Posted in Rights Watch | 7 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: We Should Each Take Gun Control Personally

By David Codrea

Until caught up in a technicality, many “law-abiding” gun owners view “gun control” as something that only personally affects others. Here are two recent cases that show you don’t have to be a violent criminal, or even someone who intentionally flouts the laws as a matter of principled civil disobedience, to get caught up in the citizen disarmament net.

Tea Party organizer Walter Reddy found himself named “‘a person of interest’ in a domestic terrorism case,” Thomas R. Eddlem of The New American reported. Weston, Conn., police brought a SWAT team to his home and seized “a pump-action shotgun and an antique revolver.” The warrant was “based in part upon an unsubstantiated FBI statement.”

Relevant and “undisputed” facts about the case: Reddy has no criminal record; he was never charged with a crime; his repeated requests for a lawyer were denied; and the chief witness against him “explicitly stated that Reddy had never acted in a threatening or violent way.”

From the report: “It doesn’t matter that he has committed no crimes, and has not been charged with a crime. [Connecticut Superior Court Judge Bruce Hudock] told him at a hearing that Reddy had no right to an attorney and that ‘I’m ready to rule’ to take his guns away before the patriotic organizer had the chance to say one word in his defense.”

Note the word “before.” So much for a fair and impartial ruling. Reddy, whose apparent “crime” is not being a “progressive,” had his guns ordered taken from him for one year under the rationale that he posed “a risk of imminent personal injury to other individuals.”

Michael Mitchell, a graduate student and former anesthesia technician, was fired by the University of Kentucky for keeping a gun in his car a mile away from the university hospital where he was employed, Gun Owners of America informed its members in an alert.

“The university then proceeded to try to deny Mitchell unemployment compensation by claiming, unsuccessfully, that he was fired for misconduct,” GOA recounted. “All this, despite the fact that Mitchell had a Kentucky concealed carry permit, believed he had fully complied with Kentucky law governing concealed carry, and therefore cooperated fully with police and university authorities.”

Adding insult to injury was activist Fayette Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine, who dismissed Mitchell’s lawsuit against the university under the rationale that she has “read US Supreme Court language concerning ‘exceptions’ to the Second Amendment.”

As GOA notes, “This language is called ‘dictum’ and is non-binding. But Goodwine seems to have missed the point of the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller: Americans have a constitutional right to use firearms to defend themselves.”

These are but two recent examples of anti-gun outrages that have come across my desk in just the past week. The universal truths we can take from them: Any of us could be caught up in a technicality at any time. And if we are, how many of us could afford the tens of thousands of dollars and more that it would take to protect our rights?

The inescapable conclusion: If it happens to one of us, it could happen to any of us.

Visit David’s blog: www.davidcodrea.com for more information.

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  1. “It doesn’t matter that he has committed no crimes, and has not been charged with a crime. [Connecticut Superior Court Judge Bruce Hudock] told him at a hearing that Reddy had no right to an attorney and that ‘I’m ready to rule’ to take his guns away before the patriotic organizer had the chance to say one word in his defense.”

    What happened to the Constitution and the principle that we are “innocent until proven guilty”? No right to a attorney? Where do these asshat judges come from? The very idea that a judge can just take someones guns without due process should anger every freedom loving person in the country.
    How much longer are we the law abiding going to let this go on. It’s time we started standing up against such tyranny. You would think that with 60 million gun owners in this country we would have a say in these matters.

    Michael Mitchell, a graduate student and former anesthesia technician, was fired by the University of Kentucky for keeping a gun in his car a mile away from the university hospital where he was employed,

    Over a mile away and not on university property. Why is it any business of the university what he does when not on their property. Even though I believe denying a persons rights just for crossing some line on a map is just wrong. Do these people that run the university not know that slavery was abolished? They might be able to dictate to you while on their property, but that is where it is supposed to end. More tyranny against the law abiding citizen facilitated by a activist judge that should be removed from the bench.

  2. ckerst says:

    Reddy had been arrested in the past. It’s not unusual for the court to take a persons weapons if they have multiple arrests. It indicates a trend toward more serious crime. If you want to make a point about gun control you need to be more intellectually honest than the other side, not less.

    • I’m not a Walter Reddy apologist, and as a matter of fact, a friend and colleague does not care for the man at all, and has a scathing opinion of the guy.

      But that has nothing to do with his rights, and by extension, our own. We neither have to like nor agree with another to know that if their rights can be infringed, all of ours can.

      As long as we are being “intellectually honest,” let us look at that arrest you would have us view as relevant here. Is this one it?

      http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Failure-to-appear-arrest-472291.php
      Failure to appear on a charge of operating a vehicle on a suspended license, for which he turned himself in? That’s worth a suspension of a Constitutionally-enshrined right?

      I know the man has a lot of enemies who share my friend’s opinion, so forgive me if I’m not out of line assuming you have issues with him or his political methods as well. But if you have something more you believe DOES warrant this treatment, please share it–I don’t pretend to have made knowing this man’s past my life’s work. But regardless, last I heard, an arrest is not a conviction, and a “trend” is a rather vague basis for such a profound legal disability.

    • W W Woodward says:

      @ckerst,

      What charges were filed if any as a result of Reddy’s previous arrest(s)?

      Is it probable that the nature of his alleged past misconduct(s) was such that the prosecutor and possibly the court was prejudicial in their treatment?

      [W3]

  3. Rob Morse says:

    ckerst, around here you can get arrested for no reason at all. Ask our local journalists who video sheriff’s deputies. Usually the charges are dropped.

    Was Reddy ever convicted of a substantial charge?

    • John Young says:

      Well, according to ckerst, being arrested IS a crime worthy of causing one to forfeit his constitutional rights. If you’re going to lecture David Codrea about intellectual honesty, Mr ckerst, maybe you should study up on the law a little so as not to be intellectually stupid.

  4. The people of CT have a great many reasons to fear our own police.Laws are on the books to the effect that if you believe that a gun owner presents either a danger to himself or the public at large his guns may be confiscated without recompense. If he fails to report a gun lost or stolen he may be charged with a felony( the adequacy of the security to be determined by the court). All firearms purchased within the State of Connecticut are registered. The feds destroy the paperwork but our own jackbooted thugs do not. If I sound anti-police , I am not, but I have learned the difference between enforcement and suppression and the latter is in practice here.

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