This morning I read the entire majority opinion from the Supreme Court striking down the D.C. gun ban. Then I walked over to the Malvern Police station and asked for a few minutes with my town’s Chief of Police.
The local cops know who I am; they haven’t forgotten that I installed some of the computers they use, and my wife is the Vice-President of Malvern’s borough council. Yeah, I know, politician married to an anarchist – it’s a running joke at my house.
Pleasantries completed, I explained to Chief McCann my history as a freedom activist. Notably, my role in helping defeat the Communication Decency Act back in 1996.
I told him that I had been intending to speak with him for several weeks, to inform him that I intend to begin exercising my right to open carry of a firearm (quite legal in Pennsylvania and in most other states as well). I explained that I thought it best he and the local police knew of this in advance in order to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings. See opencarry.org for background on this fast-growing form of civil-rights activism.
I also told him that, in the wake of the Heller ruling, I intend at some future point to deliberately violate the Pennsylvania state law forbidding concealed carry without a state-issued permit. The Heller ruling does not enumerate those among permissible restrictions, and I would be happy to be PA’s test case on this point. As a citizen of the United States (I explained) I believe I have not only the right but the affirmative duty to challenge unjust and unconstitutional laws; and that since the founders of the U.S. pledged their lives and fortunes and sacred honor to sign the Declaration of Independence, merely risking imprisonment to challenge this law seems to me no more than my duty.
I was not entirely sure what Chief McCann’s response would be. In the event, it was to smile and shake my hand. This cop may arrest me for breaking PA’s gun laws someday, but at least he will do so knowing that civilian firearms are a solution rather than a problem and that those laws are ineffective and unjust — and looking forward to their annulment
Whatever comes of this, I will blog it here.