In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Sunday, February 25, 2024

Selecting laws to obey or defy

A Floyd County, Virginia, gun owner got mad because an employee of the Regal Cinema in Christiansburg told him to leave his gun locked in his car if he wanted to see a movie. “I’m the legal holder of a concealed carry permit and I can carry my gun anywhere I damn well please,” he posted on Facebook. No, he can’t. There are a number of places where he cannot carry a gun, even with a license. Regal, as a private business, can prohibit possession of firearms by the general public, even if they have a concealed permit or live in an “open carry” state, like Virginia. To prohibit weapons, they simply have to post a notice on the door saying firearms are not permitted.


When U.S. Federal Judge David L. Bunning sent Kim Davis, the County Clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, it sparked a nationwide debate on television, in political circles and on social media.

Religious zealots claim Davis, a relatively recent “born again” Christian, is simply following “God’s law,” which they say is more powerful than the law of the land.

Legal scholars, judges and others disagree.  Since Judge Bunning chose to follow the law and approval earlier this year of gay marriage nationwide by the United States Supreme Court, he had the legal say and declared Davis in contempt, which makes her a criminal under the law and criminals often end up in jail.

The debate, of course, has right-wing zealots like Mike Huckabee rallying to her defense amid the debate over whether or not anyone can pick and choose what law they can or cannot follow.

Such debates are not limited to arguments over gay marriage or the purported “law of God.”  Just listen to conversation over breakfast at the Blue Ridge Restaurant or scan the Internet and you will find people who think that if a law is “unjust” or “anti (insert name of issue here) or just plain bad is one that they can, and should, ignore.

A Floyd County, Virginia, gun owner got mad because an employee of the Regal Cinema in Christiansburg told him to leave his gun locked in his car if he wanted to see a movie.

“I’m the legal holder of a concealed carry permit and I can carry my gun anywhere I damn well please,” he posted on Facebook.

No, he can’t.  There are a number of places where he cannot carry a gun, even with a license.  Regal, as a private business, can prohibit possession of firearms by the general public, even if they have a concealed permit or live in an “open carry” state, like Virginia.  To prohibit weapons, they simply have to post a notice on the door saying firearms are not permitted.

Such a notice is posted at Regal but the gun owner said he saw it and ignored the prohibition.  When he refused to leave his gun in his car, Regal told him to leave the theater.  He got pissed and created a scene.

Sadly, breaking the law on the possession of firearms goes against one of the primary arguments of the National Rifle Association, which proclaims the right of gun ownership and possession exists for “law-abiding citizens who operate in a legal manner.”

Breaking the law could cost that gun owner dearly if Regal wanted to file a formal complaint to the police in Christiansburg.  Abusing the privilege of gun ownership or possession can be lead to revocation of a concealed carry permit or even the right to ownership of a firearm or ammunition.

A check of court records there shows the theater has filed any formal complaints.  They simply ask the gun owner to lock their weapon away in their vehicle and, if they won’t do that, they are told to leave the theater.

Some gun owners argue that shootings have occurred in movie theaters and it is dangerous for them to be in one without a weapon. Shootings also occur in churches and in courthouses, two other places where firearms are banned.

I’m a gun owner and have a concealed carry permit.  On occasion, I go to movies at Regal and I lock my Glock away in my vehicle if I choose to watch a movie.

From my point of view, it’s no big deal.  I leave my gun at home when going to the Veterans Hospital because possession of a weapon is illegal in the facility, which includes the parking lot.

Weapons are also prohibited in post offices and most banks, as long as they have a notice posted.

Weapons are not allowed on schools either.

In Kentucky, Kim Davis claims “the law of God” gives her the right to ignore the laws of the United States of America, although she swore an oath to uphold the law of the state and country and nothing in the oath said anything about any “laws of God.”

Others, in the case of those who ignore the legal ability of a Regal Cinema or other businesses that follow the law by posting notices that firearms are not allowed claim they don’t like the law and are free to ignore it.

Toby Keith, who sings about being a good old boy and about guns, told patrons to leave their guns in the car or at home if they wanted to chow down at his restaurant in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Now they can’t eat there with or without guns.  Keith’s “I Love This Bar and Grill” closed its doors in Woodbridge in May of this year, less than 18 months after opening.

