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Thread: OpenCarry.org press release: Justice done by judge & jury re open carry case near Obama rall

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    OpenCarry.org


    For Immediate Release - July 17, 2009

    ---


    PA Judge & Jury Rule Man Not Guilty of Disorderly Gun Carry Near Obama Rally

    Government Prosecution an Abortion of Justice


    OpenCarry.org is pleased to announce that today in Beaver County, PA both judge and jury agreed that legally carrying a gun while handing our literature in a public park is neither “disorderly” nor “disruptive of a meeting, procession or gathering” even if a presidential candidate might be speaking in a nearby location later in the day. Justice was done for John “Mountain Jack” Noble today. See http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/...53/detail.html.

    In fact, justice has been done 3 times in the past year in a trifecta of criminal and quasi-criminal cases or actions brought against Pennsylvania gun owners for merely exercising their constitutionally protected right to open carry. See http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum66/16878.html.

    Noble’s prosecution was particularly egregious for 3 reasons. First, he was not at any Obama rally nor was any Obama rally occurring when he was arrested. Second, the Secret Service cleared Noble shortly after the arrest by the locals. Third, not only was Noble’s conduct (i.e., mere holstered open carry while handing out fliers) constitutionally protected, but he was in a public park – a place considered a “public forum” under the law where speech and assembly rights are constitutionally protected to a degree nearly without question.

    The action by the Pennsylvania State Police and Beaver County prosecutor to bring criminal prosecution under these facts can only be described as an abortion of justice.

    Carry on!

    ###

    Media Contacts:

    OpenCarry.org co-founders:
    John Pierce: John AT OpenCarry.org
    Mike Stollenwerk: Mike AT Opencarry.org


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    Nice piece!

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    :celebrate
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Congratulations Mountain Jack! :celebrate
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

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    I would think this will not change the policy of the USSS in such cases. As far as they are concerned they got rid of the guy (potential threat) in time for Obama's visit and that is all they cared about. I doubt they are going to loss any sleep over this, no matter how wrong they were.

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    Well, it was the local guys that pursued it and demonized him. The SS guys cleared him of charges early in the process.

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    I don't think the SS had a problem with it... I would imagine they had someone observing him but as long as he didn't act deranged they would most likely not bother him. The locals on the other hand were showing off for the SS.
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Maybe Mtn Jack should check into a lawsuit involving false arrest, mental anguish, defamation of character and fees for his defense if any of that is possible. The local poo poo might not be as eager to show off for the Feds next time around.

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    I knew it was po po but thought that poo poo fit much better.

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    :celebrate

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    Good work!!

    John

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    9026543 wrote:
    Maybe Mtn Jack should check into a lawsuit involving false arrest, mental anguish, defamation of character and fees for his defense if any of that is possible. The local poo poo might not be as eager to show off for the Feds next time around.
    The problem with this idea is that when you have a statute as vague as Pennsylvania's "disrupting a meeting or procession" felony law (a misdemeanor with 3 year jail sentence), and when you have somebody open carryin a gun and the president or candidate coming to town, and the secret service has every local LEO wound up to help, the reality is that every court is going to find "qualified immunity" in pretty much anything relatively reasonable the police do - e.g., detain/arrest you and subject you to a secret service interview - remember the Smoketown 6 case? Same deal.

    What's really totally Kooky in Jack's case, unlike the Smoketown 6,is that the state police and Beaver county prosecutor insisted on a trial when it was so likley Jack would either win by acquittal or reversal on appeal on First Amendment related grounds.


    I think there are 2 good bright line rules to consider when thinking about open carrying as a form of expressive conduct: First, will the message be understandable and tailored to achieve a goal? And second, are the circumstances so unique that the police will under almost any circumstance have qualified immunity if they cart you off and possibly subject you to a trial that might bankrupt you?

    I think that if the answer to either question are pretty much in the yes column, then open carrying as expressive conduct in those circumstances is both illogical for you and counter-productive for the cause.

    In the main, the open carry movement is about open carrying while minding your own beeswax in your daily life. Targeted expressive conduct sometimes has value, but can have high risk and be counter-productive too.



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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Here is my take... be careful what you post about plans to OC at an event like this. I would personally not post anything at all unless there was a planned OC event that involved large numbers of people that was planned well in advance.

    Also what you say is very important in any post. You need to discern if your words could be used against you before you hit send!

    using the phrase "I am going to show him" is not the best idea as we saw it was misconstrued!

    It would have been better if he said " I am going down to the rally in XYZ location is anyone else planning to? If he got an affirmative from a few people then would be time to discuss OC at the event.

    I am sure that some will take my post as armchair quarterbacking... however I have learned that nothing you post on the internet is confidential so we must be carefull what we say... Esp when the topic is a canidate for president.

    Some will say "but freedom of speech" to that I say you must still be carefull what you say that it not be taken incorrectly!

    IMOP YMMV
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Why don't we also make a statement about the fact the judge called the open carriers idiots? -Or am I just sadly informed?

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Where is the cite? I havn't found anywhere that the judge said OCers are idiots... So if it is out there I would like to see it!!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    autosurgeon wrote:
    Where is the cite? I havn't found anywhere that the judge said OCers are idiots... So if it is out there I would like to see it!!
    No source yet. It was mentioned, apparently by people that were there, but no press on it yet.

