Saturday, May 28, 2011

Feelin' lucky at the library, punk?

My first post-divorce apartment was in downtown Lansing, across the street from Reutter Park and a block from the Capital Area District Library’s (CADL) downtown branch. I used to take Amelia to the library to explore the magical world of children’s literature.

This was before a group of gun nuts decided to get their names in the newspaper by walking around the library carrying shotguns on their shoulders.

Late last year, a gun advocacy group known as “Michigan Open Carry” decided to protest CADL’s no-weapons policy, stating that the library board lacks the authority to ban guns because the library doesn’t qualify as a “pistol free zone,” like a church, school or arena.

Why a public library frequented by preteens shouldn’t qualify in anyone’s mind as a “pistol free zone” is beyond me.

“I ask and demand that the city update training of library staff to prevent citizens from being harassed any further,” Michigan Open Carry president Scott Webb told a local newspaper, referring to two incidents when men were asked to leave the library for openly carrying a shotgun and a handgun.

It really frustrates me to hear stories of large, armed, gun-rights bozos being harassed by self-righteous little librarians, dammit.

One of the twits said he worries for his own protection when he’s not allowed to carry a gun.

“I have a right to defend myself,” the guy told Lansing City Pulse. When asked who he was defending himself against, he said some of the people congregating outside the library “don’t look exactly friendly. People that look at you when you walk out. Like people that are in need of something and they might try and get it from you.”

Why are mouth-breathing idiots like this allowed to get their paws on firearms at all? And what’s the guy doing in a library anyway? Aren’t they primarily for people who read?

The library pointed out that those with permits can still carry concealed weapons on the premises. Not good enough for the gun nuts. They didn’t care that staff and patrons were alarmed and panicked at the sight of men with firearms roaming the bookshelves either. So the police were called and temporary injunctions were issued and the pro-gun zealots even tried to get the Lansing City Council to encourage CADL to change its policy.

Finally, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the library doesn’t fall under a “local unit of government” such as a city, village, township or county – which under state law cannot prohibit open carry of firearms – and therefore does have the authority to ban people who openly carry guns.

Now that Governor Rick Snyder and his minions have stuck it to consumers by trashing our item pricing law and removing the requirement that businesses pay taxes, maybe he can find a second to examine the ridiculous state law that allows yahoos to play Cowboys of the Wild West at places where children do their book learnin’?

On second thought, forget it. He probably supports it.

Sources: Lansing City Pulse, Capital Area District Library, Michigan Open Carry, Inc.

1 comment: