Look, I dislike guns. I dislike them a lot. I don’t believe that people kill people, rather that guns – the objects from which projectiles are discharged at a high rate of velocity, thereby permitting them to enter the bodies of individuals, causing fatal damage to bodily organs – kill people. I’d rather there weren’t any, or at the very least, we had stringent gun control laws.
But do you know what I dislike more? Stupid laws and even stupider interpretation of laws that criminalize perfectly legal conduct. Somehow, despite my strict personal opposition to guns, it is still legal to carry a licensed firearm in Connecticut. In public. Openly.
Yet, for some reason, the state’s “top criminal justice official” – a made up title if I ever heard one – wouldn’t recommend it. Why, you might logically ask, is it not a good idea? For the same reason that photographers across the country are being arrested for videotaping police encounters with civilians: because no one knows the law (see also this post by Balko on an issue similar to the one in the instant post).
I’m not making this shit up.
Mike Lawlor, already featured in one post today for his sage legal prognostications, offers up another:
“In almost every situation you can imagine this happening in, it qualifies as breach of peace,” he said. “If you walk into a restaurant with a gun it’s almost by definition a breach of peace.”
That results in an arrest and sets in motion a chain of events that usually results in the revocation of an issued pistol permit, he said. And that’s the way it should be, Lawlor said. Anyone who walks into a McDonalds plainly carrying a firearm either intends to alarm people or is irresponsible, he said.