Is it possible the Liberal anti-gun position might crash against the Liberal suspicion of police?
I know this is a long shot, but let’s think optimistically.
Liberals would like to make guns illegal. That is understood.
But the fact remains that Liberal politicians have largely failed to get the nation to enact and enforce stricter gun laws. They have had a few successes where they dominate, but they have also had many failures. And conservatives have insisted on giving Americans more freedom, coming closer to the actual demands of the Second Amendment.
So what happens with the police, when they have an anti-gun (except for themselves) mentality but live and work in a state where there are legal gun carriers?
You get stories like this one featured at the Huffington Post:
Every part of Shawn Northrup’s midsummer evening walk with his wife, daughter, grandson, and dog was legal — including the holstered handgun he openly carried on his hip. But that was not enough to keep Northrup from being disarmed, handcuffed, and threatened with arrest by a police officer. Fortunately, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to let the officer who illegally detained Northrup escape accountability, exemplifying the kind of judicial engagement that is needed to protect law-abiding citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Northrup, a resident of Toledo, Ohio, was enjoying a peaceful walk with his family when a passing motorcyclist, Alan Rose, caught sight of his firearm and yelled that Northrup could not “walk around with a gun like that.” Northrup’s wife, Denise, informed Rose (correctly) that it is perfectly legal to openly carry firearms in Ohio. Rose nonetheless called 911, stating that he had observed “a man carrying his gun out in the open.” The dispatcher also told Rose that it is legal to openly carry firearms in Ohio but, apparently a bit uncertain, directed Officer David Bright of the Toledo Police Department to the scene, relating to Bright that Northrup was “walking his dog … carrying a handgun out in the open.”
When Bright encountered Northrup, Northrup was still walking his dog, his gun secure in its holster. What happened after Bright stepped out of his vehicle and approached Northrup is disputed. According to Northrup, Bright announced that he would shoot Northrup if he went for his weapon, refused to answer any questions about what was going on or whether Northrup was free to leave, and threatened to arrest Northrup for “inducing a panic.” Ultimately, Bright disarmed Northrup, placed him in handcuffs, and put him in a squad car, where he remained for half an hour. Upon discovering that Northrup had a concealed-carry permit (which, in point of fact, he did not need in order to openly carry his gun), Bright released Northrup with a citation for “failure to disclose personal information.” (The charges were later dropped.)
The story goes on to explain Northrup’s court case against Bright and how the judge ruled in his favor on Fourth Amendment grounds.
Some liberal commenters were more upset that Northrup was open carrying than about what the police officer did to him, but I doubt that they represent all Huffington Post readers.
What happens if some police continue to try to get away with harassing legal gun carriers and continue to make the news? This should be especially interesting in light of the fact that African Americans’ attitudes toward the Second Amendment have become much better. Presumably, we will see more blacks with concealed carry licenses (once the government stops denying them) and open carrying.
I think it is quite possible that Liberal attitudes will start to shift. Not all of them will change their minds, but it will become a division in the Liberal ranks.
At least I hope so.