    If I can get a site I will. Until then, assume it didn't happen.

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Well Judges have said some silly things in the past... I am just glad that the law was applied fairly in this case!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    When we set out on our journey we were not alone.
    We went together and with God.
    We went forth as Pennsylvanians and Americans.
    Along the way we were questioned...and..
    you all rallied,
    you all answered the call,
    you all stood brave tall and true,
    you all sacrificed your time, talents, money, life,
    you all drove to the hearing and the trial, you testified,
    you all invited us to dinners
    you all educated the masses,
    you checked on our well being, offered wishes, prayers and encouragement,
    you were the jury,
    you all rock.
    Thank you, purely from the depths of our hearts!
    you showed what it is to be A Pennsylvanian, An American.

    The picture I took of Jacks arrest is titled
    "You do not walk alone"

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    Theseus wrote:
    autosurgeon wrote:
    Where is the cite? I havn't found anywhere that the judge said OCers are idiots... So if it is out there I would like to see it!!
    No source yet. It was mentioned, apparently by people that were there, but no press on it yet.

    If I can get a site I will. Until then, assume it didn't happen.
    people on PAFOA, who were there, reported it.

  21. #21
    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Well it doesn't surprise me... Those in the judicial branch from leo on up seem to have propensity for preaching

    Also one other point about web postings... it's better if you are going to do an event like this and you are not able to give much advance notice IE make an event out of it...to NOT post about it until after the fact. If you do know a few close friends in the are that you want to invite PM them or email them... its a little more private and not as easy to dig up and use a against you... requires warrants and so forth versus just a web search.

    You can always post after the fact as we all do when we OC at a certain location or even... by then of course you will know if you got detained or arrested
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    autosurgeon wrote:
    Where is the cite? I havn't found anywhere that the judge said OCers are idiots... So if it is out there I would like to see it!!
    The judge is reported to have used the word "foolish" in court or perhaps in an after court interview - I think Mountain Jack's response is right on target below - remember the judges are playing to a couople of audiences to - faithful to the law, but explaining it to the public via their opinions and statements in a way that makes sense to many or most people.

    --

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09199/984795-57.stm

    Beaver man who brought gun to Obama rally acquitted
    Saturday, July 18, 2009
    By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    A Beaver County judge yesterday said the actions of a man who brought a gun to an Obama rally last year were "foolish." But they weren't criminal.

    Both a jury and Common Pleas Judge Harry E. Knafelc decided that John Noble, 51, of Industry, broke no law when he strapped on a holster carrying a Glock pistol and went to an Aug. 29 campaign event in a park across from the Beaver County Courthouse.

    The jury, after deliberating over parts of two days, said Mr. Noble was innocent of the charge of disrupting a public gathering. Judge Knafelc separately found Mr. Noble not guilty of a summary charge of disorderly conduct in the same incident.

    "In my lifetime, there have been a number of assassinations of presidents and presidential candidates. A number of presidents were shot at. I'm very cognizant of that," the judge said in a phone interview after yesterday's decision. "The defendant's actions were very foolish. But not all foolish actions are criminal acts."

    It is legal to carry an unconcealed weapon in Pennsylvania, but a state trooper at the rally charged Mr. Noble after someone alerted authorities about the pistol.

    "We're talking about heightened security," Judge Knafelc said. "The police did nothing wrong."

    Mr. Noble testified that had gone to the rally to hand out pro-gun pamphlets as a "very quiet protest" against President Barack Obama's comments in San Francisco during the presidential campaign that Pennsylvanians "cling to guns or religion."

    After his acquittal yesterday, Mr. Noble told KDKA that he didn't take offense at Judge Knafelc's description of his actions as foolish.

    "That's the judge's opinion," he said. "I think he ruled on the law and that's the way it should have been."

    "God is good," said his wife, Janet Noble. "Our constitution stands."

    Mr. Noble's trial attracted others who support gun rights -- several of them checked their arms at the door of the Beaver County Courthouse before entering to watch the proceeding.

    "The action by the Pennsylvania State Police and Beaver County prosecutor to bring criminal prosecution ... can only be described as an abortion of justice," the group OpenCarry.org said in a statement yesterday.

    Some postings on the organization's Web site called for advocates to demonstrate solidarity with Mr. Noble by openly carrying guns in Downtown Pittsburgh during September's G-20 summit of world leaders.

    Jerome L. Sherman can be reached at jsherman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1183.
    First published on July 18, 2009 at 12:00 am

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike ... somehow I overlooked that when I read the article!

    Well as I said before it doesn't surprise me that a judge would take it upon his or herself to preach.
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    autosurgeon wrote:
    Well as I said before it doesn't surprise me that a judge would take it upon his or herself to preach.
    And this gives them a bit of a safety valve so that they can faithfully rule on the law on one hand and play to other audiences with theother.

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    Hey, I personally think a lot of OC'ers are idiots and just do it to "show off" their gun.

    That being said, I will be the first person to protect their right to be and "idiot" and "show off" their gun.

    That's the beauty of this Country, folks. You are allowed to be an idiot, you are allowed to be a show off, you are allowed to OFFEND other people's sensibilities and make them think.

    Oh, and I OC, 'cause its 110' and I usually wear a sports jacket in Las Vegas, but not outside.

    Pace

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