Civil Disobedience Considered


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NIGHTWATCH
July 19, 2003, 03:41 PM
I often consider not renewing my permit on the grounds that it is a violation of my civil rights. The permit, registration and the fact that it expires are all examples of the abuse that comes with the compromising of our liberties with the government. Be it city, state or federal. The problem is, will any pro-2A organization come to my aid? Or will I rot in jail? What do you think? :scrutiny:

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winstonsmith
July 19, 2003, 03:44 PM
I think you will rot in jail, because no 2a organization which has any weight at all won't want to get the bad press of supporting someone who breaks laws.

NIGHTWATCH
July 19, 2003, 03:54 PM
But thats just it, it/they are unjust laws. I believe it was Martin Luther King jr. who said, "Those who break an unjust law, are actually showing the greatest respect for the rule of law". Ghandi understood how powerful the simple act of non-co-operation was. The question is, how much attention would/could this generate? Thats the key. I would be willing to do the time, if I knew that I would have the support.

It was against the law to sit in the front of the bus, until someone did.

Ian
July 19, 2003, 04:31 PM
I don't know what any 2nd-A groups would do for you, but I think that ignoring the permit is definitely a good thing to do, for those who are willing to take the risk. I'm working in a gun shop this summer, and I've met a surprisingly large number of people who have carried illegally for decades, because of Colorado's only recently changed may-issue permit system. More power to 'em, I think.

biere
July 19, 2003, 04:38 PM
Someone posted about the state of mass. increasing their permit cost 300% or so I think.

That right there taught me that paying for the right to practice a right is not something my elected officials need to be in charge of ever.

Many gun owners I know and talk to feel the only way to get vermont or alaska carry is with the court doing it. Since they feel that way I am not about to urge anyone to sit in front of this bus because it is moving and the pedal is floored.

I live in ohio and agree with your thoughts. However ohio has no ccw right now though we are working towards it.

I honestly don't know if I will get the ccw if it passes.

I do know the most likely reason I would get it is because in most states with ccw laws it becomes a felony to carry without a permit.

I think right now in many states without ccw it is a misdemeanor to carry concealed since there is no legal alternative in many cases.

NIGHTWATCH
July 19, 2003, 05:10 PM
I dont have a CCW. Im speaking on my rifle/shotgun permit that is due to expire next year. ;)

I have made an effort to contact GOA on this. Im curious to here what they will say.

KC
July 19, 2003, 05:52 PM
Certainly, the ACLU would never consider helping you. ('Existing to protect the Bill of Rights' my heavily enfolliated melanin-deficient posterior...)

Abenaki
July 19, 2003, 06:29 PM
We don't need to depend upon just the big gun organizations to help us fight against bad laws.

We all can do it. It is called voting not guilty when you are in the jury.

If you feel it is a bad and illegal law........just vote not guilty. How long would it take for the goverment to stop busting people for exerzising their legal rights if every time they did, the person got off cause the jury exerzised the right to vote not guilty?

Abenaki

Double Maduro
July 19, 2003, 06:34 PM
Nightwatch,

you said,

"But thats just it, it/they are unjust laws. "

My question is;

Who decides which laws are unjust?

DM

KC
July 19, 2003, 06:41 PM
"Who decides which laws are unjust? "

Do the prison guard unions like it?
Does Jesse Jackson approve?
Are French potato farmers protesting it?

Standing Wolf
July 19, 2003, 07:04 PM
I think you'd rot in jail. Nobody, not even the G.O.A., seems to have noticed the Second Amendment is all the so-called "license" law-abiding American citizens need to keep and bear arms.

That saidâ„¢, getting the license and keeping it up to date amount to the lesser of two evils in my opinion.

Ian
July 19, 2003, 07:23 PM
Double Maduro,

The theory of representative government holds that the legislature only passes just laws, and the people only elect legislators who will do so. We can see how well that system works in practice. :rolleyes: The fact is that the legislature passes laws desired by the majority of the people (or possibly by the majority of the wealthy campaign donors), without any regard for the idea of justice.

The Supreme Court is also theoretically responsible for determining which laws are just, but getting a day in the Supreme Court takes decades of time and thousands upon thousands of dollars, making it beyond the reach of most people. Even when a case does get that far, the Court is barely more interested in justice than the legislature (personal bias being a more influential motive among the 'Justices').

Since each element of theoretical protection by the system has clearly failed, it falls to each individual to determine the validity of the law. There is no other recourse than to break the laws you judge unjust or voluntarily suffer them. The Declaration of Independence notes that government powers are granted by consent of the governed - so it must ultimately be the right of the governed to reject their government, in whole or in part and as individuals or as groups.

Drjones
July 19, 2003, 07:24 PM
http://www.frontiernet.net/~lendringser/declaration.htm

Justin
July 19, 2003, 11:10 PM
My question is;

Who decides which laws are unjust?
Are said laws in place to prevent actions that violate the NAP? If not, then I don't see much point for such laws to exist.

Preacherman
July 19, 2003, 11:25 PM
Nightwatch, whilst I wholeheartedly support your sentiments, the fact remains - and it's a cold, hard, rather indigestible fact, I know - that the courts of this country have ruled time and time again that the regulation of a right does not amount to an infringement of that right. This certainly applies to the Sullivan laws and other firearms regulations in New York. They've been tested in court, and found to be constitutional. You and I know very well that they are clearly against the spirit of the Constitution, but the courts have decided that they're not against the letter of the Constitution. Hence, if you don't renew your permits, guess who'll end up the loser? :fire:

PileDriver
July 19, 2003, 11:26 PM
That saidâ„¢, getting the license and keeping it up to date amount to the lesser of two evils in my opinion.










the lesser of two evils is still evil. i hear this argument constantly with regards to voting for either of the two frontrunners of our political parties.


the only guarantee with this type of thinking is more evil. we either have an inalienable, god given right, or we don't.

getting permission to defend our lives and our loved ones from a politician and granting him that power is what's evil

Edward429451
July 19, 2003, 11:28 PM
Justin nailed it.

Dontcha' guys recognize a mob racket when it punches you in the face?

"We're here to help
You need protection
You need insurance
(Its the law,)"

Sign on the dotted line and pay, and we may let you continue to walk around. Dont sign up and pay and we'll either kill you or lock you up so deep you'll wish you were dead.

Organized crime under color of law.:uhoh:

BowStreetRunner
July 20, 2003, 12:28 AM
or instead of going to jail vote with your feet and move to Vermont!
BSR

seeker_two
July 20, 2003, 12:35 AM
Question for NIGHTWATCH:

If/When you are caught carrying w/o a license, what will you do then?


Will you resist arrest?
Will you fight it in the court?
Can you afford the legal fees to fight it in court?
Will you spend your life in jail?


I've made my decisions & have my own opinions about this. And they will stay to myself for the time being...

Erik
July 20, 2003, 12:52 AM
The gun lobbies will by in large ignore your legal plight.

For that matter, most folks will.

Including many gun owners.

Which is why you would face conviction and whatever punishment is dealt out.

rock jock
July 20, 2003, 01:03 AM
Are said laws in place to prevent actions that violate the NAP? If not, then I don't see much point for such laws to exist. The problem with this, Justin, is that your definition of the NAP is a subjective standard. Essentially, you are saying, if I don't agree with a law, it is not justified. Presumably, this gives you cause for disobeying said law. You are free to do as you wish, but understand that society will not show much sympathy for those who only obey the laws they like. Prisons are full of them.

As far as your dilemma, Nightwatch, I would take with a grain of salt any advice you read here. It is easy for some of us to urge you on to civil disobedience when we won't be serving the time should you be caught. Were I in your shoes, I would probably leave NYC, but that's just me. I have become to accustomed to freedom in Texas. We have the CHL system, but I do not consider this to be to great a burden that I am willing to protest it.

NIGHTWATCH
July 20, 2003, 04:40 AM
I would not resist arrest. I would seek representation and fight in court. But only if I had the financial backing of a large RKBA organization. If I knew that I was going to be aided in this in a big way (talk radio & various media), I would do the time. Gladly. Only under this condition though, otherwise, It would be unwise and a lost cause.


Double Maduro? Who determines what is unjust? We the people, are the rightful masters of the courts and every other government entity. In measure to the constitution, I believe the 2A is absolute. It is the greatest tangable symbol of my freedom. When I have to fear losing my guns because some politician wants me to pay as I go (or create a mandatory $250,000 liability insurance requirement on all rifle/shotgun owners as the city council is attempting now), it is an attempt to hinder my freedom in the presumtion that I will be guilty of some future crime.

If gunowners dont act individually against this tyranny, who will? And at what point are you nolonger willing to compromise? At what point do you make a stand and how?

Its interesting to me how some liberal politicians would praise the september 11th suicide bombers and compare them to our founding fathers in their zeal and belief, but if I was arrested for some bogus gun control law that left me with a criminal record, and decided to blow away a few politicians, they would call me "malcontented". Disturbed or some other "profile" terminology.

When does it end? Gun control that is. If the highest court in the land has abandoned the defense of our civil liberties, than what course is left to us?

I cant speak for anyone but myself here. But I didnt suffer all my life, my mother didnt suffer raising 4 boys on her own, to be decent, law-abiding people, only to be jailed because of some politician who could care less for the constitution. Make no mistake about it. If I am ever a victim of any government measure that lands me in jail and blemishes my life, you will hear about me on the news. I will be the guy who shot and decapitated some sorry politician who has violated the constitution for the last time.

