Thursday, May 15, 2003

Vigilante man: Hero or felon?
Reluctantly speaking he is a felon. His ends were just, but his means sucked. For many in the conservative camp, that sits just fine with them. To those of us who believe in the rule of law, it does not. This raises the issue I have been talking about for a while in regards to the Conceal and Carry Law many gun nuts have been pushing here in Ohio. Why do they wish to take away the rights of private property owners? Why do many think people should be able to carry a gun anywhere they wish, without consideration of the owner of the property on which they wish to carry the gun? If I own a store, I do not want your gun in my store, regardless of my stance on the Conceal and Carry Law. As the storeowner I have liability to consider. If I allow you to carry your gun on my property, knowingly, I am potentially liable if you use your gun or if it accidentally goes off. Do I have to protect myself by putting up metal detectors at the doors?

The answer many gun nuts will give is "you don't have to worry about a trained law abiding person carrying a gun." My answer is: I sure as hell do have to worry about you. Why kind of idiot thinks that any smart business owner would trust anyone at face valuel? Why would I want any kind of lethal weapon in a shop carried by a person who could at any second shoot me in my store? If you "need" your gun everywhere you go, then I do not want you in my store. If you are in fear of being killed, then keep it out of my store.

How can any libertarian say that I, as a storeowner, must be required to let a person carrying a gun into my store, especially without my knowledge? Why are the gun nuts that feel the need to pack heat not addressing this issue? Is this addressed in the law? I read this section (pdf) from a copy of the gun law passed by the Ohio House and I am not completely sure how it affects the issue I am referring to:
Sec. 2911.21.
(A) No person, without privilege to do so,shall do any of the following:

  1. (1) Knowingly enter or remain on the land or premises of another;

  2. (2) Knowingly enter or remain on the land or premises of another, the use of which is lawfully restricted to certain persons, purposes, modes, or hours, when the offender knows he the offender is in violation of any such restriction or is reckless in that regard;

  3. (3) Recklessly enter or remain on the land or premises of another, as to which notice against unauthorized access or presence is given by actual communication to the offender, or in a manner prescribed by law, or by posting in a manner reasonably
    calculated to come to the attention of potential intruders, or by
    fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to restrict access;

  4. (4) Being on the land or premises of another, negligently fail or refuse to leave upon being notified by signage posted in a conspicuous place or otherwise being notified to do so by the owner or occupant, or the agent or servant of either.

(B) It is no defense to a charge under this section that the land or premises involved was owned, controlled, or in custody of a public agency.

(C) It is no defense to a charge under this section that the offender was authorized to enter or remain on the land or premises involved, when such authorization was secured by deception.

(D) Whoever violates this section is guilty of criminal trespass, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(E) As used in this section, "land or premises" includes any land, building, structure, or place belonging to, controlled by,
or in custody of another, and any separate enclosure or room, or
portion thereof.

If this means that I, as a store owner, must tell you the gun carrier that you can’t carry a gun, then the burden is tougher on the property owner. That is clearly harmful and risky to the owner. Why should the owner have the responsibility to prevent you from carrying on a gun on their property when it is concealed and costly to take steps to prevent it?

The only even remotely rational reasons to carry a gun are of these two possibilities. (1) You have a direct threat on your life or of your immediate family while they are with you, or (2) your employment is deemed as “risky” like the pizza delivery person often used as an example. The carrier of the gun would be limited to time while working. These methods cover where real risk might occur. Others wanting to carry guns, in my opinion, suffer from an over abundance of fear, many of the lack of control of their own safety. If you fear other people so much to want to carry a gun, without any credible threat or risk, then I think you are more likely to use the gun in haste like our Citizen on Patrol mentioned in the editorial.

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