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Thread: Hot of the Press!

  1. #1
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    Monroe Evening New Sunday Aug 30 2009
    our view







    To the point

    Legislation allowing concealed weaons on campus should be tempered with specific language leaving the decision up to local officials.

    Guns on campus a loaded question



    Laptop computer?

    Check.

    Backpack?

    Check.

    Bicycle?

    Check.

    Snub-nosed .38?

    Check.

    That’s how the back-to-col­lege checklist might read if state Sen. Randy Richard­ville, R-Monroe, gets his way. Last week, the senator intro­duced legislation that would help allow those who have permits to carry concealed weapons take those weapons onto college campuses.

    Michigan state law desig­nates dorms and classrooms as part of the no-carry zone for concealed weapons.

    “Crimes occur on college campuses just like any other place,” Sen. Richardville said. “Students, faculty and visitors, who have permits and have undergone the proper training and back­ground checks, should have the right to carry a con­cealed weapon for their pro­tection while on campus.”

    His Senate Bill 747 would allow students, faculty and others to pack pistols with their Perrier at four-year universities as well as com­munity colleges. The bill is being reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and there are indications it has some bipartisan support.

    “Unfortunately, our nation has seen an increase in hor­rifi c shootings on college campuses in the last few years,” Sen. Richardville said. “Those who receive the training and have been au­thorized to carry concealed weapons should be allowed to protect themselves against this type of violence.”

    The idea might resound with parents concerned about their kids’ safety on campus, but would a big gun on campus enhance safety or worsen it? Would shoot-outs become commonplace?

    Probably not, but such a law would raise the chances of accidental shootings. And in student environments where alcohol or drug use might be common, the pres­ence of guns could prove a deadly mix.

    Besides, campus crime generally hasn’t been spik­ing on a state or national level. In Michigan, in fact, the most common on-campus crime is burglary, followed at a distance by vehicle theft and sex offenses. Guns certainly might deter those crimes, but we shudder to think someone might get shot over a stolen iPod.

    Furthermore, most cam­puses either have their own security departments or spe­cial escort services for those who fear traveling campus alone or at odd hours. Also, a lot of law enforcement personnel attend continuing ed or career enhancement classes at colleges. Under current law, law enforce­ment personnel already are allowed to have their guns on campus.

    But Michigan campuses vary greatly in student mix, community setting, socioeco­nomic factors and in other ways. So allowing concealed weapons on campus might have a greater impact at one school than at another.

    Instead of deleting lan­guage relating to college campuses in the current law, a better approach might be to write into the law specific language allowing concealed weapons on campuses where the college’s governing body approves of it. It would be a clear acknowledgement that it’s an issue better left to lo­cal control by local officials who might have a better grasp of how such a policy would play in their specific campus environments.

    Anything else could start the state on a slippery slope that would end up with concealed weapons being allowed everywhere where they now are banned, for good reason, by state law, including bars, restaurants, arenas, stadiums, churches, schools and daycare centers.














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    ">Copyright 2009 Monroe Publishing Co. 08/30/2009


    From same day
    Town hall meetings no place for guns






    BY JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

    W
    ith each passing moment, the nation grows more polarized as Washington’s partisan bicker­ing becomes ever more combative.

    Nowhere is this more evident than with the health- care debate. It has become a touchstone for discontent over the Obama administration’s aggressive attempts to push through health- care reform, the government’s out- of- control spending, the loss of civil liberties and the fact that gov­ernment leaders are not listening.

    Understandably, many Americans are frustrated.

    This frustration has spawned lively — and often angry — protests at town hall meetings across the country, marked by Americans wielding protest signs and demanding to be heard.

    According to The Associated Press, “Many of those raising their voices and fists at the (health care) town halls have never been politically active.”

    Although this is a healthy sign of democracy in action, critics have denounced the protesters for their disruptive behavior and likened them to angry mobs. However, the First Amendment does not require civility — merely free speech, and whether we like it or not, yelling and offensive signs are part of that.

    What is not healthy and is, in fact, downright stupid are the handfuls of protesters who recently have taken to carrying guns along with them to these free speech rallies. For example, one man showed up at a rally in Ports­mouth, N.H., with a protest sign and a loaded handgun strapped to his thigh.

    In Phoenix, Ariz., about a dozen people brought guns to a health-care rally.

    One man actually had an AR-15 assault rifle slung over his shoulder. When asked why he had guns with him, the man reportedly responded, “Because I can do it. In Arizona, I still have some freedoms left.”

