Your Rights Come Before Politics

Ohio-Gun-Control-iStock-884221290 Allexxandar
Gun Control Costs Lives in Ohio, iStock-884221290

U.S.A.– -(AmmoLand.com)- Politics are real. Politics sets priorities between competing public interests. The process is never perfect. It gets ugly when existing political interests work against your individual rights.

Let’s take an easy example first. Suppose you want to gather people together and voice your opinions. The government says you need a permit for a public gathering. The rationale is that we don’t want several groups trying to use the same space at the same time. Now you learn that there is a permit process, a required interview, and an application fee. The bureaucrats say they are busy and schedule your interview for nine months from now due to Covid-19. Clearly, your right of free speech has been infringed.

Things like that happen more often and in more ways than we’d like to admit. The reasons are easy to understand. Politicians don’t want the protester’s complaints voiced in public. The news media might pick up the story and amplify the citizen’s concerns. Politicians don’t want to see a large group of passionate people expressing a clear and compelling message. The politician might have to change how public resources are spent because that will upset the existing interests that got the politician elected.

Scheduling a demonstration on public property was first called a public safety concern but it was quickly manipulated by politicians to serve their personal interests. When politicians restrict the right of free expression, many protesters simply bypass bureaucratic roadblocks and hold illegal assemblies.

That was an easy example of public policy. Now I’ll make the example more difficult, but no less hard to swallow.

We’ve all seen riots on the news. You’ve seen stores looted and homes invaded. You’ve seen pictures of violence on the street and read about innocent people being killed.

You are an honest citizen with a clean criminal record. Like tens of millions of people before you, now you decide to get a firearm to protect yourself and your family. You also want to carry your firearm with you as you go to work and as you move about with your family in public. You’ve taken your firearms safety classes, and you and your spouse apply to your local sheriff to get your concealed carry permits. That is how things work in theory.

This is where my theoretical story crashes into hard reality. The deputy at the sheriff’s office says you can submit your concealed carry application and schedules your appointment eight months from now.

That is a problem, and exactly what happened in northeast Ohio where honest citizens were told to wait 8 months for their concealed carry application to be processed. By law, the sheriff is required to process your application in 45 days. Sheriffs violated the spirit of the law, but technically remained within the letter of the law, by delaying your application for months.* That is neither what legislators intended nor what citizens were told would happen when Ohio’s carry laws were enacted.

We passed gun laws after politicians told us that making honest people get a permit would disarm criminals. That promise sounded plausible at first. Then, we discovered that criminals get their weapons illegally and don’t obey our gun laws. We paid the price of a slow-acting bureaucracy, but never enjoyed the reduction in crime that legislators promised.

In a perfect world, the state attorney general would intervene to stop these delays. The AG would remind sheriffs that denying a civil right under color of law carries severe penalties. A wise AG would also suggest alternative sources of funding and manpower to process concealed carry applications. We don’t live in a perfect world.

Remember that there are 16 states that passed a form of constitutional carry where citizens with a clean criminal record may carry a concealed firearm in public without a state permit. Those states don’t require an application to exercise the individual right of self-defense. As a side benefit, constitutional carry doesn’t require a government bureaucrat to risk infection with Covid-19 by dealing with the public.

The Ohio legislature talked about constitutional carry.. but never acted. It is time to act unless sheriffs reduce the processing delays to issue carry licenses to honest citizens.

In the real world, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. We only get the rights for which we are willing to protest and fight.

There are interesting psychological forces at work when citizens apply for a carry permit. Each concealed carry applicant thought that the process was unfair, but wondered what he could do to change it. That individual never sees the thousand other applicants who try to apply each month.

In contrast, a thousand angry citizens protesting at the sheriff’s office at one time are a significant political force that can change elections. Their protests can get their rights restored in a timely manner. (I’d also invite local mayors, state representatives, and the attorney general to the protest, but that is just me.)

The right to bear arms and the right to petition the government work best when they work together, but time is short. Criminals and rioters won’t wait for permits.



About Rob MorseSlow Facts

The original article with references is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

 

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KK
KK
4 months ago

Where I live, the situation regarding our “God given” Second Amendment Constitutional Right has been made QUITE CLEAR!

The right of government law enforcement officials, active and retired, to keep AND BEAR arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!
. . . Everyone else is “ALLOWED” to KEEP a LOW CAPACITY firearm, of a type that has not yet been banned by the state government, SECURELY LOCKED IN THEIR RESIDENCE. (Unless in route to and from an approved shooting range, or to hunt with a government issued hunting permit) (Exemptions to restrictions will be evaluated on an individual basis)

gregs
gregs
4 months ago

please provide citations on states that allow convicted criminals/murderers to possess firearms.

a.x. perez
a.x. perez
4 months ago

A. File denial of civil rights and oppression under color of law charges against sheriff, head of state department assigned to issue permits, and/or clerks who are dragging their feet in federal court.
Hold marches in front of appropriate office.

UncleT
UncleT
4 months ago

It seems the words THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND “BEAR” ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED are being completely ignored.

My state of W.Va. Has had constitutional carry for almost 5 years now. No rise in crime and in fact has dropped in many areas. If you come to our state and you have no prohibitions, you can carry anyway you please with no permission slips. That’s the way it’s suppose to be. You don’t lose your rights by crossing an invisible line.

This crap needs to stop now! Wake up people.

Last edited 4 months ago by UncleT
Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
4 months ago

In South Carolina the Sheriff has nothing to do with carry permit applications. The State Law Enforcement Division processes all applications and issuance of permits.
https://www.sled.sc.gov/cwp.html

tetejaun
tetejaun
4 months ago

OUR RIGHTS PRE-EXIST GOVERNMENTS! Servant governments were created by the people to have the singular job of protecting Rights of the people. Any servant government that abridges, limits or denies Rights, which are absolute regardless what the SCOTUS says, is illegitimate and Americans have the power to remove or change the politicians by violent force, if necessary (Second Amendment). READ THE FEDERALIST PAPERS! In our REPUBLIC, the PEOPLE are the ultimate power and authority and governments, city, state & federal, are our servants NOT our masters. Meanwhile, Americans abrogate their power and kneel to tyrants and obey unconstitutional ‘gun control… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by tetejaun
RoyD
RoyD
4 months ago
Reply to  tetejaun

Well, some Americans do.