Friday, August 9, 2013

Will The Government Stop Me From "Alarming" You?

By Dave Dargo

I read an interesting article on The Volokh Conspiracy today.  This particular article regarded a case heard by the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

Mr. Simkin, a New Hampshire resident, held a non-resident permit to carry firearms in the state of Massachusetts. For reasons detailed in the linked article, Mr. Simkin found himself in a situation where he needed to inform someone else he was armed and asked for patience as he secured his firearms. Massachusetts revoked his concealed carry permit, in part, because he caused "fear and alarm" when he informed others he was armed and would need to disarm and secure his firearms.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court overturned the revocation for a number of reasons but the reason related to Mr. Simkin causing "fear and alarm" resulted in the following opinion:

"Next, we suspect that the average Massachusetts resident may become "alarmed" on learning that someone other than a law enforcement officer is carrying concealed weapons in his or her presence. However, Simkin is not responsible for alarm caused to others by his mere carrying of concealed weapons pursuant to a license permitting him to do exactly that."
This is an import ruling and one that should be noticed by many anti-gun propagandists as well as gun-rights enthusiasts, especially given that Massachusetts is not known for its pro-liberty and pro-choice stance as it relates to firearms.

The ruling basically states that someone legally carrying a gun is not responsible for alarm caused to others.

There are a number of gun-grabbing groups who posit that they are uncomfortable with the thought of people around them having guns.

As far as the Massachusetts Supreme Court is concerned, that's just tough.

It's time we all start to understand that the second amendment is no different than the others. The bill of rights is designed to limit the power of the government as it relates to our fundamental rights, the right to keep and bear arms among them.

The fact that someone is offended by our speech, our bearing of arms, our desire to be free from unreasonable searches is of no concern to those of us who are peaceable law-abiding citizens.

Our fundamental rights aren't limited by someone else's feelings. They are limited when they start to infringe on the rights of others but there is no right to not be offended or, as in this case, alarmed.

There's no reason to go out of your way offending others. We should all strive to be polite and respectful in our daily interactions. On the other hand, the fact that someone may be offended or alarmed by what we say or do is no justification for the government to attempt to revoke our fundamental rights.

We have to fight for these rights each and every day lest they whither and die.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly correct.

    The statists use "being offended" as a bludgeon to suppress others.

    The "You have no right not to be offended" meme needs to be spread far and wide.

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