Delaware Online: Make City Council Meetings Gun-Free Zones

 Kirkwood City Council shooting (courtesy

“Imagine this. You are having a dispute with a neighbor over noise late at night. You have asked him politely to keep it down and your politeness got you nowhere. You have filed complaints with the town, but nothing has come of them. Finally, you decide to go to the town council and voice your concern.” So begins‘s editorial Gun laws, common sense are strangers. I’m thinking I wouldn’t be going to the town council to complain about Mr. Noisy neighbor. I’d be going to the police. While taking some extra security precautions: heightened situational awareness, a gun on my hip, that sort of thing. But no. This is a matter for the town council! And that’s when things get positively cinematic . . .

And there sitting across from you, with that same strange menacing look that he always gives you, is none other than the neighbor you are there to complaint about. You gulp, but you understand that he has just the same right to be there as you do.

I gulp? Because I’m afraid, right? Well, I am disarmed. Oh wait. I’m not disarmed! I’m at a town council meeting in a Delaware town where I can exercise my natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms inside the council chamber. Even so, I might consider a strategic retreat. Live to fight another day. That sort of thing. Or have a quiet word with security. Unfortunately, I’m about to be transformed . . .

Then you notice that strapped to his hip is his well-loved handgun. (Keep in mind, he’s still mean mugging you all the while.) You gulp again. Then you gulp still again as you realize that he also has the right to bear arms just about wherever he wants. Now imagine if you were not the fair-minded, peaceful soul that you are. Imagine also that your disposition was just as dour and that you were as free with menacing looks as your neighbor. Oh, yes, imagine that you are carrying heat as well.

Wow, first I’m gulping like a guppy out of water and then BAM! I’m a bad guy too! How did that happen? And if I’m such a bad guy, why am I subjecting myself to a bureaucratic process that’s almost as boring as waiting at the DMV? Wouldn’t I have already had it out with the noisy neighbor somewhere away from so many witnesses?

Now who could object if the council members saw what was coming and discreetly asked the friendly, but heavily armed, police officer present to escort both of you from the premises. Of course, that would be wrong. In many jurisdictions council would be violating both of your rights. Council, in this case, would get no points for wisdom or defusing a potentially deadly situation. Council, instead, would get sued.

How heavily armed is this police officer? Full auto AR? Grenades? If the town council or cop had a reasonable suspicion that me and Mr. Noisy Neighbor were about to start a gunfight I bet they could take some kind of preemptive action without triggering a lawsuit (so to speak). Defusing situations is what politicians do best, right? [see: video below]

Anyway, how often does this kind of armed showdown in council chambers happen? Often enough that we have curtail law-abiding Americans’ gun rights? My Google-Fu couldn’t unearth one example of a head-to-head gunfight in a town council meeting. But there were plenty of council meetings where a gunman opened fire on unarmed civilians: the Kirkwood City Council Shooting (six dead), the Monroe County, PA meeting shooting (three dead) and the Riverside City Hall shooting (six wounded).

Would any of these attacks have been less likely in a “gun-free zone”? I don’t think so. In fact, I reckon that “allowing” citizens to carry firearms in council meetings is an excellent way to protect the council against an armed attack. To say nothing of deterrence. Remember this incident?

The editorialist concludes his fantasy-based anti-gun agitprop with “The current ambiguous state of the law in Delaware should be changed. Firearms should not be allowed in public meetings. Period.” Would he say the same thing after watching the City Council narrowly avoid annihilation in the video above? Probably.

But be of good cheer! The editorial provides the first evidence I’ve encountered that last week’s 9th Circuit Court’s decision to strike down California’s “just cause” concealed carry provision has the antis worried.

However, Delaware’s strange circumstances are likely to get worse. Along with every other state, Delaware’s gun laws are now suspect because of a federal court ruling last week. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned all of California’s laws regarding carrying firearms. This is the same court that ruled before the Supreme Court that Second Amendment rights extend nationwide. Legal experts believe we are in for a legal controversy of major proportions.

Such is the debate on firearms in our society. Common sense is nowhere to be found.

I beg to differ.


  1. avatar CK in CA says:

    It baffles me that people are still pushing for gun-free zones.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      But, but, but… FEELZ!

  2. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Wow. In Delaware?!?