    Free speech and the right to bear arms are protected by the U.S. Consti­tution. But bringing a loaded gun to a free speech rally is not a wise or pru­dent exercise of one’s Second Amend­ment right to bear arms. All it will do is endanger innocent lives and discred­it these kinds of activist movements.

    For instance, while these gun-toting protesters may be few in number, they are already being identified with the protest movement as a whole.

    Here’s the bottom line: There are basically only two reasons for carrying a gun in America — to protect yourself or to go hunting. But there is no valid reason for carrying a gun to these town hall meetings. It only will increase the police presence. And as I’ve said many times before, there is no way the aver­age citizen armed with a gun can chal­lenge the modern police officer who is armed to the teeth with even bigger guns, assault vehicles, battering rams, ballistic shields, “flashbang” grenades, smoke grenades, pepper spray and tear gas, to name just some of local law enforcement’s arsenal. The average citizen simply has no defense against that kind of weaponry. And it would be foolish to think otherwise.

    However, this does not mean that we, as citizens, are powerless. Our power rests in our ability to protest and fo­ment change. As The Associated Press recently reported, “The emerging protest movement is almost the mirror image of the grass-roots campaign that helped sweep Obama into office by pull­ing in people who’d never been politi­cally active. This time Obama is seeing the other side of what can happen when people are motivated, connect over the Internet and seemingly reach a tipping point that turns them from onlookers into activists.”

    Our power also rests in our ability to speak truth to power — even shout truth to power. People have a right to shout. And they have a right to be ex­tremist in their speech. As despicable as it seems, they have a right to carry a sign that says “Death to Obama” if they disagree with him. To maintain our free speech rights in general, we have to protect these forms of extrem­ist speech as well.

    Martin Luther King Jr. is a case in point. Although he advocated nonvio­lent change, King often was labeled an extremist. To many Americans, King’s arguments and protests for equality were seen as threatening. Thus, calling someone extremist is a relative value.

    It depends on who’s doing the labeling.

    This brings me back to the gun-toting protesters at the health-care rallies.

    It’s time for cooler heads to prevail.

    The frustration level in this country is already at an all-time high. All it will take is one stupid, violent act for these town halls to be closed down by the government. And that will mean the destruction of free speech. That’s why the gun-toting has to stop.

    We certainly don’t want a handful of foolish people to destroy something that up to this point has been very healthy for our democracy. After all, the democratic process works best when critical discourse is allowed.

    That’s why the First Amendment is so important. It works as a steam valve, allowing radicals to blow off steam and air their views. This facilitates against radicals going underground and be­coming terrorists. Democracy can survive only by ac­tive participation of its citizenry. Lest we forget, the Constitution opens with those three beautiful words “we the people,” and we must do all we can to protect the rights of “we the people” to express themselves freely. Thus, whether or not you agree with the behavior at these town hall meetings, at least these protesters have taken the time to turn their televisions off, step outside their houses and get active in the governmental process.

    Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute.

    He can be contacted at johnw@ruther­ford.org.





  2. #2
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    How come all gun related news articles always start off with a check list?

    Seems like the last 2 or 3 OC picnic related newspaper articles had check lists too.. wtf.

  3. #3
    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Apparently the guy in the second article doesn't follow the wars in the middle east... Those under gunned folks seem to do pretty good ... it's called guerrilla warfare.

    How about the Union thugs that attack folks at these rallies using bottles and sticks and their fists?? I personally think they are a much bigger damper... and part of the reason some people OC at these events.. to deter them from attacking the crowd..

    I would imagine for the most part the police are not as concerned about the guy they can see has a gun as he or she is most likely legal but the ones who may be carrying concealed unlawfully and who is an agitator or criminal.


    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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    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    Taxwhat - I could not find these on the Monroe News website. Can you provide links?

    First Article: Chock-Full of Myths, Conflicting Statements, FEAR, and Statements from Someone Clearly Not Informed. The writer is definitely an ANTI, as they present only one side of the argument - AGAINST (hope it was filed as an EDITORIAL/OPINION PIECE). In addition, the writer seems to have little understanding about the FUNCTION of Local Police and Campus Security Departments: Public Safety and/or Law Enforcement. SCOTUS Rulings state that Personal Protection is in our own hands. The writer points out that there are "escort services" available for protection (probably at a cost), later points out that gun ownership might not be available to all due to "socioeco*nomic factors", but fails to tie the 2 together that both will most likely cost the student MONEY that some do not have. There are many FEAR-BASED statements in the article, which tells me the writer is based in FEELINGS/FANTASY instead of FACTS/REALITY. The final argument is based upon LOCAL CONTROL and CONSENSUS for exercising RIGHTS. One can only wonder how this writer would feel about this type of RIGHTS INFRINGEMENT for 1A instead of 2A? If they truly believed that the "pen is mightier than the sword", then all the more reason to TAKE THE 1A RIGHTS AWAY!

