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04/23/2008

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From memory, I recall various individuals being penalized by law enforcement for protecting themselves or their loved ones. So, in question #1, the rule-breaker is seen as just that and slammed by government/media types for doing what's right rather than what's lawful.

As for #2, it would be nice if establishments had a gun checking area similar to the tried and true coat checks that are so handy. This way, the guns would be close enough to the owner in case a situation arose where a gun was needed. Also, it would be best if the person checking guns was well-versed in gun operation in case his or her services were needed.

In one of the school shooting incidents, I recall reading where a teacher ran out to his car to get his gun. He always parked the required 100 yards or so away from the school in order to comply with the pertaining laws. I wonder how many lives could have been saved had his gun been just under his sport jacket?

Laura:

"The opt out provision seems to me, though, a way of forcing gun control within the context of a law designed to reinforce gun rights."

Bingo!

Laura - it's actually kind of ironic that they "allow" an opt-out. All rights are based on property, so an owner of a restaurant, bar, hospital, etc. has the right to ban guns from their establishment without government permission.

In case #1, the property owner would have the choice whether to take action against the gun carrier or not.

Case #2 is really just a consideration that a gun carrier must deal with, I guess. If he's going somewhere where he knows he may not be allowed to carry his weapon, he'd need a backup plan.

Dave, you're right of course on the question of property rights, but if an individual property owner decides that no guns are allowed, isn't it incumbent on them--in a culture where guns are perfectly legal if you have a permit--to find some way of enforcing that at his/her door, rather than merely putting up a sign and expecting the state to enforce? I'd say it's akin to smoking in some ways--business owners can have "no smoking" signs up, but ultimately, if someone lights up in their place of business, it's up to them--not the state--to stop the prohibited act. I'm not sure what the penalty is for carrying a concealed weapon into a business that has a "no guns" sign up, but I suspect that it would be law enforcement that would be expected to enforce. My concern would be that without a "gun check"--like the one that Eric suggests--gun carriers are put in the position of either violating the rules by continuing to carry, or violating good sense by locking a weapon in a less-than-secure location when they unexpectedly encounter a business that doesn't want guns inside.

How was the matter handled in the old days - in the "Wild West"? I am sure one finds good solutions in that part of America's history.
It seems to me, it would not be a futile effort to research that question. I mean, of course, research - don't trust Hollywood or the TV.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/25/opinion/25tierney.html

You're right Laura, it is the owners responsibility to make sure his rules are known. But his policy and his sign are not a direct reference to the state, they are statements of his conditions for entering his establishment.

One of the legitimate functions of government is the protection of property rights. So if the owner asks the gun owner to leave, and the gun owner complies, the issue is over.

But if the gun owner refuses, the role of the state is to intervene and protect the rights of the property owner. Otherwise, the property owner would be in the position to have to use force himself.

This applies to the smoking issue as well. If I make it known that smoking is prohibited in my establishment, and someone lights up, I may ask him to put it out - I may even ask him to leave the building. But if he refuses, I am in a position of using force on him. We delegate this power to the state.

I guess ultimately what I'm trying to say is that first of all, the state has no right to force property owners to allow guns on their premises. And regarding all the complications of "what will the gun owner do with his gun if he can't carry it in" are issues that gun owners have to deal with.

Obviously, after learning at the point of entry that he isn't welcome with his gun, he'll have information for the next visit - he'll leave his gun at home, or won't frequent that establishment.

FTR, I am a gun owner and a fervent defender of the right to bear and keep arms. I don't carry concealed (although, if I did, I wouldn't ask the government for permission to...) but I am also a defender of property rights.

Dave, I've been pondering your comments for the last several hours as I was running hither and yon...

First, I'm very much supportive of property rights. But I'm also very skeptical of government intrusion of any type in the area of property rights--even where ostensibly it looks like they're protecting those rights.

Your comment about the property owner's "statement of condition" would be correct (and I have no problem with folks including their statements of condition--"no shirt, no shoes, no service", or whatever)--except that it's a standard poster (presumably created by the state), specifically mentioning that the business/organization does not allow weapons on its premises pursuant to the particular statute. It seems that the right of property owners to determine what is permitted on their property flows from the state.

In the current instance, the state "allowing" individual property owners to opt out seems less a respect for property rights (because, after all, the right of property owners not to welcome those carrying weapons ought to be a given), but more an assertion of government superiority which "allows" property owners to decide for themselves. Arguably, the rights of property/business owners have been systematically dismantled for the last century--perhaps at a more rapid pace since the use of the Commerce Clause and the 14th Amendment to REQUIRE that private businesses serve all comers, without regard to race or creed, regardless of what the property owners wanted to do. I would never argue for the discrimination that was once shown, but by the same token, I think that property rights became subservient to the will of the state during that time frame.

Here in Nebraska, I'm especially skeptical about the property rights reinforcement nature of the concealed carry exception. The legislature (and governor) hasn't shown a particular desire to respect property rights of bars when they've passed a law banning smoking in ALL public places (LB 395)--restaurants, bars, etc.--much to the chagrin of countless bar owners. My argument with respect to the smoking is much the same as yours with guns--individual property owners have the right to determine whether or not to allow it. Individuals have the right to decide whether or not they want to go into the place of business respecting those rights. If you're in the "no smoking" business, then you need to either respect those property rights, or leave.

Still, smoking is not a constitutionally guaranteed right (at least not in the explicit sense); bearing arms is. So what we seem to have is something of a dispute between property rights and individual liberties/rights. I don't have an answer--I just don't trust state to be motivated by the protection of property rights, and so am skeptical of anything they pass which appears to be protecting property rights.

For the record--I am NOT a gun owner, nor am I a smoker (and I rarely patronize bars).

It's not a right if you have to ask the state for permission. The law itself totally abolishes the right to carry.

Gee, Rick, we've sure missed you around here--once again, you just cut to the chase! And of course you're right--having to ask can certainly be viewed as "infringing" on the right to keep and bear.

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