Bangor incident shows problem with open carry

Four heavily armed men walked into a Seattle Starbucks last Wednesday and ... what?

Robbed the place? Shot somebody?

No, they ordered beverages. Perhaps lattes with little swirls of whipped cream on top, although that's not specified in The Wall Street Journal story about the event, or incident, or whatever it was.

The men were trying to make a point, that more people should openly wear sidearms in public places. They are part of a movement called "open carry," and they argue that we'll all be safer when we all carry guns.

That's foolish, and here's a recent example why.

Bangor police last week arrested a 24-year-old man after his .357 Magnum accidentally discharged on a public transit bus, scaring the daylights out of the other passengers.  The slug went through the side of the bus and, fortunately, injured no one.

Police said Jason Robinson was showing his gun to another passenger when it went off.

If "open carry" proponents are successful, this is the sort of thing we can expect.

That and children picking up dad's handgun off the coffee table.

And people shooting other people for small-time offenses, like stealing the hub caps off cars.

Or people hitting bystanders while firing at criminals.

Or people shooting at criminals then being shot by police who mistake them for criminals during gunfights.

Or people simply blowing their top and waving around handguns to express their anger.

Said one Starbucks barista last week: "The only thing worse than a yuppie upset with how their frappuccino turned out is a yuppie with a gun who's unhappy with how their frappucino turned out."

The list of things that can and will go wrong is far longer and more likely than the effective use of a handgun.

That's because 98 percent of these gun enthusiasts won't have a clue.

They will have no idea of the laws surrounding self-protection and deadly force. They will receive no formal training either in using their weapon or when to use it.

They will not regularly practice with that weapon to make sure they can actually hit what they are pointing at. And they most likely won't know how to maintain that weapon or take the time to do so.

In short, they will have the same fire power as police officers, but without any of the training, preparation and practice to handle an actual deadly force event.

We support the right to own and keep guns, and we even support the legal right to carry them in public when appropriate.

But we'll all be safer if men with guns leave them at home when they go out for a cup of coffee.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Penn and Teller explain the 2nd Ammendment

A little Second Ammedment tutorial for those of you who are still confused.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GNu7ldL1LM

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"There are some who are just

"There are some who are just carrying it without permit"...

Perfectly legal as long as it isn't concealed.

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

Don't tinker with the right

Don't tinker with the right to be armed. If you look at our neighbor to the South (Mexico) where private citizens are prohibited from owning a gun you will see the error of your thinking. Personally I feel safer where private citizens are armed and the criminals don't know who  is armed.

 's picture

Paranoia

Just how paranoid or deficient does a person have to be in order to need a dose of artificial testosterone in the form of a handgun when ordering a cup of coffee? (Or visiting Acadia?) Aren't the odds of perishing in a car crash higher than being a victim of gun violence? If so, how come you're still driving? 

 's picture

Hey, great question lil...Why

Hey, great question lil...Why don't YOU answer that?  You're the one that has the issue with guns.  How come you're still driving when cars are more dangerous than guns?  Isn't that why you want to get rid of guns?  Because they're dangerous?  You liberals never cease to amaze me with you irrational logic. 

 's picture

Okay

I'm not running around wetting my pants in fear of some NRA (or other) whackjob who thinks he's incomplete without his handgun. Are you so afraid of the world the only way you can make it through your devestatingly dangerous day is to be armed?

 's picture

Great non-answer...you,

Great non-answer...you, veritas, and tron must be bowling partners.  I am not the one who is being inconsistent here, buddy.  You are the one saying that concealed carry is dangerous and people should not have weapons because someone could get hurt.  Why are you not advocating the same for automobiles?  More people are killed every year by cars, you said so yourself.  Seems to me you are more afraid of people having guns than people driving their cars since you are advocating against concealed carry laws.  You drive a car!!!  Do you know how many people are car killed in automobile accidents every year in America?  Are you so entitled that you cannot make it through the day without putting people at risk by driving?!!!  Ridiculous, right?  So is your gun argument.  Please explain your double standard to me...and to all of us on this board. Fear?  No...It is a question of the inherent right of self-defense.

 's picture

Self defense?

Against what? Some unseen imaginary bogeyman? What are the chances you're going to be involved in some made-for-tv gun battle? Maybe the other guy is a little quicker on the draw. Personally I feel sorry for people who live in such fear the only way they can function is by carrying some imaginary masculinity.

 's picture

Another great non-answer from

Another great non-answer from the big three (tron, lil, and veritas).  Answering a direct question with an irrelevant question.  Explain your double standard, lil...that's the question on the table here.  Stop hiding...or get off the board.

