A Connecticut police officer is at the heart of an internal investigation by the Branford Police Department after a series of comments he made on Facebook.
Officer Joseph Peterson was found telling a man he couldn’t wait to “bang down your door and come for your gun.”
Peterson’s comment was directed at a man named Cameron Smith. The two men were discussing Connecticut’s new law that essentially turns gun owners with semi-automatic rifles into felons if they fail to register their guns.
Smith first provoked Peterson with this comment:
“Just so everyone is clear. POLICE OFFICER Joseph Peterson would round up jews and put them in ghettos, if the government told him to. Just let that sink in. He is the EXACT reason we have the 2nd Amendment.”
In response, Peterson wrote, “I give my left nut to bang down your door and come for your gun…you idiot grow up.”
Here is the exchange:
Peterson’s comments made their way across the Internet and were brought to the attention of the Branford Police Department. Police Captain Geoffrey Morgan said Peterson has been on workers' compensation leave since before his comments were made.
“We want people to know he is off the street,” Morgan said. The police captain added that “at a minimum” he doesn’t expect Peterson to be back any time soon. The Branford Police Department is currently conducting an internal investigation.
“We pride ourselves on being completely transparent,” Morgan said. “That’s how we do things here.”
As anyone who’s ever taken a sixth-grade civics course knows: the legislature passes the laws, the executive branch enforces them, and if the citizens have a problem with any laws, they can challenge them in the courts. The Supreme Court is often the last stand for many laws, but sometimes, the court chooses pass on hearing certain cases, as it has for three cases involving gun control.
According to Reuters, the Court “declined to wade into the politically volatile issue of gun control by leaving intact three court rulings rejecting challenges to federal and state laws.” Two of the cases were backed by the National Rifle Association, involving laws that make it illegal for people under the age of 21 to purchase firearms or ammunition or for them to carry handguns in public in Texas. The third case was not led by the NRA but instead was brought by citizens in Washington, D.C., who wished to purchase guns from Virginia but could not because of a combination of local and federal laws.
These all would have been landmark cases had they made their way before the Supreme Court, but by passing on the cases, it is effectively allowing all of these laws to stand. The Texas case, in particular, would have been remarkable because it would have forced a ruling on whether or not “open carry” of weapons is a protected Second Amendment right. Currently, this is a question the Court has not yet addressed.
While the other two cases don’t exactly represent really significant changes to U.S. gun policy, the Court’s decision to pass on these cases is seen as a loss for the NRA. Despite legal gun-owners’ willingness to follow gun control laws, the NRA has become far more radical of late. It has taken the position that any gun regulation at all is an attack on Second Amendment freedoms. Given the recent media focus on mass shootings lately, this has arguably hurt the gun rights movement in the court of public opinion.
'It’s The Right To Bear Arms, Not The Right To Be a Dumbass,' Says Controversial Gun Safety Ad (Video)
A controversial ad from a moderate gun group features America’s Founding Fathers debating whether the second amendment should state, “It’s the right to bear arms, not the right to be a dumbass.”
Calling itself the “third voice” in the gun debate, the group Evolve says “safety is not a side.”
Evolve's website asks gunowners to “Take On The Code,” a pledge for gun safety that states, “I believe that owning a gun is not just a right, it’s a responsibility.”
“I will keep all of my guns unloaded, locked and properly stored when not in use,” the code also says. “I will be answerable for every gun I own at all times.”
The group's founding couple, Jon and Rebecca Bond, says they’re not against guns, but rather irresponsible gun use.
“People immediately shift to the defensive arguments that exist within the political debate. And we’ve got to be able to get above that,” Rebecca Bond told MSNBC. “We cannot make it a rights conversation, a laws conversation. It really includes everyone, so there isn’t a gun owner, a gun manufacturer, in this country that should be offended by that message.”
Evolve’s ad “The Bill of Rights for Dumbasses” is set in colonial America with America’s Founding Fathers discussing the language of the Second Amendment.
“Ah, tell me Jefferson,” says a politician in a white powerdered wig, “Do these amendments do adequate honor to your consitution.”
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, as long as people aren’t being dumbasses about it,” says a man playing Thomas Jefferson.
“Sounds good to me,” the politician says.
“You don’t need the dumbass part,” says Jefferson.
“Without it how will future generations know that the right to own a gun doesn’t give you the liberty to act like a dumbass with it?” the politician asked. “How will people know that they shouldn’t leave loaded guns lying around the house, unlocked will-nilly? Or that you shouldn’t be all cavalier when you handle one?”
“It’s common sense. I mean like duh,” says Jefferson. “Nobody’s gonna be that dumb.”
One of the fundamental problems in the gun control/gun rights argument is that the central item in the discussion, i.e. the gun, is seen as two completely different things from either side. For those who find themselves on the side of the spectrum that wants guns controlled (or banned outright) the gun is a terrifying death machine that ordinary citizens should not possess. For those on the side of the spectrum who prefers easy access to firearms (or mandatory ownership) the gun is the only real “protection” they trust.
