Modesto California: CCW Elitism has antis pants/skirts all bunched up...


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Jim March
January 12, 2003, 06:26 PM
My comments follow:

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Original URL: http://www.modbee.com/local/story/5869433p-6833735c.html

Guns at council meetings argued

January 12, 2003 Posted: 04:50:10 AM PST

By GARTH STAPLEY
BEE STAFF WRITER
The prospect of a shootout at a Modesto City Council meeting involving members of the council has sparked a spirited debate on the wisdom of arming city officials.

Councilman Will O'Bryant, a retired Alameda County sheriff's deputy, is at the center of the controversy.

Concealed firearms are allowed at Tenth Street Place, where council meetings are held, as long as the bearers have permits.

O'Bryant has refused to confirm or deny that he carried a concealed weapon during Tuesday's open meeting, saying it is his own business.

"I'm a retired law enforcement officer, I have a concealed weapons permit and I'm an expert in firearms training," O'Bryant said. "It's my own personal business how, when and where I carry a concealed weapon. I never comment on where I carry my weapon."

Police Chief Roy Wasden and Councilwoman Janice Keating fully agreed, and Councilman Denny Jackman partially agreed. Mayor Carmen Sabatino, and Councilmen Tim Fisher and Bruce Frohman see things differently.

A large crowd attended Tuesday's meeting that featured some hot-button topics, including a controversial road project in the La Loma neighborhood and people confronting Councilman Bill Conrad over remarks he made previously about Hispanics. At one point in the latter discussion, Sabatino banged his gavel and called a recess to restore order.

Said O'Bryant: "I don't want to tell you if I was carrying (a firearm) or not. But I will say that if I did, as a retired law enforcement officer I know from experience that when any racial issue is raised at public meetings, splinter radical groups show up who can be disruptive and violent. If I did, it was for an abundance of caution to protect myself, citizens and the council."

Keating, who sits next to O'Bryant on the dais, said: "Will is perfectly within his rights should he want to carry it. Having someone next to me with a weapon probably wouldn't be a bad thing. We're from the Central Valley. Guns are like a way of life."

Wasden, who carried a concealed firearm as usual to Tuesday's meeting, said many retired officers carry guns.

"It's a personal decision on (O'Bryant's) part," the chief said. "It doesn't concern me at all. He is trained and has experience."

But Sabatino, Fisher and Frohman noted that an armed, uniformed police officer, usually stationed at the back of the chamber, provides security at every council meeting.

"That should be enough," Sabatino said. "I'll be strong about this: I will not conduct a meeting if council members have concealed weapons. I just think it's inappropriate."

Sabatino, who has received death threats, has applied for a concealed weapons permit, recently finishing firearms training and a written exam. He has yet to buy a gun and complete the permitting process, he said.

"I wouldn't dream of bringing a concealed weapon in the chambers," the mayor said.

Frohman and Fisher said they are uncomfortable with the idea of any armed council member making important decisions.

"I don't believe there is any place for guns in the chambers," Frohman said, excepting the uniformed officer. "We know (that officer) has got (a firearm), we know he's there to protect us, is going to be predictable in his actions and is not subject to the type of anger we are up on the dais when we get into arguments about policy-making. It's not the duty of council members to provide security."

Constitutional right cited

Virgil McVicker, president of the local chapter of the Madison Society, which advocates Second Amendment rights, said the U.S. Constitution guarantees the absolute right to bear arms. A permitted, retired officer certainly has the right to carry a weapon wherever it is not prohibited, McVicker said.

"I have a permit; would I carry into a City Council meeting? Most likely not, unless somebody had threatened me," McVicker continued. "It's a matter of personal judgment at that point. If I felt my or my family's life was threatened, I'm going to carry a gun."

McVicker teaches gun safety courses for people seeking permits. Included are discussions about places that prohibit guns, even when bearers have valid permits. These places include public venues like some amusement parks and sports stadiums.

Last year, Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews, D-Tracy, pushed unsuccessfully for a bill that would let off-duty and retired officers take concealed weapons anywhere, even where they are banned. She argued that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks increased the need for more armed officers in public, before the bill faltered.

Matt Bennett, Americans for Gun Safety spokesman in Washington, D.C., said his group does not have a problem with retired officers bearing arms.

