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GUNS Magazine September 2011 Digital Edition - Page 64
VNR RIGHTS WATCH We Should Each Take “Gun Control” Personally ntil caught up in a technicality, many “lawabiding” gun owners view “gun control” as something that only personally affects others. Here are two recent cases that show you don’t have to be a violent criminal, or even someone who intentionally flouts the laws as a matter of principled civil disobedience, to get caught up in the citizen disarmament net. Tea Party organizer Walter Reddy found himself named “‘a person of interest’ in a domestic terrorism case,” Thomas R. Eddlem of The New American reported. Weston, Conn., police brought a SWAT team to his home and seized “a pump-action shotgun and an antique revolver.” The warrant was “based in part upon an unsubstantiated FBI statement.” Relevant and “undisputed” facts about the case: Reddy has no criminal record; he was never charged with a crime; his repeated requests for a lawyer were denied; and the chief witness against him “explicitly stated that Reddy had never acted in a threatening or violent way.” From the report: “It doesn’t matter that he has committed no crimes, and has not been charged with a crime. [Connecticut Superior Court Judge Bruce Hudock] told him at a hearing that Reddy had no right to an attorney and that ‘I’m ready to rule’ to take his guns away before the patriotic organizer had the chance to say one word in his defense.” Note the word “before.” So much for a fair and impartial ruling. 64 U Reddy, whose apparent “crime” is not being a “progressive,” had his guns ordered taken from him for one year under the rationale that he posed “a risk of imminent personal injury to other individuals.” Michael Mitchell, a graduate student and former anesthesia technician, was fired by the University of Kentucky for keeping a gun in his car a mile away from the university hospital where he was employed, Gun Owners of America informed its members in an alert. “The university then proceeded to try to deny Mitchell unemployment compensation by claiming, unsuccessfully, that he was fired for misconduct,” GOA recounted. “All this, despite the fact that Mitchell had a Kentucky concealed carry permit, believed he had fully complied with Kentucky law governing concealed carry, and therefore cooperated fully with police and university authorities.” Adding insult to injury was activist Fayette Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine, who dismissed Mitchell’s lawsuit against the university under the rationale that she has “read US Supreme Court language concerning ‘exceptions’ to the Second Amendment.” As GOA notes, “This language is called ‘dictum’ and is nonbinding. But Goodwine seems to have missed the point of the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller: Americans have a constitutional right to use firearms to defend themselves.” These are but two recent examples of anti-gun outrages that have come across my desk in just the past week. The universal truths we can take from them: Any of us could be caught up in a technicality at any time. And if we are, how many of us could afford the tens of thousands of dollars and more that it would take to protect our rights? The inescapable conclusion: If it happens to one of us, it could happen to any of us. Visit David Codrea’s online journal “The War on Guns” at waronguns.blogspot.com or visit DavidCodrea.com to read his Examiner column. Due to the importance of this column, GUNS will begin posting “Rights Watch” at www.gunsmagazine.com on the 1st of the month—long before it appears here.—Editor WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER 2011