Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Liz Karlson Was Right; Mayor Ballard Demonstrates Reason to Be Concerned About Public Safety Appointee

Over the past month, President of the Republican Liberty Caucus, Liz Karlson, fought the good fight, sounding alarm bells against the appointment of Frank Straub as Public Safety Chief. Karlson called Straub a "gun grabber" and had a career that reflected a hostility to gun rights.

It was a lonely battle. During a committee meeting that approved Straub, the president of a local NRA group, former City-County councilor Bill Dowden, argued that the Mayor and not Straub would set City gun policy and therefore he supported the appointment. The presentation by Dowden undercut Karlson's presentation. On Monday, Karlson's efforts were "rewarded" with a 28-1 vote in favor of Straub.

But at that very same meeting, the seeds were sown that will prove Karlson's was right to be concerned about Straub.

At the meeting of the full council on Monday, Councilor Edward Coleman, a Republican turned Libertarian, introduced a measure that would allow gunowners with permits to carry their guns into city parks, just like they can in state and national parks. Mayor Ballard responded immediately, promising a veto should it pass the Council. Mayor Ballard defended his veto threat as follows:
"We want moms to feel safe in the park taking their kids," Ballard said. "People are happy with how (the policy) is."
Gee, I'm pretty sure Karlson, who is a mother, doesn't agree with that line.
According to Mayor Ballard, taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, licensed to carry those guns, creates a "safer" situation. That is his philosophical mindset and that is what is troubling. The notion that we're supposed to be okay with Straub's appointment because Mayor Ballard is guarding our gun rights, the position taken by Dowden, is beyond foolish. Mayor Ballard IS the problem when it comes to protecting gun rights.
Mayor Ballard's position doesn't exactly come as a surprise. His attorneys take the position in court filings that the City does not have to comply with the 2nd Amendment when adopting policies or ordinances. Mayor Ballard's position that the 2nd Amendment is an irrelevancy when it comes to Indianapolis government is in direct conflict with Attorney General Greg Zoeller who is arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that states and municipalities have to follow the 2nd Amendment. I don't know how less supportive you can be of 2nd Amendment rights you can be than to say you're not going to follow the amendment. Mayor Ballard could with one phone call put a stop to his attorneys arguing this position. He does not do it because he supports their position that he doesn't have follow the 2nd Amendment.
Mayor Ballard has also defended a gun return policy that is one of the most strict in the Midwest. If the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department wrongly seizes your guns (say the search warrant has the wrong address), the City will not return those guns unless you submit to fingerprinting and your gun goes through ballistics testing. Mayor Ballard could immediately pull the plug on that policy, but he doesn't do it.
Mayor Ballard has also praised New York City style gun registration. Now he says that Indianapolis should not allow people with gun permits to carry their gun into a city park, even though that is the policy in national and state parks.
Mayor Ballard's continued hostility to gun rights demonstrates a reason to be concerned about Straub's appointment. Liz Karlson was right.


Cato said...

We must all realize that Republicans are not necessarily Conservatives. Parties are means for acquiring power, not advancing political theories.

Mike Kole said...

What about the 14th Amendment? Isn't that what makes the law of the land apply to the states and their political subdivisions?

Paul K. Ogden said...


The Supreme Court said many years ago that the 14th Amendment due process clause only provides for selective incorporation of the bill of rights - applying those provisions to states and local government..

In other words, they applied to Bill of Rights on a case by case basis. There is a case out there that says the states have to follow the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, another case saying the 4th Amendment provision against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to states, etc.

The Supreme Court, however, has never incorporated the 2nd Amendment. Virtually all of the other provisions in the Bill of Rights have been incorporated.

Don't ask me the logic on "selective incorporation." It doesn't make any sense.

Diana Vice said...

As a mother and grandmother, I would not go to a park if I was denied my right to self-defense. Does Ballard or any other gun grabber actually believe the bad guys will abide by this nonsensical policy? As a licensed to carry gun owner, it's ridiculous how I'm forced to disarm when I enter a school zone to pick up grandkids, or into a post office, and now into a city park. I need to protect myself at these places more than any other since they've proven to be some of the dangerous places in America. Deranged shooters don't bother to apply for gun permits and they certainly won't be hindered by an unconstitutional policy.

M Theory said...

Did Virginia Tech have a no gun policy? Did Columbine?

Sean Shepard said...

HFFT just nailed it.

The worst gun crimes of the last 10 or 15 years were committed in places where guns were banned.

Didn't stop the crazies from bringing guns into the ban area but possibly kept sane people from protecting themselves or others against the crazies.

In New Hampshire, last I knew, you can open carry into the State House! No terrible violence reported there.

StillWind said...

So what's the answer? Is there an attorney out there who is willing to take this policy on and see it through? It would seem that, with the support of the State Attorney General, as well as the recent rulings by the Supremes, that there is a better than even chance of making this law.

duckmeal said...

Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 32: "The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State." This is clearly a more expansive right than that set out in the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. Indianapolis simply does not have the authority to infringe on a citizen's rights under the State Constitution in the first place. It seems to me that the no-gun-in-public-parks policy is already beyond the power of the City.

Greg Ballard will never be elected to any other office if he persists in his mindless opposition to gun rights of law abiding citizens.

LucySky said...

Guns or no guns...I'm just amazed that Mayor Ballard spoke up and took a stand on anything.