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Thread: Activists rally 'round open-carry heroine - Lebanon Daily News (PA)

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    http://www.ldnews.com/lebanonnews/ci_10726125

    Activists rally ’round open-carry heroine

    By ANDREA JOHNSON
    Staff Writer
    Lebanon Daily News




    Meleanie Hain is greeted by a thicket of cameras, microphones and reporters as she emerges from the Lebanon County courthouse yesterday after a hearing in which her permit to carry a concealed weapon was restored. (John Latimer / Lebanon Daily News)

    Gun-rights activists who traveled to Lebanon from as far away as Pittsburgh in support of Second-Amendment poster girl Meleanie Hain said it was worth the trip.
    A group of two dozen supporters applauded and cheered when Lebanon County President Judge Robert J. Eby announced his decision yesterday to restore Meleanie Hain’s concealed-weapons permit during a hearing at the Lebanon municipal building.
    “I wasn’t surprised,” 37-year-old Greg Rotz of Chambersburg said of Eby’s ruling.
    Rotz organized the gathering of advocates who support the open carrying of handguns as a peaceful show of support for Hain.
    Rotz faced similar charges after he wore a sidearm to his voting precinct on Election Day last



    David Rothschild (left) of Ambler turns over his gun to Sgt. Ferdy Sammer of the county sheriff s department and security worker Marlin Long so he may enter the courthouse yesterday. (Gordon Oliver / Lebanon Daily News)November, later receiving a letter from the Franklin County sheriff demanding that he turn over his handgun. He appealed the decision and was vindicated in January when a judge threw out the case.
    Yesterday in support of Hain, there were no signs or loud protests outside the courthouse. Instead, supporters merely carried their guns openly as the law permits. Dozens of people wore pins that read “I support Meleanie Hain. Enforce the law, not personal opinion.”
    County Sheriff Mike DeLeo revoked Hain’s concealed-weapons permit after parents complained about her openly wearing her gun to her 5-year-old daughter’s soccer game last month. Hain appealed, prompting yesterday’s hearing.
    During yesterday’s testimony, Rotz said that when DeLeo was asked at what point he thought Hain was dangerous while wearing the gun at the soccer game, he “didn’t seem to want to answer questions directly. ... It seemed like the sheriff didn’t want to commit to facts that justified his actions.”

    Rotz, who carries a .45-caliber handgun “over 90 percent of the time,” was joined by Rich Banks, founder of the Web site paopencarry.org, who traveled here from Mountaintop, Luzerne County.
    “I see a lot of people who react to open carry the way they’d react to anything that’s new,” Banks said. “I think that was what we were dealing with at the soccer game. Hopefully, people have a better understanding of it.”
    Banks said that Eby concluded that the case wasn’t an issue of what is legal but whether Hain posed a safety risk to the public.
    “He didn’t think Hain was a danger to the public safety,” Banks said.
    Erik Paul of North Lebanon Township said he was happy with the judge’s ruling.
    “Eby could not have put it better,” Paul said. “I wouldn’t personally have carried it openly to a kids’ soccer game, but the law doesn’t differentiate where you can and can’t carry. It just says the rights of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves shall not be questioned. ... I like when he (Eby) said ‘we are not enemies.’”
    Another open-carry advocate, Jim Fellner of Hanover, said there was no due process for revocation of Hain’s permit.
    “I think (DeLeo) was just trying to make a statement. I think he was trying to make an example out of her. I’ve never had issues in Hanover,” Fellner said.
    Bob Hlavaty of Lebanon echoed Fellner’s opinion and said he believes the revocation of Hain’s permit was “half political.”
    “I believe the sheriff had to do something and didn’t know what to do,” he said.
    AndreaJohnson@LDNews.com

    --

    http://www.ldnews.com/lebanonnews/ci_10726119


    Judge returns Hain’s permit
    By JOHN LATIMER
    Staff Writer
    Lebanon Daily News