    Second Article: Just another "garden-variety" ANTI, I found more of his posts that indicate the same. He is a BIG 1A believer, but fails to realize that 1A is GUARANTEED by 2A. The writer indicates that carrying a gun for self-protection is a valid case, but does not believe this to be valid everywhere (I.E. - Townhalls). This is a foolish supposition and lacking in wisdom. In addition, the writer fails to realize that their "speech" which cannot be backed up by "power" is useless. The writer does seem to possess some understanding that tyranny does currently exist here in the US and feels that "freedom of expression" should not be infringed. What this person fails to realize is that those exercising their 2A Rights are doing just that - expressing themselves.

    I have stated here on OpenCarry.org my belief that it is an individual choice how/when/why someone would OC/CC/NC. I do not believe that the OpenCarry Movement should intertwine themselves with any other activity/endeavor.
    Rights are like muscles. You must EXERCISE THEM to keep them from becoming atrophied.

  5. #5
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    PDinDetroit wrote:
    Taxwhat - I could not find these on the Monroe News website. Can you provide links?

    First Article: Chock-Full of Myths, Conflicting Statements, FEAR, and Statements from Someone Clearly Not Informed. The writer is definitely an ANTI, as they present only one side of the argument - AGAINST (hope it was filed as an EDITORIAL/OPINION PIECE). In addition, the writer seems to have little understanding about the FUNCTION of Local Police and Campus Security Departments: Public Safety and/or Law Enforcement. SCOTUS Rulings state that Personal Protection is in our own hands. The writer points out that there are "escort services" available for protection (probably at a cost), later points out that gun ownership might not be available to all due to "socioeco­nomic factors", but fails to tie the 2 together that both will most likely cost the student MONEY that some do not have. There are many FEAR-BASED statements in the article, which tells me the writer is based in FEELINGS/FANTASY instead of FACTS/REALITY. The final argument is based upon LOCAL CONTROL and CONSENSUS for exercising RIGHTS. One can only wonder how this writer would feel about this type of RIGHTS INFRINGEMENT for 1A instead of 2A? If they truly believed that the "pen is mightier than the sword", then all the more reason to TAKE THE 1A RIGHTS AWAY!

    Second Article: Just another "garden-variety" ANTI, I found more of his posts that indicate the same. He is a BIG 1A believer, but fails to realize that 1A is GUARANTEED by 2A. The writer indicates that carrying a gun for self-protection is a valid case, but does not believe this to be valid everywhere (I.E. - Townhalls). This is a foolish supposition and lacking in wisdom. In addition, the writer fails to realize that their "speech" which cannot be backed up by "power" is useless. The writer does seem to possess some understanding that tyranny does currently exist here in the US and feels that "freedom of expression" should not be infringed. What this person fails to realize is that those exercising their 2A Rights are doing just that - expressing themselves.

    I have stated here on OpenCarry.org my belief that it is an individual choice how/when/why someone would OC/CC/NC. I do not believe that the OpenCarry Movement should intertwine themselves with any other activity/endeavor.
    You must be a paying customer or by online edition . sorry the links do not show for editorials .

  6. #6
    Regular Member Generaldet's Avatar
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    astrogiblet wrote:
    How come all gun related news articles always start off with a check list?

    Seems like the last 2 or 3 OC picnic related newspaper articles had check lists too.. wtf.
    I was thinking the same thing. Why does every article start off with some checklist? It's not very original.

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    Activist Member hamaneggs's Avatar
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    They always seem to leave out the fact that protection is a 24/7 right. People have been murdered in virtualy every public and private location since the begining of time and thats how long self defense has been around.If it's possible for a protected president,such as president Reagan,to be shot in a crowded public place,then why would it be so hard to think that someone like me could not be shot in such a place?Common sense seems to elude those with no sense at all!
    Today JESUS would tell me to sell my coat and buy two Springfield XD Compact 45acp's!

    NRA LIFER,GOA,MOC Inc.,CLSD,MCRGO,UAW! MOLON LABE!!

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