Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big SCOTUS decision today!

Today the Supreme Court ruled on the Second Amendment. They said "We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals." They declared that it protects an individual right not connected to the militia to "possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation." "It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of theright."

"3. Relationship between Prefatory Clause and Operative Clause We reach the question, then: Does the preface fit with an operative clause that creates an individual right to keep and bear arms? It fits perfectly, once one knows the history that the founding generation knew and that we have described above. That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the ablebodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia orstanding army to suppress political opponents."

So, some good and other ambiguous/vague statements. It is disappointing that they did not strongly protect the right to own machine guns and such, but on the other hand, I'm sure the 1986 ban will be challenged. Even if we do not get rid of the NFA entirely, to get rid of that 1986 ban on new machine guns would be quite nice and, perhaps, good enough for me as far as NFA items go if that is the best we can do. Maybe I'll have to start saving up money for some NFA tax stamps to get some nice toys. Maybe some grenades or other destructive devices, if the machine gun ban is ever overturned or repealed, I want one of those. Those pre-1986 machine guns are pretty expensive these days.

The ruling has certainly made things more difficult for gun grabbers I think because many of their targets: common handguns, AR's and Ak's, so-called high capacity magazines, etc., are all quite common and protected based on what the court said. The court stated that unless a person is prohibited (that is, a felon) they must issue him a license for his handgun. That obviously leads to several logical extensions and conclusions: if the right to keep arms (the central issue in this case) is protected and therefore the license (the license requirement itself was not challenged by Heller sadly so it was not overturned) must be issued unless there is a valid reason (the person is a felon), then likewise, as the ruling also declared to bear arms a right as well (but not at issue in this case), then DC must allow people to carry (bear) arms, and therefore must issue carry permits. Obviously, Fenty won't like that, so i suspect another lawsuit will be needed for that to be resolved.

Mayor Daley of Chicago nearly had a heart attack judging from the way he spoke today. Chicago's handgun ban is being challenged already by a lawsuit. DC's government is still trying to restrict guns including enforcing the ban on most semi-auto handguns and they do not seem eager to issue carry permits or to even allow registration of handguns yet. They will try their best to hassle gun owners, but I foresee more lawsuits that DC will lose. It would be wonderful if someone would file a lawsuit against the city (and others that attempt to infringe upon this protected right) based on Title 42 of the U.S. Code, or perhaps DC will find itself held in contempt of court. Use the Civil Rights laws to put these thugs in their place! That's why those laws are in place, use them. I will myself should my rights be infringed upon in the future (or perhaps I should now given some of my recent enjoyable experiences with some wannabe thug from the Rutland police). I am looking forward to seeing the gun grabbers on the defensive.

To the four dissenting justices: I read your opinions as well. All I can say is that when such people are found in this country's highest court, clearly there is a problem. You have sworn to uphold the Constitution and guard the rights of Americans, yet you wrote four pieces of trash trying through incoherent rambling to trash the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Do your country a favor and resign and quite the court, you scum!

Monday, June 16, 2008

crazy weather week

Weather's been crazy this week. Severe thunderstorms, flooding, sewage backed into people's homes, erosion all over, etc. The damage to my garden wasn't too bad but there was definately some erosion and some damaged plants. I was out in the middle of the woods on last Tuesday when a storm hit. It ended my camping trip pretty quickly. A tree fell about 20 feet from my tent. A big, live pine tree. That wind was quite strong. On the bright side, I got some target practice time in earlier that day. I didn't catch any fish but I tried.

The SCOTUS still hasn't ruled on the gun case. The suspense is killing me. It should be out on Monday, odds are. I sure hope they don't delay any longer with it, and they better do a very good job with it.

I haven't heard anything from the aldermen or chief yet on the police harassing me over open carry. I wanted to go to tonight's board of aldermen meeting, but didn't, I was too dirty, and tired, after most of the day being spent shopping for plants to replace the lost ones and then working on my garden. That rain sure did help the weeds grow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This week so far

Been an interesting week. My garden seems to be doing well with the exception of some of the tomatoes. My silvery fir tree and brandywine tomatoes must of gotten transplant shock or something (which is odd since I hardened them off and it's been warm lately), but my black plum and siberian tomatoes are doing okay from the looks of things (though a bit small as I got the seed ordered rather late this year, this is the first time I've tried black plums). I had some extra space though so I direct seeded some more tomato seeds in case the transplants don't recover. We'll see what happens, silvery fir tree tomatoes should produce even if direct seeded here, but the brandywines are iffy...

