“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 delawareonline.com‘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.