As Nicki pointed out below, Mr. Spaulding was denied his Right to Arms as a condition of his release. No charges have been filed, no trial conducted, yet he had to agree to not possess weapons in order to secure his freedom.
This was done by a judge who has immunity in almost any action he takes upon the bench. He cannot be prosecuted, arrested, or detained. At most he could be held accountable for any wrongdoing by other judges; but this almost always involves an administrative proceeding that results at worst in the loss of his job.
The person Mr. Spaulding shot was not arrested for the attack he was shot in the process of committing. He was treated & released & then arrested after he attacked someone else that same night. If he wouldn't have been so foolish as to attack again the same night he'd probably still be free. Nothing has been said about his companions so I assume they're free as well.
Another thing judges are virtually immune from is being defenseless. Should the criminal Mr. Spaulding shot decide to attack a judge, odds are he'd face one who is armed as judges are routinely excepted from any state or federal prohibitions concerning carrying weapons. If a judge feels particularly nervous he has access to police protection. Not a patrol car driving by his house two or three times a night mind you, but actual police protection.
But should the companions of the man Mr. Spaulding shot wish revenge upon Mr. Spaulding then they're in for a much easier time of it than if they went after a judge. After all, Mr. Spaulding is defenseless; disarmed by a judge. disarmed by a system. Even more to the point - disarmed by us.
Why us? What have we done to cause Mr. Spaulding's disarmement? Nothing. & for that we should be ashamed.
We've stood by & let Congress pass laws that eroded our freedom. We've let judges interpret the Constitution in such a way as to disadvantage ourselves. We've let policeman bully us around with or without the law backing them up. We've stepped & fetched to hold onto a tenth of our Rights for the sake of getting along peaceably. We let them steal 25% of our money instead of causing a scene by telling them no. Hell, some of us pay money to have a permit to carry a weapon - as if it wasn't a Right in the first damned place.
Because of our playing by the government's rules - even when they change those rules to suit their position - we have devolved into a nation whose every action is judged by the government & those who aren't found guilty are too scared to speak up for the ones who are.
But you aren't scared: you write your congressman, you show up at city council meetings, you sign petitions, & you even write heated letters to the editor of your local paper. Hell, some of you may even blog. Lemme ask you something; do you think you're more free or less free than you were ten years ago?
What good has letter writing, e-mailing & arguing with the government done? In some states you can pay for a piece of paper to carry a weapon & that piece of paper says you've not only registered yourself as a gun owner, but kissed government ass to do it (that'd be a concealed carry permit in case the NRA has tricked you as well). In two states you can carry without groveling for permission. That's cause for joy - unless you don't live in one of those states. & that joy is bittersweet because those two states are only doing what they should, what they ought to do. They don't deserve sweeping praise because they don't rountinely round up their citizens & kill off a certain percent at random, & neither do they deserve praise for doing the right thing concerning their citizens Right to Arms. But compared to the rest of the nation, they seem to have a better idea of freedom.
How about taxes? Any letter writing stopped the IRSS from stealing your money before you even freakin' get it cashed? At most some people have seen a reduction in the amount stolen. Relatively speaking that's better but it's still not an improvement. They shouldn't be stealing your money at all, yet you're happy when they smile at you & promise to steal a little less next year?
No-knock searches. Ever heard a judge or politician promise to end this abysmal & dangerous practice because you wrote a letter to him? Or is it still possible that the break-in at 3:a.m. next door is really officers of the law serving their office?
Any of y'all bought a brand new assault weapon lately? How about a brand spankin' new submachine gun? Perhaps a silencer that didn't have a $200 tax & a months long wait to see if your groveling was sufficient to gain permission for it? A 12" shotgun for under $125 including tax? Or a factory fresh 20 round magazine?
My point is that as much as I'd like to believe that writing letters, e-mails, signing petitions & participating in protests is an effective tactic to regain our freedoms, I simply don't think it will be enough to do any of us any good.
Yes, things could be worse. & I guaran - damn - teeya they will be before it's over. Not because we didn't try to do things peaceably. No, I think things will be worse because we've tried things peacably for too damn long. Think about it; if our humble supplications, too numerous to count, haven't secured the freedoms that our Constitution acknowledged, then how the hell will they prevent the kind of tyranny it will take to wake most of the people up?
More to the point, being polite hasn't even gotten us the freedoms secured in the Bill of Rights. How will that same tactic prevent the kind of oppression we abhor when we see it in other countries?
A 71 year old man was arrested, held without bail, released on the condition of his disarmament & still could face attempted murder charges for defending a friend from violent attack by three people. This in the state most of y'all would point to as a great defender of the Right to Arms - the first state with a shall-issue concealed carry law.
A 17 shot .22 rimfire rifle can land the owner in jail for up to 5 years in a state that fought for its independance from England.
It costs $100 & requires groveling to some petty bureaucrat to own friggin' pepper spray, let alone a firearm, in the state whose citizens rose up against a trained army that came to disarm them in 1775.
The highest court in the land has for the past 66 years been refusing to even address whether or not we have a Right to Arms as it says in the Constitution, while lower courts routinely ignore said Constitution's acknowledgement of our Right to Arms.
Congress keeps passing prior restraint based gun control.
The President keeps enforcing prior restraint based gun control.
The IRSS forces your employer to rape your paycheck for the government eveyr week.
A War on Drugs justifies the invasion of your privacy as well as the confiscation of your property until you can prove your innocence.
Any cop can force you to do tricks for his amusement under the guise of the drunk driving laws.
The DEA will take your house if they find one proscribed plant in the smallest corner of your property.
The EPA will forbid you from altering your property for the sake of some animal that it claims is endangered & can only live on your land.
Agents of the Department of Agriculture & even postal employees are allowed to carry arms on planes, yet you'll get your swiss army knife stolen if you try to fly with one.
A victimless crime committed in defiance of the government will usually net you more jail time than a violent crime against a human being or his/her property.
To reinforce that last point, an attack on a government employee will carry a harsher senetence than the same attack, or in some cases a worse attack, on a private citizen.
In short, the government hasn't declared war on us. No, they'd have to respect us & think we're at least a half-way formidable adversary to declare war. They've bitch-slapped us & they continue to bitch-slap us as they force us down to lick the boot that kicks us.
In between bitch-slaps we write letters. If thos eletters are answered at all they usually just point out that we aren't really getting bitch-slapped; those are just love taps. Then they smile in our face as they bitch-slap us again.
So - & I ask this in all seriousness - is there anyone out there who can convince me that revolution isn't the only way we'll ever be free? Or is it too late even for revolution to work for our freedom?