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Subject: My 2nd amendment rights actively being infringed rss

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Richard Hefferan
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Some backstory first. My wife is suffering from depression and anxiety. Her parents are abusive, and have been for over thirty years now. They've crafted adult children who are helpless without them, through verbal berating and physical abuse. After realizing the extent of this problem (part of which was having to defend her from her father trying to strike her), I helped her break away from a very oppressive family. She's recovering, but it takes some time and she's obviously not there yet.

So a few weeks ago we have a disagreement. Instead of escallating it to a shouting match, I decide the best course of action is to drive away and clear my head. Ten minutes later she's sobbing into my voicemail and threatening to hurt herself. Well, I have a handgun for personal protection and she has the key to the lock. So I get nervous and call the police because they can get there and secure the situation before I can.

When the police get there the gun is unlocked, but my wife is taking a bath. They count all the medication in the house, confiscate the weapon, put her in handcuffs even though she never offers even disagreement much less resistance, and take her to the hospital. Everything is resolved, it was an overreaction but understandable in the least. Nobody was going to hurt themselves, all the psychiatrists agree and release her.

So a week later I contact the St. Paul police to recover my handgun. They tell me in order to collect my property I have to be submitted to a background check and approval from the chief of police.

I did a mental double take. Since when do I have to prove I'm fit to own my own property? I don't remember waking up in a communist country. I had the impression that I was allowed my freedoms until the state could prove I wasn't fit. Not that I have to prove myself fit to continue owning what I already own simply because they have a doubt.

So I submit the letter even though I believe it shouldn't be necessary. My property should be returned without their approval until they prove it shouldn't, but I'll play ball. Two weeks later, I'm wondering why I haven't heard anything and can't have my property. Upon talking to the officer in the Gang department (where all firearms are stored pending resolution) it appears they require that we provide a letter from the psychologists that my wife is not a threat.

WTF? Why are my rights being infringed without a crime being committed or any evidence of the need being gathered by the police or DA? Why is the burden of proof for my second amendment rights being valid upon me? This situation is completely in contrast with our entire legal system's founding axiom that the burden of proof is upon the state, not the citizenry.

Meanwhile, for months I'll be incapable of defending myself with anything but my fists simply because I asked for the police's help. Way to go guys, now I don't trust you when I need help. Good policy to set. Jackasses.
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I don't know how old you are Rich... but this gradual erosion of 2nd Amendment rights has been underway since the 70's.

This is exactly the stuff that makes people like me adapt a firm conservative stance.

*example*

I have a number of friends in law enforcement. Part of the erosion of rights is attached to legal precedents that are liberally applied to peace officers. So if, for example, a police officer and his wife have an argument and end up seperating or filing for divorce all she has to do is claim that he physically abused (or even threatened to) her and he automatically loses his right to carry a weapon. Which means he can't be a cop.

It doesn't take much to imagine how many scorned and mean-spiritied women have used this to punish their husbands. Unfortunately it's way too common a scenario.
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True Blue Jon
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Many people believe that we are innocent until proven guilty in this country. That only applies to felonies. For everything else we are legally guilty until proven innocent.
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Chad Ellis
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I strongly sympathize, and agree that you should have had your gun returned with far less hassle. That said, I do think it's interesting that you don't seem to think there's any issue whatsoever with a situation in which you have to call the police over because you think that your gun is a potential danger due to your wife's mental state. Calling the police isn't a trivial matter, and once you ask someone, anyone, to intervene in a potentially life-threatening situation they assume some responsibility for the outcome.

If my neighbor called me and said, "I think my wife might shoot herself and I'm miles away; can you run over there and get my gun," I'd be pretty concerned. If the same neighbor came over the next day and said, "Thanks for that, it's all good now, I just came back for my gun," I'd certainly hope to hear some indication that he'd added extra safeguards and if he indignantly demanded that I mind my own business I'd probably shoot him.
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William Boykin
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Shushnik wrote:
Some backstory first. My wife is suffering from depression and anxiety. Her parents are abusive, and have been for over thirty years now. They've crafted adult children who are helpless without them, through verbal berating and physical abuse. After realizing the extent of this problem (part of which was having to defend her from her father trying to strike her), I helped her break away from a very oppressive family. She's recovering, but it takes some time and she's obviously not there yet.

