Okay, so maybe it’s not clearly articulated in the Constitution of These United States, but c’mon you guys, you know it’s there. It’s what we call an ‘implied right’ and it’s totally guaranteed right there in the Ninth Amendment.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
That’s it. That’s the entire 9th Amendment. It’s like, what…twenty words? Plus some Revolutionary War punctuation. Basically, it’s the Founding Fathers saying “Dude, we’re not going to write down every possible Right, because c’mon that’ll take forever, and besides — quill pens?” So just because the Right to be an Absolute Dick isn’t clearly enumerated, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
A couple days ago a patriot exercised his Right to be an Absolute Dick by toting a rifle slung over his shoulder into Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. That just made him a dick. The fact that he did this two days after the assault on TSA agents at LAX made him a Really Big Dick. It was his decision to bring his 12 year old son along with him to the airport — and arm that child with a semi-automatic pistol — that catapulted this guy to Absolute Dick status.
This guy and his 12 year old son had geared up and gone to the airport to meet an arriving passenger. The guy told the Phoenix Police Department he and his 12 year old son had come armed because he “feared for his family’s safety while at the airport.” I guess because you never know what sort of nutcases will show up at the airport with guns and start shooting folks.
You’d think the other people at Sky Harbor International would be comforted by knowing that there was a guy and a 12 year old boy armed with semi-auto weapons to defend them against anybody who might show up at the airport with semi-auto weapons. But no. Those sissies called the police, just because they were irrationally distressed that a guy and a 12 year old boy were strolling around the airport with semi-auto weapons two days after a guy a guy with a semi-auto weapon went to an airport and killed a TSA agent and wounded a few others.
Obviously there was no reason for them to be upset. I mean, the guy had armed his 12 year old son. Surely that showed he was rational and reasonable. What kind of nutcase would bring a 12 year old boy to the airport and NOT give him the opportunity to defend himself? Remember what NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre said:
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Also, a 12 year old boy with a gun. Also too in addition, maybe a 12 year old girl with a gun — if you can find a pink Hello Kitty semi-auto that’ll fit into her cute little hands.”
You may have noticed that I’m referring to the guy who gave his 12 year old son a semi-automatic pistol and brought him to the airport only as ‘the guy who gave his 12 year old son a semi-auto pistol.’ That’s on account of the police didn’t report the guy’s name (nor the name of the 12 year old boy). Why? Because they didn’t do anything wrong. It’s perfectly legal for folks (including, it seems, a 12 year old boy) to openly tote firearms into the unsecured areas of
OK Corral International Sky Harbor International Airport.
Sure, maybe the guy and his 12 year old son scared the shit out of dozens of other people waiting for flights at the airport — and sure, maybe the guy and his 12 year old son drew police officers away from their other duties and areas of responsibility — but a right that isn’t exercised isn’t a right at all. And this guy has a Constitutional right to be an Absolute Dick.
I can’t help remembering, though, what happened a few years back when a few Muslims awaiting a flight stopped to pray. And I can’t help wondering what would happen if an Arab-American exercised the right to openly carry a firearm in an international airport.
As a nation, we simply get stupider and stupider.
I don’t think anything that happened there was the result of stupidity. I think it was the result of asshattery.
I think there’s a hefty dose of stupid mixed in.
Pat – let’s hope it isn’t collective but just exceptionally bright highlights on the most glaring exceptions. (I’m not really convinced though…)
Maybe the best response of the police might have been to a) check the guy out, b) figure out he is just a dick that wants attention, and c) then leave him alone and pay no more attention to him (at least none that is obvious to him).
Guys like this might be dicks, and stupid (and I agree with you on that), but that they are not any real threat and don’t deserve that much attention. My wife is a teacher of really young kids and sometimes the best strategy is not to pay too much attention to behaviour motivated solely to get attention.
I agree that some of the extreme “open carry” advocates sometimes are really being big dicks and counterproductive to any rational goals in many cases. However there are issues where police are sometimes extremely abusive of people carrying openly in a legal and safe manner in places that are not meant to be demonstrations or to threaten anyone.
Here is an example of that from Texas:
Active-duty Army sergeant arrested for ‘rudely displaying’ a hunting rifle
“A Texas community around Fort Hood, one of the nation’s largest military posts, has become a center of controversy between an Obama-supporting anti-gun prosecutor, the police, and military personnel when an active-duty Army sergeant, stationed at Fort Hood was arrested for carrying a lawfully owned hunting rifle while out hiking with his son, the Daily Caller reported yesterday.”
I suspect that if the police had quietly ignored the guy and his son while keeping a quiet eye on them the public would have been extremely upset and there might have been some further escalation on the part of the people who called the police in the first place. Not to mention there would have been a whole lot more controversy in the media afterwards, as a guess.
And while I agree that the ‘ignore the kid who’s being a jerk’ policy in a school setting might be an appropriate response in a classroom full of kids, I think applying that policy to an adult male and his son who are carrying semi-automatic weapons in a crowded public place with unknown intent, right after a very recent killing under very similar circumstances would have been irresponsible at best on the part of the police. It may not be fair or even right since the guy had a legal right to carry, but part of the police mandate is to insure the public safety. And how could they realistically assume the guy meant no harm? They were called by other people there who feared (right or wrongly) for their safety.
Politely, I’d say that harassment while carrying a hunting rifle while out hiking is a far cry from being harassed by police for carrying semi-automatic weapons into a crowded public airport three days after a shootout in an airport. If I were in that airport I’d sure as hell want the police to be there and react appropriately, and in my own personal, admittedly biased, view I’d be very glad if the police took him out of that very public setting and checked him out thoroughly. Yay for those police doing their job.
