To the lady in front of me with the stalled car:
I know you needed help getting the car pushed out of the way. Yes, I know it was very cold outside.
I apologize for not getting out of the car to help you yesterday morning. Normally, I would have, because I have been there before. That day, however, I couldn't.
It's not personal, really, at least not against you. You see, if I would have helped you, I could have gone to prison. For a long time.
Let me back up a little, because that's a bold statement. Here's what I mean.
Your car was stalled on school property. I know that's not a crime, but bear with me.
I carry a weapon daily. I had a gun on me this morning. It's in a holster, hanging on my belt. So, as I was driving onto school property, I was doing so, while in possession of a firearm. I have a permit to carry concealed, issued by my state. Therefore, my carrying of a firearm was legal both under state and federal law.
However, in order for me to have the gun on me, the gun has to remain holstered, and I have to remain seated, in my car, at all times while on school property. If I would have stepped out to help you, I would have been committing a felony.
Now, under the combination of state and federal law, I did have the option of leaving the gun in a locked container in the vehicle. But in order for me to do that, the first step would have been to remove the gun from my holster, thereby committing a different felony--while trying to avoid committing the first felony.
Are you confused? I hope not, because as we know, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
So, the end result was that I had to drive by and was unable to help you. I hope someone else did.
It's interesting to note that this law has been around since 1990. The purpose of the law is to protect our students from gun violence in schools. Since the law passed, according to Wikipedia (I know--not the best source) there have been over 185 school shootings. Maybe the criminals didn't know it was against the law. Or maybe, since they didn't care about laws against murder, they didn't care about that law either.
One more thing, did you know that if there is a shooting on school property, I can get in trouble just for trying to help? Presumably, in order to defend myself or my family, I will have to remove the gun from the holster and present it (a felony, remember?). Then, if things head to the gravest extreme, if I have to shoot, I will commit another felony (discharging a firearm on school grounds). And, no, there is no exception for self defense. So, I hope to be alive, but I may have to spend many years in club fed thinking about it. Oh, and since I would then be a felon, I would be unable to own or possess guns anymore. How's that for laws keeping us safe?
Every day, the federal government creates new laws to give the lawless something else to ignore. In doing so, they only affect those of us who were paying attention to the existing laws in the first place. Sadly, Ms. Motorist, yesterday, you were the victim of unintended consequences. I wasn't going to be.