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January 21, 2014

Vol. 8   No. 01

Is It The Right Thing to Do?

Let me start buy saying, "I am not an attorney."  In fact, I have an agreement with my attorney, to the effect that, if he will refrain from trying to teach people how to shoot, I will not give legal advice.  That having been said, realize that this is just my personal opinion.

I've lost count of the number of demonstrations popping up around the State wherein one or more citizens sling an AR15 or an AK47 over their shoulder and head downtown to let other residents in their community know that they can legally and openly carry the "long-gun."

Opinion:  Just because something is legal doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to do.

Example 1:

On December 28, 2013, Derek Ty Poe slung his rifle across his back and took a stroll through the Parkland Mall in Beaumont, Texas.  Police confiscated his gun and he was charged under the Texas Disorderly Conduct statute.

 

PENAL CODE
TITLE 9. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY
CHAPTER 42. DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES

Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:

... (8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm ...

Should he have been charged?

Consider this:  If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in a situation that causes you to be in fear for your life, who do you want making the decision concerning whether or not you will be justified in using deadly force to protect yourself?  Shouldn't you be the one that makes that decision?

Applying the same logic to the Parkland Mall incident, wasn't it proper that the shoppers in the mall, not Mr. Poe, were the ones who made the determination that his display of a firearm was calculated to cause them alarm?

While I am a big proponent of the 2nd Amendment, however, I don't believe that there's anything in our Constitution that gives me the right to frighten your grandmother, by walking up behind her in a mall, with my AR15.

Example 2:

In order to claim his 15 minutes of fame, a guy named Derek Ty Poe walked through a mall in Beaumont, Texas, with an AR15.

The mall management subsequently exercised its legal right to post "30.06" notifications thereby keeping law abiding Concealed Handgun Licensees from carrying their guns on in the mall.

Legal?  Absolutely.

The right thing to do?  You decide.


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