    1. avatar Craig says:

      Biden country…

  3. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Gun free zones are free fire zones. Keep people from legally carrying a firearm only criminals will have them.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Hey! Criminals are people, too.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      “Gun Free Zones” should be accurately renamed to “Pro-Rape Zones” or “Mass Shooting Zones.”

    3. avatar ropingdown says:

      If the point of the editorial is to say “only with a gun-free zone can the guy sent to take out the corrupt councilor succeed,” then I suppose I get the drift.

      I thought guns in the meeting were only there to prevent developers from handing out even bigger envelopes in the middle of a close re-zoning vote.

  4. avatar Adub says:

    Wait! Wasn’t the movie theater in Colorado a gun-free zone! Proof that the system works! I’m sure those signs prevented many previous spree killers from murdering hundreds, no, thousands, of happy theater-goers!

    If only the Challenger had a “No Explosions Here” sticker on the window. Such tragedies could be avoided!

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      +10,000. You win the internet today!

    2. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Yes, it was a gun free zone. In fact the dbag passed up several closer theaters showing the same film that were not GFZs to get to the one he chose.

  5. avatar Paul G. says:

    Imagine, as you are sitting there, comfortably armed, in comes a leprechaun riding a unicorn. Taste the rainbow.

    1. I literally LOL’ed. Well done.

    2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Exactly! And if I had wheels, I’d be a wagon.

  6. avatar DisThunder says:

    What a strange nonsensical little editorial. It almost reads like some wiseacre from a site like this one was playing mad libs with a gun control handbill or something. Of all the situations to be concerned with, of all the situations that you could be concerned about facing an ill-tended person who is armed, THIS is the one that kept the writer up all night before deadline?
    I worry about an armed confrontation at my work. Since my work is a gun-free zone. That means no matter who comes to play, I lose. THAT’s worth losing sleep over.

    1. avatar Maineuh says:

      Ha! Madlibs! That’s exactly what it sounds like. Underwear! Toothpaste!

  7. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    So being a gun owner equals dour and menacing, give me a fucking break. This author is a [self censored], ignoring that in such a scenario both the menacing neighbor and his imaginary, peacenik self would both be surrounded by armed guards. I wonder how many times the idea that he could both be a “fair-minded, peaceful soul” and armed at the same time occurred to him, and if self-flagellation is necessary to drive away such subversive notions.

  8. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Isn’t it great when you enter federal property, your right to bear arms mysteriously disappears. One place where you would think the full constitution would be in effect.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Found that out today when I had to go down to the local Social Security office. guard made me put my pocket knife in the car/ I thought to myself, say WHAT? So I looked up the statute and indeed, federal law bans firearms and “deadly weapons” from all federal government buildings! But then again, the guard (who was not a leo but private security) was wrong about pocket knives–the statute defines as “dangerous weapons” knives with blades longer than 2.5″–yet he was excluding ALL pocket knives.

      And then I thought to myself, when was the last time there was a violent incident at a social security office? Or at any of the multitude of governmental offices (education, agriculture, cultural arts, and the list is nearly infinite)? Is this law in any way necessary? Is there really any appreciable risk to federal employees in the vast majority of government offices?

      1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

        “when was the last time there was a violent incident at a social security office? Or at any of the multitude of governmental offices (education, agriculture, cultural arts, and the list is nearly infinite)?”

        That’s the argument that the gun-grabbers use – well, the chance of you being attacked there is really small, so why do you need a weapon?

        And as for the “last incident” at a government office, does the Navy Yard shooting count?

  9. avatar Dave McDonald says:

    I watched that video once and just can’t do it again. Pure terror, and equally pure helplessness. I want to show it to every anti who says to wait until the shooter empties the gun and then tackle him between mag changes.

  10. avatar JR says:

    “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned all of California’s laws regarding carrying firearms. ”

    Really? ALL laws regarding carrying firearms in CA were overturned?

    California is Constitutional Carry now? Did I miss the celebration?

    I think that dude’s panty-twist machine is stuck on “Full.”

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned all of California’s laws regarding carrying firearms. This is the same court that ruled before the Supreme Court that Second Amendment rights extend nationwide. ”

      Umm, no. Not even close. In fact, the decision does not overturn ANY California gun law; for that matter, there was not even a challenge to the constitutionality of any California gun law. A concealed weapons permit requires a showing of “good cause”; and all the court held was that “self-defense” is “good cause.” it is STILL illegal to open carry ANY firearm, loaded or unloaded, in ANY urban area unless you happen to be a cop or a security guard and a few other rare exceptions like parades). Nor for that matter does the decision have any effect outside the state of California. As it is, the majority of states are constitutional carry or “shall issue”, but even as to those “may issue” jurisdictions, the case is at best persuasive authority–except for the fact that the federal courts for all of those “may issue” states have affirmed the constitutionality of “may issue.” Nationwide application will come if and only if the Supreme Court rules as did the Ninth Circuit.

      Conclusion: What a jackwagon!

  11. avatar ChuckN says:

    The one thing I’ll agree with is that gun laws, specifically those
    sought by the anti-civil rights crowd, have no common sense.

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    ” the Ninth Circuit overturned all of California’s laws regarding carrying firearms.”
    – O RLY?

    “This is the same court that ruled before the Supreme Court that Second Amendment rights extend nationwide.”
    – and they… don’t? Does the 1st Amendment?

    Seriously, this guy is complaining that the 9th circuit is too anti-gun. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      Maybe he was trying to refer to the 2nd Amendment being incorporated, but was too busy waving his arms around to make his point?

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Even so, I’d wonder if he has a problem with the incorporation of the rest of the Amendments.

      2. avatar Roscoe says:

        Another editorial writing anti-gun peckerhead media mouth trying to make a point without fully understanding the subject.

  13. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Delaware Online: Make City Council Meetings Gun-Free Zones”

    Yes! Because that is actually going to keep someone from shooting in a city council meeting.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Clearly the author’s motive is to encourage de facto term limits. Is the guy posting from prison?

  14. avatar Leadbelly says:

    Unfortunately, good men with guns did not stop Cookie Thornton from killing half the Kirkwood city council at that meeting. He started out with a .44 mag revolver, killed a police officer immediately outside city hall and took his sidearm. He proceeded to the council chamber and killed an armed officer serving a security for the meeting before opening fire on the council members.

    I live in Kirkwood, and the shock over this event really helped me understand how it could happen. NOTHING ever happens in Kirkwood. Taxes are high and we have a huge police force for such a quiet community. It’s a running joke around here that calling the police about a lost dog will bring four patrol cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck to your door in minutes. They really don’t have much to do most of the time, so a sense of false security prevails. I don’t think either of the officers Thornton killed could believe what was happening for a few fatal seconds. As long as the whole community shared this “it can’t happen here” delusion I doubt armed citizens would have responded any quicker than the slain officers.

    I guess there is such a thing as TOO nice a neighborhood.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Sounds like Cookie probably would not have cared less about a piece of paper that said “no guns allowed” had it existed during that time.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    For the writer, I would suggest psychiatric treatment. ‘Cause there really ain’t no bogeyman under the bed. If that doesn’t work, I’d recommend testosterone replacement therapy. Maybe it would help him to mature past the infantile stage.

    I’m referring to the writer as a male, because I don’t think that a female could write anything this stupid without mentioning “the children” at least once.

    1. avatar Maineuh says:

      The final part of his editorial was cut off. “PS: The children!”

  16. avatar Tom from Georgia says:

    Couldn’t get the link to work, nor did Google-fu help. Anyone reckon they took the site down or something?


  17. avatar S.CROCK says:

    “Then you notice that strapped to his hip is his well-loved handgun. (Keep in mind, he’s still mean mugging you all the while.) You gulp again. Then you gulp still again as you realize that he also has the right to bear arms just about wherever he wants.”

    i would not start gulping like a thirsty cross country runner just because i saw a gun. if i was that scared of a person, i would be scared of him if he had a fanny pack on to carry his lipstick or his macho .45. these people feel that the presence of a gun should make you instantly fear for your life.
    i guess i will just never understand this level of fear/stupidity.

  18. avatar ensitue says:

    WA State is about to make it illegal for baddies to commit a crime while wearing Body Armor, this will no doubt eliminate all crime within the state. Leftys everywhere are merely projecting their desires onto the hapless citizenry nation wide as they see their Socialist Boat sink in the west or as they prepare to go full Stalinist Purge on America.
    These inane laws and rulings are the final warning signs before the Cult of Progress goes full Jones Town, just like it did in Spain (300 churches burned, Nuns raped, Priests murdered in one day). There are those in American Media who are calling for discriminant mass murder NOW

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Are they making having body armor a crime, or is it that crimes committed while wearing body armor are doubleplus ungood?