    If the law didn’t matter, Lebanon County Judge Robert J. Eby might not have given Meleanie Hain her concealed-weapons permit back yesterday.
    But civil rights ultimately trumped moral “right versus wrong,” Eby said, when he ruled that her license to carry a concealed weapon was improperly revoked after she openly wore her loaded and holstered handgun to her 5-year-old daughter’s soccer game last month.
    “Society is replacing right versus wrong with legal versus illegal,” Eby said when he announced his ruling yesterday. “They are not the same thing. They never were, and it is my hope they never will be. There are times when someone’s conduct may be perfectly legal, but it is still wrong.”
    Eby delivered his ruling at a hearing convened after Hain and her attorney, Robert Magee of Allentown, appealed Sheriff Mike DeLeo’s revocation of her permit. DeLeo made the decision after a parent complained about Hain wearing her Glock 26 during the soccer game on Sept. 11 at Optimist Park in Lebanon.
    During testimony in response to questions from Magee and George Christianson, the solicitor for the county sheriff’s office, DeLeo steadfastly held to his belief that Hain posed a public danger and, therefore, his revocation of her license was justified.
    “She carried a weapon on her right hip at a soccer field in the presence of many children ages 5- and 6-years-old, and also the general public — the parents and grandparents of these children,” DeLeo said. “At that time I felt she was a danger to the public safety. ... The very fact she is carrying a weapon — that in itself could inspire a riot.”

    The danger would not have been as great if the weapon had been concealed because the crowd would not have been upset, DeLeo said.
    When Hain was questioned by both attorneys and Eby, she explained that she routinely carries her gun.
    “I was certainly not looking to shoot anybody over a goal,” she said. “I carry it everywhere.”
    Hain claimed she always wears a firearm because her husband has a job in a law-enforcement field — which she refused to specify — that could possibly put her and her children at risk. Concealing the weapon, especially in the summer, is uncomfortable and slows her reaction time on the draw, which also makes her feel less safe, she said.
    “I feel I’m a greater target than the wife of a grocery-store owner,” said the 30-year-old who has three children.
    At the conclusion of the testimony, Eby lectured Hain, who listened quietly.
    “Even if you felt the need (to be armed), there was an alternative for you to carry it concealed without causing the ire and intimidation to those people,” he said.
    The matter was not a Second Amendment issue regarding the right to bear arms, said Eby, who acknowledged being a gun owner himself.
    “There’s no question we all have rights under the Second Amendment,” he said. “But with these rights come responsibilities. ... There are limitations on what rights you have, and there has to be a balancing. ... A balance between the rule of law and common sense.”
    Eby’s message was equally directed at the two dozen open-carry supporters who wore their weapons to the courthouse yesterday, only to turn them in to security guards at the door.
    They sat quietly during the 90-minute hearing, breaking into applause only after the court had been called out of session.
    After the hearing Hain said she would continue wearing her sidearm, even at her kids’ soccer games.
    “He referenced the First Amendment, and he absolutely has the right to do that. ... And I have a right to my Second Amendment,” she said.
    Magee said he was pleased by Eby’s ruling.
    The national and international coverage that Hain’s case attracted may turn out to be a good thing for open-carry advocates, Magee said, because it will help educate the public as well as law-enforcement officials.
    And the attention may not die down anytime soon, he added.
    “We’ve already been contacted by Dr. Phil, and Dan Rather wants to interview us,” Magee said after the hearing.
    JohnLatimer@ldnews.com


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    Sheriff's attorney:

    “She carried a weapon on her right hip at a soccer field in the presence of many children ages 5- and 6-years-old, and also the general public — the parents and grandparents of these children,” DeLeo said. “At that time I felt she was a danger to the public safety. ... The very fact she is carrying a weapon — that in itself could inspire a riot.”


    Would one of their uniformed deputies fall under these parameters, too?



