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Thread: Letter to the Editor submission: Lock Haven Express

  1. #1
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    Borough Ordinances and Essential Liberty


    All of us like our communities to be safe places for we and our families to live and enjoy. We all want order and peace and expect our neighbors to abide by the law and not commit crimes which inflict harm upon us. Sometimes in the effort to preserve their safety good people go too far and infringe upon the rights of others to ensure their safety as they see fit. This is why we have a Bill of Rights in our U.S. Constitution; because the framers of this country knew the nature of goverment to overstep its bounds even with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, several communities in the area have committed a violation against the civil rights of their citizens through several illegal borough and city ordinances. Mill Hall, Flemington, and the city of Lock Haven have provisions in their laws that limit the right of law abiding citizens to carry arms in defense of themselves and their families in parks and recreation areas. In addition, Flemington borough has an ordinance prohibiting obcense language in the park which is a direct violation of free speech. These laws and in particualar those banning the carry of firearms are in direct violation of state law which prohibits local government from regulating the carry of firearms where state law does not prohibit. Allow me to quote first the PA Uniform Firearms Act(§6120.):


    "No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this commonwealth."


    Now allow me to quote our state constitution:


    ""The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."


    So if the law is clear why is there a problem? Why do I have to bother fighting for a right that is established so clearly by state law and our U.S. Constitution? It is the same reason most civil liberties and freedoms fall by the wayside and its one word: safety. In the name of feeling safe people will hand over right after right. They will even give up the rights of others to make themselves feel safer, but what they fail to understand is the principle of essential liberty. The idea that there a concrete set of freedoms which are needed for the continued success of a free society. Laying any one of these down in the name of any pragmatic ideal is foolhardy if you want to preserve individual liberty. I will use one my most favorite quotes from the man who helped father not just this state's government but that of our nation:


    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin "


    I am submitting letters to each of these local governments and requested they change their law to reflect state law. I am writing this as a service to those who agree and disagree with me alike in the hope that I have stirred your mind and your awareness to the importance of upholding and preserving ALL of our civil rights as citizens not only of our respective communities but as a nation.


    Thank you all for taking the time to read this.


    Sincerely,


    Timothy L Havener

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    In addition, Flemington borough has an ordinance prohibiting obcense language in the park which is a direct violation of free speech.


    IMHO.....irrellevant to your topic.



    Maybe it's just me but including laws that don't deal directly with your chosen topic seems to dilute your message. Makes one wonder what other pointless laws these cities have. Leash laws? Hmmm. I'm sure folks don't really want to listen to foul language. This seems like a good idea. Maybe the city does have a valid point.



    .....wait a minute...



    Oh yeah. We're talking open carry. I was about to lump the whole thing in together since you got me thinking about profanity. I don't want my kids hearing this in public. Good on the city. I like this law.

    Oh yeah. We're talking open carry. I forgot. Too busy thinking about yahoos running around the park cursing at children while open carrying firearms.

    After all, you did tie the right to open carry to the right to yell m(%$#r f&%(@r at children.

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    Because I consider all civil liberties to be important not just the right to bear arms. You cannot prohibit speech you may consider foul in a public place. If I want to yell **** because I banged my knee I should not have to worry about getting a citation for disorderly conduct. I believe that is established law. This is not just about the right to carry for me...it is about any civil liberty being violated by our fellow citizens. You can't just take on one right and violate another...that is something I thought a fellow 2nd amendment advocate would recognize.

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    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Overall a good argument. I made some edits to your text below:

    All of us like our communities to be safe places forus and our families to live and enjoy. We all want order and peace, and we expect our neighbors to abide by the law and not commit crimes which inflict harm upon us. Sometimes in the effort to preserve their safety, good people go too far and infringe upon the rights of others. This is why we have a Bill of Rights in our U.S. Constitution; because the framers [delete of this country] knew the nature of goverment is to overstep its bounds even with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, several communities in the area have committed a violation against the civil rights of their citizens through several illegal borough and city ordinances. Mill Hall, Flemington, and the city of Lock Haven have provisions in their laws that limit the right of law abiding citizens to carry arms in defense of themselves and their families in parks and recreation areas. In addition, Flemington borough has an ordinance prohibiting obcense language in the park which is a direct violation of free speech. These laws, particularly those banning the carry of firearms, are in direct violation of state law which prohibits local government from regulating the carry of firearms where state law does not prohibit. Allow me to quote first the PA Uniform Firearms Act(§6120.):

    "No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this commonwealth."