RONALD RIML's picture

Inherent right of Self

Inherent right of Self Defense??

The Constitution recognizes the right to keep and bear arms in the context of a "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State"

Unless one considers the recent ruling of some 'activist Judges'

 's picture

You're avoiding the question

You're avoiding the question again but, yeah, the inherent right of self-defense...like in the Declaration of Independence.   Inalienable rights endowed by their Creator...life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness...all that stuff.  And you forgot..."the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED."  And before you run and hide behind the "militia" hang up, the Constitution indentifies who is meant by "people" in the Preamble...We the People of the United States."  Perhaps you care to speak to lil's double logic?

RONALD RIML's picture

"Bearing Arms" is a lot like

"Bearing Arms" is a lot like breeding.

Folks may be able to do it, they might have a right to do it.

But look around and ask yourself if it's just that good of an idea sometimes.

There's some real, long term consequences.......

 's picture

That's the best you can do?

Seriously...that's your deep thought "A" game answer?  Bearing arms is alot like breeding?  So you have anointed yourself as the one who decides who is responsible and who isn't?  I have taken a real good look around and here it is in a nutshell...I don't surrender my rights because others are irresponsible with theirs.  It is not your right to decide to take away my rights because somebody else abused theirs.  It is not the government's, either.  You deal with the transgressors individually, you don't mass punish everyone because some nut shot up a post office.  It is not up to the government to do my thinking for me, I am free to do it myself.  And you still avoided the double-logic question I posed to lil...

RONALD RIML's picture

RRepublican - When I was a

RRepublican -

When I was a Rookie Cop my grizzled old patrol Sarge taught me there was no way, no how one could reason with drunks or crazy people.  A complete and utter waste of time.

So I don't even try with you.

 's picture

You've tried plenty...you

You've tried plenty...you seem to give me alot of attention for someone not trying.  I just don't swallow the liberal BS that you, tron, and lil try to pass off on this board.  You spew this liberal crap and can't even see your own hypocrisy, illogic, or inconsistency.  I am through giving you Bolsheviks a pass.  I reject this socialist utopia that you are so fond of and will fight it with every ounce of strength I have.  When I was young I was taught to prove all things and think for myself.  Of all the questions I have posed to you, lil, and tron you have answered none of them.  You have only attacked me.  I am neither crazy nor drunk; I want answers to questions and I won't accept the propaganda that you and the rest of the liberals serve up.  You've given up?  Then I guess I win...

RONALD RIML's picture

You're a Legend in your own

You're a Legend in your own Mind....

Hail the Conquoring Hero!!!!!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

NFL er, Cromartie....7 kids,

NFL er, Cromartie....7 kids, 6 different mothers; 5 different states. Now that's breeding.

 's picture

Being Prepared <> Paranoia

What are the odds of being hit by lightning?

What are the odds of surviving a head-on collision... on a motorcycle?

What are the odds of being in two head-on collisions in one year? (second one was in a car)

I cannot attest the the first, but I'm not going to stand around in the middle of a field during a lightning storm. Is that Paranoid or just common sense? As someone mentioned previously, what are the odds that Dr. Suzana Hupp would loose both her parrents in one day to a madman as they sat eating lunch at a small cafe? You can read her story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby's_massacre .

I'd say the odds of any of us reading and posting here today, being faced with a similar situation, are pretty slim. But I'm not going to be the one who says you cannot carry a firearm to protect your self, just in case. Nor do I think we should ridicule people who decide to do so. It's not only their choice, it's their right.

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

ERNEST LABBE's picture

So what your thinking is if

So what your thinking is if guns are outlawed that every criminal will turn in their gun. It is illegal for most criminals to have a gun now, however they still have guns as shown by the situation in Bangor. Suppose this idiot started shooting people on the bus. Who could have stopped him, anyone one the bus with a gun.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The Editorial should have

The Editorial should have more clearly defined "heavily armed". A Derringer tucked in the waist of one's trousers in open view isn't exactly "loaded for bear".

An armed society is a polite society. A mugger might think twice about a "hit" on the little old lady with the shopping bags if he has cause to think that she might have the capability of giving him "two in the hat".  

 's picture

Not about open carry

The Bangor incident isn't so much about open carry. It's about letting an idiot have a gun at all. A responsible gun owner would not "be showing it off" to another passanger, have the safety on, and possibly not have it currently loaded. People should have an open carry permit, similar to the concealed weapons permit, with the same requirements. 