"As long as he's following all the rules, that's legitimate, that's his choice," Bennett said. "Whether it's wise or not, we don't really make that judgment."

Jackman said the "lethal capacity" of a handgun gives him pause. However, "if someone is bearing down on us (from the audience), and if Will is over there with a weapon and can protect us, that's great. You can look at it as an additional measure of security."

Councilman Conrad, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, did not respond to a message inquiry regarding armed council members. He has not returned calls from The Bee since an article was published Dec. 12 on his comments about Hispanic families "with lots of kids" who might be attracted to affordable housing and create slums.

Of the other six council members, only O'Bryant said he has a concealed weapons permit, though Sabatino's application is in the works. The Modesto Police Department has issued 34 active permits.

Guns in chamber concern Brady group

The image of a councilman on the dais, a uniformed police officer in the back, the police chief on the side -- all with guns -- and 200 people in between did not sit well with Luis Tolley. He is director of California legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"I just don't think it's a good idea to have anyone walking around with a loaded gun in public," Tolley said. "Taking it into a place with tension and anger is just looking for trouble. A room full of angry people is probably the last place you should bring a gun. That's what the police are for.

"It's kind of a sad commentary that a councilman doesn't believe his own police force can provide him adequate protection at a meeting. Late at night in a dark alley is one thing. To carry into a meeting seems to be a bit of a strange choice."

John Cowan of Americans for Gun Safety, speaking on whether elected officials should carry guns to public meetings, said, "It's a policy debate and people can shoot their mouths off. In this instance, let's hope that's all they shoot off."

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at 578-2390 or gstapley@modbee.com.
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Jim again.

What's important here is the "split" between AGS and the Brady Bunch, and how Luis Tolley is basically disparaging the whole idea of "elite CCW". That's a switch. The HCI/Brady/MMM "party platform" has always included a bit on "local control in gun permit issuance", which is their code-term for discretionary CCW.

Back in June of 2002 I was involved in a meeting with Cal-DOJ staff over how the 1999 CCW forms were rigged to maintain secrecy of the "good cause" and "occupation" data; also present by conference call was Luis Tolley. When I started talking about the abuses of the CCW process found already, Tolley *loudly* objected, he really hated hearing about the Colafrancesco Papers, the weirdness in Oakland and similar documented cases.

What we're seeing here in Tolley's comments on Modesto may be a sea-change in how HCI/Brady views discretionary permits. They may have realized it's a long-term political problem for them because it puts them in the position of backing racism, corruption and the like.

But AGS is taking a different tack.

Very interesting.

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Aikibiker
January 12, 2003, 09:25 PM
I won't comment on the RKBA issue, there are plenty of people on this forum more learned then I.

One thing I did notice though was that the police officer assigned to provide security is stationed at the back of the room. Correct me if I am wrong bit doesn't that mean that if he has to fire his weapon at a threat to the council the rounds will be heading TOWARD them?

Something for the people who believe the police will protect them to think about.

Jim March
January 12, 2003, 09:45 PM
Well tactically speaking, if some freak wants to gun down the whole city management, per the Mayor's stated wishes he'll know that all he's gotta do is pop that one poor uniformed cop first, then start in on the politicritters.

And that's how at least some of said politicritters WANT it? :scrutiny:

Morons.

Boats
January 12, 2003, 09:45 PM
What I find amusing are all of the blissninnies in the article thinking the CCW holders are all going to get caught up in the fierce emotionalism generated by the cut-throat world of big-time Modesto politics and bust caps on them over a road project or something.


Stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupid sheep!:cuss:

lapidator
January 12, 2003, 10:36 PM
I know you all wont believe this, but there was a Boston City Councilor AtLarge named "Dapper" O'Neil that was known for CCWing a S$W revolver to the meetings. This was, IIRC, 1990 until he lost his seat in 2000. He once brandished it to prove he had it.

Nice Guy Dapper. Wouldn't ya know it, he's a Dem too.

lapidator

Standing Wolf
January 12, 2003, 10:37 PM
Leftists are moral and intellectual parasites—and hoplophobic fools into the bargain.

Blackhawk
January 12, 2003, 10:41 PM
You can't make this stuff up!

Such hypocrisy. Such irony.

