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Being a "Law Abiding Gun Owner" - What does that REALLY mean?
From the other thread about this teacher in Kansas who f'd up:

Or this thread about Cory Booker not being afriad of "law-abiding" gun owners:

That's got me thinking a bit about the oft-used term "law abiding" gun owner. I think this term isn't what a lot of people think it means.

What most people actually mean when they say "law-abiding" is actually "he or she is a very nice person who wouldn't harm a fly. Their kids go to Sunday School with my children. They mow their lawn and don't let the grass get too high." In other words, what people are actually trying to do is defend character assassination. Or in the case of a gun grabber, they're trying to describe some fictitious straw man person who is an upright citizen and they're trying to stress something about "bad people" who need to be tempered with law, and it won't materially affect the theoretical upright citizen in any way. And that's when they get upset with us when we call out the bullshit for what it is.

Let's think about "law abiding gun owner" for a sec. I think this is phrase is becoming so overused that it's actually starting to become dangerous and gun owners are just as guilty of misusing the term as gun grabbers are in claiming that they're not going after everyone's guns when they actually are. Gun owners are overusing the term when they're describing themselves and other gun owners they don't even know, reaching again for theoretical people who are supposedly everywhere.

What does the term law abiding actually mean?

How about you think about the work it takes to actually be law abiding. For starters, you actually must know what the law is. As you probably well know, that involves a LOT of memorization.

Laws change all the time. So you have to keep up with the changes that are relevant to you, or else you could wind up breaking the law. And that would not make you law abiding anymore now, would it?

No, this isn't going into semantics... this is separating wheat from chaff. If we wanted to go into semantics we would classify everyone who ever went 0.001/mph over the speed limit as a law breaker so there's no such thing as law abiding citizen, ever. Let's not be silly. Besides, I'm gay--I lived in a state where it was once actually illegal to be gay [well, to be gay in practice anyway]. Virginia up until very recently had laws on the books outlawing blowjobs and last I checked a lot of people got blowjobs before silly sodomy laws were thrown out. So, let's keep it to guns.

And there's more: you have to keep your ears open for landmark court decisions that change the interpretation and meaning of the law that affects you.

And this is probably the most important thing you ALWAYS have to do: if you don't know what the law is for a given situation you think you might encounter, you're not afraid to ask around to figure out what the law is and how it applies to you. That doesn't really require humility, it just requires that you fill a void of knowledge you don't have. And with the Innerwebs and access to people who do know what the law is, seeking that knowledge isn't as hard as it was ages ago. But ages ago the legal framework was a bit simpler [but back in the day you didn't have things like a codified Right to Carry, either... those who did carry basically did so with the tacit blessing of law enforcement wherever it was socially acceptable, and back in the day a lot of people were caught in legal traps between their state constitutions, local laws, and judges unwilling to balance state and federal constitutions with local law, literally, like in PA. That has now been solved thanks to a lot of court fights and a LOT of activism over the decades].

Being law abiding also requires a big leap of faith that is hard to stomach when you're being prosecuted: to defend yourself when you know you're right. That costs money, can cost you your job, and can temporarily cost you your freedom. There's too many sad cases where people who were obvious law abiders were forced to accept deals to avoid prosecution. The cost of that record will haunt them for the rest of their lives thanks to computer databases that will follow those people everywhere. I of course am more than willing to state that I will defend myself when I know 100% that I am right. But until you're actually prosecuted, you can't really say what you're going to do until the moment happens. And I do have buddies that have been arrested, prosecuted and have gotten through it, and won. This duress is the ultimate test of what it means to be be law abiding; when the state is prosecuting you (accusing you) of not following the law, only to prove through the courts that you were.

That's not meaning to say that everyone should take the law to the farthest reaches that it allows. I have a carry permit in Philadelphia. That doesn't mean I'm going to wear an AR-15 or FNAR strapped to my back at ShopRite. I know what LEOs do here in Philly; don't we all? Every time LEOs step over their boundaries outside of the law it makes it to this website. I carry at times I think appropriate and I know that when I do, I am fully protected by the laws that we have. Because I've read them. Repeatedly. Copies of PUFA, Castle, etc. and other legal articles sit in the magazine box in my bathroom as casual reading. God bless the ones who OC and can stomach having arrest records. I have a neighborhood resident I go to the range with periodically that just scored his first arrest for OC and had the judge throw out the case after the lawyer subpoenaed the dispatch radio tapes. [Miscreant pre-teen kids saw him OC, they claimed on tape when they called 911 and then ran off that they were threatened. Cops didn't produce any witnesses. Defendant was standing on his own steps in front of his own house, which has multiple security cams along with audio. The prosecution immediately died the instant the trial began, which was the total of 1 hour. So yes, in Philly if you OC you better also be wearing audio and preferably also video as well, because of the frequency of malicious prosecution. LEOs get mad that OC'ers wear recording equipment. Well... why should you get mad when you clearly don't follow the laws that you're supposed to know and enforce? Should be pretty fucking obvious what the law is, because U SO MAD BRO that you can't mook out law abiders into not carrying. Duh.]

The gun grabbers give us constant shit for getting upset over every "little thing" when it comes to carry rights or penal codes over gun possession. Because we know what the law is. The gun grabbers, when they bloviate, they usually have to write a 1-2 paragraph summary to constantly remind readers what the law actually is [and they often get it wrong]. And of course they write with astonishment when they discover what's on the books. But we aren't surprised because we already know this information.

