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 Post subject: Carrying a gun = Safe??
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 6:44 pm 
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A friend has been telling me about what has happened to him since being arrested over a year ago for letting a troublemaker know he was carrying a gun.

I'll try to describe what happened at the bar, since his recent letters only talked about what happened after the incident:

Bill (not his real name) often dropped into a local watering hole in Brighton, for a beer and to play some pool. He had been in there before, but this time there were a number of strangers who didn't know there. One of these guys began to hassle Bill, obviously trying to start something. Bill left the bar and on the way to his car noticed a couple of the troublemakers following him. Bill pulled his jacket aside, showing the thugs his gun. They quickly turned and went into the bar.

The thugs reported to the bartender that someone in the parking lot had a gun and threatened them with it. Somehow the police got there before Bill left and arrested him.

He wrote to me right after the incident and told me what happened. I didn't hear from him until last month when he told me what happened:

Quote:
Hi George:

Sorry for being out of touch for so long. Just wanted to let you know I will (finally) be returning the gi you lent me so long ago. It has just been sitting neatly pressed in my closet, but it has honestly, been the least of my concerns. Please let me know the address that you wish it returned to.

Figured you may be curious as to the net result of my legal difficulties in Boston. The courts, in their infinite wisdom, allowed me to plead no contest - as opposed to risking a court trial - to a reduced single charge of simple assault (from assault with a dangerous weapon - a felony) in exchange for four years administrative probation.

Administrative probation means that I just have to send a letter each month to let my probabtion officer that I have had no further run-ins with the law.

As for the person who attacked me; the person with the 5-page rap sheet of criminal convictions, including numerous convictions for assault, assault and battery and aggrevated assault... Nothing happened. Zero, zip, nada!

Ultimately, I was forced to file bankruptcy since I got fired from GE as a result of being charged and couldn't find work. I am now just keeping a low profile, investing and rebuilding my capital base.

You had expressed an interest in describing the situation on your website. You are welcome to, so long as my name and no specific references are used.

Just for the record, although I was a member and had contacted the President of the Braintree Gun and Rifle Club as this situation developed, I got no support whatsoever. No even a returned phone call.

======================

I wrote to him and requested that he contact Panther and Van. Received this:

Quote:
Frankly, I didn't know quite how to reply. (I mentioned how someone or group should have tried to help him) If there were resources available at the time that this was all going on, it would have been great to know about them then.

My attorney was ok, but not great. Was expensive and I don't really feel that he earned it. In my opinion, he did the absolute minimum that was required at every turn. But I made the best decisions that I could, given the information available. Have never had to retain a criminal defense attorney before, let alone, one who specializes in firearms related cases.

I still have the feeling that I may have been better off with the public defender, who did a reasonably good job, given the literally two minutes that we were afforded to discuss the matter, after being introduced at the arraignment hearing.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:22 pm 
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What a tragedy. Or is it? Let's consider all the alternate courses of events.

* First, what caused this guy to attract attention in the first place? That's a lesson he shouldn't forget. Sometimes you're just a victim, and that's fine if that's all that we can say. But perhaps there were some VSD issues that could have been addressed, or maybe even just some body language.

* What would have happened if he had NOT shown his weapon? It could have been anything from being humiliated (we can live with that...) to being injured to being killed. Certainly once you let someone in your personal space, the ability to use the firearm is greatly diminished. So perhaps accepting a slap on the wrist and loss of a great job isn't such a bad penalty considering a few possible alternatives.

* Why did this guy not get a better lawyer and fight it? Is Massachusettes really that bad? The fellow with the rap sheet never would have gotten away with this in Virginia.

* Did this guy have a concealed firearm in a bar? Is that legal in Massachusettes? If not, he deserves his punishment.

* Why did it take so long for this guy to leave the scene? And if he knew he would be challenged, why not be the first to dial 911? It shows evidence of a perceived threat, and an interest in abiding by the law. Food for thought for others in the future.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 2:30 am 
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Wow, that sure is a sad story.

