You’ll notice in my words below plenty that I didn’t say. I didn’t once mention the 2nd Amendment and I didn’t quote a single Founding Father. My reason for that is simple: we’re trying to win over one or two councilmen. If they’re not already on our side, arguing about how “WE HAVE RIGHTS!” or “WHAT PART OF ‘SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED’ DON’T YOU GET?!?!” didn’t seem like the best path. That’s a quick exit on the freeway to changing a mind.
My friend Harvey was all set to bring the house down with how this ordinance unfairly discriminates against him since he’s disabled and confined to a wheelchair. But the weather turned nasty and kept him at home. Too bad – he’s good.
I also can’t really tell any stories about how this affects my life. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of open carry… for me, today. But that’s the whole point, and that was my primary goal: who am I to tell every single person in Castle Rock that they will never have a legitimate reason to open carry a firearm? The fact is that there are plenty of legitimate reasons now – that I know of. And plenty that I’ve never thought of.
Post meeting notes: woo hoo!! We won this round, and we won it BIG. Of the 20+ people who spoke, every single one was against this ordinance. There were a LOT of great speakers tonight and I made some new friends. Thank you all for showing up and supporting your rights!!
So the next step is that they’re writing a new ordinance which will only say “the existing ordinance is repealed” or somesuch. But every new ordinance needs 2 readings – so it’ll be back twice more. We still need your help! Stay tuned to our facebook page for more updates. Thanks again!
So here is what I said:
Good evening Mayor and members of the Town Council. My name is Jeff Meek, I’m a resident of Castle Rock, a small business owner, a husband, father of a 1st grader, blogger, amateur comedian, and a few other things.
I won’t ask anyone any questions this time – apparently that’s frowned upon.
[Note: last time I spoke to the council, I called out the Castle Rock Chief of Police on the stand, simply trying to get him to explain what “menacing” is and how his officers treat menacing with a deadly weapon; he didn’t give me a straight answer and the Mayor got noticeably uncomfortable with my approach and mentioned it to me afterwards. He absolutely agrees with me, and he saw my point (the Chief of Police explaining “menacing” carries slightly more weight than me explaining it).]
I’m here to urge you to vote NO on this proposed update to the existing open carry prohibition and to repeal the existing prohibition completely.
Frederick Douglass said “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Oh God, he’s quoting dead people.
I know that by supporting this, some of you might think you’re protecting us from danger – but nothing could be further from the truth. Criminals don’t open carry – it would attract too much attention, attention they don’t want. So even on the surface, this prohibition doesn’t solve the perceived problem.
There’s a difference between “fear” and “danger.” Prohibiting open carry only addresses some irrational fears – it does nothing to address the real danger.
Before I came up here, I counted _______ people lawfully open carrying firearms. Yes, they were all uniformed police officers. But saying things like “if my kids see a gun, they’ll get freaked out” is complete nonsense – they see guns nearly every day of their lives.
So if you were honest with yourselves, you’d see that it’s not about the gun itself at all. So stop blaming the guns for your own irrational fears.
If a person commits a crime with a firearm, whether he’s open carrying or not, they’ve still committed a crime. The laws are pretty clear. So if in your head, “gun” = “criminal” then there are likely much more deep-seeded issues there that should be addressed. And a great way to address those is to take a professional firearms training course.
The issue here seems to center around whether John Q. Public is trustworthy or not. Do you trust him to make good decisions? Here’s a tip: if you, our Town Council, feels like John Q. Public is NOT a responsible person, we have much bigger problems than open carrying!
So please, allow us the opportunity to be responsible. I know a thing or two about trusting children to make good decisions – and this open carry prohibition is treating me like a 1st grader. We can do better.
Lastly, you can’t regulate your comfort zone. We have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, and freedom of decisions. Just because I’m not a fan of open carry in my life does not give me the right to tell everyone in Castle Rock that their decision must be the same as mine. Diversity means supporting those who have made different decisions than you. Diversity means celebrating those with tattoos on their face, those who wear Members Only jackets, those who drive a Prius, those who live in little pink houses, and those who open carry. With both liberty and responsibility comes diversity – and that diversity is what makes us who we are.
Castle Rock is not a Thugocracy. Bring liberty back.
Oh but ain’t that America for you and me
Ain’t that America somethin’ to see baby
Ain’t that America home of the free
Little pink houses for you and me
Vote no on this update and repeal the whole stinkin’ thing. Thanks.