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"People should have an open

"People should have an open carry permit, similar to the concealed weapons permit"....Great idea; probably will never happen, though. Too many 2 pack a day smokers who worry about how dangerous a gun can be to them.

RONALD RIML's picture

Geez, Pirate.  I've never

Geez, Pirate.  I've never seen a cigarette accidently go off and blow someone's brains out on MY boat.

But I recommend you keep the Ship's Dawg away before the clean-up crew gets there.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Had to get rid of the ship's

Had to get rid of the ship's Dawg; he kept trying to eat the parrot.

RONALD RIML's picture

Folk's just don't understand

Folk's just don't understand Dawg's when they get all primal around homicide/suicide scenes  :(

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It wasn't that; the Dawg kept

It wasn't that; the Dawg kept trying to get at the parrot because he got tired of the parrot referring to him as his b***h hoe.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It's a slow death. Cancer has

It's a slow death. Cancer has been known to cure smoking, though. Ahh, but we digress.

 's picture

SJ is welcome to their OPINION

...and I stress <b>OPINION</b> because it is not based in fact, nor does it even begin to approach the truth.

In your opinion, state that you think it's foolish for law-abiding citizens to walk into a coffee shop with a holstered firearm strapped to their belt. You base this opinion on the actions of a convicted felon who broke the law just by having a firearm in his possession.

You then paint a very broad picture of what you THINK would happen if law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry a firearm with them where ever they went. Non of this is based in fact. It is the same rhetoric we hear every time the topic of armed citizens pops up; "There will be blood in the streets!!" "People will start using firearms to settle arguments!!"

The truth? It hasn't happend. In reality, the law-abiding citizens in this great nation have proven that they can be trusted to be responsible with firearms.

There will always be a few, like Jason Robinson, who will abuse their liberty, sometimes even at the expense of their fellow citizens. But that, in and of itself, is not reason enough to errode the liberties of the rest of The People.

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

RONALD RIML's picture

Maine is the third safest

Maine is the third safest state in the Union, John.

And it's not because everyone is armed.

Many people who are otherwise 'Law-Abiding" occasionally become very stupid when angered, especially when alcohol is involved.  And if there's a weapon nearby - Hold on to your azz!!  

I agree that that's not reason to deprive law abiding folks of the right to own guns - but they surely don't need to be out flaunting them around in 'Stupid-Ville'

 's picture

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Well, first of all, I don't believe everyone in Maine is (or should be) armed.

Statistically, the number of people with carry permits is usually a very small percentage of the population, like between 1% and 3% or less. And while it could be debated all day what, if any, corelation that has to do with crime rates, the truth is, not knowing who is armed, or a show of force, is in fact a deterent to crime.

In the year after Heller, there has been a significant drop in DC's violent crime rate. While there may not be concrete proof there is a direct corelation, I find it very interesting. I don't think it just a coincidence.

I absolutely agree with you that guns and alcohol don't mix. And you're right. It's not wise to go around "flanting" it, but they aren't breaking any laws. They're just making the hoplophobes nervous.

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

 's picture

According to the Bangor Daily News...

Robinson has a number of criminal convictions:

http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/138279.html

and he has been charged with felony reckless conduct with a firearm for this incident. At the time of the incident, there was a warrent out for his arrest. It is also against the law to carry a concealed firearm without a permit in this state.

That means, unless you have a permit to carry a concealed firearm, you are prohibited from doing so. It's the law.

 's picture

I'll repeat myself... one more time.

If you do not have a permit to carry a concealed firearm, you are prohibited from doing so. period.

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The original article in the

The original article in the SJ did.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Tron, why do you feel

Tron, why do you feel compelled to call anyone that does not share your views  a "right wing whacko"? I find that a bit immature.  I don't carry a gun, but I know people that do, and that includes a number of professional people that you would never expect to be packing. To me this issue is about personal freedom. The SJ editorial board doesn't like guns, but whoa! They sure can piss and moan about freedom of access issues, can't they. I guess to some people  how important a particular freedom is boils down  to whether it affects them or not.  Hypocrites.

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

Open Carry

veritas,

Go to Vermont. Many people do carry their guns into restaurants/coffee shops, grocery stores, banks. No problems in decades.

 

RONALD RIML's picture

I've been to Vermont. 

I've been to Vermont.  Numerous times.

If they've been carrying it wasn't openly.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Can't imagine Mainers haven't

Can't imagine Mainers haven't adopted that practice. They seem to want to  mirror everything else Vermont does.

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

Hitler?

"Gun control IS the NEXT THING OUR GOVERMENT WILL ENACT JUST LIKE HITLER BEFORE WWII !!!!" Another groudless rural legend with no rational support. The situation in Germany before WWII has no bearing on our situation now. Before being elected you ranted and raved about how Obama was going to take away your guns. What's really happenned. Obama has signed laws extending the use of guns to our national parks. You can only yell the "sky is falling" for so long before people figure out you have nothing to contribute.

By the way the next thing the government will enact is National Health Care Reform. Gun Control isn't on the radar. 

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

Quotes

Wonderful quotes. I hope some of them are true. The first two don't apply because they are pre-Constitution. The Jefferson quote cares little weight because he was an anti-federalist (opposed the adoption of the Constitution. He also took no part in the debates about the Consitution. Did not attend the Constitutional Convention nor the Virginia Ratification Convention and was no part of the group working to adopt the Constitution. He was in France during this entire period. ). Jefferson's Constitutional principles were nationally rejected by 1824. His party dissolved and was replaced by the Jacksonians in 1832.

 's picture

You miss the point...

The point I inteded to make is that the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) were written to protect The People from government, NOT to grant rights to The People.

The quotes are from men who participated in the founding of our nation, and reflect their views concerning the importance of firearms for the purpose of self-preservation. Jefferson quotes Cesare Beccaria, who may have been influenced by Niccolo Machiavelli, but the truth is timeless. Criminals prefer soft targets and will avoid confrontation if they think their intended victim may be armed.

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

Open Carry

"Have Liberals ever heard of the Bill of Rights or the Constitution?" Yes!

"People do not trust this incompetent government of Obama's (and Maines too,) and they are showing it by arming themselves like no other time." Why? If self-defense is the reason to arm and crime control is primarily a local (municapal, town, city) responsibility then no one has any reason to arm because of what state or national government does.

"when the people are armed the crime goes down. Look up NY crime stats!" No scientific proof of this exists. The only thing that we can be certain of is that armed citizens do not significantly worsen the statistics. NY city has made handguns  illegal for many years. If the their stats have gone down its for other reasons or you weren't specific enough and meant NY state. Crime stats generally are unaffect by the number of guns but are affected by economics. We just had a huge recession which could explain any change in crime stats.

What we need is to protect ourselves from these self-serving, unsupported urban/rural legends. First the right to own a gun is an individual right as stated by the Washington DC case and soon to be re-stated in the Chicago case. That does not give anyone the unrestricted right to use their gun in any way they see fit. The Supreme Court is expected by all sides to support this conclusion in the Chicago decision. The problems this editorial presents are equally unfounded. Lastly, no question remains that banning, registering, or greatly restricting the use of guns in this country where we have 275,000,000 in private hands is impossible without tryanny and that will not work.

As the NRA says, guns don't kill, people do. If we are to address the problems that weapons cause we must do so by changing people not by artificial unenforcable laws. In other words, training, training, training.

RONALD RIML's picture

Liberals WROTE the Bill of

Liberals WROTE the Bill of Rights and Constitution......

 's picture

On March 3rd 1789, every

On March 4th 1789, every American and future American was issued a gun permit by virtue of the Bill Of Rights; 2nd amendment. There was no expiration date regarding the permit. CASE CLOSED.

 's picture

Permit or restraining order?

Actually, the 2nd Amendment is more like a restraining order. It protects a pre-existing individual fundamental right that is based in the first natural law of nature, that of self-preservation.

"Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would." -- John Adams, Boston Gazette, Sept. 5, 1763,reprinted in 3 The Works of John Adams 438 (Charles F. Adams ed., 1851)

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved), or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press." --Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. ME 16:45

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

 's picture

Well let's all thank God tron

Well let's all thank God tron does not decide when our Constitutional rights apply and when they don't.

RONALD RIML's picture

Like George Bush did??

Like George Bush did??

 's picture

Bush didn't take anyone's rights

Get a hold of yourself, non-veritas...George Bush did not take away anyone's rights.  As a rabid liberal, I am sure you are referring to the Patriot Act of 2001 and 2006. 98 Senators voted for that Act (including many Democrats) in 2001.  89 Senators voted for renewal in 2006 (so don't blame the "hype" of 9/11).  I have included the links to the House vote as well...And what freedom have you exactly lost as a result of these bills, which passed with bi-partisan support?  Stop making accusations that have been discredited.  This is a representative republic, not a totalitarian dictatorship...yet. 

