It seems the adage, "Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it" recently served a young man well.

On September 29th, just before midnight on West Market Street in Akron, a young man was initially caught by surprisewhen two masked men with

One Lawyer’s Personal View (in other words, this is not legal advice, nor is it the “official” position of OFCC)

Readers of this article likely know that, from time to time, lawful carriers of firearms find themselves interacting with law enforcement officers.  We have all seen reports from people who have had these encounters, and they seem to fall into one of two categories:  the person who has a desire to make the encounter as brief as possible, and the person who desires to challenge police authority.  Unfortunately, those in the latter category often find themselves involved in the legal system, usually without having planned for that eventuality, and without the knowledge or foresight to understand the nature and extent of that involvement.  This brief article may be of use to both groups.

My personal observation is that many officers seem to feel compelled to conduct some cursory investigation when they receive a call about a person wearing a gun.  I will not endeavor to analyze why that is, or whether it should be the case.  But it suggests that we should have a working knowledge of what the law requires when an officer approaches and stops an armed person.

We’ve all heard it in some variation or another.  If we save our pop can tabs, a little boy will get dialysis treatments; a little girl will get a heart transplant; the Mayo Clinic will get a new hospice wing; a national fast-food chain will build more lodging for families visiting hospitalized loved ones.  And of course the list goes on and on, limited only by the imagination of those that start the rumors.

But bear in mind, there is generally no malice in these.  They mean well.  They heard – or overheard – someone say something about aluminum pop can tabs at one time or another, then their mind filled in the rest.

Part of the appeal of saving the pop can tabs is just how darned simple it is.  Keep a jar on the kitchen counter, rip the tab off and toss it in.  No rinsing of cans, no smashing, no finding a place in the garage to keep them – nothing.  Just save them.  See, the secret is, they’re a higher quality aluminum that fetches a premium price.  That’s why they’re so valuable and can do so much good … for the children.  

There really is only one problem.  It’s all hogwash.  

They aren’t one bit more valuable than the doggone can they were ripped off of.  In fact, a person could do far more good for the charity of their choice by saving and recycling the whole can, then donating the money.  But that would require effort.  Who wants that?  So the pop can myth lives on, in large part because people want it to be true.  It may not really accomplish much, but it requires little to no effort, and it leaves them feeling good.

Part of the appeal of passing new gun control laws is just how darned simple it is.  Write a bill, get a few cosponsors, and throw it out on the floor of the House (or Senate) for a vote.  No dealing with the real issues, no attempting to address actual social ills, no pesky clogging of the courts – nothing.  Just pass them.  See, the secret is, they’re made of higher quality words that really intimidate criminals.  That’s why they’re so valuable and can do so much good … for the children.

There really is only one problem.  

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