Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bearing Arms And Pallbearers

It all started with an irrational man in West Allis who felt, for some unknown reason, it was necessary to wear a holstered gun while doing some gardening. He was rightfully cited for disturbing the peace, but was later left of the hook by the municipal judge.

This was followed by another person of questionable rationality suing the City of West Milwaukee, because the police responded to calls about a man running around with a gun.

The kilted wonder, J.B. Van Hollen, then offers his opinion that carrying a gun openly is just hunky dory.

This, of course, has right wingers frothing at the mouth and ready to socially regress back a couple of hundred years.

Fortunately, as noted last week, not everyone has gone stark raving mad. St. Francis Alderman Ted Jarosh asked for a rationale law banning carrying a gun just for the hell of it.

His fellow alderman heard him, but also recognized the limitations set forth by the Constitution, and have asked the city attorney for an ordinance that would allow the police to enforce the law, even if the DA would decide to take a pass on doing his job.

There is no questioning that the Second Amendment to the Constitution calls for the right to bear arms. However, there also has to be a thing called common sense.

This can be exemplified by the First Amendment. It provides us with the right to free speech, but it does not allow for the causing of riots, such as yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater, when there is no fire. It is also limited by things like libel and slander laws.

Did you realize that currently, it would be perfectly legal for someone to sit on their front porch, watching school children walk by, while holding a high-powered, scoped rifle? I would most definitely call that disturbing the peace. It would also prompt me to call the police and expect them to take action. I don't know what that guy's motivation is, nor would anyone else.

How would you feel if your working in a liquor store, and it's close to closing time, and some guy walks in with a gun strapped to his thigh? A little nervous maybe? What if the guy had been drinking? It would be against the law to sell him anything, but would you dare to cross him?

What if you were working the overnight shift at a convenience store? Would you feel comfortable with a person coming in strapped? Or with a rifle over his shoulder?

Before you answer those questions flippantly, with some pithy comment about how "guns don't kill, people do" or "why be afraid of a tool like a gun," think about this story from Texas, where a seven year old little boy got killed, because of two hot heads that were exercising their second amendment rights:
A 7-year-old boy who was allegedly shot in the head by a couple who thought he and three other people were trespassing on their property died Saturday, authorities said.

Donald Coffey Jr. died Saturday morning at a Houston hospital, less than two days after the boy was struck in the head by shotgun pellets, Liberty County Sheriff's Cpl. Hugh Bishop said.

Sheila Muhs and her husband, Gayle Muhs, both 45, were charged with second-degree felony counts of aggravated assault in the shootings Thursday. They were being held at Liberty County Jail with bail set at $25,000 each and had not yet retained an attorney, Bishop said.


The boy, his 5-year-old sister, their father and a family friend were off-roading near a residential area about 40 miles northeast of Houston when they were shot after stopping so the children could go to the bathroom.

Authorities said the couple fired after they mistakenly thought the group was trespassing on their property.

Bishop said the area includes a dirt road, trees and overgrown brush and that it wasn't uncommon for people to go off-roading there. The Houston Chronicle reported that a sign in front of the suspects' home reads: "Trespassers will be shot. Survivers (sic) will be reshot!! Smile I will."

Someday, people will realize that carrying a piece does not necessarily connote maintaining the peace. It is just very unfortunate that the founding fathers forgot to mention common sense when they wrote that amendment.


  1. Here is the moderate/liberal in me. I agree with 99% of what you said. There should be some commons sense on the issue. Walking in downtown Milwaukee with a gun holstered is a lot different than walking downtown(the 1 block) of Mellon, up by Ashland.
    I think this needs to be a local issue, decided by the local governments.
    As far as the Texas incident/murder case this should have been a death penalty case. This is disgusting.

  2. Agreed, Dan, but how is that different than a local blogger saying he'd be packing if Obama supporters so much as stepped on his porch?

  3. I also agree.

    The other day a man went into a shopping mall in Milwaukee County with a holster gun, and the mall's security guards called the police department. The police responded and disarmed the man until they were able to determine what was going on. Once the police determined what the man was doing they escorted him out of the mall and gave him his gun back. Then, the man was interviewed on the news and he said the police "unlawfully" took his gun from him and he has "witnesses". The man looked like a complete idiot in the interview. What the hell did he think was going to happen when he walked into a shopping mall that has a "no weapons" policy and the mall's security guards call the police? Did he really think the police officers were going to engage in conversation with him while he's still armed? He should consider himself lucky that he didn't get arrested for carrying his weapon into a shopping mall that has a "no weapons" policy, but I have a feeling this man will (instead) file a lawsuit against the police department.'s an understatement to say there are people who need some common sense!