The onions and potatoes look great though. The peas have been rather slow this year, but they're coming along. It's a little early to tell how the beans will do, but my beans look to be off to a good start. Just to try it, I planted peanuts. I don't have high hopes of getting anything from them, but if I do get anything, that'll be nice. The cucumbers, corn and squash are poking out. The watermelon plants seem to be doing okay, but I fear it getting cool here just as they're nearing harvest time. The sugar baby should do okay, but moon & stars is something I have no real experience with until now, I've just always wanted to grow it because it's so unusual.

Don't have anything to add on the guns issue at the moment. Interestingly though as an aside, the SCOTUS will be issuing some more decisions tomorrow rather than sticking with the usual Monday only schedule, the suspense over the Heller case is getting to me, the future freedom of this country is in the hands of those 9 justices...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

once again harassed

Well it happened again. This cop was incredibly insulting, nasty and just plain has a bad attitude.

"Dear Chief Anthony Bossi,
Today, the 5th day of June, 2008, Officer Fuller (his name badge had Fuller written on it) stopped and questioned me in what would appear to be at the minimum an attempt to prevent me from openly exercising my right to bear arms. He approached me, stated to keep my hands where he could see them, then grabbed my antique (circa 1880's) revolver out of my holster. He asked me for ID, which I did not have, but I clearly identified myself by name. He gave me trouble over this and attempted to argue that I must carry an ID card with me at all times. I pointed out that while the law may require a citizen identify him or her self by name to an officer when asked, it does not require a person to carry at all times and show on demand ID when walking. He insisted that I was wrong. He proceeded to question me, and, just as the other officers did previously, attempted to intimidate and discourage me from exercising my rights. He gave me no reason or probable cause other than that a person whom he would not name had reported seeing a man with a gun. He questioned me as to why I was carrying said revolver to which I replied self-defense if needed, and that it is my right. I furthermore commented that I do not feel this city to be terribly safe, with all the drug dealer problems and such recently. The officer repeatedly stated "think" when I insisted that it is my right to carry a sidearm. He asked me on what do I base my claims, and I stated the Constitution, state law, and decisions of the courts, to which he responded "where do you come up with this crap." When I mentioned State v. Rosenthal, decided by the Vermont Supreme Court in 1903, he said, "that was 1903, this is 2008," exhibiting complete disregard and contempt for the decision of our state’s highest court, a ruling in which the court sternly protected the right of individuals to bear arms. He also mentioned MA laws against the carrying of arms, implying that if MA has laws banning the carrying of firearms such restrictions must be acceptable legally, to which I responded that this is Vermont, not MA, and that our courts have protected this right. He said that he does not believe I am responsible enough to be carrying a firearm. When I inquired as to what law granted him the authority to take my gun from me and unload it in the first place without my permission, he said rather loudly and close to my face, "my law," and stated also that it was to make him and me safer. He was unable to cite any law giving him this authority, leaving this question not answered satisfactorily. I am particularly troubled by the fact that a servant of the public, a police officer, has decided that he may make law up at will, or at the minimum, claim he is doing so and feel nothing is wrong with that.
Officer Fuller stated at one point that it is not normal behavior for a person to carry a loaded gun around. I asked him who decides what is normal behavior, and he said "society," to which I responded that the Constitution and rights guaranteed by it must be respected. He also said that the world is "changing" and that I must either accept and adapt to these changes, or face the "consequences," and that it is not the "wild west where everyone carries a gun around." He also suggested that I move to a state like AZ where it’s more common to carry a gun. Some references were made to the old city ordinance, removed in the 1990's, prohibiting the carrying of a loaded gun. I said that it was removed because it was illegal under state law, and that the Supreme Court of Vermont in State v. Rosenthal had thrown out a similar ordinance, and that similar ordinances in other cities were removed in the 1990's either by courts through lawsuit or under threat of same. He argued that it was legal for the city to do so and that it was removed only because it was a "stupid law" and that it is impossible to tell whether or not a gun being carried is loaded. He is incorrect in that state law prohibits cities/municipalities from prohibiting or restricting the possession, ownership or carrying of firearms, and in my previous complaint to this department, I included a copy of the pertinent part of this statute.
It is becoming clear to me that this police department is attempting to intimidate and hassle people who exercise this right into not doing so out of fear and inconvenience of being stopped and questioned. Officer Fuller wasted over 30 minutes of my time today, without any valid reason or authority, trying to convince me through conversation against carrying a gun for protection, and he stated that he frequently discourages people in the city from carrying weapons. He stated that I have made myself "part of the problem" in this city by carrying a weapon, clearly trying to compare me to the criminal drug dealers and such who have caused so much trouble in recent history as I had earlier mentioned these people making me feel the city is not safe, and I deeply resent this comparison.
I hereby lodge a complaint with this officer named Fuller and anxiously await your response. As I stated in my previous letter, written the day before this present letter, if there is any particular form that must be filled out or used in order to lodge and file a complain against this officer, I request that you advise me of that fact. Any response may be made in writing to the address at the top of this letter.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