In the meantime, I will reluctantly renew my permit and pray to God that I get out of this forsaken city.

c_yeager
July 20, 2003, 04:48 AM
If you want to be Rosa Parks then by all means do so. I will support you in it. Hell, id donate money to the defense. It often takes a display of courage to get things to change. But, if i were you i would do it right. Get yourself a laywer NOW and see what he says. And bear in mind if you fit the typical white-guy conservative demographic you will get NO public support and you will most likely face the standard penalty for the infraction. The only way to win this sort of thing is to end up on the front page somewhere. But, if you manage to pull it off ill sure as heck buy you a round next time your in Seattle.

NIGHTWATCH
July 20, 2003, 05:31 AM
Thanks CY. ;) Thankfully Im not exactly a "White Guy". Im a white hispanic. And yes, that might maybe have some pull here. Law-abiding Puerto Rican man refuses to renew permit because it is a racist attempt to disarm minorities in the inner city, yadda yadda yadda. :D

As of now, I plan to pay and renew, but I will speak to a lawyer. Thanks. ;)

Vladimir Berkov
July 20, 2003, 05:50 AM
This has already been tried. Remember Bernie Goetz?

Tom Bri
July 20, 2003, 06:01 AM
My first post.

Nightwatch, if you plan civil disobedience, have everything else worked out in advance. If all you want is to blend in and not be noticed, fine, but make sure everyone forgets you have guns, especially anyone who might have a grudge against you. People can be amazingly spiteful over trivial things. That might mean, no hunting, no trips to the range, no NRA bumperstickers or caps, that sort of thing.

If on the other hand, you want to challenge the law and try to overturn it, get everything ready before you get arrested. Have a lawyer ready to help, one that knows gun law and is prepared to do the footwork. Get your friends and local gun groups behind you too.

Do you have any past brushes with the law? Better if so not to try this at all, the judge and jury both will be against you if you are a known troublemaker or law breaker. You need the judge and jury on your side, or at least neutral.

Don't wait to be caught. Have your arrest staged well in advance, with plenty of friends nearby with cameras and video cameras. Do it in a locale where most people are not anti gun. Do you have a cop friend who would be willing to arrest you? It would make everything much easier if you didn't get charged with a hundred other minor violations on top of the one you want. If you don't have a cop friend, at least make sure the local cops know what you are up to in advance, and don't challenge or debate them when they arrest you. Be friendly, respectful, and helpful. Even apologise to them for causing them more paperwork!

I could go on, but my thrust is clear. If you want to challenge the law, have EVERYTHING you can think of on your side before you do. And get rid of all your other guns ahead of time. They will certainly be confiscated anyway, better to have given or sold them away. Keep only the one gun you are using to challenge the law, something nice and traditional and non-threatening. (Don't have it loaded.)

NIGHTWATCH
July 20, 2003, 06:19 AM
That is great advice Tom Bri. Thank you. :) And Welcome. :D

Tom Bri
July 20, 2003, 06:34 AM
Thanks. I have been thinking about this for a while, wondering why our noble leaders, big talkers, haven't done this. Most of us have kids, wives, whatever, don't want to risk five years in jail. Charlton Heston arrested on the steps of the Capitol building with an unregistered gun, carefully staged in advance, followed one by one by all those other professional gun spokesmen, until the court system simply tired of sending aging movie stars and politicians to the pen. It might work, but we will never know. They won't do it.

Rosa Parks won because the time was right for it, and she was such an emotive target. Who wanted to see a tired, nice old lady sent to jail for such a ????-??? charge. Is the time right for something like this now, for gun owners? And who is the right person to stand up and do this? Preferably a nice old lady who has been victimized by crime.

Whatever happened to that Chicago guy in the wheelchair who sued the city?

Majic
July 20, 2003, 07:15 AM
We all can do it. It is called voting not guilty when you are in the jury.
If you feel it is a bad and illegal law........just vote not guilty. How long would it take for the goverment to stop busting people for exerzising their legal rights if every time they did, the person got off cause the jury exerzised the right to vote not guilty?

Unfortuantely the judge can send the jury back for more deliberation on the verdict. If the verdict is still not to his satisfaction he can overturn it.

c_yeager
July 20, 2003, 08:07 AM
Unfortuantely the judge can send the jury back for more deliberation on the verdict. If the verdict is still not to his satisfaction he can overturn it.

To my knowledge our society has not yet degenerated to the point where a judge can overturn a NOT QUILTY verdict. A GUILTY verdict can be overturned but not the other way around. Now a hung jury gets a mistrial and a redo if the prosecutor sees fit.