So a few weeks ago we have a disagreement. Instead of escallating it to a shouting match, I decide the best course of action is to drive away and clear my head. Ten minutes later she's sobbing into my voicemail and threatening to hurt herself. Well, I have a handgun for personal protection and she has the key to the lock. So I get nervous and call the police because they can get there and secure the situation before I can.

When the police get there the gun is unlocked, but my wife is taking a bath. They count all the medication in the house, confiscate the weapon, put her in handcuffs even though she never offers even disagreement much less resistance, and take her to the hospital. Everything is resolved, it was an overreaction but understandable in the least. Nobody was going to hurt themselves, all the psychiatrists agree and release her.

So a week later I contact the St. Paul police to recover my handgun. They tell me in order to collect my property I have to be submitted to a background check and approval from the chief of police.

I did a mental double take. Since when do I have to prove I'm fit to own my own property? I don't remember waking up in a communist country. I had the impression that I was allowed my freedoms until the state could prove I wasn't fit. Not that I have to prove myself fit to continue owning what I already own simply because they have a doubt.

So I submit the letter even though I believe it shouldn't be necessary. My property should be returned without their approval until they prove it shouldn't, but I'll play ball. Two weeks later, I'm wondering why I haven't heard anything and can't have my property. Upon talking to the officer in the Gang department (where all firearms are stored pending resolution) it appears they require that we provide a letter from the psychologists that my wife is not a threat.

WTF? Why are my rights being infringed without a crime being committed or any evidence of the need being gathered by the police or DA? Why is the burden of proof for my second amendment rights being valid upon me? This situation is completely in contrast with our entire legal system's founding axiom that the burden of proof is upon the state, not the citizenry.

Meanwhile, for months I'll be incapable of defending myself with anything but my fists simply because I asked for the police's help. Way to go guys, now I don't trust you when I need help. Good policy to set. Jackasses.


Rich-
Hope you get your gun back, but more importantly, hope your wife is better! She's a cool lady from what little I've seen on the boards here.

Darilian
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Paul DeStefano
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Shushnik wrote:
Instead of escallating it to a shouting match, I decide the best course of action is to drive away and clear my head


This is bad on many many levels.

Consider how abusive you become when you take the power of communication from her by fleeing.

Considering her history, this is not the best response. Perhaps shouting (also bad, but I understand if you cannot avoid it) is the better choice.

You physically overrode her right to disagree.
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Richard Hefferan
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Geosphere wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Instead of escallating it to a shouting match, I decide the best course of action is to drive away and clear my head


This is bad on many many levels.

Consider how abusive you become when you take the power of communication from her by fleeing.

Considering her history, this is not the best response. Perhaps shouting (also bad, but I understand if you cannot avoid it) is the better choice.

You physically overrode her right to disagree.


While I agree that given her situation my leaving probably wasn't the best choice, there is absolutely no way it qualifies as abusive. I mean, give me a break.

I have no obligation to physically allow her to disagree. She has no authority over my presence, unless you subscribe to some strange view that marriage equates to little more than slavery. I am master of my own mind and body, and should not be required to subject myself to an argument or face accusation of abuse because I didn't. This has to be one of the most ridiculous stances I've seen in a while, even by RSP standards.
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Richard Hefferan
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Darilian wrote:

Rich-
Hope you get your gun back, but more importantly, hope your wife is better! She's a cool lady from what little I've seen on the boards here.

Darilian


She's getting there. They have her on a different anti-anxiety medicine that's working well, and her therapy is progressing. Thanks for your concern.

And the only reason I didn't put up a stink when the police confescated my handgun is because obviously she's more important than it. Now that she's definately leveled out, I have room to be disgusted by the continued infringement of the constitution by my local police.
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Richard Hefferan
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quozl wrote:
Many people believe that we are innocent until proven guilty in this country. That only applies to felonies. For everything else we are legally guilty until proven innocent.


Can you offer something to support this concept? I understand that in civil court the burden of proof shifts from beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge's opinion of what is most likely, but as far as I know all criminal law and civil rights are held to the standard of innocent until proven guilty. I would be suprised to hear that the severity of the criminal act would change the state's burden to prove a crime was committed. Seems less than equitable for minor offenses.
 
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CHAPEL
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Shushnik wrote:


Meanwhile, for months I'll be incapable of defending myself with anything but my fists simply because I asked for the police's help. Way to go guys, now I don't trust you when I need help. Good policy to set. Jackasses.