Bill is correct about VA... things would have ended up differently.

VA is very handgun friendly. Except for federal restrictions such as courthouses and schools, the only annoying law in VA is one that does not allow concealed carry in bars. However, since VA is a true open carry state, a handgun in plain sight is allowed in bars.

Brandishing is a crime though. However, it is legal to transition from concealed to open carry at any time. Personally, I rarely open carry. But when I have, no one has ever mentioned it except to ask me what I was carrying.

On July 1 all local laws resricting open carry were wiped off the books by a statewide preemption law. Up in northern VA, a few feathers were ruffled but after a few 'incidents' the NOVA crowd got used to seeing a firearm in a Starbucks.

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 2:53 am 
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First, I never heard from him or anything about the incident. If I had, I could have pointed him to a couple of different lawyers that specialize in these types of cases. Also, being a member of ANY gun club or organization, especially in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, doesn't mean getting one whit of help in these matters... There are those who are willing to help (raising a hand)... BUT that can only happen if the right people know something is going on.

Bill Glasheen wrote:
What a tragedy. Or is it? Let's consider all the alternate courses of events.


ABSO-EFFIN-LUTELY!

Quote:
* First, what caused this guy to attract attention in the first place? That's a lesson he shouldn't forget. Sometimes you're just a victim, and that's fine if that's all that we can say. But perhaps there were some VSD issues that could have been addressed, or maybe even just some body language.


Who knows... And quite frankly, with the screwed up laws in Massachusetts... laws that protect criminals and target innocent gun-owners, I don't really care.

Quote:
* What would have happened if he had NOT shown his weapon? It could have been anything from being humiliated (we can live with that...) to being injured to being killed. Certainly once you let someone in your personal space, the ability to use the firearm is greatly diminished. So perhaps accepting a slap on the wrist and loss of a great job isn't such a bad penalty considering a few possible alternatives.

* Why did this guy not get a better lawyer and fight it? Is Massachusettes really that bad? The fellow with the rap sheet never would have gotten away with this in Virginia.

* Did this guy have a concealed firearm in a bar? Is that legal in Massachusettes? If not, he deserves his punishment.

* Why did it take so long for this guy to leave the scene? And if he knew he would be challenged, why not be the first to dial 911? It shows evidence of a perceived threat, and an interest in abiding by the law. Food for thought for others in the future.


I'll try to answer some of your questions...

Yes, Massachusetts is that bad.

Obviously, this person had a concealed firearm in a bar. Maybe not the best idea, but... NO, it is not illegal in Massachusetts.

He made a few major legal errors at the scene and the criminals, being fully cognizant of the laws and how to {ab}use them to their advantage did just that... In Massachusetts, showing a firearm in the manner that this person did is covered under the law as "brandishing" and that's what he was probably charged with. It comes under both the firearms laws and the assault/threatening laws. That's why, in Massachusetts, there is only concealed carry. Unlike most other States that allow for "open" carry of a firearm, Massachusetts doesn't want any of the liberal panty-waists to get all scared at merely seeing an awful, evil, big, bad ole GUN and has codified that into the law... thus we have "brandishing" being used not against the originally intended moron with a gun who decides to threaten people with a firearm to get his way, but instead it is used by anyone who knows they can use it against lawful gun-owners. It has been used against lawful gun-owners in such benign situations as merely having their coat blown open by the wind and some hoplophobic idiot getting upset at the sight! [I]Usually, the result is that the local PD calls the town where the LTC was issued and that town revokes the LTC. From the tale above, it sounds as if charges were pressed by the wouldbe thugs. I guess they wanted to make certain their victim was disarmed the next time and the State in it's infinite wisdom granted the criminals their wish. In Massachusetts that is often the case. ANY gun-owner in Massachusetts is well advised to keep up with the gun laws of the State AND the potential results of any ignorance of them. Knowing those laws, the proper response in the situation described above would have been to keep going to the vehicle and make every effort to peacefully leave the situation... post haste. Showing or using a concealed carry firearm is dictated by the precise constraint of having an "immenent threat of death or grave bodily harm". Under the circumstances described, the argument can be made (even though we all know what the thugs were up to) that there had been no threat made by the thugs, nothing was immenent, there was no indication that the person was facing death or grave bodily harm. He should never have shown the firearm when he admittedly did. His ignorance of the statutes cost him. Proceeding to his vehicle and being aware of the situation, he should have waited for his wouldbe attackers to tip their hand. THEN he could have defended himself.

The guy's lawyer was typical in Massachusetts. Most lawyers, while they may be good at some things, really ****** when it comes to gun cases in Massachusetts. That's why getting a specialist in that area is paramount in these cases. However, I fear that this persons ignorance of the law and subsequent violation of the statutes would have still bit him. Perhaps not as bad with the proper counsel, but bit none-the-less. Also, Massachusetts absolutely coddles criminals.

Your suggestion on calling 911 is right on the money. However, if he hadn't brandished, it may have been for other reasons. I have to also wonder what took him so long to leave. He should have been well on his way home by the time the local police got there. Then he could have properly stored his firearm and kept his mouth shut when asked about it by any officers knocking on the door.

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 Post subject: My fault
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:26 am 
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for not remembering all the original details. I am fairly familiar with the law and VSD. At the time I felt Bill made some stupid choices, but given the what actually happened, he should not have been arrested and charged with assault.

When he first told me about what happened (over a week after it happened) he was still emotionally a mess and not able to think clearly. I suggested he call Al Kunian and get on the forums to discuss what happened with Van And Panther. He obviously didn't and therefore made the biggest mistake of hiring an unqualified attorney and contacting the Braintree gun club.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 2:12 pm 
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Quote:
I suggested he call Al Kunian and get on the forums to discuss what happened with Van And Panther. He obviously didn't and therefore made the biggest mistake of hiring an unqualified attorney and contacting the Braintree gun club.


As Panther indicates, Bill made some terrible tactical mistakes, due to ignorance of the law, poor tactics, and lack of training in the judicious use of a firearm.

Most “gun carriers” have taken a basic “gun handling” safety course so they can get a license, but it is like getting a license to drive a car without ever having been in one.

Carrying a gun is such an awesome responsibility with frightening moral, emotional, criminal and civil [read financial ruin] ramifications, that it behooves the gun owner to attend specialty training classes, such as at the Lethal force Institute, to facilitate survival in the post event chaos.

But most gun owners will not because they don’t want to spend the money for the classes, preferring to blow it out the other end, such as in this case. Also, most gun owners are very obdurate in their beliefs they are capable, and knowledgeable about such things and need nothing more. Just like people in traditional martial arts.

Also I wonder if Bill has read the book “in the gravest extreme” by Mas Ayoob.

One thing that Mas drives home forcefully is that if you carry a gun, you must swallow your pride, and take lots of crap at times, you must act reasonable and calm at all times, defuse, avoid and retreat at all costs.

Not illegal to carry in a bar, but if this is brought to the attention of the police chief who issued the license, it will probably be revoked. It is bad judgment, as guns and liquor don’t mix.

He didn’t care to contact us. Panther would have given the name of Attorney Darius Arbabi, tops in this field. But he ended up with Mickey Mouse’s lawyer.

Gun club? What a joke. They usually want no part of such things as it might reflect on them.

So why did it take so long for him to leave the parking lot before the police nailed him?

And did he experience “diarrhea of the mouth” upon arrest? Had he learned to keep his mouth shut until after seeing a lawyer? What did he tell the police? Did he sign a statement?

Was his arrest published on the news? Newspaper? How did his employer find out_ what led to the firing? Could he have concealed the arrest from the employer?

Also, I bet Bill doesn’t have the right kind of umbrella liability policy that would pay to defend and indemnify against a law suit arising from such incidents if the gun assault/battery is done in order to protect persons and property.

Just some of the mistakes and “wrong turns” we are seeing in this situation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:34 pm 
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It's worth mentioning that we need to thank "Bill" for letting us use his case for analysis and edification. It's a great case history to work with to understand risks, opportunities, and responsibilities in these types of situations.


- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:43 pm 
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Bill Glasheen wrote:
It's worth mentioning that we need to thank "Bill" for letting us use his case for analysis and edification. It's a great case history to work with to understand risks, opportunities, and responsibilities in these types of situations.


- Bill


Absolutely. But for the grace of God.....

And not to be forgotten is the fact that in the stress of the moment and under pressure by the police, most of us will not be able to think rationally, same in a fight , and will make stupid mistakes_ possibly worse than Bill's.

I have mentioned many times on this forum, the grave mistakes made at the scene of fatal accidents by professional bus and truck drivers, who should have known better than dig themselves a criminal and civil "hole" by word and deed.

You will never know what you are made of until it hits you betwen the eyes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:01 pm 
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It is also an unfortunate fact that it usually takes making certain mistakes the first time to learn what not to do the second time. :( And all too often, that first mistake is fatal... physically, legally, financially, emotionally, or all of the above. That's why it is so important for gun owners to understand all the ramifications of their actions while carrying a firearm... one little slip (and it should be noted that we're not talking about actually causing harm to anyone in any way) that seems to be the right choice at the time can be devastating and completely detrimental to a gun owner's future! For some things work out and they're able to live and learn from such minor mistakes... Unfortunately, in the PRoMA, that is usually not the case.


Back to "Bill"... He may still be able to petition the court to restore his rights, but in the PRoMA, it will be extremely difficult at best. He's better off moving to a free state if he wishes to regain his freedom. We wish him all the best and can only hope that there is room for appeal if he wishes to take that financial plunge... Unfortunately, there isn't any gun organization or club that will help him in his plight. They just don't want to be connected with actually taking a side to defend inalienable Rights.

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My God given Rights are NOT "void where prohibited by law"!


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 Post subject: Gun laws
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:58 pm 
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We have quite a response and much correct reasoning with the posting to this thread.

His first encounter would be with the attitude and pressure of the Boston Police.

Incidental to this, the first thing which probably happened is that he was cuffed and placed in a.police car, and be advised of his Miranda rights.

Other officers or the arresting officer would then interview witnesses either at the bar or the would be assailants, who, in their testimony could or would not make out a prima facie case for Bill. With a preponderance of witnesses all stating that the BG's did nothing to provoke, the cops had no other choice than to book bill.

He was in one of the worst cities to have gun issues and allegations. Boston has a wicked reputation for violence and shootings.

In the real world, an impartial police investigation would have revealed no case of as self defense plea under the facts presented at this point.

Brandishing a firearm could result in a two and one half year sentence.

In order to establsh a prima facie case (which a defendant must earn before it is pleaded) at least a standard or standards would be applied.

1. The duty to retreat if at all possible.
2, The conduct of the BG's would have to be death or severe injury perceived by defendant, under the "reasonable conduct" standard.
3. Only defense conduct which is reasonable in the circumstances, is recognized, and a weapon display even to approaching or menacing BG's could be taken as an assault.

4. In the real world menacing bar flies are common as is the power in numbers to lie or deceive.

Bill wasn't screwed by police; he was the victim of hostile witness testimony and the inability to make out a self-defense, having only his word and no witness.

Bad day at Black Rock (remember the movie)?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:37 pm 
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Panther said: "Unfortunately, there isn't any gun organization or club that will help him in his plight. They just don't want to be connected with actually taking a side to defend inalienable Rights."

