I agree with Greg Banks’ conclusion not to pursue criminal charges against councilmen Rick Almberg and Joel Servatius for their actions during a city council meeting Jan. 15. My problem is that if Mr. Banks wants to hold up the councilmen as heroes of the Constitution for defending their First Amendment right, he must also acknowledge Mr. Frails’ courage in trying to hold the duly-elected representatives of Oak Harbor accountable.
Though Banks found that Frails’ complaint did not have standing, the councilmen should not dismiss it as frivolous. Frail obviously felt he was harmed.
Banks stated, “It is worth noting that a law restricting guns from city council chambers would not be unconstitutional.”
That is true. The problem is, a law restricting guns from council chambers has not been adopted. When Mr. Almberg asked Lucas Yonkman to check his weapon with the chief of police, he was asking him to relinquish his Second Amendment right.
Banks also states, “The protections of the Bill Of Rights, including the right to bear arms, are not absolute.”
Lawyers and civil libertarians like to praise our Founding Fathers for their insight when they authored the First Amendment, but think the founders lost their minds when they included the right to bear arms second only to our rights of free exercise of religion, and freedom of speech.
The Founding Fathers included a process for amending the Constitution. Though the process is cumbersome, it was designed to be that way. It was used successfully 17 times since our Constitution was ratified in 1791.
The time-honored method of a constitutionally-protected protest of walking out of a government meeting seems childish to me.
The private sector would not put up with that. We would not put up with that from our children. The citizens of Wisconsin, Texas and Oak Harbor should not put up with it either.
My last quote from Banks is, “In the United States of America, legislators are authorized and expected to vigorously exercise their First Amendment right and express their thoughts and ideas, regardless of the popularity of those issues.”
I would like to add that as citizens, we are also authorized and expected to vigorously exercise our Second Amendment right, regardless of how unpopular it is with our duly elected representatives.
Our Constitution was not established to guarantee public safety. It was established to secure the blessings of liberty.