Well, it sounds like the likelihood you'll need the gun to protect yourself and your family from harm WITH the gun is like million to 1, but the likelihood your family will harmed BY the gun is significantly higher.

You may not feel safer right now, but from my perspective, you are.
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Jess i TRON
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Shushnik wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Instead of escallating it to a shouting match, I decide the best course of action is to drive away and clear my head


This is bad on many many levels.

Consider how abusive you become when you take the power of communication from her by fleeing.

Considering her history, this is not the best response. Perhaps shouting (also bad, but I understand if you cannot avoid it) is the better choice.

You physically overrode her right to disagree.


While I agree that given her situation my leaving probably wasn't the best choice, there is absolutely no way it qualifies as abusive. I mean, give me a break.

I have no obligation to physically allow her to disagree. She has no authority over my presence, unless you subscribe to some strange view that marriage equates to little more than slavery. I am master of my own mind and body, and should not be required to subject myself to an argument or face accusation of abuse because I didn't. This has to be one of the most ridiculous stances I've seen in a while, even by RSP standards.


Rich, I was repulsed by Geosphere's post initially too, until I reread it with "She feels like..." in front of it. Your action was obviously not abusive, and was completely reasonable even if on retrospect you'd act differently. But it may have felt to her like you were overriding her right to disagree, depriving her of your communication, even silently threatening to leave her, to the point where she felt desperate.

I have no idea whether it's accurate or not, just wanted to point out a different way of interpreting the suggestion.
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Jess i TRON
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MWChapel wrote:
Shushnik wrote:


Meanwhile, for months I'll be incapable of defending myself with anything but my fists simply because I asked for the police's help. Way to go guys, now I don't trust you when I need help. Good policy to set. Jackasses.


Well, it sounds like the likelihood you'll need the gun to protect yourself and your family from harm WITH the gun is like million to 1, but the likelihood your family will harmed BY the gun is significantly higher.

You may not feel safer right now, but from my perspective, you are.


That makes a lot of sense, but the question is whose perspective matters? From a 2nd-amendment-freedom point of view, Rich's opinion overrides yours.

I'm not in favor of these half-assed restrictions on gun ownership, which only affect the good guys, the guys who are astute enough to call for help in the rare case that there's a slight possibility of harm.
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Chad Ellis
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Shushnik wrote:
quozl wrote:
Many people believe that we are innocent until proven guilty in this country. That only applies to felonies. For everything else we are legally guilty until proven innocent.


Can you offer something to support this concept? I understand that in civil court the burden of proof shifts from beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge's opinion of what is most likely, but as far as I know all criminal law and civil rights are held to the standard of innocent until proven guilty. I would be suprised to hear that the severity of the criminal act would change the state's burden to prove a crime was committed. Seems less than equitable for minor offenses.


I think that quozi misspoke and meant to say "crimes" instead of felonies, with the point being that in areas of police action (e.g. holding on to your gun and making you jump through hoops to get it back) you have to prove your "innocence" rather than the state having to prove that you're not fit to have it returned.

Otherwise, he's just incorrect -- even in a civil case you're considered innocent until proven guilty. The difference is the burden of proof required is preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.
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jessitron wrote:
From a 2nd-amendment-freedom point of view, Rich's opinion overrides yours.


But there are like half a dozen Gun Control "Acts" that are used to define what is and what is not the definition of the 2nd amendment. And until those are overturned by the supreme court as unconstitutional, they are the current definition and the law of the land.

We would like to believe we can interpret the 2nd amendment any way we like, but that doesn't follow due process.
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I'm fairly sure that you can take heart in knowing that it was Brynn Hartman who purchased and kept all her family's handguns, not her husband.
 
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chiddler wrote:

No wonder you Americans get shot to death in such huge numbers.


While I agree with your overall assessment of this thread, I'd have to say it's statements like that which make me wonder how you'd have fared as David Gray's neighbor.
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Quote:
Somehoe this incident didn't teach you how stupid it is to have the gun in the house in the first place?


Gun ownership in my family dates back to the late 1700's. An unbroken chain of dangerous people who you only appreciate when you need them. No member of my family has ever shot another family member accidentally or even intentionally. Although, my uncle DC did put a bullet through his own knee and foot when he was practicing fast-draw while drinking Lone Star beer.

Quote:
No wonder you Americans get shot to death in such huge numbers.


It's a matter of perspective. Some think of it as "thinning the herd". Barring the rare school shooting or postal worker rage, most gun deaths occur between drug gangs or in trailer parks, ghettos and out on the mean streets of the slums.

As evidenced by events last week in Germany and within the last year or two in the UK, even nations with very strict controls on gun ownership have the problem with children getting shot up or disgruntled workers offing the boss and co-workers.
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jessitron wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Instead of escallating it to a shouting match, I decide the best course of action is to drive away and clear my head


This is bad on many many levels.

....

You physically overrode her right to disagree.


While I agree that given her situation my leaving probably wasn't the best choice, there is absolutely no way it qualifies as abusive. .... This has to be one of the most ridiculous stances I've seen in a while, even by RSP standards.


Rich, I was repulsed by Geosphere's post initially too, until I reread it with "She feels like..." in front of it..... just wanted to point out a different way of interpreting the suggestion.


Exactly.

Trust me.

An abused person feels abuse in the most innocent and subtle actions because they have been conditioned to.

Just on this one trust me. I know.

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Shushnik wrote:
I have no obligation to physically allow her to disagree.


And this to me is indeed a part of marriage.

Every time you want to disagree, rather than work it out, you can just leave?

Allowing the disagreement is integral to any growing relationship. Otherwise you're instating a position of power through physical action.

To me.
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My take on her feeling abused because Rich left? She would have felt 100 times more abused had he stayed and beat the hell out of her, which I know from personal experience is just as likely an outcome of "allowing the disagreement." Taking time to cool off in the heat of anger is a very adaptive thing to do, for ALL concerned, depending entirely upon the participants.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
I think that quozi misspoke and meant to say "crimes" instead of felonies, with the point being that in areas of police action (e.g. holding on to your gun and making you jump through hoops to get it back) you have to prove your "innocence" rather than the state having to prove that you're not fit to have it returned.

Otherwise, he's just incorrect -- even in a civil case you're considered innocent until proven guilty. The difference is the burden of proof required is preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.


I spoke from a hazy memory of a Business Law class I took in community college. For all misdemeanors, you're guilty until proven innocent (in effect). The reason for this is practicality. Can you imagine if a police officer had to prove you were speeding? (Yes, that may not be such a great example today with radar guns and everything but imagine doing that in the 1950s.)
 
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MisterCranky wrote:
My take on her feeling abused because Rich left? She would have felt 100 times more abused had he stayed and beat the hell out of her, which I know from personal experience is just as likely an outcome of "allowing the disagreement." Taking time to cool off in the heat of anger is a very adaptive thing to do, for ALL concerned, depending entirely upon the participants.


You have to know yourself, and there are certainly times where choosing bad over worse is the right thing to do. If his choice was really to leave or to get violent, then it's good that he left. That said, if beating the hell out of your wife is a likely outcome of a fight, you need therapy.
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Chad Ellis
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quozl wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
I think that quozi misspoke and meant to say "crimes" instead of felonies, with the point being that in areas of police action (e.g. holding on to your gun and making you jump through hoops to get it back) you have to prove your "innocence" rather than the state having to prove that you're not fit to have it returned.

Otherwise, he's just incorrect -- even in a civil case you're considered innocent until proven guilty. The difference is the burden of proof required is preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.


I spoke from a hazy memory of a Business Law class I took in community college. For all misdemeanors, you're guilty until proven innocent (in effect). The reason for this is practicality. Can you imagine if a police officer had to prove you were speeding? (Yes, that may not be such a great example today with radar guns and everything but imagine doing that in the 1950s.)


Actually, police officers do have to prove that you're speeding. You can challenge a speeding ticket in court and the court then hears evidence.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
Actually, police officers do have to prove that you're speeding. You can challenge a speeding ticket in court and the court then hears evidence.


Right. You have to prove your innocence.
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And if the policeman claims that you were speeding, and provides a log that claims that someone was speeding, it doesn't really matter if it was you that was speeding, or it was someone going in the opposite direction on the highway: The policeman got his reading that doesn't indicate it was your car. He claims he was pointing at your car, you claim he wasn't. Since he's a policeman, you lose in court.
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