David Codrea, professional writer for gun magazines, wrote this excellent letter to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, acting Chief of Police Heather Fong, and Judge James L. Warren, which I will reproduce here in whole:
Mayor, I see you are authorizing city employees to perform homosexual marriages, Judge Warren, you are allowing them to proceed, and Chief Fong, you are allowing California law, as enacted by a vote of the people, to be publicly and repeatedly broken without making any arrests.
I’m not commenting on that issue, per se, so much as observing that you are all three instigating and abetting the violation of that law.
Judge Warren, you went so far as to state that you couldn’t issue a restraining order to halt the marriages because, as Reuters reported, “there was not enough evidence presented showing that immediate damage would be done by allowing them.”
Which leaves me with an interesting dilemma.
You see, I also belong to a group that is forced by social prejudices to keep a low profile—often times to hide my choices and practices lest I suffer disapproval and ultimately, life-threatening persecution by the state.
I am a gun owner and I live a gun owner life style.
I don’t know if I was born with a tendency to be this way, or if it was an acquired disposition. All I know is, I don’t see why I should be forced to change. Truth be known, I like owning guns, and am happy with who I am. I hope I suffer no repercussions by “coming out of the safe,” but I just can’t hide the truth any longer.
We gun owners have been living and working among you. Our kids go to school with yours. We may be your doctor, or minister, or your child’s teacher. We may even work in city administration, or the courts, or on the police force. And we are sick of being abused for simply being who we are, all because of hoplophobic* prejudice and fear. We don’t see any reason why we should have to put up with it any more.
Which brings me back to my dilemma and the reason I am writing you.
You have shown progressive thinking and tolerance for that which the majority condemns. So I was thinking of coming up to San Francisco and exercising my right to keep and bear arms, maybe showing up at City Hall with a state-banned AR-15 and a couple 30-round magazines, and also carrying several pistols concealed without a permit.
Yes, I know, it will be a violation of California laws, but you’ve shown that you’re willing to disregard those when it serves your goals. And because I am a peaceable citizen, I should easily meet Judge Warren’s criterion that no immediate damage would be done by allowing this.
So what do you think, if I visit your city and proudly display my lifestyle choices, can I count on your support? As a private citizen, don’t I have as much right to disregard laws I find reprehensible as you public officials? Isn’t that what equality is supposed to be all about, where no class of citizen enjoys privileges and immunities not extended to all?
How about it? You wouldn’t have me arrested, would you?
Please let me know if I have your support.
* Credit and gratitude to the peerless Col. Jeff Cooper for coining this term.
The response to this excercise of freedom of speech? An investigation by the San Francisco Police Department because the letter was perceived as threatening. David received a phone call from a Inspector Peter Walsh of the SFPD who conducted an interview. Read David’s account of whole thing, but these are the parts that I think are important here:
He explained several times that it was just routine to follow up on things like this, that his job was apolitical, and they just have to investigate. I told him I understood that, and hoped he also understood what a chilling effect a police response to political speech created.
He indicated I did not sound like a threat and sounded “intelligent”.
I was left with the impression that they were probably not going to put much more energy into it — although I would be surprised if they haven’t checked my background, records and gun purchases, and wouldn’t be surprised if a judge didn’t consider the circumstances probable cause to tap into my phone and internet. But anyone who is an activist is an automatic target, especially if it’s about something that scares the hell out of civil authority (people with guns!!!), and I’ve felt there’s probably a good chance the government has been doing that for some time.
He told me he had also asked the Redondo Beach Police to drop a message off at my home as backup to the message he left on my machine, so to just ignore the message they delivered. We then said our goodbyes.
I do find it bizarre that civil authority is so fearful of an armed citizenry that if they feel there is any chance of it happening, their response is to send armed men. It also confirms my opinion of the corrupt gangsters in charge of San Francisco’s city government — ready to use the force of law to advance their agenda, but publicly flout the law when it doesn’t.
But of course. They’re the government. That puts them above the law.