|Jim Arnott, sheriff of Greene County, Missouri|
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, who was responsible for the unlawful eviction last September 9 that led to Carol's broken arm, has shown that he and his minions are dishonest, dim-witted, and dangerous. But Arnott's denseness apparently is not limited to a few unfortunate encounters per year. He seems to wear it proudly all the time.
We recently learned that Arnott is a hypocrite of epic proportions, especially when it comes to his support of the Second Amendment "right to bear arms." He apparently is unaware that the "right to bear arms" can have profoundly negative consequences for law-enforcement officers--such as Ashley Guindon, 28, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic-dispute call in Prince William County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.
Funeral for Guindon will be today in her childhood home of Springfield, Massachusetts. Did loose gun laws, and the politicians (like Arnott) who support them, contribute to her death? Here are the facts:
When Guindon and two other officers arrived at the residence, Ronald Hamilton opened fire--killing Guindon and injuring both male officers with her. From a New York Times report on the incident:
A police officer who was fatally shot on her first day on the job was remembered Tuesday as someone who helped in soup kitchens, at suicide prevention programs and at mortuary services for Marines killed overseas.
Thousands of people came to the Hylton Memorial Chapel here to honor the officer, Ashley Guindon, 28. Officer Guindon died Saturday when she and two other Prince William County police officers were investigating a domestic disturbance at a home in Woodbridge, about 20 miles south of Washington.
As the officers approached the front door of the house, a gunman opened fire, hitting all three, the police said. Officer Guindon later died at a hospital; the other two officers were treated for their wounds. The suspect, Ronald W. Hamilton, 32, who the police said also fatally shot his wife before they arrived, was arrested on murder charges.
Jim Arnott, from the safety of his office in Springfield, Missouri, apparently would be glad that Ronald Hamilton had easy access to a gun--even if he wound up using it on law-enforcement officers.
Arnott stated in a recent article that he supports a citizen's right to carry a concealed weapon--even on a college campus, almost everywhere. But how do Arnott and his deputies react when they think a citizen might have a gun, inside his own home? They act like hyper-caffeinated storm troopers, bursting into private property, with at least one assault rifle and roughly a half dozen handguns drawn--for an eviction that could not lawfully be conducted.
So where does hypocrisy enter the picture? If Arnott truly wants every citizen to be armed--inside and outside the home, even on college campuses--he and his deputies should treat every encounter accordingly. It should be no surprise to them if someone is "packing heat"; they should be expecting it. So why the SWAT-team antics with us?
How did Arnott's avid support for concealed weapons--and his raging hypocrisy--come to light. A Missouri legislator, Rep. Jered Taylor (R-Nixa), has proposed a bill that would allow Missourians to buy guns tax free on the Saturday after the Fourth of July. A reporter decided to get Arnott's views on the matter and discovered the sheriff thinks Taylor's bill is a swell idea. From the article:
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said he would like to see civilians be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campuses and elsewhere.
"The more people that have a weapon, that have taken the time to learn how to use it and learn what their rights are and where their liability lands when they do use, the better off we are as a society," Arnott said.
Asked if the training required to carry a concealed weapon was enough to allow a person to respond in an active shooter situation, Arnott said no but that gun owners should seek out continued training.
"Firearms training should be ongoing, but I'm for people carrying concealed weapons. I think it's a deterrent, and I'm for people being able to protect themselves and their family," he said.
Let's ponder what Arnott is saying here. He admits that state-required training is not nearly enough to allow a citizen to respond safely and effectively in an active shooter situation. But Arnott wants poorly trained citizens, who essentially have no clue how to properly handle a firearm, to carry guns everywhere
Imagine this scenario: About 70,000 pack people pack Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia for a big University of Missouri football game in the Southeastern Conference. Let's say the opponent is the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. (With Nick Saban as head coach, plus the buying pow . . . I mean influence of Paul Bryant Jr., you are always safe assuming Alabama is defending a national title.) Perhaps 60,000 Missourians in the crowd are carrying concealed weapons--and maybe a few have had a little something to drink.
Injured and dead officials, players, fans, and assistant coaches litter the playing surface. But somewhere, Jim Arnott and Rep. Jered Taylor must be smiling. Concealed weapons on college campuses--just what we need for a safer America.
Just to show that not everyone in Missouri is a right-wing lunatic, consider the words of Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis). She has consistently pushed for stronger gun regulations:
Newman said the notion that allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campuses would make them safer in the event of a mass shooting is a "false argument." She said the eight hours of firearms training required for concealed carry permits is nowhere near enough training to prepare someone to respond to an active shooter situation.
"It's laughable. It's completely laughable," Newman said.
Yes, it is laughable--that someone like Jim Arnott is in any position of authority and influence.
It's also ironic, that Arnott and his gang stormed our apartment with at least a half dozen weapons drawn, while we had not a single weapon on the premises--and there was no reason to believe we did have a weapon or had a history of using weapons. When Officer Guindon and her two colleagues approached the residence in the D.C. area, they encountered a man who was armed and more than willing to use firepower. It probably is a miracle that all three officers weren't killed.
Most importantly, it's profoundly sad that a promising young officer such as Ashley Guindon lost her life--largely because public officials like Jim Arnott know that support for the "right to bear arms" will help them win votes.