We are very fortunate to have in VA a strong and proactive RKBA organization that will step in to help members... the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Last month a few members experienced problems in Northern VA by open carrying in Fairfax County. On July 1 a new state law went into effect that preempted all local ordinances. Someone called the police to report a 'problem' and poorly informed local LEOS showed up en mass to deal with an armed middle aged couple who were sitting on a bench with their dog. After a few calls the LEOs retreated but not before one gave the couple a nasty warning. The VCDL contacted the police HQ and after some 'clarifying' discussion, the couple in question received an apology and the local LEOs were all brought up to date.

There were a few more of these incidents. The Washington Post even wrote about the new 'wild west mentality' and the coordinated effort by 'NRA' types to make an issue of the new law. There was no coordinated effort, just a few citizens exercizing their rights. The point was made, and no more problems have occured. The elites who work inside the beltway but live in VA have calmed down.

By the way, the violent crime rate in 'gun free' DC is 8 times higher than it is just across the river in northern VA... the 'wild west' in the eyes of the Post.

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:58 pm 
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Rich,

Allow me to defend/amend/correct my original statement... to wit:

There isn't any gun club or organization (local OR national) operating in any way in the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" that will truly step up and help a gun owner defend their God-given inalienable RKBA mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. It just won't happen. They're all in it for themselves and that certainly doesn't mean helping out gun owners in need. I've witnessed rock-solid cases that pro-gun groups and organizations should have been behind 1001% get "excused" away by those groups for some very slight and inconsequential perceived "weakness" in the case that the supposedly pro-gun group was using as nothing more than an excuse not to get involved to help out one of our own. Major BS... and one of the main reasons why I have zero, zilch, nada affiliation with some organizations that I used to be extremely active with! So... I know that there are good organizations once someone crosses into Free America, but that just isn't the case in those areas controlled by the enemy.

I hope that clarifies my position and knowledge on the situation...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:08 pm 
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Alan,

Great, sobering post.

As you know, the old saying of cops is “gun won’t do you any good unless it’s in your hand”

By what you write about the law, which is correct:

Ø Only defense conduct which is reasonable in the circumstances, is recognized, and a weapon display even to approaching or menacing BG's could be taken as an assault. <

It looks like we must cede the advantage to the enemy [make the first legally acceptable _ death or grievous injury _ move, before we can even go for the defensive gun.

Chances are it will be too late anyway.


Reading this stuff, makes one want to leave his gun at home. Almost like it is more trouble than it is worth.

This state, especially Boston, is a liberal nightmare

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:14 pm 
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Van Canna wrote:
It looks like we must cede the advantage to the enemy [make the first legally acceptable _ death or grievous injury _ move, before we can even go for the defensive gun.

Chances are it will be too late anyway.


We've both been to LFI and a host of other training in this regard... There are things we can do and ways we can mitigate any "advantage" the BGs have.

Quote:
Reading this stuff, makes one want to leave his gun at home. Almost like it is more trouble than it is worth.


NEVER! Never, ever, ever. This just comes down to 1) knowing the laws, 2) knowing the jurisdiction, 3) knowing your surroundings/situation, and 4) "it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by six." I have a chance of getting out of jail, but no matter how good I try to be and how much I go to church, I just don't think I'll be climbing out of the casket... Not physically at any rate.

Quote:
This state, especially Boston, is a liberal nightmare


Once, during testimony before the Committee on Public Safety on Beacon Hill, I mentioned that I never go into the city unarmed and that legislative fiat will never disarm me. When I was done, I gave the Committee members an opportunity to ask any questions. One such legislative genious decided to seek clarification of that particular part of my testimony and asked if I was armed at the time. I informed the moron that it was a rude question, that the laws of Massachusetts prevented me from responding without causing myself potential harm in one way or another (by either denying and letting the criminals know I was unarmed OR by admitting and having some hoplophobe charge me with brandishing... I also said that it wasn't my practice to use the "third option" employed by the gun banners commonly referred to as "lying"), and that if he was truly listening to my testimony and had even a simple understanding of deductive reasoning, he should be able to figure it out on his own. There were no other questions from the Committee... ;) BTW, that particular legistraitor is no longer employed by the citizenry having lost in the next election cycle.

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