Watchman
July 20, 2003, 09:08 AM
To my knowledge our society has not yet degenerated to the point where a judge can overturn a NOT QUILTY verdict. A GUILTY verdict can be overturned but not the other way around. Now a hung jury gets a mistrial and a redo if the prosecutor sees fit.

WRONG.

A judge overturned the jury on the 10 survivors of the WACO debacle.

The jury found them not guilty.
The judge overturned it and fined each one 1 million dollars and 10 years in jail.

I remember one of the jurors being interviewd on TV. She was extremely upset that the judge had basically wasted their time as jurors.

Ive been told that one fo the first things you are asked in law school is
"what is the law"?

The answer...

"whatever the judge says it is"...

I think it sucks,but that is the way it is...

:banghead: :cuss: :fire: :scrutiny:

PileDriver
July 20, 2003, 02:11 PM
that's what appeals are for

goon
July 20, 2003, 02:33 PM
I am inclined to think that a large group of armed people would be the best possible group to use civil disobedience.
Think about this situation.
Half a zillion guys just all the sudden show up outside the whitehouse with full auto AK's and RPG's and ask for the NFA 1934 and all subsequent gun laws to be repealed. Not demand, just ask politely.
No shots fired but I would bet that you would get quite a bit of consideration for your cause.

NIGHTWATCH
July 20, 2003, 04:52 PM
The way I see it, there are only three roads available to us, and two of these paths lead to dead ends.

1) Civil disobedience. Peaceful, non-compliance, but then, who will support that person/group? And where will it end if right now the system is itself failing the people?

2) Continue to compromise and watch our gun rights (all rights for that matter) perish. Slowely but surely. With the end result, handing over our weapons (start crying now because the moment of truth is coming). The government will never empower us.

3) Organized resistance. Violence. A revolution. You know, the kind of resistance that took place in 1776. The alter of freedom requires much blood in order to exist.


Maybe its because I live in NYC, dont know. But if this is taking place anywhere in america, we are all vulnerable. Gun control will be the end of america as we know it, unless people are willing, in the end, to die for the cause. That we act. Not wait, but sacrifice.

I dont have a deathwish. I love my life and am grateful to God for it. But as a gunowner, I cant have my head in the ground. I believe one day, that I will be faced with this reality. And I will either hand them over, and thus, submit to slavery and allow the constitution to perish. Or I will act to make my voice heard. Violently. The question is, am I willing to pay the price? Do I love my life or country more? Do I give up now, knowing whats ahead? Or do I act in some way politically to bring about change with some personal cost in the way of time spent? Hoping to avoid the inevitable.

Just my 2.

c_yeager
July 20, 2003, 05:32 PM
This may be common knowledge to everyone else here but i must have missed it. Could someone provide a source for the Waco thing that Watchman mentioned. Im curious about it.

Majic
July 20, 2003, 07:26 PM
C_Yeager,
Are you young, been out of the country, or know very little of news? I'm not trying to insult you it's just that Waco, Texas was the scene of The biggest mistake the FBI and the ATF have made to date. It was televised all over the country during the siege.
Anyway here is a link (keep in mind alot of it is media biased , but you will get the general impression):

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/waco/

Edward429451
July 20, 2003, 08:36 PM
Good essay Nightwatch. #3 is really the only effective tool the people have to keep the government in check. But remembering Waco and Kent State (and others), the people fear the government. If an armed delegation of We the People showed up on the white house steps (or whereever) they'd be killed almost certainly and splashed on tv as terrorists. It'd probably make the Machine go faster. The incident May wake up some more people, but who wants to be first? We have no organization. They've already managed to make militia a bad word. So most people continue to compromise hoping for the best, while the machine inches along.

We were ripe for revolution in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. We shouldv'e set the country straight again then. By the late 60's it was probably already too late. Apathy and complacency killed the watchdog.

#'s 1 & 2 is only a slower surer death for the country. and our rights.

A call to arms is made and no one showed up.:uhoh:

c_yeager
July 21, 2003, 03:17 AM
Majic, i am well aware of the Waco tragedy. What i am not familier with is this tale that a jury accuited a number of branch davidians only to have their "not guilty" verdict "overturned" by a judge. Your link is great but i cant seem to find any information there specific to this point. But, thanks a bunch for being condescending while still managing to provide zero information that was relevant to the question.

PileDriver
July 21, 2003, 03:45 AM
i couldn't find anything on it either. a judge that disregarded the jury's verdict and reversed it, would be overturned so fast you'd think it was done with a mirror

only1asterisk
July 21, 2003, 04:56 AM
Civil disobedience only works if it is popular, massed and unified.
Gun owners are unpopular and can NEVER agree on anything. I don't see it working for us.


David

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