Then gun grabbers exasperate: "you shouldn't have to memorize all this technical mumbo jumbo about lowers, uppers, pistol grips, etc. just to know some damn common sense facts that are obvious" and that's when you know you're winning. "Isn't it just as stupid to go crazily-changing laws on the books you know not what they consist of? That doesn't seem a smart thing to do, either." Gun grabbers also don't like history [like how the AWB didn't affect crime rates for the 10 years it was in force], etc. Nope, facts and figures don't matter. So now instead we reach for a boogey man: "the BIG GUN LOBBY", because arguing on basics doesn't work anymore. Need to use a boogeyman to scare everyone into getting our way.

We are the ones who are forced to memorize what precisely the laws are because we are the ones who face constant persecution simply for exercising a constitutional right. And we have to know precisely where those boundary lines and limits are, because when it comes to guns, going "0.0002/mph over the limit" means extreme prosecution to the absolute fullest extent of the law in many cases, unlike careening a two-ton hunk of metal down a freeway faster than what the law allows.

Being law-abiding takes proactive work. You have to keep this up when you're sick, when you're tired, when you're happy, when you're at the angriest moment ever in your life, when you've had a few too many at the bar, and even when your life is threatened and in peril.

Being law abiding it is not a natural state, it is a discipline. One that is learned, practiced and followed like a religion.

So, do not equivocate being a nice person with being law abiding. They are not the same thing. One can be a complete shithead asshat, virtual scum of the Earth, but still be 100% law abiding. The sweet little grandma next door could be a serial law breaker and isn't law abiding in the slightest. One's actions determines who is law abiding and who isn't. Not their disposition, their demeanor, or their standing in the community.

The appropriate rejoinder for "well I'm not worried about law abiding gun owners" and similar phraseology should be met with "but you're constantly wanting to redefine WHO is law abiding at every turn until the only law abiding people left are non-gun owners until the Second Amendment is exterminated. That's what this is really about, that's what this debate is about, that's what gun control has been along since gun control ever first became an issue. If this were about urban violence and crime, we'd be spending a lot more time talking about application of existing law and what is and isn't working. But we're only talking about creation of more law, and all of it is designed to remove more people from the classification of 'law-abiding' into 'law-breaking'."

Conversely, because someone is a nice person, or they served their country, or they even defended children under threat--if their actions were not within the law, they were not abiding the law, and therefore not law abiding. Certainly one can have sympathy and rise to the defense, but I wouldn't dain to accuse someone who clearly did NOT follow the gun law law to be a law abiding gun owner. This is an important distinction to make.

Remember that.

p.s. Where I often have to stop a debate with a gun grabber and go into this tangent is things like the crazy changes in magazine caps. "So wait, I am law abiding and I own plenty of 20 and 30 cartridge magazines. So you now want to change it to 5. So you're going to make 40%+ or whatever the number is of gun owners in PA now serial law-breakers. There's no room in the jails for 100K+ new "law abiding gun owners" to go to jail, much less all the lost GDP from throwing all those "law abiding gun owners" in prison for... what precisely?" That's when grandfathering comes in. That's where I hit them back with "but my magazines aren't stamped with the date I bought them. No, I don't have the receipts for all of them because I'm not legally required to keep receipts for magazines, or even the gun itself, because we don't have registries. That's when I eventually suss out from the gun grabber their true intentions: ban everything.

It's fun being smarter than they are.
You know, just when I getting ready to dismiss you as just another "I'm-okay-with-some-gun-control" jerk, you go and post something you obviously put some thought into, and made a lot of good points. Make up your fucking mind already, will you?

Oh, and you said "blowjob". Cool. Gonna replace "gay" with "hot redhead chick", though, if that's alright with you.
Unbanned since September 2012.
I am a law abiding citizen. I know that there is a statute in the books that states if I am going 11 miles over the speed limit while doing between 25 and 55, I am legal. Or if I'm going 6 miles over in either a school zone or over 55, I am legal.

Tongue Tongue Tongue Wink

Good writeup.
[Image: 180-180-dark.png] [Image: zrt-banner.jpg]

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities - Voltaire"
Generally, I think it's not necessary to complicate it too much:

  1. Law-abiding gun owners own their weapons legitimately for legitimate purposes (e.g., hunting, self-defense, recreation) and comply with the laws concerning gun-ownership itself
  2. Non-law-abiding gun owners own their weapons illegitimately for the purpose of committing or facilitating criminal acts and generally make no effort to comply with the laws regarding gun ownership

These are clear, disjoint, groups.

All the other stuff about making criminals out of "law-abiding gun owners" is just secondary and tertiary.

The "abiding" (ahem) principle is that "law-abiding" gun owners have had enough of being scapegoated for what "non-law-abiding gun owners" do, and being saddled with all sorts of restrictions which they, as "law-abiding" citizens will comply with while the criminals ignore it all.
gascolator, proud to be a member of since Nov 2012.
We should just start referring to them as lawful-good gun owners. Tongue
"As I lay rubber down the street I pray for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, please dear God, protect my sweet ride."
All I know is that if someone decides that I should no longer have any of the guns that I own, I'll no longer be a law abiding gun owner.

[Image: pafoasig.png]
ByblosHex;104310 Wrote:We should just start referring to them as lawful-good gun owners. Tongue

I see what you did there. Does that make Obama a lawful evil lich king?
Unbanned since September 2012.

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