Gun-toting woman divides Pennsylvania community

The Philadelphia Inquirer has this story. Hopefully the woman's actions are helping educate people.

Before heading out the door to go to Wal-Mart, Meleanie Hain fussed over her children, grabbed her coat and keys, then ran upstairs to get one more item: her loaded Glock 26, which she strapped to her hip.

She never leaves home without it.

Hain, 30, has caused a stir in this rural Pennsylvania Dutch community 25 miles east of Harrisburg for packing a gun everywhere she goes, including to her 5-year-old daughter's soccer games this fall.

She's paid a big price for sticking to her gun.

The mother of four, who often carries a baby on one hip and her Glock on the other, has been criticized by even the most ardent gun-lovers. From once-friendly neighbors to the local police chief, the general feeling is that Hain's pistol-packing behavior is, well, extreme.

"People get alarmed because they don't see that too often," said Charlie Jones, a soccer coach who confronted Hain about the gun at a Sept. 11 game. "They don't know what your intentions are going to be."

Hain said the outcry has hurt her babysitting business and left her feeling isolated. She has been called an attention-seeker, psycho, moron and worse on hundreds of pages on Internet forums. Neighbors have blasted her on radio shows, her daughter's principal warned her against taking the gun to school (she doesn't), and the local police chief advised her to put it away.

Now she is firing back. On Oct. 24, Hain filed a federal lawsuit against Lebanon County and Mike DeLeo, the sheriff who revoked her gun permit after jittery parents complained about her at the Sept. 11 game.

The suit says they violated her constitutional and civil rights and seeks more than $1 million. . . .

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Blogger pdwalker said...

Good. I hope she wins her lawsuit.

12/15/2008 2:57 AM  
Blogger TheBronze said...

Open carry is silly. She invited the response when she did what she did. Just because it's legal, doesn't mean you should. There's no reason to carry a pistol exposed when you can carry it concealed.

Open carry people automatically have a sign around their necks that say "Shoot me first!"

12/15/2008 3:03 AM  
Blogger MaverickNH said...

I guess you got bumped? It was female (S Hupp, TX) vs female (from NY).

The strategy seemed to be that Zahn would let the anti-gun speaker spout a few lies and then ask Hupp to respond. Hupp, of course, couldn't call her directly on her lies (such as the VA gun store having the only and final judgement on sale of guns to the VT shooter) but did challenge her on the claim that 10yr ago FBI agents were shot by a surprise shooter (noting that 2 were killed, rather than a "mass shooting"). If Hupp was starting to make a point, Zahn changed the topic.

CNN interviewed students carrying CCWs and a Prof, who had no arguements or qualifications other than her opinion that CCW was wrong, and only added a quick bite on a Prof who didn't know a student was carrying - but said he felt safer. Hardly a balance.

All in all, it seemed more a setup rather than a debate.

12/15/2008 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the vaguaries of fashion. At one point in time, open carry was considered honorable, and concealed weapons were the refuge of villains. How times change.

Are police saying "shoot me first!" when they open carry? Of course not. Open carry, although "in your face" to some, is very efficient from a tactical viewpoint. There are also times of year where it is uncomfortable to carry a concealed firearm, and open carry is the best option.

What is really needed is an "attitude adjustment" in the population, to educate them, and to soothe their skittish feeble sensibilities. We have been infantilized for far too long.

Time to grow up.

12/15/2008 8:27 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Open carry is silly? Open carry is the best way to show would be thieves or rapists that they just may die if they try to attack.

Folks who don't carry are the targets, and who wear a sign saying so. Rob me! I am helpless!

Geez, just because it's legal for folks to vote, doesn't mean they should, but they do!

Any individual in the United States has the right to keep and bear arms. Any laws which prevent that are illegal. Marbury v Madison 1803

The text of the Second Amemdment, as it was presented for ratification, and subsequent adoption on 21 Sept 1789 was

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

Take note of the commas. The above is the exact text that was ratified, and added to the Bill of Rights, which was finally ratified on 15 Dec 1791

The Bill of Rights simply codifies pre-existing natural rights that we all have.

To deny those rights is a crime. A crime that occurs every day because there are those who are so weak, they cannot bear the thought of others being more powerful than themselves, and in doing so, weaken all law abiding citizens while enabling those whose intentions are less than honorable to their fellow citizens.

Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds hate. Hate? I think we all know where that leads us to...

12/15/2008 3:33 PM  
Blogger Tbone said...

Amen Martin, guess she's just another of us "downtrodden, angry people clinging to our rligion and guns". Seems to me it's no one's busines but hers if she open carries, least she has nothing to hide. Hope she wins her suit.

12/16/2008 2:15 PM  
Blogger Mike Gallo said...

People's personal tactical decisions should be made by the people best equipped to make them: the individuals themselves.
TheBronze is either being ironic (seeing as cops openly carry daily), or exhibiting the arrogance seen in many law enforcement officers nowadays, thinking he knows what's best for everybody.

12/20/2008 2:36 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

'Tis simply the arrogance of ignorance, Mike. Many suffer under delusions of grandeur due to the aforementioned.

To be weak and ignorant is simple. To stand up for truth is to be ridiculed and mocked by the ignorant.

The simple minded ones, far outnumber those with intelligence. That being so, they fear intelligence, as it threatens their world view as they understand it. To that end, there are those who will exploit the ignorant so as to further their own goals. I believe that those who do so, are called politicians...

12/20/2008 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, her constitutional rights were violated. No, there's no reason why a soccer match is any more or less safe than any other activity, public or private.

But none of this would have happened had she not carried open. I spent 31 years in uniform defending her right to do so but I still say it's ill-advised. This may have the net effect of setting back the cause of Liberty. Totally avoidable and unnecessary.

Theory is always wonderfully clean; reality sometimes gets a little more complicated. We need to be smarter about how we choose our battles; this is for keeps.

12/26/2008 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I intentionally left the tactical issues for a separate note since they have nothing to with the constitutional issues, and confusing them serves no one.

In how many states is “shall issue/may issue” carry the law? 48.
OK, in how many of those states is open carry - in urban or suburban areas, clearly - the norm? I’d venture to say none.

The shall issue/may issue revolution did not cause a drop in crime because citizens started walking around openly carrying handguns. It is exactly the fear that citizens MAY be carrying that is the deterrent.

When was the last time you read about a citizen drawing down on an assailant, Wild West style, and saving the day? How many armed citizens have the training to adequately confront an assailant that way? For that matter, how many soldiers and L/E personnel do?

And, yes, unfortunately, carrying openly absolutely makes you the proverbial “first cowboy out the door” when trouble starts. Think about it. Why is that L/E started videotaping traffic stops 20 years ago? And yet traffic stops are still Condition Red. Who is it that armed bank robbers confront first, if not the armed guard?

Again, this is not the constitutional argument, which at least has merit. The tactical argument for citizen open carry is, in my judgment, quite weak if there is one at all.

In the final analysis, it's your life and your decision.

In any event, my fear of her losing her case is only slightly outweighed by my hope that she prevails. There is too much at stake, and Lebanon County is a long way from Dodge City.

12/26/2008 2:41 PM  

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