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Thread: PA soccer mom Meleanie Hain shines again - keep hitting this gun carry poll!

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    Article posted on the Philadelphia Inquirer web site:

    Gun-toting woman divides community

    By Kathy BoccellaInquirer Staff Writer

    LEBANON, Pa. - Before heading out the door to go to Wal-Mart, Meleanie Hain fussed over her children, grabbed her coat and keys, then ran upstairs to get one more item: her loaded Glock 26, which she strapped to her hip.She never leaves home without it.

    Hain, 30, has caused a stir in this rural Pennsylvania Dutch community 25 miles east of Harrisburg for packing a gun everywhere she goes, including to her 5-year-old daughter's soccer games this fall.

    She's paid a big price for sticking to her gun.

    The mother of four, who often carries a baby on one hip and her Glock on the other, has been criticized by even the most ardent gun-lovers. From once-friendly neighbors to the local police chief, the general feeling is that Hain's pistol-packing behavior is, well, extreme.

    "People get alarmed because they don't see that too often," said Charlie Jones, a soccer coach who confronted Hain about the gun at a Sept. 11 game. "They don't know what your intentions are going to be."

    Hain said the outcry has hurt her babysitting business and left her feeling isolated. She has been called an attention-seeker, psycho, moron and worse on hundreds of pages on Internet forums. Neighbors have blasted her on radio shows, her daughter's principal warned her against taking the gun to school (she doesn't), and the local police chief advised her to put it away.

    Now she is firing back. On Oct. 24, Hain filed a federal lawsuit against Lebanon County and Mike DeLeo, the sheriff who revoked her gun permit after jittery parents complained about her at the Sept. 11 game.

    The suit says they violated her constitutional and civil rights and seeks more than $1 million.

    "The sheriff got on TV after the hearing and said, 'I stand by my decision,' " said Hain, who grew up in Lancaster County in a family that did not own guns. "That comment makes people think I'm still an idiot and what he did was right."

    DeLeo, who calls himself a staunch NRA member, said he has nothing against guns but felt it was his duty to take action "because of the safety and security issues involving [children] on the field."

    Last week, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence offered to defend DeLeo and the county for free.

    "This is a case that calls out for common sense and sanity," said Daniel Vice, the center's senior attorney. "It's an incredible risk to bring a loaded semi-automatic weapon to a children's soccer game."

    No one disputes Hain's right to own a gun. Many of her critics are hunters. But they say that packing heat at a soccer game - or anywhere else around children - is dangerous and foolhardy.

    In Pennsylvania, gun owners are allowed to carry weapons in the open as Hain does, but need a permit to conceal them in a pocket, purse or car. So without a permit, Hain could still carry a gun at the game but couldn't take it in the car to get there.

    Even Judge Robert J. Eby, who restored her permit on Oct. 14, said he thought she lacked good judgment and common sense.

    "You scared the devil out of some other people," Eby said.

    He chided her for causing anxiety and apprehension in other people and said he didn't think anyone needed gun protection at a 5-year-old's soccer game. Concealing it "would be the right thing to do," he said.

    Hain, who has children ages 1, 5 and 9 and a 9-year-old stepdaughter, says a near-fatal car accident 21/2 years ago destroyed her sense of security and convinced her that the worst can happen.

    "I thought, 'What more can I do to ensure the safety of myself and my children?' " she said. "It's not a matter of being paranoid. People have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in their homes. They're not paranoid; they're prepared."

    Articulate and well-versed in gun laws, she is a vegetarian and Krishna follower with a Sanskrit symbol tattooed on her forearm, though she calls herself a "pseudo-devotee." Her husband, who taught her to shoot, works in law enforcement but stays out of the fray, fearing it will cost him his job. She won't say where he works and in fact, he sat in his car while a reporter and photographer were in his house with Hain.

    Her babysitting business has suffered. Two babysitting clients have fled and she is down to just one family. Michael Long - who leaves Tyler, 2, and Joshawa, 8, with Hain one day a week - said he doesn't worry because she locks up her gun when the children are in the house.

    "I can see where she's coming from," he said, scooping up Tyler in Hain's living room, which was filled with toys. In a large crate in the kitchen was Ghost, an enormous bull mastiff.

    Others, though, say they can't understand why she feels so threatened.

    "I said, 'Kids are more in danger of falling off a piece of playground equipment or getting hit by a car in the parking lot than anybody coming and doing anything where you need a gun to defend yourself,' " Jones said.

    But Hain sees danger lurking around every corner.

    She carries the weapon cowboy-style because in an emergency - not that there has ever been one - "I don't really need anything extra in the way of the gun if I'm going to have to pull it out and I'm holding a baby and trying to shuttle two or three other kids," she said.

    And she doesn't want to have to wait for help to arrive. "When seconds count," she said, "the police are minutes away."

    DeLeo said he had rarely seen anyone other than a police officer walk around with a gun on the hip. In fact, doing so might make Hain more of a target, he said.

    "If you carry it open, you already lost the element of surprise," he said.
    Moreover, it increases the change of accidental shootings, Vice of the Brady Center said. And a child could easily grab it.

    "Semiautomatic weapons are made so that even young children can fire them," he said.

    At Wal-Mart, Hain zipped through the aisles like any other busy mother, except she had a Glock on her hip instead of a cell phone. The last time she was in the store, a woman complained about the gun to a manager who asked Hain to leave. She explained that she was legally entitled to carry the gun and marched back into the store.

    On this trip, few people seemed to notice the gun as she filled her cart with Pokémon cards, jeans and diapers. Then in the milk aisle, a man and woman approached.
    "Thank you for standing up for yourself," said John Stegall, who said he recognized her from the newspaper.

    After they left, Hain, ever vigilant, said she had noticed them looking at her and wondered whether they were going to cause trouble.

    "People who carry pay a lot of attention to what's going on around them," she said.
    Hain has thought about becoming a cop, but friends told her that nobody would hire her because "she makes waves," she said.

    But as she checked out, a young cashier asked whether she was a police officer.
    "No, it's for self-defense," she said as she loaded her cart. "Do you know how many crimes have taken place in Wal-Mart parking lots?"
    [line]
    Contact staff writer Kathy Boccella at 610-313-8123 or kboccella@phillynews.com.


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    I wonder how far she'll manage to stretch that 15 minutes...

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    For the sake of open carriers across the country, I hope a long long time!

    TFred

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    i'm sure it could be over quite quickly if people out there would just leave her the hell alone, don't ya think?

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    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Aran wrote:
    I wonder how far she'll manage to stretch that 15 minutes...
    It's not her stretching her 15 minutes, it's the media outlets who are pursuing her because they find a compelling story with an articulate protagonist. This sellspapers, ad time, etc.

    You soundconfused over who is stretching the exposure out. As soon as this declines in selling power, the media will move on from her. While it lasts, I'm thankful that she is a great example out there for OC.
    "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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    "Semiautomatic weapons are made so that even young children can fire them," he said.
    Is that a fact?

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    RT48 wrote:
    "Semiautomatic weapons are made so that even young children can fire them," he said.
    Is that a fact?
    No - semi-autos usually have mechanical safeties while revolvers do not; further, small children can always fire loaded revolvers, while they cannot chamber a round from israeli carry. Semi-autos have important child-safe features.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Wow, I didn't even notice the poll there. And as usual, they ask the wrong question:

    "Should people be allowed to carry guns around children?"

    Again, they bring the question assuming it is the gun that is evil or dangerous.

    If they wanted to be honest with their question and frame it more in line with the context of this story, it should be:

    "Should people who legally carry guns be allowed around children?"

    Hard to say "no" to that, unless you want to ban police officers from schools and community events altogether!

    TFred


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    "Semiautomatic weapons are made so that even young children can fire them," he said.
    Growing up, my house and a metal building in our yard were both hit by cars, their only occupants were in both cases a small child.

    The first event was caused by a 4 year old getting into the drivers seat of a running car while his mom ran back into the house. He was able to put the car in reverse and back across the street into the metal building. Some damage occurred, but nobody was hurt.

    The second event was when a 3 year old climbed into a car and found the keys in the ignition. She started the car, put it into reverse, and backed it into our front porch. Again, little damage and nobody was hurt.

    The point is this, using their logic, cars are made so that even young children candrive them. We must ban all cars from being driven while children are present.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Again with the stupid element of surprise. I don't want to surprise a bad guy. I want him to leave me the hell alone. When I carry CC I am well aware that when I surprise a BG it is going to be during the split second where I draw and he has a hole in his chest. I would rather NOT have to ever shoot another human being by surprise or otherwise.

    And obviously the Brady Bunch guy knows nothing about retention holsters. A kid cannot just grab my firearm from any holster the vast majority of us use for OC.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Aran wrote:
    I wonder how far she'll manage to stretch that 15 minutes...
    As long as it takes for people who hate guns simply out of ignorance and fear to
    stop treating her like she is a criminal I hope.

    You go girl!

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    deepdiver wrote:
    Again with the stupid element of surprise. I don't want to surprise a bad guy. I want him to leave me the hell alone.
    Good point - the law has long recognized that retreat where possible to avoid having to use deadly force may be a good idea - deterrence effect accomplishes this same result.

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    Pokemon cards? Is that still going on?

    But seriously, give'em hell, Mel.

    -ljp

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    "And a child could easily grab it."

    Fearmongering at it's worst. A full grown man twice my size would be hard-pressed to get my gun, how's a child going to be able to "easily" grab it? Although I finally caught the Brady Center telling the truth with the statement that "This is a case that calls out for common sense and sanity."

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    Blkwdw86 wrote:
    "And a child could easily grab it."

    Fearmongering at it's worst. A full grown man twice my size would be hard-pressed to get my gun, how's a child going to be able to "easily" grab it? Although I finally caught the Brady Center telling the truth with the statement that "This is a case that calls out for common sense and sanity."
    I was looking around the Brady site this afternoon. It's really very sad that they are spreading fear that guns = badness. Instead of addressing the criminals who committed the various crimes, all they state is that there was an incident using a gun - as if the gun got it into it's head that day to go out and shoot someone.

