Over the last five years or so, TTAG has chronicled government abuse of Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. There is no question: these insults are geographical. Arizonans do not face the de facto ban on carrying a firearm that bedevils residents in New Jersey, Hawaii, New York and California. Texans are not subject to the “assault weapons” ban imposed on gun owners living in Maryland. I’ve never suggested that people living in [what we used to call] “slave states” stop fighting for their gun rights. But there comes a time when a beleaguered gun owner must realize that an anti-gun regime puts them in the crosshairs. And decide whether it’s worth it to run that risk. Check out this Constitution State story . . .
The case against James Ferry began when he went to the ACAC Fitness Center on McDermott Drive around 4 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2012.
According to court records, Ferry was upset about his inability to discontinue his contract at the popular club. He had spoken with a manager at the club earlier in the day by telephone, who told him his contract could only be voided if he had proof that he was moving out of the area. He did not.
At a preliminary hearing held in March 2013, witnesses testified how they had watched as Ferry went into the ACAC building carrying a handgun on one hip and two ammunition magazines on the other. One employee, physical therapist Bryan Miller, said Ferry “stared down” at him as he passed, and that he “felt threatened” by his demeanor. He “looked determined to get his point across,” Miller testified, according to records.
Miller’s fears were heightened, he said, because the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 26 children and school staff were killed by a lone gunman, had occurred just two weeks prior, on Dec. 14, 2012.
Luckily, according to authorities, Zagora had pushed the office panic button and called 911, and Miller had put the club on lock-down status.
I’ve rearranged the story from Connecticut’s dailylocal.com. Author Michael P. Rellahan was so excited by the verdict against Ferry (misdemeanor harassment) and his sentence (15 months of probation, the loss of his guns and the elimination of his gun rights) that he only provided a chronology of events at the very end of the piece.
To be fair, the inverted pyramid news story structure still has legs. And Mr. Rellahan’s account includes the Judge’s admission that open carry is legal in Connecticut – if the gun owner has a concealed carry permit. Which Ferry did. But this exchange, highlighted by Mr. Rellahan, says it all . ..
[Judge] Mahon issuing a fiery reprimand, said that even though Ferry had the right to carry his handgun openly on the day of the incident, he should have immediately recognized the powerful reaction those who encountered him would have at the sight.
“People don’t see that every day,” Mahon told Ferry, a former weapons instructor for the Marines who suffered severe head trauma while on training exercises. “Those weapons are capable of mortality, and you should understand that … As a man trained in firearms, you should know better. It will scare the bejeebers out of people.”
So even though Ferry was within his rights to bear arms, even though he “never verbally threatened anyone or made reference to the handgun,” the fact that he scared people by legally exercising his gun rights – days after the Newtown massacre – was enough to convict him. Because guns.
Two of the employees at the health and fitness club wrote letters to Mahon suggesting that Ferry had indeed placed them in fear for their safety, a trauma that still haunts them.
The staff members, Jillian Zagora and Carie Riley, said that they felt Ferry came to the office the day of the incident intending to bully and harass them so that he could get out of a membership contract that he had signed. The two women asked Mahon to sentence him to a term of imprisonment and take away whatever guns he still owns.
You can fight unconstitutional gun control laws in the court. You can fight anti-gun politicians at the polls. Can you fight anti-gun culture? Sure. But it’s the most difficult battle of all. Which begs the question: is it worth your freedom? Your life? The lives of your loved ones? [h/t JG]