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    Mike wrote:
    Eby: "There are limitations on what rights you have, and there has to be a balancing. ... A balance between the rule of law and common sense.”

    fortunately, the judge understood that this statement (made by him) should not be relevant in a courtroom. unfortunately, he did not seem to realize that, while it is, of course,fine for him to make such statements as a private citizen, doing it from the bench is inappropriate.

    the main problem with america today is that many judges seem to think it is their role to "balance" rule of law and rights against "common sense" or "compelling interests".

    of course, that is not therole of the courts at all (in spite of louis brandeis and the flawed school of judicial thought he gave rise to). the role of the courts is simply to apply the law (and, most importantly of all, the constitution).

    besides, who gets to define what is "common sense"? i mean the brady bunch only wants "common sense" gun control, right?

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    The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    If someone's conduct is 'perfectly legal'... then how would it be WRONG? If it's wrong... then it's illegal. There's no wiggle room for 'opinions'.No one has a Right not to be offended... by anything. I'm offended by stuff daily (ain't we all...) but it's legitimate conduct under Law.'Big difference 'tween stuff ya maybe'should' do... and are forbidden/prohibited to do otherwise.

    'Glad of the outcome. 'Hope there will be no more of this nonsense in that county.

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    :celebrateYEEEEEEHAAAAAAWW:celebrate
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Two dudes kissing in public is nasty. However, it is within their right to do it. Should we tell them to get a room? To stop? Because we find it offensive? Yeah, it's gross to me too but it reminds me of why the OC movement is important. The law should not be made so someone else can feel comfortable with your choice. A choice which holds no impact on anyone other than yourself.
    "Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world." ~ Musashi

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    someone should've spoke up during the hearing and said we don't care to hear your personal opinions.

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    jopencarry wrote:
    someone should've spoke up during the hearing and said we don't care to hear your personal opinions.
    that only would've gotten them kicked out. judges often give their own opinions on a case before rendering verdict; i see nothing wrong with what he did. in the end, all that's important is that he did his job, and applied the law where necessary.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

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    jopencarry wrote:
    someone should've spoke up during the hearing and said we don't care to hear your personal opinions.
    The fact that the attendees sat quitely during the proceedings until the session was adjurned shows that gun toters are NOT uncivilized Neanderthol knuckle draggers, as the anti-gunners like to portray us.

    I have to wonder if there had beenactivists fromthe Brady Bunch present, would they have been so civil?

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    The judge was only pandering to the liberal majority before he screwed them. Don't forget..... he still needs to be re-elected for his next term.

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    cock&lock wrote:
    The judge was only pandering to the liberal majority before he screwed them. Don't forget..... he still needs to be re-elected for his next term.
    Excellent observation! 'Wonder if that Sheriff is up for re-election as well? 'Be interesting to learn how that goes.

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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    'Wonder if that Sheriff is up for re-election ?
    Meleanie Hain for Sherriff!!!!!
    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

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    There are several recent editorial-type articles which, while supporting the judge's action based on the law, also support the judge's lecturing, and join in deriding Ms. Hain for her "lack of common sense".

    For local folks to that area, these articles need some balance, either via your own letters to the editor, or in many cases where on-line comments are permitted.

    Once again, the liberal media sees the world through their rose-colored glasses of utopia, where children always play soccer in fields miraculously free from any possible presence of ill-doers.

    You can keep track of new articles on this matter using a simple Google search URL:

    http://news.google.com/news?&q=%22Me...&scoring=n

    TFred


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    Yeah, I'm getting tired of wandering news websites as well as forums trying to lend my support. The OP article needs some input from us, though someone put up a really nice long bit with a good POV...post to any you find, be heard...I was "Another One" and I tried the best I could.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    cock&lock wrote:
    The judge was only pandering to the liberal majority before he screwed them. Don't forget..... he still needs to be re-elected for his next term.
    Excellent observation! 'Wonder if that Sheriff is up for re-election as well? 'Be interesting to learn how that goes.
    If the sheriff here in Uinta county Wyoming pulledastunt like the Lebanon county Sheriff didhe'd be looking for a job after the next election, hopefully one that didnt involve law enforcement.
    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    Agent19 wrote:
    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    'Wonder if that Sheriff is up for re-election ?
    Meleanie Hain for Sherriff!!!!!
    No.

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