Sunday, July 8, 2012

The return of the armed guest!

Gentle Readers,

We last broached this topic when a dinner guest decided to make his opinions known about the Second Amendment by brandishing a pistol.

Unfortunately, it appears that the fact that alcohol was involved in the previous incident was left unsaid,but  should have been mentioned. That appears to be an important consideration when one decides whether it is proper to "carry" or not. Most people who carry give far greater weight to whether there will be alcohol served than whether the host would prefer that there were no weapons on the property as a factor in whether to "carry" or not.

To resume the topic, despite the poor reception at the previous occasion, the guest once again arrived armed. It was obvious that he was carrying as he was "printing". The hostess asked him if he was carrying and asked the guest to put the firearm away. To which the guest became indignant at being asked to "disarm". The guest left early.

After the guest left, the fact that he had been carrying came up with the consensus being that the guest was out of line in bringing the firearm for several reasons. Two people who also carried arms pointed out that there was alcohol being served and the guest showed bad judgment. Another guest was a law professor and pointed out that the hostess was well within her rights to ask the guest to leave.

I should add that some states require that the property owner is notified that one is carrying a concealed weapon (e.g., South Carolina, Arkansas, and Louisiana). Also, the Heller-McDonald decisions made it clear that:
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884).
I am not sure of the meaning of this incident since it seriously calls into question the judgement of some who feel the need to carry weapons. The Second Amendment right pronounced by Heller-McDonald is not one that allows for one to "carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose".

Additionally, whether or not you support the right to carry, does that excuse the guest's poor judgement in carrying to an event where there was alcohol being served? Furthermore, the guest wasn't "concealed" by the definition used by most of those who defend this practise.

I should add that these were far from being squeamish "hoplophobes" as the hostesses' husband is a retired army officer. Additionally, there were two gun owners who carry concealed weapons for their work who disapproved of the guest under discussion.  The gun carrying guest in this incident does not carrry for work-related activities.

For those who follow such things, etiquette experts are quite clear that weapons of any kind - guns, knives, tasers or stun guns, or pepper spray, are not appropriate items to bring to a social event as a guest.  Clearly, the guest knew from the prior event that his firearm was unwelcome, yet he insisted on repeating his unwelcome conduct.

At issue are not only the preferences of the host and hostess, the feelings of the other guests, but also the responsibility and potential liability of the home owners for any bad outcomes or incidents.  While the guest represents that he was a legal gun carrier, that is in this instance a matter on the honor system, as the homeowners in this incident have no means of verifying if this is correct or not.

This tends to suggest that the gun culture is inherently rude and uncivilized and certainly ill-mannered where the assumption is that they have the right to intrude their firearms on everyone else, regardless of the expressed preference of the host and hostess.  There is a fundamental disrespect in that action on the part of the gun carrier that is echoed in all of the many comments we have witnessed here where people have indicated their determination to conceal carry in locations both public and/or private, in disregard for posted notices prohibiting them from doing so.

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