additional comments

I amended my letter to add the following to the last paragraph and splitting said paragraph:

"With the above said, I do sincerely hope that you will after investigating this matter, as duty requires of you, advise the officers serving under you to not interfere in any way, shape, or form, with the bearing of arms, in order to avoid any further action being necessary. Furthermore, I request that the officers involved be identified by name, in writing your response to this letter. If there is a particular form or document required by policy or any applicable laws in order to initiate and lodge a formal complaint against those involved, I wish to be informed of such in order that I may fully exercise my rights in regards to this matter. A response may be sent by mail to the address at the top of this letter’s first page."

I figured I should add those comments and questions to it.


Well this has been a wet, cool day today. Perfect day for writing. I'll be mailing out this letter of complaint to the police chief tomorrow, accompanied by several documents including statutes and court rulings, and he had better take it very seriously, because I am regardless of whether or not he does (please note paragraph breaks didn't copy over):

Dear Chief Bossi,

I am writing this letter of complaint in regards to a recent, and inappropriate, encounter with three police officers. They, two males and one female, did not identify themselves by name, however, I am certain their identities could be easily established by examining any documents or recordings pertaining to this event. On the morning of June 3rd, I was walking on Stratton Road while legally armed with a revolver holstered at my side. I was approached by a police cruiser and two city police officers got out of the vehicle and began questioning me regarding my sidearm. They questioned me as to my reason(s) for carrying said firearm. They claimed that a passing motorist had seen my gun and called them, but upon questioning later they would not identify this person. They requested ID but I did not have ID with me as I am not in the habit of carrying it when not necessary. They asked for my name, address and phone number, and whether or not I live alone or with others. They requested to examine my sidearm and did so. Eventually another police cruiser arrived and another officer was present towards the very end of this encounter. They, in addition, did a check by serial number to determine of the firearm was stolen and they questioned me as to how I acquired the firearm. I observed that the female officer present wrote down some information on the firearm in question.
Before leaving, the male officer accompanying the female officer, one of the two who initially stopped me, attempted to lecture to me against open carry. He said that I must be trying to attract attention by doing so, to which I responded that no I am not, that covering (concealing) the revolver would not work (because as it was relatively warm out, I was wearing fairly light clothing). He said in a rather rude manner that should I step foot on any school grounds while armed, I would be arrested and go to jail. While perhaps an officer may politely (and without detaining an individual) point out that under state law (Title 13 Section 4004) it is unlawful to be within a school building or school bus armed except under certain, limited, exceptions, and that it is unlawful to be present on school grounds while armed if with the intent to injure anyone, it was quite clear from this officer’s tone and facial expressions (and from some of his other comments which I will detail shortly) that his intent was to intimidate and/or frighten me against carrying, lest I unknowingly find myself in a prohibited place, and this is highly inappropriate for an officer to resort to. Perhaps more shocking and important, this same officer said that while I may have a right to do so, should I continue to carry a firearm, stops such as the one I encountered would be frequent, and he asked me, "is it worth it?." Clearly, this was an attempt at intimidating me into not exercising my constitutional right to "bear arms" as listed in the Vermont Constitution (Article 16) and in the United States Constitution (Amendment 2).
The Vermont Supreme Court declared, in State v. Rosenthal, that a Rutland City ordinance existing at that time was "inconsistent with and repugnant to the Constitution and the laws of the state" and therefore void. More recently, in the 1990's, as I am sure you are aware of, a similar city ordinance was removed for the same reasons, after Rutland City police caused problems for people who exercised their right to bear arms. I have discovered, through examining public records, that Alderman Bossi proposed in December of 2007 an ordinance banning the carrying of firearms onto city property and into city buildings, to add to a current ordinance forbidding carrying firearms in city parks. While the recent proposal may not have been enacted at this time, I would point out that both of these ordinances, too, would be illegal to enforce. Vermont’s courts have repeatedly found similar city ordinances in the state to be unconstitutional and illegal. Furthermore, state law prohibits any municipality from restricting the possession or carrying of firearms. Some pertinent state and federal statutes and the Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Rosenthal may be found at the end of this letter.
I will point out that, as this city has learned more than once in the past 105 years, this city’s government and its police officers have no authority or right to interfere in the lawful bearing of arms, and that any future infringements on this civil right will result in legal action being taken. Repeatedly, and without any lawful authority, stopping and questioning those who exercise this right is a very clear infringement and an abuse of power and any such abuse of power and any future "deprivation of rights under color of law" shall not be tolerated. Should people uncomfortable with seeing this right being exercised call in complaints that they have seen a person with a gun, the appropriate response would be to ask if the individual armed is threatening in any way (and merely being armed does not constitute a threat under law) and should it be found that the complaint is merely the result of seeing someone armed and minding his or her own business, the caller should be told that it is entirely legal for a person to be armed and no actions taken. I do sincerely hope that you will after investigating this matter, as duty requires of you, advise the officers serving under you to not interfere in any way, shape, or form, with the bearing of arms, in order to avoid any further action being necessary.



Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Well, my first post. Okay, so why did I finally start a blog after thinking about it in the past but never getting around to it? Today's experience. See, I plan on "homesteading" in Alaska, but for several reasons, haven't moved yet to my 20 acres. So I'm stuck in Vermont currently. Vermont has some of the best (most free) gun laws in the U.S. (Alaska is perhaps better). Open carry, concealed carry, it's all legal, no license needed. The police aren't supposed to hassle anyone for doing so, either. But some cities insist on bothering people. Burlington, Rutland...but today I'll talk about my experience open carrying in Rutland City today. It's far from my first time open carrying, but today, I was stopped by the police for doing so. Apparently someone supposedly called in a complaint about a "man with a gun" (perhaps it never happened but was an excuse, or perhaps it was some flatlander from NJ or MA or such who forgets this is VT) so these two city police officers stop me while I was walking to my garden (several blocks away from home) and begin questioning me on why I'm carrying it, am I a felon, etc. At some point another officer pulled up. They demanded I hand it over so they could run the serial number to see if it was stolen. So before they leave, realizing they could legally do nothing to me, this one officer decides to lecture me against carrying my gun visibly--claiming I must be after attention or something (which I'm not, it's merely pointless to try to conceal a decent sized revolver while wearing light clothing, and I'm not carrying a mouse gun or wearing heavier clothing all summer to suit some anti). He also tried to scare me, by saying if I even step foot on school grounds, I'd go to jail (which I have no intention of doing, but clearly, he wanted to make me uncomfortable). He said there used to be a city ordinance against carrying, to which I responded that yes, the courts threw it out as being illegal. Furthermore, and the worst statement, he said if I continued carrying I'll be getting stopped frequently, to which I responded harassment will result in a lawsuit. He said, "is it worth it?"

Rutland seems to have a history of this harassment of those who wish to exercise their rights. In 1903, the VT Supreme Court threw out a city ordinance forbidding the carrying of weapons without getting "permission" and in the mid 1990's, the city again had such an ordinance, which was removed to avoid a lawsuit. I will not be intimidated into giving up my rights, however.

Now, after all of that hassle, I did check on my garden. The potatoes are doing nicely, as are the peas. The carrots are slowly growing, once they're bigger I have quite a bit of weeding to do. My tomato plants, peppers, onions, are doing okay but are still somewhat small plants (expected this time of year, I just barely planted the peppers and tomatoes over the weekend). The beans, squash and cucumbers seem to be slowly sprouting. I have some watermelon plants started (sugar baby and moon & stars) and clear plastic warming up the ground and will soon have those in the ground. I'm using all open-pollinated seeds, I avoid hybrids. I truly like the fact that I can save my seeds this year, and not need to buy them next year, or the year's much better for the independent sort of person like myself.