The Second Amendment is remarkably clear. It maintains that a citizen may keep and bear arms and the already-clear guarantee further clarifies that this right “shall not be infringed.” Since it’s writing, the government has concluded that “shall not be infringed” means that citizens must ask for permission to own a firearm by submitting to a background check and paying money to exercise this right. Further, the government may arbitrarily decide who is and who is not disallowed from exercising this right. Felons and even people merely rumored to be mentally unfit can have their firearms seized.
And, of course, the laws concerning open or concealed carry are absolute messes which vary wildly by state.
Evidently, one is now prohibited from wearing an empty holster as a University of South Alabama student was recently cited for wearing an open holster on campus.
On Wednesday, D. J. Parten, president of Students for Concealed Carry on campus, was apprehended by the big crime-fighters on campus and cited for “engaging in activities that threaten the safety of the campus community”
Parten was adorned with an empty holster, a form of protest commonly seen in areas where concealed or open carry is prohibited in violation of our Constitution.
As Parten and his friend (who was also wearing an empty holster) were approached by three officers, the officers immediately began their abuses by demanding that they furnish IDs- but somehow, the notion that someone must provide IDs to wear a holster is okay while the idea that someone should provide an ID to vote is “racist.”
The officers then informed them that they would require a permit from the university to wear holsters and then the officers requested to search them. The men lawfully denied the request.
After being denied the request to search them, one of the officers became agitated and informed them that if they did not cooperate, the officers would find something to charge them with.
Parten explained that there was nothing in the law or the university code that prohibited holsters. The officer didn’t seem to care.
When Parten offered the officer a copy of the Constitution, both men began chuckling. The unamused officer replied, “Don’t need it.”
“Is this just because I have a holster on me?” Parten asked after handing-over his ID.
“Yeah, it is, because somebody called it in,” the officer replied. “You know there’s a no-weapons policy out here, but still you want to push it.”
“Uh… this is a protest,” Parten explained.
“Did you get permission to wear it?” the officer questioned.
“I don’t need permission to wear it,” Parten replied.
“You need permission from the university,” the officer still said.
“To wear a holster?” Parten asked.
“There’s a no-weapons policy here.”
“It’s not a weapon.”
“I understand that,” the officer admitted. “Take it up with Dean of Students, then, because y’all are gonna be written up for disciplinary, and I will put in there your attitude, you understand?”
“So I’m gonna ask you one more time: where’s the weapon?” the officer continued to ask.
“I don’t have it,” Parten told him. “It’s at home.”
Later in the video, one of the officers pulled the men aside and explained that they had not done anything technically wrong, but that they should comply more-readily next time.
“What you’re doing is not against the rules or the law,” he explained, “but when we get a call thinking somebody might have a gun, you have to be polite and cooperative, because if you start being difficult, [it looks like] you’re carrying something.
“Your friend here had his hands in pockets, and he kind of laughed when I asked him to take them out, but he forgot that he put this little folding knife—that has a clip on the outside—in his pocket.”
Parten and his friend explain that the officers were called as a result of an empty holster and that they are simply protesting a policy.
“There’s some people in here that disagree with what you’re doing,” the officer said. “And when they see a holster, they call in; it’s just part of your protest.”
Another officer then returned to issue two citations for causing false alarms and for “engaging in activities that threaten the safety of the campus community.” Parten was instructed to remove his holster because he would continue to be cited if officers received another report.
Parten refused and the officers soon left.
Our Second Amendment rights are under attack from every angle. They are under attack on a federal level, they are under attack on state levels and they are most-endangered on a cultural level.
Special snowflakes abhor the idea of an armed populace and seek any opportunity to thwart those who are armed or who are willing to call attention to civil rights abuses that occur daily throughout the U.S. with respect to the Second Amendment.
Worse yet, our nation is filled with quasi-authoritarian institutions with little oversight that can trample the rights of citizens with impunity and there is little recourse. These students may soon find themselves fighting ridiculous charges in order to stay in school and get a degree. Their ability to transfer to another school may be limited as they may be found guilty of weapons offenses by bureaucratic tyrants.
In short, these students may be at risk of having their lives ruined for wearing an empty holster to protest an illegal campus policy. However, this fact must not deter us from exercising our rights, but embolden us to push harder. It is because of principled patriots like Parten and his friend that liberty continues to survive in America… it’s battered, but it survives.
When we have reached this level of ridiculousness, it is clear that those who favor the Second Amendment must be willing to explore more forceful approaches to having our rights recognized.