Blowing the Dust Off the Second Amendment

Am I the only one who read in the Spokesman-Review yesterday the AP story about the Louisville, Kentucky pastor who encouraged church-goers to appear for services bearing arms?  See story.  (Sometimes the Spokesman-Review moves their stories offline right away – if so, click here for MSNBC version).  You have to admit, this is a pretty easy way to get attention.  And apparently, the pastor drew in a bunch of newcomers to his church, which is always probably a goal.   Seeing as the bible predates modern firearms by a few millennia, the pastor had a lot to say about guns, including criticisms of the Obama administration.  The pastor seems a little nutty, but he poses an interesting question:  Is it still socially acceptable to bear a firearm just for the heck of it?  A lot of gun enthusiasts hunt, target practice, and keep guns for home defense, and a lot carry concealed weapons.  But what about just wearing one in open while walking down the street, or to the grocery store, or to the city park just for the heck of it?  What about carrying one slung over your shoulder?  I don’t really see this too often, even in the rural Western towns of  Ferry and Okanogan County where I practice law.

If you want to read a really interesting article, check out an earlier Spokesman-Review article about a couple of Idaho teenagers who decided to carry guns with them every where they went.  The 18-year-old brother would wear a 9mm on his hip.  (Note, in Washington you would have to be 21.) And, the 15-year-old brother carried a .22 rifle.   With these weapons in hand, the two visited the public library, city parks, bible study etc.  Even in North Idaho, people called 911 when they saw the armed teens walking down the street.  “If you don’t exercise a right, eventually it will go away,” the older boy explained.  “I’d like to raise people’s awareness that it’s a right, and I hope to encourage others to exercise that right.”  A gentleman from a veterans group explained: “It’s disturbing to see them in a library with guns.”  Really?

The pastor in Louisville mentioned that he thought up the idea of asking parishioners to bring guns to church after he spoke with people who expressed concerns about Barack Obama’s views on guns.  Are we going to see a lot of similar protests in the months to come?

This phenomenon of carrying guns in public places is a rural, Western-states thing.  Under Washington law, cities are free to come up with their own city ordinances on this subject, and many have.

2 Responses to “Blowing the Dust Off the Second Amendment”

  • Courtney:

    People who carry firearms when they appear in public aren’t doing so just for the heck of it, they are doing so because you never know when you are going to be called upon to defend your self or another perosn or for that matter your country. Look at Pearl Harbor!

  • Braskel:

    There is no doubt about it — In 98% of this country, to see a man walk down the street bearing arms is going to cause a stir. 50 years from now, we will learn that these Idahop teens were right. Use it or lose it.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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