On Tuesday Jan. 21st, the Castle Rock, Colorado town council took up a measure to repeal an existing open carry prohibition ordinance. I’m in favor of the repeal and these were my words that night. The second reading of the new ordinance (the new ordinance repeals the existing prohibition) is on Jan. 28th. Join us!
Good evening. My name is Jeff Meek, I’m a resident of Castle Rock, and a small business owner here in Castle Rock.
Since this is now the third time I’ve addressed the council on this issue, I’m guessing you know where I stand. Open carriers are not criminals and laws and ordinances that turn law-abiding citizens into criminals is not only a direct constitutional infringement, it’s a non-sensical direct effort to remove liberty from the people.
John Adams said “Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion… in private self-defense …” John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the Government of the USA, 471 (1788).
If open carrying offends you, you have my sincerest apologies. The US Supreme court said in 1988, “The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it.” That applies as well to the entire constitution, not just your favorite parts of it.
Let me address some concerns that some of you have about this whole open carry thing. Imagine that it’s years in the future and you’re with your daughter or granddaughter, cute little Suzie Herfenderbler. You’re at the Castle Rock Rec. Center when in walks a woman carrying a gun – safely secured in a holster. Confused, little Suzie runs to you saying “Daddy, why does that woman have a gun?”
Talk about your teachable moments! Here’s something I’d recommend:
“Well Suzie, she is taking responsibility for her own safety, a right that God gave all of us, and a right that applies to each one of us as individuals and citizens of this great country. She’s not trying to hurt us. In fact, we’re all safer now that she’s here! Let’s go talk to her and thank her for being such a good person!”
In light of gun-related killings both here in Colorado and across the nation, all of us are left appalled and disgusted at what happened (paraphrasing one of my heroes here). Some of you would like to place the blame of this horror onto things we can control – 16 round magazines, semi-automatic rifles, and in our case, any gun openly visible… and I should add that it’s not just openly visible, but attached to someone dressed like a normal person. So we’ve all agreed that it is NOT the gun itself that bothers us – if it was, we’d disarm the police – but it’s who the gun is attached to that apparently bothers us… and maybe this is about a fear of anyone dressed like a normal person… but I digress.
But we want to blame something we can control. What we really want to ban is violence. What we really want to ban is murder. We’d really like to ban threatening behavior. The problem is that we already have a stack of laws on the books prohibiting the violence, prohibiting murder, and prohibiting threatening behavior.
So since we all know deep-down inside that violence, murder, and threatening behavior are all part of the human condition and will always be with us, as humans, we’re back to trying to ban things we can control. But prohibiting any manner of an inanimate object doesn’t stop the behavior of a criminal.
Look, I’m all for prosecuting criminals. If someone commits a crime with a gun, they’re going to jail. But if they’re buying groceries, or walking their dog, or shoveling their sidewalk, or paying their water bill, they’re NOT CRIMINALS.
Treat criminals like criminals. Treat citizens like good people – which we are.
And leave my little pink house alone. Do not amend liberty, restore it and vote to repeal. Thanks.
P.S. (and this came from the anti-gun councilman who asked for feedback on if repealing the ordinance would make you less likely to shop in the town) Since I have 30 seconds left, repealing this ordinance would make me MORE likely to attend these meetings, more likely to have my 6-year-old play sports in the town, more likely to make me run for office, more likely to make me pay my water bill on time, and more likely to make me deliver cookies to the town council members on the holidays. Thank you.
The video of the entire meeting is available here, just look for the 1/21/14 meeting.
By the way – my inspiration was largely this: