To The Daily Sun,
Regarding Mr. Comeau's letter in the Aug. 17 Sun, in some ways I agree with the points he is making, but I do not agree with him completely.
First off, I want to clarify that I support the Second Amendment as it was written and as I feel it was intended to be interpreted. It isn't a long read by any means for those of you who have never read it, and as with many of the amendments to the Constitution it was very slightly ratified and adopted in an effort to provide clarity to the original intent.
The important element that I think is oft overlooked appears in all versions of the Second Amendment and that is the inclusion of the first four words "A well regulated militia." I am all for an individual's right to keep and bear arms as the Supreme Courts have ruled. But saying that, I also feel that very few private citizens that carry weapons legally could be considered members of a well regulated militia. So I feel that we have already compromised the intent of the Second Amendment. But the courts have made their ruling and I am fine with that.
Additionally as a 20-year veteran of the armed services I am a big fan of cops and firefighters and I appreciate Mr. Comeau's time serving and dedication to law enforcement. Mr. Comeau's "judgment" is that his girlfriend is highly trained in the use of her personal weapon. That's his "judgment," but until I have spent time with someone on the range or in a shoot house, I, nor the staff members of the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store could hardly be expected to make the same "judgment."
I have placed the word judgement in quotations to illustrate, in a similar manner in which Mr. Comeau used the word in his article. The staff member probably did make a judgment that other patrons were uncomfortable as well as she may have been, and exercised her legal prerogative to ask this particular patron to leave. I trust Mr. Comeau is not feeling his girlfriend was discriminated against contrary to the Civil Rights Act, which would indeed protect against discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin, but does not include a patron excising her Second Amendment right. So we have two opposing rights which sometimes occurs in our republic.
I wasn't there, and apparently neither was Mr. Comeau, so neither of us can conclusively say that the staff member was rude. My real concern is with his statement that they both carry firearms for their personal protection and that of fellow citizens. By all means do what you need to do to protect yourself and your family if you feel that warranted level of threat, but please don't assume the role of peace officer unless you are indeed one.
If you feel your girlfriend is highly trained, then I submit that the Chicago police officers involved in the July 29 shooting are at least as highly trained as she is. If you have not seen the video of that incident, please pay particular attention to what (who) was in the direct line of both officers' fire.
Firearms rule number 3: Always be sure of your target and what is behind it.
Now these are professionals that have probably sent more rounds down range and have gone through much higher levels of weapons training than most any private citizen, and, yes, I am going to include your girlfriend in that group. Yet in the fog of that dynamic encounter, they nearly shot each other. So do I want to be in the line of fire of — in Mr. Comeau's judgment — his highly trained girlfriend's weapon?
Out of all this I think it is of paramount importance for any private citizen to understand the appropriate and legally justifiable reason for firearm discharge in a public setting. And to have a tad more respect for the rights and feelings of others.
Which brings me to my final point. I don't think the staff members' concerns, nor the concerns of the other patrons were childish or irrational. Again that seems to be Mr. Comeau's judgment. I do believe their concerns were most likely legitimate and honest. Sometimes we get so wrapped around legally entitled that we forget about the feelings of others around us. Sometimes discretion and compromise are good things.
MSGT Pat Furr
- Category: Letters
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