Right To Bear Arms November 2005

New Orleans confiscation of guns a wake-up call.

Ronnie Garrison | November 1, 2005

Play pretend with me for a minute. Imagine terrorists have set off a dirty bomb in Atlanta. From downtown and out east everyone is running, trying to evacuate before the radioactive fallout hits. Law enforcement is tied up trying to control evacuations.

Some of the less respectable elements of our society take advantage. Where you live is safe, but you see pictures on TV of looters and rapists invading homes, stealing everything they can carry out and destroying everything else.

What do you do?

I would load my guns and prepare to protect myself. You probably would, too.

Late one afternoon a sheriff’s department cruiser pulls up, and a deputy heads to your door. You are relieved — he is checking things and making sure you are ok. Some law and order is returning to your area.

But, when the deputy gets to your door, he demands you turn over all your guns to him. Although it will be dark soon and there will be no one around to protect you, the deputy wants to confiscate all your guns.

Never happen, right? But it did. When order broke down in New Orleans, rather than controlling the law breakers and protecting honest folks, the local police confiscated law-abiding citizens’ guns. That took away the only means of protection they had, leaving them to the tender mercies of criminals. The criminals still had guns — and knives and clubs. They hid them from the police and had them illegally so the police did not know about them. This confiscation of guns of law-abiding citizens was finally stopped by a federal court order issued after the NRA and other gun-owner groups sued.

Many folks don’t want you and me to have a gun, no matter what. They don’t care if you have it for self protection, hunting, target shooting or collecting. When law enforcement joins them, we are in trouble.

Gun-registration schemes don’t seem so bad. So what if you are on a database showing all the guns you own. You have the right to own them. That is, you have the right until laws change or someone in power, like the police in New Orleans, come to take them. Being registered just gives those wanting to take your guns an easy way to know who has guns and how many they need to take away from you.

This may sound silly, but not as silly as the gun-ban fanatics sounded in Florida last week. They are upset because the state of Florida passed a law saying you don’t have to run away from someone threatening you, you can protect yourself. Gun-banners do not want you to have the means to do that.

In response to the new law, some members of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence passed out flyers at the Miami airport. According to USA Today it said, “Do not argue unnecessarily with local people. If someone appears to be angry with you, maintain to the best of your ability a positive attitude and do not shout or make threatening gestures.”

That seems like good advice no matter where you go and who you are dealing with. Does the Brady Bunch think it is normal for visitors to argue unnecessarily with local people? Do they condone visitors starting fights as long as the local people are not allowed to own guns?

Florida is protecting gun ownership in another way. Some companies like Weyerhaeuser have fired employees for having guns in their vehicles in company parking lots. The guns were legal but, in response to a letter from me, Senior Vice President Ernesta Ballard said their policy was “about the SAFETY of our employees.” So they think an employee going deer hunting after work threatens other employees? And they think an employee headed to their workplace to shoot fellow workers would not do so because of a company rule?

The state of Florida is considering a law to make Weyerhaeuser’s actions illegal. In an online opinion poll by The South Florida Sun Sentential almost 98 percent of 30,000 votes agreed with the law and disagreed with Weyerhaeuser.

It seems folks in Florida know better about guns than Ms. Ballard, the Brady Bunch, and the New Orleans police put together.

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