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00313

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00029

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll414.xml

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2001-398

RONALD RIML's picture

You take shidt for granted -

You take shidt for granted - don't you.

See my post below.  Your man was an azzhole.

 's picture

Great non-answer

You're great at ducking the issue aren't you?  I don't take anything for granted.  You are avoiding the question again.  Bush cannot pass the Patriot Act by fiat, or take away anything without the Congress.  Many Democrats voted for that bill which you hang on Bush.  Give me a break...How do you blame Bush for how Democratic legislators voted on that bill?  Your own Democrats voted for that bill, too.  How can you blame Bush for that?  You can't but you do...what is wrong with you people?  As an aside, any chance as a self-professed educated man that your are capable of communicating without veiled profanity?  

RONALD RIML's picture

I didn't bring up the

I didn't bring up the 'Patriot Act'

You merely assumed I would - and went for it.

I didn't grab your bait.

- You ducked my allegation that Bush limited Constitutional Rights - which I referenced.

 's picture

Nice try...that's not going

Nice try...that's not going to wash.  Let me speak directly, then, to your allegation.  George Bush did not arrest anyone or order anyone arrested.  Nobody was arrested for what they said.  They were arrested by the Secret Service and local law enforcement officials for being disorderly and protesting outside security perimeters set up to maintain order during Presidential appearances.  President Obama has set up similar security measures at his appearances...so what exactly do you think you prove?  Protesters were kept away from the Democratic convention in 2008, a mile buffer zone if I remember right, because of the assassination threat received, with similar protest zones.  The Clinton Administration also did the same thing.  Kerry did it on 2004 in Boston.  And people who violated the zones were also arrested...but not for what they said, for what they did.  Security buffers zones and protest zones are not taking anyone's rights and, in fact, are a good idea for either a Democratic or Republican president, given the threats posed to the POTUS from a variety of groups.  I haven't duck anything.  You are making an exaggerated accusation and attempting to prove it on a faulty premise.   

RONALD RIML's picture

You're waltzing away from

You're waltzing away from Bush.

It's not a 'Security' buffer when only one point of view is shunted there.

And the Judges threw out the arrests.

 's picture

The validity of the arrests

The validity of the arrests is irrelevant.  YOU said that George Bush took away rights and had people arrested.  He did not order the arrests of anyone or have anyone arrested because of what they said.  That's what YOU said and it's a fact that he did not.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Specifics?

Specifics?

RONALD RIML's picture

Free Speech Zones....

'Free Speech Zones' in 'The American Conservative''

On Dec. 6, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft informed the Senate Judiciary Committee, “To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty … your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and … give ammunition to America’s enemies.” Some commentators feared that Ashcroft’s statement, which was vetted beforehand by top lawyers at the Justice Department, signaled that this White House would take a far more hostile view towards opponents than did recent presidents. And indeed, some Bush administration policies indicate that Ashcroft’s comment was not a mere throwaway line.

When Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up “free speech zones” or “protest zones” where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

When Bush came to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, “The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us.” The local police, at the Secret Service’s behest, set up a “designated free-speech zone” on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush’s speech. The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, though folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president’s path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign. Neel later commented, “As far as I’m concerned, the whole country is a free speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind.”

At Neel’s trial, police detective John Ianachione testified that the Secret Service told local police to confine “people that were there making a statement pretty much against the president and his views” in a so-called free speech area. Paul Wolf, one of the top officials in the Allegheny County Police Department, told Salon that the Secret Service “come in and do a site survey, and say, ‘Here’s a place where the people can be, and we’d like to have any protesters put in a place that is able to be secured.’” Pennsylvania district judge Shirley Rowe Trkula threw out the disorderly conduct charge against Neel, declaring, “I believe this is America. Whatever happened to ‘I don’t agree with you, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it’?”Similar suppressions have occurred during Bush visits to Florida. A recent St. Petersburg Times editorial noted, “At a Bush rally at Legends Field in 2001, three demonstrators—two of whom were grandmothers—were arrested for holding up small handwritten protest signs outside the designated zone. And last year, seven protesters were arrested when Bush came to a rally at the USF Sun Dome. They had refused to be cordoned off into a protest zone hundreds of yards from the entrance to the Dome.” One of the arrested protesters was a 62-year-old man holding up a sign, “War is good business. Invest your sons.” The seven were charged with trespassing, “obstructing without violence and disorderly conduct.”

Police have repressed protesters during several Bush visits to the St. Louis area as well. When Bush visited on Jan. 22, 2003, 150 people carrying signs were shunted far away from the main action and effectively quarantined. Denise Lieberman of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri commented, “No one could see them from the street. In addition, the media were not allowed to talk to them. The police would not allow any media inside the protest area and wouldn’t allow any of the protesters out of the protest zone to talk to the media.” When Bush stopped by a Boeing plant to talk to workers, Christine Mains and her five-year-old daughter disobeyed orders to move to a small protest area far from the action. Police arrested Mains and took her and her crying daughter away in separate squad cars.

----   Go to link above for entire article

 's picture

Like the Obama administration continued?

Like the Obama administration extended... without reforms?

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0301/Obama-signs-Patriot-Act-extension-without-reforms

John Chick
Monmouth, ME

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

So all gunowners are stupid

So all gunowners are stupid when they own a gun???? I mean that is your point you think we have no formal trainning when many of these handgun owners have gone to war and many are classified Sharpshooter able to out shoot any police officer on the force. Though I dont want to turn any where a Dodge City I feel the occasion was simply a demonstration that by Law abiding citizens and nothing more like wearing green on St. Patricks Day this was a day for those who feel strongly about the right to carry arms to show thier pride and really thats alright by me. playing with a loaded gun in a moving bus however does show neglect of use by that individual but not the whole movement. Gun control IS the NEXT THING OUR GOVERMENT WILL ENACT JUST LIKE HITLER BEFORE WWII !!!!  

RONALD RIML's picture

Simply because you have the

Simply because you have the legal right to make an ass of yourself in public does not mean it's a good idea.  Why not have public abortions for all to view at the Village Green???

- You can get a 'Law Book?"  ROTFLMFAO!!!!

And there's a very far cry from reading basic statutes and knowing case law.

These guys needed to bring their guns into restaurants/coffee shops like Saddam needed to bring his troops into Kuwait.  You don't do it just because you can.

RONALD RIML's picture

northwoods - I've seen enough

northwoods -

I've seen enough idiots shoot or get shot over my career that one reaches the opinion that all folks shouldn't neccessarily exercise all rights.

Case law....   It's obvious you're not aware of the principal of Stare Decisis.

You can ask your lawyer about it - the one you call up up to ask about whether you should shoot or not.  He can bill you.

And your last quote also applies to common sense.  Something our coffee drinking pistol-packers didn't use.

 's picture

Perhaps you're aware of the

Perhaps you're aware of the massacre in Killeen, Texas in 1991...in a cafe of all places.  That nut job killed 23 and wounded another 20.  One armed patron who could have shot back would have stopped a lot of carnage.  A quote from the Wikidpedia article concerning the shooting, "Hupp had actually brought a handgun to the Luby's Cafeteria that day but had left it in her vehicle because laws in force at the time forbade citizens from carrying firearms."  What's your point?  That these folks who didn't do anything but go to lunch should be victims of a nut job with a gun?  You will notice, of course, that the law which prohibited citizens from carrying firearm was obeyed by the guy who shot everyone?  Oh, wait...the law only stopped already law-abiding people from carrying their guns.  I am sure there are many family members of victims who would have appreciated the opportunity for their loved ones to defend themselves.

RONALD RIML's picture

Sure, and we just recently

Sure, and we just recently had another massacre not too far from Kileen, too - didn't we.

Another major Whack Job with a gun.

Guns and Nuts somehow have a magnetic attraction.

Had folks been armed in that restaurant most probably would have shit their pants or hit others with friendly fire.

And how 'bout that 'Big Mac Attack" down in San Ysidro, CA in '84

 's picture

That's your response?  You

That's your response?  You really disappoint me.  You're argument against concealed carry is to point out other massacres of people who could not defend themselves because a wingnut had a gun and they didn't?  Brilliant...just brilliant.  I would wager that those folks in Killeen, or any place that you mentioned, would have liked the option of being hit by friendly fire which was not aimed directly at killing them in exchanage for a chance at survival, wouldn't you?   

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Never know when you'll get a

Never know when you'll get a lousy meal or a feisty clerk behind the lunch counter.  0O:)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

There you have it, folks;

There you have it, folks; Tron sez, "there are just too many guns around and we definitely do NOT need to have people carrying them as a matter of course". So, abolish the 2nd Amendment; have the government shut down Winchester Arms, Smith & Wesson, and the rest of them, AND, let's take the guns away from the cops so they can stop shooting people for free vacation time. And then, America will be safe for all of us. Did I get it right, T...Will you be happy and smily then?

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