“Telling gun owners they weren’t welcome with the ‘No Guns’ sign probably didn’t help the bottom line,” said Phillip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Keith’s restaurant followed the law.  Those who didn’t like his rules followed their legal right to stay home and put the place out of business.

The law of supply and demand won that debate.

39 thoughts on “Selecting laws to obey or defy”

  1. “How SCOTUS interpreted existing amendments and popular arguments as the right of anyone to be married, or given a marriage license, is beyond the comprehension of any sane person.”

    Only if you haven’t read the 14th Amendment. It says you can’t “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”, which SCOTUS interpreted to mean that if heterosexual marriage is protected by the law, then homosexual marriage must be as well.

  2. This may not be the main topic of the article but personally, I think that posted no-gun-zones are one of the stupidest ideas ever created. Where do you think a criminal is going to go? Unless you’re paying armed guards to protect your patrons or your business is right next to a police station, you may as well as put up a huge sign that says. “Shooters come here! Easy victim area! Victim disarmament in force!” Why do you think these nutcases attack schools, theaters, or college campuses? The obvious answer is that they can do a lot of damage before the authorities arrive and no one on the scene is going to be able to stop them. Two things need to be done to prevent large tragedies. People need to prepare themselves with training and an appropriate weapon, and the detection and treatment of people with mental health issues needs to be improved. If you don’t want your patrons carrying, then train and arm your staff so that they can do it, or hire someone. Don’t just leave the place and anyone in it, helpless in an emergency.

  3. The problem is that the supreme court has chosen to “legislate from the bench” by redefining what a marriage is to be from what it has been for thousands of years. This act of “legislating” is the constitutional authority of the legislative branch of the government and not of the court, and is therefore the illegal act. The right of the people is to alter or abolish the government if the government is acting outside of what it is allowed. The civil defiance of this one person should be taken up as a right of the people and carried to Washington and the Supreme Court thrown out.

  4. The judge was absolutely correct to throw Ms. Davis in jail for her blatant bigotry and discriminatory intolerance.

    Tolerance of intolerance in a public official (paid by your and my tax dollars) and sworn to uphold public laws cannot be allowed to continue. Otherwise we become a nation of men, not laws.

    And that same notion applies even to Presidents and to all others seek or hold such public offices.

  5. In Texas, businesses that post a specifically worded sign of the correct size create a criminal violation for gun licenses that enter armed. The usual response is to avoid those businesses with the predictable result that such businesses loose significant custom. Whatever approval they might gain from anti-gun whimperers is not enough bo make up the loss. Movie theaters are hastening their demise since they are already being replaced by cable vision , Amazon Prime and Netflix
    Most people respect private property rights and vote with their feet. In the case of legislation banning certain firearms and accessories, requiring registration or dealer facilitated private sales, there is a massive civil disobedience movement afoot. Massive enough that those laws are uninforceable and effectively null and void

  6. As far as the carry issue, if you feel the need to carry, why the hell would you leave it in your car to go into a theatre? Carry concealed. Frankly, I consider “open carry” people to be nut cases who want to be the “big man carrying the gun”. I carry every day. Nobody knows. I don’t carry to be a big man. Just an alive man.

  7. Um, Mr ‘The Moogly, one group (with the support of the Brady bunch) did sue the manufacturers of the ammunition used and they lost and lost big. They are now required to pay over $200,000 in costs for the litigation.

  8. Cute. Those religious zealots who think it’s okay to drag their religion into law are describing their opponents as “self-righteous”. I would laugh if it weren’t so sad.

    Actually, it’s a classic debate technique. First accuse the other side of doing what you’re already doing. Then when the other side points out, “Um, that’s you” you simply sneer “Oh, sour grapes, hurts to be accused, huh?” and you win.

    And not quite, Pondering_It_All. The freedom to swing ends a bit before that; when it is reasonable to assume that the swing will end in my nose I have the right to prevent or deflect it before contact.