    Now allow me to quote our state constitution:

    "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

    So if the law is clear, why is there a problem? Why do I have to bother fighting for a right that is established so clearly by state law and our U.S. Constitution? It is the same reason most civil liberties and freedoms fall by the wayside: fear. In the name of feeling safe people will hand over right after right. They will even tramplethe rights of others to make themselves feel safer, but what they fail to understand is the principle of essential liberty--the idea that there is a concrete set of freedoms which are needed for the continued success of a free society. Laying any one of these down in the name of any pragmatic ideal [I don't like this term, but couldn't come up with another one]is foolhardy if you want to preserve individual liberty. I will close with one my most favorite quotes from the man who helped father not just this state's government but that of our nation:

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin "

    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    That is all well and good - though laws on cursing in public etc. really do not have a place here.

    2) This web site is focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life - all posts should relate substantially tothis agenda, even if your comments pertain mainly to freedom andliberty.
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum1/1.html

    [line]BTW - I thoroughly enjoyed Lock Haven last summer when visiting. OC'd everywhere: restaurants, Canal Walk, motel, Wal-Mart, gun shop, Piper Museum - never had the first problem even though I was observed by both local and state LEOs.

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    t1m0thy wrote:
    ...that is something I thought a fellow 2nd amendment advocate would recognize.
    A fellow 2nd amendment supporter does recognize it.

    I'm just asking which right you are writing about.

    Heck, you support the civil rights movement, don't you?

    Why don't you throw an entire dissertation on Martin Luther King's march through Selma in your letter?

    Heck, night as well make the thing ten pages long and toss in a segment on 4th Amendment search and siezure protections as well, huh?

    How about the Gettysburg address?

    How many things do you want to cram in there? After all, according tothe logic you chastise me for.......

    ....if you don't include it in your letter, you must be against it, huh?

    I didn't know SUGGESTING YOU STICK TO A SINGLE FOCUSED POINT instead of DIGRESSING meant I was against the 1st Amendment.

    It's your letter. You can include elaborate discussions of your lawn mower's serial number for all I care.

    However, if I suggest that discussing serial numbers kind of shifts the focus away from the point you are trying to make.......

    ....IT DOESN'T MEAN I WANT TO BAN MOWING YOUR YARD.

    It was merely a suggestion. Now that I know you are abrasive to criticism....I will no longer provide feedback that you evidently don't want. This begs the question: If you didn't want suggestions or criticism....why did YOU post your letter here in the first place?

    It only leaves one thing.....

    .....pat on the back? Maybe the only thing you are in search of is a group of folks filling your head with lavish praise and accolades?

    Well, I'm not a "yes man". If your psyche is in that much need for acceptance and back patting, you have deeper issues than how I feel about any particular civil right.

    I suggest you realize that your opinions and thoughts are welcome here and that your input is valued. HONEST opinions are valued higher than flattery and emotionless back patting. If you are in need of the latter, you will have toget it from someone else. I would like to think my input is valued because of it's honesty, but, as I have learned, you evidently place more value on opinions that tell you exactly what you want to hear.

    Therefore, I have no incentive to be honest with you again. Congratulations on chasing off honest people.

    Been nice knowing you for such a short period of time.

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    I am trying to defend my rights and one of those is my right to carry and another is to speak my mind freely in public. I don't think it dilutes my argument to request the removal of an ordinance that violates the right to carry and one that violates my right to free speech in the same letter. My objective is the removal of any law that violates my individual rights. I posted this here because it primarily deals with the right to carry and open carry which is a subject I am passionate about. I respect your right to disagree but there is no need to be so insulting and dismissive.


    Eeeyore, thos were great suggestions if I had not already submitted my letter. The phrase "pragmatic ideal" was one I chose deliberately. I believe political pragmatism is one of the reasons our rights have eroded so far as they have.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    t1m0thy wrote:
    I am trying to defend my rights and one of those is my right to carry and another is to speak my mind freely in public.
    Moderation in all things.
    Defined

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    What is that even supposed to mean, grapeshot? A right is a right and an encroachment on one civil liberty is an encroachment on all civil liberties. One of the reasons we have lost so many of our rights is because of the fact people pick and choose which rights are important to them without realizing the need to defend all of them equally and vigorously.

