have a gun than not.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, all the fairs around us had similar signage.
    Last edited by Marco; 10-27-2011 at 09:12 AM.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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  11. #11
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    So did you turn around and go home, or leave it in the car and give them your money anyway?

  12. #12
    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpierce View Post
    Washington County is where I live and I have attended the Washington County Fair multiple times EVERY YEAR for almost a decade and open carried every time without having a deputy say a word (even though I KNOW they notice the gun as I enter the Fair).
    Yes, but you advocate and practice playing 'dress up like a detective' so that doesn't really apply. I've had the 'professional courtesy' debate elsewhere... When you are a cop, or try to look like a cop, your experiences do not apply to the rest of us.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom6zoom View Post
    So did you turn around and go home, or leave it in the car and give them your money anyway?
    I OC'd to the ticket counter and stated, Oh I see you have a no firearms policy and me and mine (4 paying and one freebie) turned and left.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

  14. #14
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    It is a shame that these fairs wish to restrict our rights by exercising theirs. I really want to go to the State Fair this year but alas it was at the Meadow Event Park which is seriously anti-gun.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 10-27-2011 at 02:53 PM.
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  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Alachua County Fair in FL here is posted as well. The Fair almost didn't happen this year due to financial issues that have been mounting for several years.

    I let them know their anti- views cost them some more bucks... Me and everyone I know. You'd think they could re-arrange their priorities when they'r already hurting so bad... But it describes the fiscal situation perfectly; they've got their priorities all backwards. Arrogance comes before business.

    Does anyone NEED to go to a fair? No, it's a luxury.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
    http://edhelper.com/poetry/The_Hangm...rice_Ogden.htm

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    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

  16. #16
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    It should be considered fraudulent advertising to call something a "county" anything and be held on private property.
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