  9. OK, Regal. I will leave the gun in the car. However if there is an incident then be prepared for the law suit. As I will hold your corporation responsible for my safety as well as the safety of all the patron in your private business…

  10. The judge and the ACLU lawyers would never have filed suit against her if she said “I can’t issue these licenses, but my assistant can.” Instead she used the power of her office to forbid ANY clerk in her employ from issuing licenses. That is very clearly abuse of office as a government employee. Now she’s in jail for contempt and her assistants are issuing the licenses. But the contempt is NOT for following her religious beliefs as per her own behavior. It is for telling all her assistants they could not do their jobs despite THEIR religious beliefs. (Which obviously DO allow them to issue same-sex marriage licenses.)

    Your freedom to swing your fist stops when it hits my nose.

  11. it should be plain and simple anyone can believe whatever they want but you do not have the right to push that
    belief on to others

  12. Doug Thompson you are correct, inasmuch as legal and illegal. The problem, however, is our society has blurred the lines between legal and right, and illegal and wrong. Let’s take the two subjects at hand–gun ownership rights and gay marriage rights. Let’s leave out any religious connections, beliefs, or references altogether and concentrate solely on The Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms is clearly protected, it is in black and white, there is no arguing this fact. Marriage, of any kind, is NOT protected. It is not even mentioned in The Constitution. How SCOTUS interpreted existing amendments and popular arguments as the right of anyone to be married, or given a marriage license, is beyond the comprehension of any sane person. Let’s be honest–gay this and gay that is chic right now and the justices were playing on that. Civil defiance is necessary from time to time to bring about change. Any law, ordinance, or rule infringing upon law-abiding citizens’ rights to carry a gun is, plain and simple, unconstitutional. Why people cannot fathom this is mind-boggling. We actually have to PAY for this right as we have to buy a permit to carry. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??? If you are leaving your gun in your car and giving business to anti-gun companies, that is your right, but your are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  13. The self-righteous arguments of the pro homosexual crowd ignores that even our President chooses to ignore and not enforce what are the duly enacted Laws of the Land as intended and written and to which he has sworn his oath to enforce when it comes to our Immigration Laws. I do not see the Left calling for him to be jailed. His Justice Department has chosen to not force certain States to comply with the duly enacted Federal Laws criminalizing marijuana and we don’t see Judges and the Left sending our Attorney General to Prison until she complies with her sworn duty to enforce Federal Law. There have been no moves at the Federal Executive Level to force Sanctuary Cities to comply with Federal Law and none on the Left are calling for Mayors, Councilmen, Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to be imprisoned until they comply. None of that is lost on the “People”.
    What you folks fail to understand, refuse to acknowledge, or accept is that it is the “People” who ultimately stand in judgment of the Courts in particular and the Executive Branch of government in general, just as it was the “People” who stood in judgment of King George, Parliament, and the officials and courts setup to government them. Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them because of their arrogance built of illusions of their ultimate power to force compliance with their personal whims, and to themselves not comply with laws they don’t like and can’t change. It does appear that our Left in their arrogance are Hell-Bent on making the same mistakes. None of that bodes well for the survival of the US as a nation of free people. When government has lost the respect of the “People”, which brings voluntary compliance with it, all they have left is the application of ever increasing force.

    • Your argument doesn’t stand. You are advocating the same precept for those religious who don’t agree with the Constitution. Your religious rights have not been violated, you are still entitled to your belief and to practice whichever religion you choose. You cannot however, force others to bend to your will. The church us not required to marry SS couples since it is against their religious tenet so just what is your problem. No one is attacking your faith, they just wish to be treated equally whether you believe they are equal or not. Hence the decision of the SCOTUS. If you don’t believe that every citizen is entitled to the same rights under the law, perhaps you should move to Iran or some other Sharia nation.

  14. This woman took an oath for the job long before anything that violates her freedom of religion was even on the horizon. If you agreed to a contract for a job and then the terms were changed to violate your freedom of religion or speech, would you just up and quit? NO, you wouldn’t.

    People should be terrified that a judge can jail a woman for refusing to follow the judge’s demand that she violate the tenets of her religion or quit her job!!! You could easily be next.

    there is no reason on earth that this woman can’t have a religious exception made as all the other states do to allow someone else to issue the marriage licenses for clerks whose faith would be violated by so doing.