    I think I'll set some of my guns on a table and install a hidden camera. Maybe I'll catch those crafty inanimate objects sprouting legs and sneaking out to cause trouble.

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    Well, in fairness, guns are not entirely safe. I have seen a truly accidental discharge once before - no negligence. Mechanical devices break down eventually. However, you are correct that they do not possess the requisite culpable intent to perform 'evil' acts without an agent.

    -ljp

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    I applaud her for standing up for her rights. It sounds like it has not been easy for her.

    As far at the Chief of Police and his actions and comments, SCREW HIM ! Your job is to uphold the law and make sure your subordinates do the same. It is not to give your OPINION of the law, or what you THINK about it. You violated her constitutional rights and illegally took away her CC permit without legal or just cause. The law allows her to do what she did. If you dont like it, PISS OFF !!

    I hope she sues the hell out of the County and you personally... It is idiots like you that will lead this country to a police state where the citizens have to fear the govenrment (more than they already do). For your information, this country was FOUNDED by folks that said they didn't want to be unser a dictatorship. The right to bear arms is what keeps the government from having absolute control over the people. You see, we are supposed to control the government, not the other way around !!

    Damn I hate stupid people !







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    65.8 % pro-rights vs. 34.2% opposed as of 3:08 pm EST.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    They are worried about OC'ers intent? That's just about the stupidest thing I've heard. It's not the ones you can see that you have to worry about!

    Again with the element of surprise thing for self defense as well. Surprise is an offensive tactic.

    I agree with deepdiver. I don't want to surprise the BG after he's picked me as a target, I want him to just move along!

    So much stuff in that article, it makes me rather ill.

    If a child can easily grab your gun in an OC holster, you're obviously not paying enough attention to your surroundings and deserve it!


    EDIT:
    I read some of the comments on the article's web page. Yikes, people who don't know their rights are scary. She seems pretty level-headed to me, I just don't get the rampant hoplophobia! As if an openly carried firearm is somehow inherently more dangerous than a concealed weapon!

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    Ya know, the Brady clan have always claimed something to the effect of "We don't have issues withlawful gun owners, even the open carry types. Our mission is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those ineligible to posses firearms".

    But...
    Last week, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence offered to defend DeLeo and the county for free.

    "This is a case that calls out for common sense and sanity," said Daniel Vice, the center's senior attorney. "It's an incredible risk to bring a loaded semi-automatic weapon to a children's soccer game."
    So, what have we here? How does this free legalassistance offerfor DeLeo further the Brady goals of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals? How does defending the criminal revocation of Mrs. Haine's permit further ANY of Brady's stated goals? It doesn't. This is just another example of the gun control crowd saying one thing and meaning another.



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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    Ya know, the Brady clan have always claimed something to the effect of "We don't have issues withlawful gun owners, even the open carry types. Our mission is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those ineligible to posses firearms".

    But...
    Last week, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence offered to defend DeLeo and the county for free.

    "This is a case that calls out for common sense and sanity," said Daniel Vice, the center's senior attorney. "It's an incredible risk to bring a loaded semi-automatic weapon to a children's soccer game."
    So, what have we here? How does this free legalassistance offerfor DeLeo further the Brady goals of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals? How does defending the criminal revocation of Mrs. Haine's permit further ANY of Brady's stated goals? It doesn't. This is just another example of the gun control crowd saying one thing and meaning another.

    That is an incredibly good point. I thought it to be in particular bad taste that the brady clan would get involved like that.

    "FOR THE CHILDREN, CAN'T YOU SEE GUNS ARE EVIL!" or some such junk is the general vibe from the negative comments that I could see.

    You are responsible for protecting your children as well as yourself, and yet you shouldn't carry your weapon with children around? That makes a whole lot of sense

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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    Ya know, the Brady clan have always claimed something to the effect of "We don't have issues withlawful gun owners, even the open carry types. Our mission is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those ineligible to posses firearms".

    How does this free legalassistance offerfor DeLeo further the Brady goals of keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals? How does defending the criminal revocation of Mrs. Haine's permit further ANY of Brady's stated goals? It doesn't. This is just another example of the gun control crowd saying one thing and meaning another.

    The beauty is the Brady bunch showing their true intent. Anyone who may have believed their rhetoric can now examine their actions. This could serve to undermine support for them. Sounds like someone else we know.

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    question, say the brady campaign DOES represent the sheriff and county.....and they LOSE. Will the brady campaign then pay Melanie her million dollars and her court costs?

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    TFred wrote:
    Article posted on the Philadelphia Inquirer web site:

    Gun-toting woman divides community

    Even Judge Robert J. Eby, who restored her permit on Oct. 14, said he thought she lacked good judgment and common sense.

    "You scared the devil out of some other people," Eby said.

    He chided her for causing anxiety and apprehension in other people and said he didn't think anyone needed gun protection at a 5-year-old's soccer game. Concealing it "would be the right thing to do," he said.

    Just like who would need to have one at an Amish elementry school?

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    strangewayfarer wrote:

    Just like who would need to have one at an Amish elementry school?
    Sing it brother.

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