Georgia lawmakers have recently introduced a bill that would essentially protect Georgians from any future federal laws that would “nullify certain federal laws…which attempts to govern firearms manufactured” in Georgia. Democratic State Senator Vincent Fort, who last year tried to pass an assault weapons ban, believes the new law is dangerous. He told CL Atlanta, “it’s unfortunate that this right-wing crowd [is] making these kind of extremist, ideological statements,” rather than focusing on the poor or the economy.
The ideological opposite of this bill is the recent "bullet control" proposal in the Mississippi State Legislature calling for individuals purchasing ammunition to provide personal details such as their name, Driver’s License, and Social Security Number. Law enforcement and government officials wouldn’t be the only people to have access to this information, but the records would be also open to the public.
No two individual laws better embody the central disconnect between the two sides of this argument. For gun control advocates, the idea that the entire state of Georgia would ignore federal laws seems to validate their position that there is no such thing as a “responsible” gun advocate. For those in favor of gun rights, the idea that purchasing some rounds means that the public has access to their personal information seems to validate their belief that the system is stacked against them.
What is difficult to address in legislation or even legislative discussion is the dichotomy of the gun. The thing these two laws have in common is that both come from a view of guns that the other side not only doesn’t share but doesn’t understand. A victim of gun crime wouldn’t see these weapons as protection from predators (human and animal), a way to put food on the table, or harmless sport and vice versa. Until this is addressed, any attempts to either protect gun-owners’ rights or responsibly limit everyone else’s risk will be doomed to fail on the national level.
Man Fires Gun While Discussing Gun Rights In Vitamin Store, Flees Saying, "I Can't Go Down For This"
A man in Wilkesboro, N.C. was engaged in a spirited discussion about gun rights when his gun went off Tuesday.
The man has not been identified because, rather than stay and make a stand in favor of his right to bear arms, he hightailed it out of there.
The incident happened in a GNC nutrition store on Winkler Street in Wilkesboro sometime around 6:50 pm in the evening. The customer was talking to an employee of the store at the time.
According to the employee, they two were discussing the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms, at least in the context of a “well-regulated militia.”
Pretty heady stuff for a vitamin store. But the men were really getting into it.
Right in the middle of the Constitutional conversation, the customer whipped out a handgun. And then, apparently by accident, he shot a printer.
That was pretty much it for the discussion. The customer declared that he “could not go down for this.” So he fled.
Police are looking for the accidental gunman and self-styled Constitutional scholar. He is described to be a white male, of about 28 or younger with brown hair, and brown eyes. He is 5’8″ and weights approximately 170 pounds. He fled the GNC in a dark-colored Honda Civic that appeared about 10 years old.
No one was hurt in the incident. Except the printer
SOURCES: My Fox 8, WFMY News
The 2012 Election was noteworthy for a number of reasons, but for the residents of Louisiana it saw a slew of new constitutional amendments passed by voter referendum. One amendment stripped public officials convicted of felonies of their pensions. However, an amendment requiring “strict scrutiny” of gun laws, could allow those felonious officials to keep their right to bear arms.
The amendment switches the burden of proof, with respect to the constitutionality of gun laws, to the state from citizens. Now, it is up to the state to prove that the laws restricting gun rights, such as the right to regulate concealed-carry permits, are constitutional, instead of the other way around. According to The Times-Picayune, “regulations must be narrowly tailored to fit a public purpose and it would be up to the government to prove that regulations were constitutional, rather than requiring opponents of a measure to prove that the law violates the constitution.”
Since the amendment passed, many felons who have since been convicted of possessing a firearm (illegal under a law passed in 1975), are seeking to have those convictions overturned because gun ownership is now a “fundamental” right.
The state argues that restricting firearms from convicted felons is in the best interest of public safety. So far, a number of convictions have been overturned, even in the case of violent offenders like Chris Coleman who killed one drug dealer and wounded another, although his conviction for these crimes still stands.
Although for a juvenile defendant, identified only as “J.M.,” his conviction of possessing a firearm was upheld by a Juvenile Court judge, leading his defense attorneys to challenge that ruling as well.
Still, those against this worry that given the high recidivism rate of felons, that arming them could lead to more gun violence in the state.
A conservative student group at Texas Christian University is upset after school officials rejected several attempts by the group to advertise for a pro-2nd amendment speech.
The group, a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, hosted an event featuring former US Treasurer Bay Buchanon last Wednesday. The group tried to advertise for the event with a flyer featuring an old school shotgun with the words “Fully Loaded” printed below the gun. But when the group submitted the flyer to the school for approval it was rejected. Officials told YAF they could hand the flyer out to students, but they would not be allowed to post it in academic halls or on the school’s event website.
The school also rejected two more proposed promotional ideas from YAF – a raffle for a concealed carry class and a raffle for a shotgun.
Kathleen D’Urso, student and president of TCU’s YAF chapter, recently spoke to members of the media about the school’s decisions.
