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Thread: "Causes" or "Warrants" Alarm?

  1. #1
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    Time and again I see something on here that makes me cringe a little. That is when someone uses the phrase "cause(s) alarm" in place of the proper phrase "warrants alarm". This may seem petty at first glance, but it really isn't. There is a very important difference between the two, illustrated by the following scenario:

    OCer is shopping at Safeway and minding his/her own business. One of the sheeple sees him/her and calls 911, convincing the operator that a police presence is necessary. Everything turns out okay as the responding LEO knows his/her laws and settles the caller down while letting them know that OC is legal in the state of Washington. End story.

    Now let's examine what just happened. Our hero/heroine is not brandishing, glowering at people, or doing anything that would indicate that he/she is or has been up to anything illegal, HOWEVER the person who called 911 became "alarmed" at the sight of someone carrying a pistol in plain site because they are either anti-gun or ignorant of the law. The very fact that our law abiding hero/heroine is carrying in such a manner has "caused alarm" in the caller.

    NOW we must ask the question, "Was this alarm warranted?" Certainly not! Our hero/heroine has done nothing illegal, aggressive, or otherwise intentionally intimidating or threatening. Therefore they haven't violated state law and can't be held accountable for the "alarm" experienced by the caller.

    See the difference and how important it is in this case?

    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    Agreed. There is a huge difference on what "causes" and what "warrants" alarm. A person might be alarmed by seeing a pocketknife clipped on the pants pocket of an average citizen, but that knife does not necessarily WARRANT alarm, when viewed by a "reasonable person." This is the technicality that us OCers rely on, being that a holstered firearm viewed by a reasonable person is not a situation that WARRANTS alarm for the safety of others, although in certain situations it very well may CAUSE specific people to be alarmed. You bring up a good point for those who may be new to the forum, and even for those of us who have been around a while, to be reminded. Thanks.

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    In addition to the issue of "causes" vs "warrants" I've struggled with the correctness of only using the "warrants alarm" languagewhen referring to the legal conditions that must be present for violating RCW 9.41.270.

    Paraphrasing the language down to "warrants alarm" from "warrants alarm for the safety of other persons" is a much lower bar IMHO. Quickly looking at definitions on dictionary.com (I am use these definitions as my evidence):

    warrants- to give reason or sanction for; justify

    alarm- to make fearful or apprehensive; distress

    **(I know there are a ton of other definitions for both of these words but I thought these best fit the RCW)

    In this instance,paraphrasing the conditions in the RCW down to "warrants alarm" simply means to sanction or give reason for (warrants) someone to be fearful or apprehensive (alarm). It seems just as easy toachieve that as it does to "cause alarm"... am I being a little overboard in thinkingthat a significant amount of language in favor of OC'ing is in the language "for the safety of other persons"?

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    Good point, IMHO. The law needs to be taken in it's entirety; not out of context. Anything taken out of context can be used however someone wishes to use it.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    Yep. There is a big difference between causing and warranting. People have all kinds of phobias that cause alarm most of which are unwarranted.

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    irfner wrote:
    Yep. There is a big difference between causing and warranting. People have all kinds of phobias that cause alarm most of which are unwarranted.
    The Bill of Rights gives me the power to NOT have to apologize for someone else's "gun phobia."

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    irfner wrote:
    Yep. There is a big difference between causing and warranting. People have all kinds of phobias that cause alarm most of which are unwarranted.
    The Bill of Rights gives me the power to NOT have to apologize for someone else's "gun phobia."
    +1

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    Regular Member Machoduck's Avatar
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    arms_libertas wrote:
    In addition to the issue of "causes" vs "warrants" I've struggled with the correctness of only using the "warrants alarm" languagewhen referring to the legal conditions that must be present for violating RCW 9.41.270.

    Paraphrasing the language down to "warrants alarm" from "warrants alarm for the safety of other persons" is a much lower bar IMHO. Quickly looking at definitions on dictionary.com (I am use these definitions as my evidence):

    warrants- to give reason or sanction for; justify

    alarm- to make fearful or apprehensive; distress

    **(I know there are a ton of other definitions for both of these words but I thought these best fit the RCW)

    In this instance,paraphrasing the conditions in the RCW down to "warrants alarm" simply means to sanction or give reason for (warrants) someone to be fearful or apprehensive (alarm). It seems just as easy toachieve that as it does to "cause alarm"... am I being a little overboard in thinkingthat a significant amount of language in favor of OC'ing is in the language "for the safety of other persons"?
    Great so far, arms libertas! I would close the loop by adding that no definition of "cause" that I've seen contains the idea of justification. This is what's missing when people, cops included, say "Warrants, causes; same thing."

    Purportedly, the wife of dictionary maker Webster caught him kissing their maid. "Noah, I'm surprised!" Webster replied, "No you're not. You're astonished. I'm surprised."

    MD

    PS Yes, all the words in the law count, at least in a court of law. Here on the forum it's different; as long as readers know what meaning is intended, a few missing words might not hurt.



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