Still grinnin'.... :D

Jim March
January 12, 2003, 11:05 PM
This thing in Modesto is NOTHING compared to other CCW-related scandals I've seen. And I'm digging into one now that...oh my GOD y'all ain't gonna believe it.

foghornl
January 13, 2003, 08:40 AM
Well....
anything that puts their knickers in a twist......:D

whitebear
January 13, 2003, 12:28 PM
I thought the whole point of Concealed Carry was that the item in question is concealed, thus out of sight.

Don't ask, don't tell.

Oh, by the way, don't brandish, either. Last time I checked, that was against the law.

Jim March
January 13, 2003, 11:05 PM
When there's only 24 permitholders in the whole town, restricted only to the socially and politically upper crust, AND the records of issuance are mostly public ('cept for the street address/socialsec#/phone#) you can BET word is gonna get out among the elite about who's packin'.

Once we get the "discretionary element" in the permit process kicked out (reform it to shall-issue) we will then IMMEDIATELY file suit to have the records sealed again. California has a pretty good basic Constitutional right to privacy. In 1986, the California Supreme Court commented on the insanely wide issuance lattitude granted to sheriffs and police chiefs and said tha since misconduct was both possible and likely, the records should be thrown open.

Fix the misconduct, and you eliminate the need for open CCW records.

Zorro
January 13, 2003, 11:17 PM
At the "Retard Corral" Film at 11.

;)

Traveler
January 14, 2003, 01:42 AM
This is not your normal town. Here's another news feature.

The Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star reported on Dec. 10 that an unnamed man was taken to a hospital in Modesto, Calif., after his head was split open by a brick. Police, called to the scene, were expecting to find foul play, but witnesses said the man was merely trying to see how high up he could throw a brick, and since it was dark (2:30 a.m.), the man lost track of the brick's flight and could not get out of the way when it came down on his head. Police said alcohol appeared to be involved. [Merced Sun-Star, 12-10-02]

Pendragon
January 14, 2003, 04:52 AM
lol - I was all "wait for it!:"

Police said alcohol appeared to be involved.

BINGO! :neener:

Phil Ca
January 14, 2003, 10:00 AM
I just relocated to the Central Valley and listened ti the folderol about the councilman with the CCW. The radio show host was a very conservative person and I personally think it is a tempest in a teapot.

The mayor of Modesto,on the other hand is a real interesting case. The word on the street is that he is just a step ahead of the law and we may see some interesting developments in the future.

:D

TheOtherOne
January 14, 2003, 02:53 PM
The Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star reported on Dec. 10 that an unnamed man was taken to a hospital in Modesto, Calif., after his head was split open by a brick. Police, called to the scene, were expecting to find foul play, but witnesses said the man was merely trying to see how high up he could throw a brick, and since it was dark (2:30 a.m.), the man lost track of the brick's flight and could not get out of the way when it came down on his head. Police said alcohol appeared to be involved. [Merced Sun-Star, 12-10-02]

This is a perfect example of why bricks should be outlawed in California. Or, at the very least, require people to attend a class, take a test and obtain a permit before being allowed to handle bricks. It just makes sense.

Sven
January 14, 2003, 03:48 PM
Where do I file for my cocealed brick permit?

Can I keep a brick inside my car, or does it need to be in a locked container?

Is there a limit to the number of bricks I can stack?

-

Jim, Thanks for keeping us all informed. Watch your 6!

blades67
January 14, 2003, 04:03 PM
Frohman and Fisher said they are uncomfortable with the idea of any armed council member making important decisions.

:what: :confused: Are they afraid that "...armed council member making important decisions." will think more clearly?

TheOtherOne
January 14, 2003, 04:48 PM
Is there a limit to the number of bricks I can stack?

I would definitely propose a maximum stacking height. The higher they get, the more dangerous they become.

Unfortunately, we will probably have to give in a little somewhere and make pre-2003 bricks exempt to stacking regulations and also allow a few special law enforcement only bricks to be made.

thaddeus
January 15, 2003, 09:19 PM
"I just don't think it's a good idea to have anyone walking around with a loaded gun in public," Tolley said. "Taking it into a place with tension and anger is just looking for trouble. A room full of angry people is probably the last place you should bring a gun.


Gun Grabbers love to preach that a person with a gun is going to get in a heated debate over politics and pull out their gun to shoot someone.
Nevermind the FACT that all the people that CCW and do NOT do this every day.

