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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746



January 21, 2004

Victim of Anti-Gun Hysteria Needs Your Support

Imagine yourself in this situation: You're returning from a holiday trip. The travel days are long and, like half the other drivers on the freeway, you're going faster than the speed limit. You're pulled over by state troopers.

Fair enough.

But you've forgotten something. You're also carrying concealed sidearms. In your home state, that's perfectly legal. It's also legal in most of the states you're passing through. You've got a permit. You've done everything "right."

But in the state you're in now, merely carrying those loaded sidearms—without ever using them in any act of aggression— is a felony. The trooper drags you out of your vehicle and throws you into jail.

And even that isn't the full catastrophe.

The state is Ohio. It not only has horrible anti-gun laws. Its police have been unsuccessfully trying to catch a freeway sniper. They haven't got a clue how to stop the evil-doer. So there you are—a tourist from New Hampshire who wasn't even in the state when the shootings took place, concerned about your own protection—and the troopers decide to make an example of you.

They parade you and your "arsenal" before the media. They let the media photograph the perfectly legal "assault-style" rifle and ammo you had locked in the back of your vehicle (yes, it was perfectly legal even under Ohio law). They describe the collection of swords you were transporting—never mentioning that one was a dull-edged souvernir Lord of the Rings sword you'd taken to show your young neices at Christmastime. They allow the media to take a photo of your tired, bewildered, uncombed self that makes you look like everybody's worst idea of a "lone nut with guns."

Most strangely, they mutter about the "possible detonator" they found in your possession. You don't even know what they're talking about until a friend figures it out. A couple of years ago, the case broke on the keyless entry remote that opens the doors of your vehicle. Rather than pay $80 for a new remote, you put the electronics inside a different case—and the police tell the whole nation that this innocent object is a "possible detonator."

It takes you two days to get out of jail and more than a week to get your vehicle back—at which point you find your vehicle trashed, your Christmas presents opened, many of your perfectly legal possessions still missing (including the heirloom knife your now-dead grandfather gave you). Dozens of innocent items are gone.

The police have "disappeared" your laptop computer without even giving you a receipt. You can't find out why.

The police have confiscated every single piece of political literature you were carrying. None of that literature advocated violence. It just advocated less government. You can't find out why they took that, either.

The police have also kept all your firearms, even the ones that were legally possessed under Ohio law. You have no way of knowing whether you'll ever get them back.

And you now face up to three years in prison. And the permanent loss of your right to keep and bear arms. For an act that didn't hurt anybody—except yourself.

This didn't happen to you, thank heaven. But it did happen to a great friend of liberty and a JPFO supporter, Jeffrey "Hunter" Jordan, on December 29, 2003.

WHO, ME?

We had a reason for saying "you" throughout this story. Many people who hear about Hunter's plight immediately snap, "It's his own fault. He shouldn't have broken the law!"

Well, yes and no.

First of all, Ohio's law against concealed carry of firearms is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court itself has said that no one is obligated to obey a law if the law doesn't obey the Constitution.[1]

But second—and more important in this world where we have so many laws that even police and legislators can't know what's legal and what's not—what happened to Hunter truly could have happened to anybody. We like to think that only other people screw up, that we have better sense, that we wouldn't make such a stupid combination of mistakes. It makes us feel better to say, "It couldn't happen to me."

But think about the last time you drove hundreds of miles on the freeway. Your foot may have gotten heavy. Your mind got tired. You certainly didn't know the technicalities of the law in every state you passed through. And you believe the Second Amendment means what it says: your right to carry arms "shall not be infringed."

And the law ... well, the law itself is an ever-changeable thing. Between the time Hunter was released from jail and the day he was allowed to get his vehicle, Ohio's governor signed a bill making licensed concealed carry perfectly legal for Ohio residents. Once the law goes into effect a simple reciprocity agreement with his home state of New Hampshire could make today's "felony" a perfectly legal and acceptable act tomorrow.

Should a man spend three years in prison for such an absurd "crime"?

Of course not.

Maybe you or I would have been smarter than Hunter. We'd like to think so. But in moments when we're weak, tired, or preoccupied, we all make mistakes. We should pay for our mistakes, certainly.

But this is far, far too high a price.

Don't make excuses. If you want people to defend your freedoms, defend theirs.

Jeff "Hunter" Jordan will be arraigned in Ashland, Ohio, on February 2, and he could use your support, both moral and financial. If you're in or near Ashland, consider attending his arraignment, February 2, 11:30 a.m., at the Ashland County Common Pleas Court. (If you go, please remember that it will help Hunter's case for you to dress neatly and behave in a way that makes it clear gun owners are exemplary citizens.)

Wherever you are, please consider making a donation to Hunter's legal defense. Remember what Ben Franklin said: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

To learn more about Hunter and get updates on his case go to: http://www.libertyroundtable.org/projects/freehunter/

To contribute to his legal defense fund go to: http://www.libertyroundtable.org/projects/freehunter/contributions.html

______
[1] Marbury vs Madison< "All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void."

16th American Jurisprudence 2d, Section 177 late 2nd, section 256: "No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it. The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose, since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it."



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