    • You are overlooking the fact that she took an oath to uphold the law. Not today’s law, or yesterday’s law, but the law. As someone earning $80K a year you would think she had the intelligence to realize that the law is ever evolving. Why do you think the Constitution has been amended so many times. The US is not a theocracy, it is a Democratic Republic and the found fathers determined the impolitic of religion so established a separation of church and state. If you believe your Religious views trump the law, then just whose religion is it going to be? Once you start going down the slippery slope of deciding which laws you will or will not obey you descend into anarchy. She is a public servant who is paid by the taxpayer which means she must serve everyone. If she were truly a person of faith she would resign, but of course there is that $80K a year that she doesn’t want to give up. She cannot serve two masters and right now it seems that money is winning.

  15. Why haven’t the victim’s families and survivors of Jame Holmes’ attack sued the theater for maintaining a gun free zone and not providing the protection they denied their patrons?

  16. Unfortunately, Mr (?) Ezekiel Stone, Federal law trumps state law. That was settled at some cost at places like Antietam and Fredericksburg. Therefore the imprisonment is lawful.

    (Mr.) Jon

  17. Lets take it a little higher than guns. How about giving us a little rant as to how the scumbag president and justice department ignore any and all of the laws they choose to ignore. You left wing bastards don’t seem to find anything wrong with that.

  18. ” Abusing the privilege of gun ownership or possession can be lead to revocation of a concealed carry permit or even the right to ownership of a firearm or ammunition.”

    Something not mentioned in the article is the fact that I would bet that police officers, off duty, would disregard the “No Guns” placard and walk straight in, armed/concealed, WITH the knowledge of the movie management. The argument has been made that off duty police officers are absolutely no different than any other HONEST, LAWABIDING CITIZEN but are given the benefit of the doubt because of their position. I too have a Concealed Carry permit issued from one of the most stringent anti gun states in the nation. New York. I also was (retired now) a state licensed dealer and gunsmith holding all applicable licenses. I am well trained and competent with all firearms. Having said that, I would not be offered the same considerations. Yes……there is a double standard. Police officers carry their weapons for the exact same reason the rest of us carry ours. To protect ourselves and families because it is our Constitutional Right to and feel it is a responsibility to do so.

    In my decades in business and knowing many, many fine police officers, prosecutors and other police officials from several different departments, including federal, I have seen the entire gambit of competency in regard to these individuals. All police officers proficiency and knowledge are not the same. The honest ones will admit that. So don’t give me the story that civilians (all of them) aren’t trained as well or better than many supposedly trained police officers. Competency and training (abilities) are all over the place.

  19. Ezekiel: The KY marriage law was amended by the US SUPREME Court decision in June 2015 that struck down as US unconstitutional any remaining state laws similar to KY’s.

    No, Kim Davis is being imprisoned legally. The Bush Jr. appointed judge issued an order to her. She appealed it. All appeals were denied. She still told the judge she was under orders from God. But God is not a force of law and justice in the US, so the judge gave her a choice, follow the order, or in this case, go to Jail (do not pass GO, etc, etc.). That is not unusual in a contempt of Court finding.

    Got it, Ezekiel?

    • That is not true. She was saved just a few short years ago, I believe just before or right after she married Mr. Davis. God wipes the slate clean, fresh start, go forth and sin no more. In God’s eyes, she’s only on her first marriage. Now if she were to divorce Mr. Davis and then remarry, then she would most defiantly be living in sin. You see, that’s what the blood of Jesus does, is washes you and makes you white as snow, innocent as a new born babe. Praise God and Amen.

  20. At the core of all of this is that white evangelical Christians feel that they have ‘lost’ control over how the nation is run both legally and morally. They never actually had this power, but none-the-less they feel that it has been ‘stolen’ from them by ‘those’ people who are not ‘real Americans’ like only they are. Now all they want is to either throw out of the country or deny the ability to vote to anyone who does not meet their standards as to who is and is not a true patriotic American. These standards are not universal, though, and one must defer to whatever any individual evangelical deems to be ‘God’s Law’, as one’s own personal beliefs are of no consequence to them, since you are an ‘other’ and not God’s chosen, as they believe they are.

