Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TX:Open Carry Rally in Beaumont

Texans continue to march in support of second amendment rights.  After Derek Poe was arrested for disorderly conduct while carrying a rifle slung over his back with the muzzle down, to his firearms related shop in the Parkdale mall a month ago, supporters organized an open carry march for Beaumont, Texas.  From 12newsnow.com:
Marching along Dowlen Road in Beaumont Saturday with rifles slung on their backs and signs in the air, dozens of Southeast Texans exercised their right to openly carry long arms.  It is a right they feel is being attacked.

"The United States Constitution is being trampled," said one marcher.

Saturday's march was organized by the Beaumont chapter of Come and Take It America (CATI), an organization that fights for Second Amendment rights.
If you can be arrested for the peaceful exercise of a constitutional right, then the right has been effectively nullified by the police.  The reporter, Adam Wright, makes a crucial misstatement about the law:
 Under Texas law, you can openly carry rifles and shotguns, but not handguns. You have to do so in a manner that does not cause alarm. That's why police say Poe was charged with a crime, because people at the mall told authorities they were fearful.
It is simply not true.   From opencarry.texas we have a good explanation of the law:
The Penal Code reads, “DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly…(8) displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.”
The post goes into considerable detail to show what is clear from the first reading, that for a person to violate the law, they must have an intent to create alarm.   It would make no sense to allow anyone to make an act illegal simply by claiming that it "alarmed" them.  If that were the case, then anyone could violate an other's rights simply by saying that they were "alarmed",  which is what seems to have happened in the Beaumont case.  That would render senseless the Texas Constitution's provision protecting the right to keep and bear arms.  Concealed carry does not fulfill the promise of the constitution, because the right is only granted after attending a course,  paying a fee, and obtaining a permit.

Commenters at the site are acutely aware of this point.  From Diana E. Ramirez:
FYI to say that someone carried to cause alarm they have to prove the carrier was INTENDING to cause alarm. That would be by swinging his rifle or pointing it at others. Just because someone "feels" alarmed or offended doesn't mean the other person was acting in an alarming or offensive manner. Burden of being alarming is on the actions of the carrier not the general public"s "feelings'.
 As is often the case, the side supporting the second amendment and the state's constitution seemed focused on the rule of law and logic.   Only one commenter  seemed opposed to open carry, and they used personal attacks to support their "argument".  For some reason, those who push citizen disarmament seem to be focused on the size of male sex organs.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch 

No comments: