Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WA: Lt. Gov. Brad Owen notices that Open Carry is Protected Free Speech

Image from spokesman.com

A couple of days ago, on the 16th of January, 2015, Washington State Lt. Governor Brad Owen (D) publicly announced that the open carry of firearms is a form of free speech, protected by the first amendment of the Constitution.  He did it as a way to crack down on and destroy that speech, but he did it none the less, and what he said is true.  The Democrats objected to the open carry of firearms in the Senate chamber's gallery.   From seattletimes.com:
 "We're just noting that open carry is a form of demonstration and it's no different than carrying a placard or something else of that nature," he said.
He is correct, at least in part, perhaps the most part.  One of the significant purposes of open carry is to show and demonstrate that the carry of arms is a right that may not be suppressed by the legislature and police.  Of course, there are limits on all rights, and the limits on the carrying of placards in the Senate gallery is a limitation on the first amendment right of free speech.  The legislature can legitimately limit such speech in order to conduct their business.   It is not unreasonable to claim that such power extends to the open carry of firearms as well.  If the firearms are hidden, they are still there, they are simply not being used for the purpose of the first amendment.

Lt. Governor Brad Owen may not agree on much, but we agree that the legislature has the power to do this, and we agree that the open carry of firearms is a form of protected, symbolic, strong political speech.  As such, the legislature is severely limited as to how much and what of it can be suppressed.

First amendment protections are very strong, and there are many court cases supporting those protections.   The first and second amendments strongly support and reinforce each other.  There have been lawsuits filed that show that open carry is strong, symbolic political speech.   The New York Times linked to Gun Watch in an article that made the same arguments by one of its writers.

Thank you Lt. Governor Brad Owen, for your recognition of this obvious truth.

Open carry educates.  It informs.  It states to all those concerned: I have rights that the government is forbidden from infringing.   It loudly proclaims: the Constitution means something, and I can read.  It shouts, I am a citizen, not a cog in your machine, I am an individual, not a resource.  Government is limited.  Freedom is protected. 

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

1 comment:

william olivadoti said...

"Governor Synder, 1815- Our militia and volunteers were actually engage with the enemy.."p99 ...if we destroyed the militia system, we did not indeed take away the right of the people to bear arms, but we destroyed the inclination, the habit of WEARING ARMS; and such was not his [Gov. Snyder]sentiment as to what ought to be the condition of things in a country like ours. He believed that not only right, but the habit of WEARING ARMS was essential to freemen, and to the preservation of the liberty of freemen. This was the principle inserted into the Constitution of the United States; and if we did away with this, the effect would be to destroy the principle and the feeling altogether." .100 p.105.

The terms of the Constitution he need not refer to; and the amendment now under discussion was simply an AFFIRMANCE OF A POWER,-THAT THE RIGHT OF A PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Who fought the Battles, of Lexington,Bunker Hill and Saratoga? ...Who saved Baltimore? ... Who obtained the victory at New Orleans?

These militia, trained and disciplined in their own houses; not practised in the field, but BRINGING THEIR GUNS WHICH THEY WERE TAUGHT TO USE WHEN CHILDREN..".111

viz [all above from p.168 are sourced from "Proceedings and Debates of the Convention of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania", Vol. 4, by the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, 1837-8