Our constitutional rights exist whether others recognize them or not. Someone may easily take offense to a person carrying a firearm openly in public, but in states where it is legal to do so, there is little recourse for someone who cannot abide the idea of an armed public.
However, while the unkind glares and hateful eyeing by ignorant masses might be unsettling, the real danger is when law enforcement officers take issue with the open carrying of firearms.
One sheriff has outright declared that he will victimize and brutalize any who carry a firearm in his presence.
While testifying against a pro-Second Amendment bill last week in Florida, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri declared that if he runs into anyone carrying a firearm, he will throw them “on the ground with a gun pointed at them — or worse!”
Presumably, Sheriff Gualtieri is threatening to shoot those who exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Gualtieri further claimed that if a law-abiding citizen were to walk into an in-progress bank robbery while armed, “He’s going to take one in the chest because he’s a threat.”
The anti-Second Amendment sheriff ranted and raved against gun rights and while discussing the state’s permissive gun rights laws that allow for the carrying of firearms, Gualtieri climed, “It’s not good for Florida, it’s not good for the economy, it’s not good for tourism.”
Gualtieri spent the evening before his testimony in Tallahassee swearing-in new officers for his department. As is standard, the sheriff asked for new officers to raise their right hands and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.
The irony seems to be lost on Gualtieri as he declared that he would happily violate the civil rights of law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights- rights of which Sheriff Gualtieri, evidently, does not approve.
Time and time again, the American people must encounter and combat this irrational prejudice and illegal behavior. One need not like guns to abide by the Second Amendment any more than one needs to approve of the speech of others in order to recognize the value of the First Amendment. Sheriff Gualtieri is free to roll his eyes when encountering citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights. However, as he has openly declared his intention to violate the rights of citizens in his county, he must be promptly removed and replaced with someone who actually took his oath of office seriously.
And on that note, we should also instate a president who takes his oath of office seriously… but one thing at a time…