      1. avatar Chris says:

        According to Wiki, US laws prohibit violent felons from buying body armor [duh], there are penalties for felons in possession or use of body armor [double duh], and KY will deny and probation or parole if you commit violent crimes while wearing body armor and carrying a deadly weapon.
        Looking elsewhere online:
        In CT body armor can only be purchased in a face to face transaction [unless you’re a LEO].
        In MI you can buy and wear body armor, BUT, making a verbal threat while wearing it counts as a felony, so be careful what you do.
        TX requires that you be 21 before you can purchase body armor.
        Different states likely have their own laws stipulating the purchase and use of body armor, but it’s usually additional time behind bars and harsher punishment for committing a crime while using body armor.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Please provide some links to reputable sources … or at least provide enough details so that we can find sources to substantiate your claim.

  19. avatar KMc says:

    I am a City Council member in a small rural town that has a “No Firearms” sticker on the front door of City Hall. While I don’t conceal carry when I’m attending meetings, I do carry a Bodyguard in my briefcase. Like most small towns, we have a Village Idiot who doesn’t always see things the way I do. No one knows what’s in the briefcase, they assume papers, etc. And that’s the way I hope it always is, I certainly don’t want to ever have to pull it out in self defense, but……

    1. avatar KCK says:

      If you have all that room in a brief case, why not a S&W full size or a Glock 19?

      1. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

        Heck, get one of those mythical Kel-Tec Sub2000s.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          ^ This!!!!!!

          For anyone that doesn’t know, the 16 inch long barrel of the Kel-Tec SUB2000 in .40 S&W caliber launches 135 to 155 grain bullets at .357 Magnum velocities and energies (assuming a four inch barrel on a .357 Magnum revolver).

          The only downside to a Kel-Tec SUB2000 in that particular scenario is that it takes about 2 seconds to unfold it, charge it, and bring it to bear. If you have a discrete way to do that, by all means it is an outstanding choice. If you may not have a discreet way to do that, then I would go with a full size 1911, a Glock or a Smith and Wesson M&P with the longest available barrel in .45 ACP. Why .45 ACP? Because I want the greatest probability of dropping a suicidal attacker with one shot and .45 ACP has a proven record of such performance.

          Of course, if you really want to be sure to instantly stop a suicidal attacker with one shot to the torso, a revolver with a 6 inch barrel in .44 Magnum (which is easy to hide in a briefcase) is the ultimate choice. Just make sure you load it with light-for-caliber hollowpoints to minimize over penetration. Yeah, I know that .44 Magnum recoil slows down follow-up shots … follow-up shots which should not be necessary against one attacker if you can hit him in the chest area.

      2. avatar KMc says:

        It’s actually quite full of binders and notebooks, doesn’t leave much room. Hey, a Bodyguard is better than a sharp stick!

  20. avatar PeterK says:

    “Such is the debate on firearms in our society. Common sense is nowhere to be found.”

    Yes. I can see that that is true from where you are standing. Especially when you will REFUSE TO SEE it even if it is smack in front of your face.

  21. avatar Daniel S. says:

    Imagine reading an article of uneducated and irrational fear of an object. *gulp* *gulp* *gulp*

  22. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    Obviously the answer is to get a quality squeegy so that no one will slip on all the blood, thats just common sense./// Thank you very much.

  23. avatar Ardent says:

    I can’t even touch the level of paranoia and absurdity in the OP so I’m not going to try. I think it speaks for itself; either anti-gun agitprop intended to speak to a certain fearful, low information sort of person or actually written by someone who needs to seek psychiatric counseling because they appear to have an anxiety disorder (and that’s overlooking the ridiculous language and poor writing skills).

    Instead I’ll rebut the above as if it were worthy of such by pointing out that the most heavily armed gatherings are without fail the absolute safest from violence. Concealed carry conventions and gatherings? Never a shooting. NRA conventions? They hold one every year and one would argue that it’s densely populated by pistol packing people, but has anyone ever been shot at one? No! How about open carry demonstrations, now those people are crazy and menacing right? Heck, they’re even upset about something to the point that they are protesting with guns! There are sometimes even counter protesters there whom the armed contingent vehemently disagree with, people must be shot dead all the time at those events, right? No, never happened, not even once. What about gun shops? I mean, all those guns and people carrying guns and people looking at guns and talking about guns and guns guns guns . . .shootings? Only when someone attempts an armed robbery while the shop is occupied. Know of an example of two patrons (neither of them attempting to rob the store at the time) of a gun shop getting into an argument and shooting each other? What about the proprietor or employees shooting it out with a dissatisfied customer? Bet you can’t find even one example.

