Mason County News
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Biting the Hand that Protects Us
Outdoors Outpost
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 • Posted January 18, 2012

There’s an email that’s been making the rounds for about a year now, about a Best Buy store manager in Augusta, Georgia, who saw a male customer slip a laptop computer under his coat. The manager confronted the shoplifter, and the guy was beligerant. He knocked down another store employee, pulled a knife, and ran from the store.Four U.S. Marines were standing on the sidewalk collecting items for the Toys for Tots program. The Marines stopped the man, but he stabbed one of them, a corporal Duggan, in the back.Once the police arrived an ambulance took corporal Duggan for treatment, although his wound was not severe. The shoplifter, on the other hand, was taken to the local hospital with two broken arms, a broken ankle, a broken leg, several missing teeth, possible broken ribs, a broken nose and jaw, and multiple contusions and lacerations. The ensuing police report said the subject sustained these injuries when he slipped and fell off the curb after stabbing the Marine.Now, I can’t confirm this story, but there’s a moral here, and it’s the same moral that comes with the story about the guy pulling a pistol and trying to rob a gun store, when uniformed police officers were standing at the counter. There are certain groups of people you shouldn’t mess with, and the first three names on the list of groups not to mess with are 1) Marines, 2) Marines, and 3) Marines.You would think, then, that people would be happy to have armed Marines around pretty much all the time, just in case some knothead decided to try to do something stupid, like step off a curb. But evidently there are a lot of people in charge in certain places that just don’t get it.New York, for example. Maybe you saw the recent story going around, which is actually a confirmable, true story, about a Marine named Ryan Jerome, who was visiting New York City. He wanted to go to the Empire State Building, but didn’t want to get into any trouble, so he asked a security guard where he should check his gun. That got him into trouble.Ryan has a Concealed Handgun License issued by his home state of Indiana, and before he left home he did some checking online, and believed it was legal for him to carry his gun in New York. Unfortunately it was not, because New York is about as American as Illinois, freedom-wise. Which is to say, you don’t have anywhere near the rights there as you do in the rest of the country.So Ryan spent two days in jail, and faces a minimum of two years, and a maximum of fifteen years, in prison, for the crime of exercising his second amendment rights. And this is not some drug selling, lowlife thug we’re talking about, it’s a United States Marine.Now, this very same scenario has happened to lots of other folks who assumed that, because New York is attached to the U.S., they would enjoy rights there as American citizens. In fact, since driving is a priviledge, and driver licenses from other states are honored in New York, you would think CHLs, which are nothing but extentions of the Constitution and therefore seen as rights by most states, would also be honored. Not so much.H.R. 822 passed the House of Representatives in November. If passed by the Senate the bill would require all states to honor CHLs from all other states. If it doesn’t pass the Senate should be fired.Now, contrast this story with the one, also confirmable and true, about the bank in Chapel Hill, Texas. Edward Smith, Chapel Hill bank president, one day decided the sign on the bank door, which prohibited concealed weapons in the bank, sent the wrong message. So he had the sign removed, and replaced with one that says:“NOTICE - Lawful Concealed Carry Permitted on These Premises. Management recognizes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as an unalienable right of all citizens. We therefore support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.”Smith said he made the change to support Americans’ right to bear arms, but also to let potential bank robbers know his vault would not be easy pickings. Smith said, “If you’ve got a policy allowing handguns, he (the robber) won’t know how many people are going to be in here carrying a concealed weapon. There may be some little old lady who’s mad at the government, and she’d love to use it.”Of course, the little old lady might not be so little, or old, or even a lady. And she might not be mad at anyone, except the guy robbing the bank, which contains her money, and is run by her friends. If I was going to rob a bank, I’d think several times before picking the one in Chapel Hill.At the very least we need to leave our Marines alone . . .Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who tries never to irritate little old ladies. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or jeep@verizon.net

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