  21. States have marijuana laws that conflict with federal laws. Kentucky has a law on what constitutes a legal marriage, marriage between a man and woman. The fact is Kim Davis is being imprisoned illegally.

    • How about jurisdictions that refuse to issue carry permits/licenses to people who meet the legal requirements required by that particular state/jurisdiction Derek Saunders? Do you believe those sheriffs/police chiefs should be arrested and thrown in jail for refusing to issue carry permits/licenses to qualified individuals?

    • Derek Saunders…if you ban the legally owned and carried gun, than you effectively ban the gun owner. Most people who carry for self defense is not likely to give up that ability to eat at someone’s restaurant when they can go elsewhere.

  22. If you’re going to use the Bible to condemn gays, then you must follow ALL the Old Testament laws like burning witches and harlots, stoning to death girls without a hymen, and killing your neighbor for working on the Sabbath. Sorry folks, but you’re not allowed to pick and choose which “laws” you want to follow just to promote your personal “hate agenda”.

    • We are not in the Old testament any more and if you knew any thing a about Christianity you would know that. Sex perversion is SIN plain and simple. It is NOT natural for they cannot reproduce after their kind. When any one draws their last breath (including you and I) all will be judged by the Holy GOD (who created us) according to his words. Nobody gets away with nothing. Jesus Christ died for sinners. Repent or perish.

      • Jesus said it was adultery if a divorced person remarries. Technically, Jesus never said that I couldn’t stone an adulterous woman. God’s law states that I must stone the adulterer to death. It’s in his holy book.

        The “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” isn’t an admonition not to, but something analogous to guidelines. Sort of like a medical disclaimer on cigarette packaging. Please note – Jesus never said “Do not stone the woman.”

        As a non-christian, I do not recognize my acts as sinful to your imaginary deity/demon. I am sinless. Until your God comes down and proves his deity and his authority over me and proves that I’m a sinner, I’m going to continue believing that I am without sin. No human representatives will be accepted. Only the “real” god will be accepted. (After all, I don’t think santa claus actually gave me presents every christmas.)

        Therefore, based on Jesus’s words and my assertion that I’m without sin (which your god has not proven to be untrue), I’m fully capable of throwing that stone and executing that adulterous woman for her sins committed against her god. After all, according to Jesus, Kim Davis is living in sin and committing adultery every day she continues living as a wife to her fourth “husband”. Repenting for sins means you don’t continue sinning.

        Jesus trumps OT and NT. Jesus never said two men or two women couldn’t get married. He did complain about the rich and the pharisees (aka modern fundamentalist christians = hypocrites). He sided with the marginalized (aka the gays and women and others who are persecuted by the christians who are in power).

        On a side note – Even if your god existed, I wouldn’t want to worship him or be part of his followers. Call me weird but I wouldn’t feel comfortable around a being who supports slavery, rape, the murder of innocents, committed numerous human rights violations including genocide.

      • So where is that in the Bible? Is it in the Old Testament. According to you we are not living by Old Testament Law. So either Sex perversion is SIN, as in the Old Testament, or it isn’t since it isn’t called a prevision in the New Testament. Which is it?

  23. The statement, “Regal, as a private business, can prohibit possession of firearms by the general public, even if they have a concealed permit or live in an “open carry” state, like Virginia,” provided the Commonwealth can prove that the gun carrier had actual notice of the concealed carry ban, is correct as it applies to concealed carry, but is more nuanced as applied to open carry. There is no Virginia criminal statute making open carry against the wishes of private proprietors a crime, per se.

    Persons in control of premises – and not the police – may of course serve personal notice to persons to vacate the premises under the law of trespass; persons refusing to leave may be prosecuted civilly by the proprietor, or criminally by the Commonwealth. Best form is to refuse to support or frequent gun banning establishments, and instead protest and picket against the establishment on the public sidewalk or right of way.

  24. I believe the controversy is whether the law should have ever been created that would limit the ability for anyone to exercise their right to live by their beliefs. If your discussing zealots, you must mean Americans that choose to stand by their constitutional rights. I am also a permit holder and I live by the law of the land but no one is denying me my constitutional right to have a gun. When they do that, you will see the same “zealots” rising up again. They’re called God fearing Americans.

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