    The thing is that the probability of violent crime goes down in direct proportion to the percentage of armed citizens in a given group. That’s not anecdotal, that’s the real statistics from any sort of gathering one would wish to examine. In fact, if the relevant data is to be believed at face value, one could reduce crime by simply passing a law that everyone carry a gun at all times. While I don’t advocate this ‘solution’ for reasons of both practicality and liberty, it would still (based on the data) be more effective in reducing crime than lowering the number of people carrying guns or creating more gun free zones.

    Ardent’s Axiom still applies: Those who cannot reach rational conclusions after having been presented with ample evidence suffer either from the inability to interpret the evidence (they lack the cognitive ability to employ reason), an inability to believe their own interpretation (they’re delusional) or they have reached a rational conclusion but for whatever reason won’t admit to it (they’re dishonest).

    Thus one could insist that the writer of the OP is either stupid, insane or a liar (intentionally attempting to mislead others regarding something they don’t believe themselves). The only conceivable escape from this conclusion is that the writer hasn’t availed themselves of the facts, in which case they’re both ignorant (by definition) and incompetent (for penning such a thing from a position of ignorance).

    More gnashing of teeth from a movement that’s seen it’s glory days and has entered into decline.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Ardent’s Axiom still applies: Those who cannot reach rational conclusions after having been presented with ample evidence suffer either from the inability to interpret the evidence (they lack the cognitive ability to employ reason), an inability to believe their own interpretation (they’re delusional) or they have reached a rational conclusion but for whatever reason won’t admit to it (they’re dishonest).

      That should be a quote of the day!

  24. avatar Mark says:

    Would this mean that agents of the state, the police, will be disarmed at these meetings also?

  25. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    The News Journal isn’t exactly known for intelligence. It’s no surprise that they put on their paranoid glasses regarding firearms at a town hall meeting.

    And I am a bit puzzled as to why one would go to the town council to voice a complaint about a neighbor vs. going to the police. Wouldn’t their response be “file a police report” or something?

  26. avatar Jack (not Markell) in DE says:

    Not that our local commie rag needs an excuse to agitate for civilian disarmament, but this was in response to an incident last week where some open-carry advocates decided to raise awareness by showing up to a Newark City Council meeting (at which there was a rather polarized debate about a proposed new power plant) with guns strapped to their hips, and then using public comment time to remind the Council members that you don’t need a permit to carry openly in Delaware and state law (arguably) preempts cities from stopping people from carrying in city council meetings. There’s a difference between carrying guns and carrying guns at people, and that incident was the latter.

    Ain’t saying it was right or wrong, just saying that some pro’s tried to tweak the antis’ noses, and the anti’s are tweaking back.

  27. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    That editorial reads like something a child in 6th grade would write.

    And maybe this is a good sign for us. People with the slightest bit of reasoning skills are seeing the light all over the nation. Look at the recent community meeting in Chicago where the local folks started bashing all of the entrenched paradigms. I have to wonder if the only people left advocating for civilian disarmament are people of low intelligence with no ability to reason.

    Well, having said that, I am sure there are lots of others who advocate for civilian disarmament because it is profitable for them. But take away the profit motive, and I suspect most all of the “grass roots” support for civilian disarmament are people who write 6th grade level editorials for their local newspaper.

  28. avatar soccerdad1150 says:

    That video should be posted on the writer’s FB page or linked in the comments in his article. Re; The video…he held that school board hostage, ranting and raving for over 5 minutes….disgraceful. When seconds count, the swat team is still getting dressed. But clearly (someone) was there, waiting for the guy to start shooting BEFORE taking action. Nice tactics…wait for someone to get killed by a raving lunatic BEFORE you take action. That’s not how they do it round here.

  29. avatar Mina says:

    His fear and gulping : Who’s problem?

    If he can’t tell the difference between a criminal about to shoot the place up and his own neighbor attending a city meeting to work out their problems that is not anyone’s issue but his.

  30. avatar GS650G says:

    Delaware isn’t as bad as New Jersey or Maryland for gun laws, they have reciprocity for carry permits in a lot of states. Although one of the few states Class III is prohibited they don’t have nearly the bad laws the captives in Jersey do.

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