“I suspect that if the police had quietly ignored the guy and his son while keeping a quiet eye on them the public would have been extremely upset and there might have been some further escalation on the part of the people who called the police in the first place.”
The police could have made a public announcement that they have determined this person is not dangerous and is not breaking any laws – go about your business, nothing to look at here ….
” I think applying that policy to an adult male and his son who are carrying semi-automatic weapons in a crowded public place with unknown intent…”
That would be perfectly reasonable for police to approach and evaluate the guy. Many of them (but not all) are pretty good at that. The intent to be a “dick” would probably be pretty obvious to them. So let him be a dick and don’t give him the attention he apparently wants. This kind of “dick” is not going to hurt anyone, even if he is stupid in our view.
But also, I would support laws that control open carry in some places (while allowing concealed). But when you don’t have a law, and a person is not violating any law, I think it is a bad idea to give them a lot of attention or publicity. We have laws because we don’t want state police acting arbitrarily however they want regardless of what the law is. If we think this is not a great idea, then pass a law. In Texas a business can post a 30.06 (did they notice the irony in numbering the law “30 ought 6?”) and anyone then with a concealed handgun is trespassing.
If they had a law like that prohibiting a person with open carry in a airport then ask him to leave or arrest him for trespassing.
I am however a strong advocate of licensed citizens being able to carry concealed handguns in most places. I have a CCH in Texas and I always have a concealed handgun when I go to the airport to pick up my son on leave from the Marines. I carry it into the airport and that is legal as long as I don’t try to go through a checkpoint into a secured area.
“If I were in that airport I’d sure as hell want the police to be there and react appropriately…”
I absolutely agree they out to react to that behavior and check him out. They don’t need to give him a rectal exam though. If open carry is legal there then appropriate police behavior in my view is to question him and determine if he is dangerous. If you ever go through Ben Gurion airport in Israel they have a lot of young folks there who are in security who are very polite, and very good at questioning people. It is easier to get through there sometimes than some of our airports.
As far as what happened the other day in Los Angeles, I don’t understand why TSA are not armed. They ought to be because they ought to realize some people will eventually get pissed at fat, slimy TSA agents feeling up their daughters and wives. :)
It may not be fair or even right since the guy had a legal right to carry, but part of the police mandate is to insure the public safety.
Actually the primary function of the police is to maintain public order. An awful lot of disruptive behavior isn’t illegal in itself, but almost every local jurisdiction has what are called ‘public order’ laws — disturbing the peace, loitering, disorderly conduct, etc. They give the police the discretion to stop behaviors that interfere or interrupt normal social functions.
The police could have arrested the guy. I’m rather glad they didn’t, because that would have made him a 2nd Amendment martyr. I think they did exactly the right thing, which was stay with the guy and the kid until they left the airport. Of course, that meant other parts of the airport were under-staffed.
Guys like this might be dicks, and stupid (and I agree with you on that), but that they are not any real threat and don’t deserve that much attention.
The problem with that approach is that we now live in a culture where we have to assume anybody carrying a firearm into a public area is a potential threat. In several mass murder situations, the murderer was effectively a law-abiding citizen exercising his rights…up until the moment when he opened fire.
“The problem with that approach is that we now live in a culture where we have to assume anybody carrying a firearm into a public area is a potential threat.”
I don’t agree. There are public areas where it is perfectly acceptable to be carrying a firearm. People don’t have a right to assume everyone carrying a gun in a public place is a threat to them. They accept that police carry firearms in public so maybe then need to understand in a lot of places it is appropriate for others to also carry.
I don’t think we can any longer claim to live in a society where we can afford to ignore anyone carrying a gun, in the interest of public safety. So guys like this are really begging for a takedown…just as a precaution. Because if I see a guy with a weapon, I’m not about to assume he’s merely exercising his right to carry a gun around, and I’d have to be stupid if I did.
“if I see a guy with a weapon, I’m not about to assume he’s merely exercising his right to carry a gun around,..”
Depends on where you are. There are places in this country where open carry of a firearm is perfectly normal and not in the least unusual. If you scream and call a policeman you will be seen as the idiot, not him. All depends on circumstances.
I can remember when I was stationed in San Diego going to a range there by riding the bus. So I have this Ruger 7.5″ 45 Colt “hogleg” in a holster, wearing it openly, and no one saying a word about it (perfectly legal then, circa 1960s).
The “homeboys” on the bus didn’t say a thing to me. :)
If I am some places in Idaho today I think it would be an affront for a policeman to question that I am wearing a S&W 357 Magnum in a holster. It is not inappropriate. Or carrying a Marlin lever action rifle.
So you need to re-calibrate your expectations depending on where you are. You can’t apply your expectations for San Francisco or New York everywhere.
I have to agree that where you are and in what context is really important. In San Francisco, openly carrying a Magnum on your leg might get you taken down by police before they got around to much questioning. But in a small town in Montana where I visited last summer, there were a fair number of men (didn’t see any women doing this) openly carrying in holsters and with rifles or shotguns in the rack of the trucks. It was a real eye-opener for me and I thought it would make me more uncomfortable than it did, to be honest. But the flip side of the coin was that I am a harmless looking white woman; if I’d been a young black guy wearing a hoodie I think I would have been extremely nervous…
I understand that; I grew up in Texas. My point is that mass shootings are now so common that if one sees anyone carrying a gun around, one can no longer wisely just ASSUME he’s harmless,
LOL ROF, asshattery? So true and completely a total Richard Cranium. A 12 year old kid? REALLY!? What was he thinking with? No, wait, don’t answer that, I probably wont be able to breath from laughing at your response.