Any citizen of the People’s Republik of Maryland knows that it is nearly impossible to get a permit to carry a firearm. Maryland law does not allow open carry and unless one is wealthy or politically connected then one has a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a concealed carry permit.
The hold up is that Maryland requires good and substantial reason against apprehended danger to carry a firearm and though what constitutes good and substantial is not well defined the Maryland State Police has decided that self defense is not within the definition.
After the original Woolard decision many people applied for a permit based on the ruling that stated the existence of the right was reason enough. Through stays and an eventual overturn of the ruling those who applied and listed set defense and all other legal purposes as their G&S reason were denied. The state has violated its provisions for a hearing to appeal the decisions but that is another story.
In any event, a recent court case shows that a Maryland jury believes that self defense is a justified reason for carrying a firearm.
New Jersey police officer Joseph Walker was involved in a road rage incident in Maryland and he pulled his car over. The other driver, an intoxicated man with a criminal history, pulled over some 150 feet from Walker and got out of his vehicle (as did Walker). Walker retreated to his vehicle and retrieved his service weapon and shot the man three times (two of the shots after the man reportedly raised his hands).
There are plenty of issues here. Walker is allowed to carry a weapon in any state because he is a law enforcement officer. But, we in Maryland hear all the time that police officers are better trained to handle tense situations in which deadly force might need to be used. Walker exercised no such restraint. He could have shown is badge with the firearm and told the guy to move on. He could have phoned the police and told them what was going on before he ever pulled over (or instead of pulling over), he certainly could have allowed the man to get within 50 feet and then got back into his vehicle and drove off. He would have been long gone before the victim was able to get back into his vehicle.
I will not debate here whether the jury was right or wrong. I was not there but I do feel there were many options before the use of a firearm was needed.
However, the Maryland jury said that the cop’s actions were justified in the name of self defense. In other words, self defense is a good and substantial reason to shoot someone who is threatening bodily harm. In order to do that one must be allowed to carry a firearm. Walker is a special case because he is a cop and allowed to carry one. What would have been the outcome if this had been an unarmed Maryland citizen?
I venture to say that the outcome would have been different.
While I believe that a citizen should not have to demonstrate any reason to carry a firearm, assuming of course the person is not otherwise prohibited (mentally ill, a felon, etc) I will state that if Maryland is going to continue to play games in this regard it is time for the state to recognize that self defense is a good and substantial reason against apprehended danger.
Average law abiding citizens are many more times likely to be harmed by bad people than are police officers and they all get to carry an assortment of weapons including a firearm. Let us not forget the number one reason a police officer carries a firearm (and his other weapons) is to defend HIMSELF against apprehended danger.
Law abiding citizens who pay the salaries of all government employees including police officers deserve the same consideration.
In fact they are entitled to that consideration as enumerated in the Second Amendment and Maryland’s Constitution which states the Constitution of the United States shall be the Supreme Law of the state (that would include the Second Amendment for the liberals out there).
Art. 2. The Constitution of the United States, and the Laws made, or which shall be made, in pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, are, and shall be the Supreme Law of the State; and the Judges of this State, and all the People of this State, are, and shall be bound thereby; anything in the Constitution or Law of this State to the contrary notwithstanding.
It is tragic that a man lost his life in an incident that has so many questions but the result demonstrates that self defense is a natural right that does not depend on government.
Therefore government should not infringe on that right or the right to bear arms as a means to defend.
The Second Amendment is the only good and substantial reason needed and it is time for Maryland’s liberal politicians to get their head’s out of their rectal cavities and do what is right, proper and CONSTITUTIONAL.
Remember, gun control is not about guns it is about control.
Just ask any survivor (if you can find one) of tyrannical governments that disarmed their populations.