"I was shocked. It's all about political correctness," she said. “They just shot us down, told us … we can’t do anything with guns whatsoever. Bay’s speech was received really well, she answered a lot of questions about guns on campus and stats.
“…I am frustrated. This event wasn’t supposed to advocate guns on campus, we simply wanted to open up a discussion on Second Amendment rights.”
Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull, TCU’s vice chancellor for student affairs, spoke to Texas news station KENS-5 recently about the school’s decision.
"We are mindful that we students have a right to gather and dialogue about ideals and beliefs that they support. That is a big part of what being at a University is all about. However, those dialogues and discussions should be managed in a tasteful manner that does not offend or alarm other students, faculty or staff or members of our surrounding community who have differing viewpoints. Producing a poster with a rifle on it and the words 'fully loaded' can certainly cause alarm in today's environment."
Secretary of State, John Kerry signed The United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty on Wednesday and immediately Senators threatened to block its ratification. Opponents of the treaty fear that it might lead to stricter gun control measures in the US that would infringe on the Second Amendment. The only countries to vote against the treaty were Iran, North Korea, and Syria, although 20 additional nations, including China and Russia, abstained from the vote.
This treaty has been part of a misinformation campaign on the internet that dates back to the earliest days of the Obama Administration. However, the treaty explicitly states that it does not apply to the manufacture, sale, or regulation of any arms within a nation’s borders. Instead the treaty seeks only to curb the ever-expanding international black market for weapons.
However, the more serious critics of the bill – to include the National Rifle Association, or NRA – know that it is not a “gun grabbing” treaty that seeks to disarm legal gun owners. Their objections surround the part of the treaty that advocates keeping a record of arms purchases which the gun-rights groups believe is tantamount to an international arms registry that could lead to a violation of the privacy of legal gun owners.
Leader of NRA, Wayne LaPierre has been quoted as saying that the treaty would lead to “manufacturers of civilian shotguns [complying] with the same regulatory process as a manufacturer of military attack helicopters.”
Much of this concern centers around the vague language of the treaty, especially with regards to ensuring that weapons are not sold to human rights abusers. It is this distinction that most likely kept China and Russia from signing on with the other 154 countries who voted for the treaty. The US is the largest manufacturer and exporter of weapons in the world.
Second Amendment Includes Tanks, F-16 Planes, Bazookas, Claims Christian Historian David Barton (Audio)
Debunked Christian historian David Barton claimed on his "WallBuilders Live" radio show today that the Second Amendment, which was written in the days of muskets, also applied to machine guns, tanks, bazookas and F-16 fighter planes.
Barton said the Second Amendment really meant, "You have a right to fight back with whatever you can get your hands on," noted RightWingWatch.org (audio below).
"The belief of the Second Amendment was you as a citizen have a right to defend yourself whether it be against a thug, an aggressor, a crook, or against your government. Now, this is where a lot of liberals go through the roof, 'Are you saying that you think individual citizens have a right to own a machine gun?' Yeah." stated Barton.
"And an Abrams Tank, and a bazooka, and a F-16 because you've got a right to defend yourself with the same size of weapons that might be brought against you.You have a right to fight back with whatever you can get your hands on to defend your life, your property, your possession, your family, your whatever."
Barton's last book The Jefferson Lies, about Thomas Jefferson, was pulled by the publisher for historical inaccuracies, reported the New York Times. The book was called the "least credible history book in print" by the History News Network.
A pro-gun advocate in Somers, N.Y. finally solved the mystery of how his “Protect the Second Amendment” lawn signs were vanishing -- but the caught-on-tape answer is not what he expected.
Details of this story are a bit sketchy, to say the least, but it appears that the gun-rights placard were pilfered by a local policeman and this man -- or at least the internet gun-rights forum where he posts under the screen name “thecelt” -- has the pictures to prove it.
The story was dug up by the web site, The Blaze, which found it in the online message board for the site nyfirearms.com.
In a series of posts, “the celt” says that he posted a sign protesting New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, commonly called the SAFE Act, a gun control law that took effect in January, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings.
Shortly after the man posted the sign, a “scumbag neighbor” became irritated and called the town’s building inspector.
The message board poster then received, he says, a notice from the town saying that sign violated town codes. When “the celt” called the town and told them the content of the sign, he says he was told to leave it up -- on the grounds of the First Amendment’s protection of free expression.
A day later, the sign disappeared.
So the man put up a new sign and set up a hidden camera, in case the sign was stolen again. Sure enough, it was. And the video showed the culprit -- a Somers police officer.
The picture at right, if it is authentic, shows the police officer removing the sign.
Presumably, the cop was acting on orders from the town to remove the sign due to the alleged code violation, but that’s not the end of the story for “thecelt.”
The man is ““highly offended my constitutional rights are being violated and I certainly expect some action to be taken.”
No word yet on what his next step will be in the battle over the stolen gun-rights sign.
SOURCES: The Blaze, NYFirearms.com, NY SAFE Act