    Let me try to explain it with a metaphor. In a military battle, what would happen to a general that focused all his energy on one flank and ignored a flanking maneuver on the other end of his formation? He would be overrun. That is the same as defending our rights. We must see the picture of the whole battle to provide ourselves a proper defense or in the long run we lose not only a battle but the entire war.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    t1m0thy wrote:
    What is that even supposed to mean, grapeshot? A right is a right and an encroachment on one civil liberty is an encroachment on all civil liberties. One of the reasons we have lost so many of our rights is because of the fact people pick and choose which rights are important to them without realizing the need to defend all of them equally and vigorously.
    I case you hadn't noticed, I'm not attacking you.

    I'm suggesting that letters seeking to resolve issues like Lock Haven's preempted gun ordinance are more effective when stated with less clutter and side issues. Attending town council meetings or contact with the town attorney are effective too.

    The more you dump and them, the less attention to any one matter you are likely to gain. And what is wrong with a moderate approach? Leaving people with their dignity keeps the door open for future dialog. I understand that sometimes a more rigid response is called for, but not necessarily out of the gate.

    [line]
    However this is NOT a forum for all civil liberties - the focus and rules define a more limited scope.

    This web site is focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life - all posts should relate substantially tothis agenda, even if your comments pertain mainly to freedom andliberty.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Grapeshot wrote:
    t1m0thy wrote:
    What is that even supposed to mean, grapeshot? A right is a right and an encroachment on one civil liberty is an encroachment on all civil liberties. One of the reasons we have lost so many of our rights is because of the fact people pick and choose which rights are important to them without realizing the need to defend all of them equally and vigorously.
    I case you hadn't noticed, I'm not attacking you.

    I'm suggesting that letters seeking to resolve issues like Lock Haven's preempted gun ordinance are more effective when stated with less clutter and side issues. Attending town council meetings or contact with the town attorney are effective too.

    The more you dump and them, the less attention to any one matter you are likely to gain. And what is wrong with a moderate approach? Leaving people with their dignity keeps the door open for future dialog. I understand that sometimes a more rigid response is called for, but not necessarily out of the gate.
    [line]
    However this is NOT a forum for all civil liberties - the focus and rules define a more limited scope.

    This web site is focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life - all posts should relate substantially tothis agenda, even if your comments pertain mainly to freedom andliberty.

    Yata hey
    I see your point and I understand what you are trying to say. That is why I simply mentioned it in passing and did not dwell on it, but I did feel it necessary to at least give it mention out of respect for principle. My main focus in this effort is the gun ban, but I am also trying to spread awareness of defending civil liberties. The issue of open carry is one of freedom and liberty and my letter was meant to correlate the defense of individual liberty with that of the right to open carry or carry at all.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Re: Outright gun bans in Pa. This is very cut and dried - Lock Haven has an unenforceable/illegal statute on the books.

    "Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18, PA Crimes Code, §6120. Limitation on the Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition precludes the regulation of “the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth” by counties and municipalities."
    http://www.examiner.com/x-35389-Pittsburgh-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2010m1d11-Preemption-local-jurisdictions-ignoring-the-law

    Do not OC in a vehicle unless you have a LTCF - IMO not right but that is the Pa. law.

    There is a very active group in Pa. fighting to restore and protect the 2nd Amend.
    Check them out sometime - lots of good people there.
    http://www.pafoa.org/

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Yea, I am a very active member there and I have already overturned one of these types of ordinances in my old town of Ebensburg. I was on the local news there and in the local paper. I moved here because my wife got a nice job and I noticed the same issue and now that I am a stay at home dad I have the time to help do my part to preserve our right to carry in this state.

    http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=13609

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rekgi2UdEqs

    That's me.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    t1m0thy wrote:
    Yea, I am a very active member there and I have already overturned one of these types of ordinances in my old town of Ebensburg. I was on the local news there and in the local paper. I moved here because my wife got a nice job and I noticed the same issue and now that I am a stay at home dad I have the time to help do my part to preserve our right to carry in this state.

    http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=13609

    That's me.
    Good show!

    Hold their feet to the fire in Lock Haven.

    Got a chance to meet Meleanie Hain on the same vacation trip.
    http://vagrapeshot.multiply.com/phot...er_Pa._3-28-09

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    If anyone happens to be reading this from the Lock Haven area we are going to be attending the Lock Haven City council meeting on Monday the 26th at 7pm and then the Mill Hall borough meeting on Tuesday 27th at 7:30pm.

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