That's what the police are for.

"The Police will protect you" :rolleyes: And how will they protect you? With their handguns!


"I wouldn't dream of bringing a concealed weapon in the chambers," the mayor said.

They act like the chambers are holy ground, free of evil. It is okay for Police Officers to carry guns in, but no one else better even think of it!

"It's kind of a sad commentary that a councilman doesn't believe his own police force can provide him adequate protection at a meeting. Late at night in a dark alley is one thing. To carry into a meeting seems to be a bit of a strange choice."



So, "late at night in a dark alley" HCI says it is okay to want to carry a gun for protection?

Kahr carrier
January 16, 2003, 05:10 AM
I like my Black brick its called a Glock.:neener:

twoblink
January 16, 2003, 10:09 AM
"Four legs good, two legs better!" or was that "Two legs good, four legs better!!"

Hard to tell which are the pigs when you talk about this group of people, sorry!!

Jim, buy a few copies of Animal Farm, sign it and give it to them as a gift... and get it over with ;)

Drizzt
January 16, 2003, 04:16 PM
Modesto Bee


January 15, 2003, Wednesday, ALL EDITION

SECTION: LOCAL NEWS; Pg. B6

LENGTH: 200 words

HEADLINE: LET HIM CARRY

BODY:
This is regarding the story about guns at City Council meetings ("Guns at council meetings argued," front page, Jan. 12). The thing that people like Luis Tolley of the Brady Campaign (and some on the council) just can't grasp is the fact that there are lots of people walking around with loaded guns in public. And the police can't be everywhere and watching everyone all the time.

The fact that some are questioning the right or the wisdom of Councilman Will O'Bryant to carry a concealed weapon is ridiculous. They are so blinded by their prejudice against guns that they can't allow for the possibility that there are people with the maturity, intelligence and skill to not be a threat just because they have one.

What people with the Brady Campaign and those like them don't want us to know is that in states like Texas and Florida, where it's easier for law-abiding citizens to carry guns, the crime rate is lower than in states like this one. Where criminals might be met by equal force, they tend to be much better-behaved.

We should be much more concerned about anyone else in the chamber having a gun than O'Bryant. Let him carry and thank God he's there.

STEVE PRESCOTT Ripon

Drizzt
January 16, 2003, 04:27 PM
Modesto Bee


January 15, 2003, Wednesday, ALL EDITION

SECTION: LOCAL NEWS; Pg. B6

LENGTH: 229 words

HEADLINE: A REASON FOR GUNS

BODY:
After reading The Bee's "Guns at council meetings argued" (front page, Jan. 12), I wish that I could withdraw my vote for Carmen Sabatino, Tim Fisher and Bruce Frohman. Sabatino has said a lot of things since being elected, but after reading him say that "I will not conduct a meeting if council members have concealed weapons," I am at my wits' end. Mr. Mayor, if this is how you feel, then please, conduct your rear end out of there, take your toys and go home. What I also got from this article is that both Fisher and Frohman seem to have a big problem with any armed council member making important decisions. Gentlemen, please show me the data you have proving that a law-abiding human will make a bad decision affecting Modesto's citizens only because he has a permitted concealed weapon in council!

Last, there's the Brady Campaign's Luis Tolley with this comment: "It's kind of a sad commentary that a councilman doesn't believe his own police force can provide him adequate protection at a meeting. Late in a dark alley is one thing. To carry it into a meeting seems to be a bit of a strange choice."

Mr. Tolley, did you ever think that maybe someone might do that because when he leaves the meeting, and that nice policeman stays behind, the bad guys could be out in that alley?

O'Bryant is right. Now go fix the potholes.

SCOTT REDENBAUGH Modesto

gk1
January 16, 2003, 07:42 PM
Forget the dark alley, he's sitting within a few feet of a political idiot that recently offended a significant portion of the local population, in a place where there's obviously no metal detector, and the only visibly armed person (the deputy at the back of the room) has to shoot towards him if one of the visitors pulls a gun to shoot the mayor. :what: That's clearly a more dangerous place than any alley is likely to be!

I'd be carrying, and wearing a vest, too, and hopefully they wouldn't mind if I participated from behind a riot shield...

George

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