Soccer Mom Successfully Sues to Carry Gun to School Games

thumb_weapon_gun_smith_and_wesson_hand_ejectorMeleanie Hain is not a soccer Mom to be trifled with in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Other parents were a bit perturbed when she showed up to guns wearing a holstered pistol to watch her 5-year-old play. She successfully filed Second Amendment challenge after her concealed-weapons permit was revoked by the sheriff.

Hain, 30, successfully appealed the revocation last month despite the fact that the judge observed that she “scared the devil” out of others who attended a Sept. 11th soccer game and need better judgment.

Hain has complained that her home-based baby-sitting service has suffered, her children have been harassed, and she has been ostracized by her neighbors. I can’t imagine why.

For the full story, click here.

27 thoughts on “Soccer Mom Successfully Sues to Carry Gun to School Games”

  1. Gyges: If you had followed the links in that blog, as I suggested, you would have found a Cincinnati media story, with a supplementary link to an Ohio-based police training outfit discussing the rationale for revising rules of police engagement when responding to spree shootings. The attraction of gun free zones is treated as part of a study of the psychology of such shooters.

    I am not relying on this as a definitive study, but it does seem to correlate with common sense. You don’t see a lot of shootouts at the NRA convention where perhaps a majority of attendees are going armed. You rarely hear of shootings at shooting ranges, and in those rare instances they never devolve into mass murders (AFAIK) because the perpetrator invariably is stopped peremptorily or rendered ineffective by other armed citizens. Shooting sprees do seem to occur mostly in gun free malls, schools and public buildings where the shooter can rely on encountering a defenseless set of victims. Declaring an area “gun free” does not make it so, and does not make it safe by decree.

  2. Gyges: My point was to ask “why NOT at soccer games” if guns can legally be carried elsewhere in Pennsyvania. What makes wearing a gun to a soccer game particularly egregious? Is it that soccer games are particularly safe places, unlike, for example, walking down the street or going to work? Would your position change if Ms. Hain was watching her kid play basketball in the “wrong” part of town?

    Your arguments seem oriented more to why someone should (or rather, should not) carry a gun anytime or anywhere in public. Maybe that is your point, but the people of Pennsylvania, through their elected representatives, have decided otherwise. What makes the soccer venue particularly egregious?

    Ditto your concerns about whether guns are “terrible for self-defense.” Compared to what? Hand-to-hand combat between a professional baby sitter and whatever thug might attack her? You are correct that there are potential unintended consequences, and each responsible carryholder ought to train for response, but also recognize their limitations; in fact, that is what is taught in licensing courses here in Texas. However, personal defense ammunition is specifically designed to minimize the pass-through effect by expansion upon impact on the designated target. Nor does the unintended consequence argument excuse inaction altogether; at Virginia Tech, would it have been prudent for a concealed carryholder to have refrained from shooting despite a relatively – – but not entirely – – clear shot, thus allowing untold numbers of additional victims to certainly be executed, because of the possible collateral damage that might ensue as well? Those additional victims probably would think not.

    Finally, your point about eliminating those with guns first is again well taken. In fact, I believe there was an episode like that not too long ago, where the killer took out the armed police personnel at a city council meeting first. Because citizens were not allowed to carry in the “gun free zone” of the public meeting, the killer was then able to take his time and shoot numerous other defenseless people.

    Your point seems to be a good argument for carrying concealed instead of openly, and many in the gun carrying community reach the same conclusion (the issue is being debated in Texas now due to an open carry law being proposed for the next legislative session). On the other hand, it does not seem a particularly good argument for banning carry altogether. Unless one lives in a world where there are definitively “safe” places (like soccer games? or the walk from the soccer game to the parking lot in the dark?) where bad things are guaranteed never to happen and bad men never go. Horton

  3. Horton,

    I forgot to mention, If you make a claim like “Murderers target gun free zones” you should have a source that’s a little better than a 200 word long blog entry. I did read the article that the post linked to, it’s brief defense of that position seems to be little more than a case of Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc.

  4. Horton,

    First off, your premise that someone would need a gun at a soccer game for defense is absurd. Why would anyone attack a soccer game just because it was held in a gun free zone? If the attack is personal, a soccer game would be bad because a crowd makes it much more likely that the intended victim would escape unharmed. If it’s a “message” of some kind, then the attacker is going to do it even if there is the possibility of armed citizens.

    Secondly, guns are as a general rule terrible for self defense. This is especially true in crowded areas; bullets often have enough momentum to pass through one person and into another. Your average person doesn’t shoot on such an instinctual level that their aim would be on in a high pressure situation, making it exceedingly likely that they would miss, and possibly hit the very innocent that they meant to defend.

    Then you have to factor in that in most instances there just isn’t enough time to bring the gun into use before the attacker (who has the element of surprise on their side) has a chance to do harm. Anyone smart enough to plan out an attack on an area just because it’s a “gun free zone” is certainly smart enough to scout an area out and make sure to eliminate those with guns first.

    There’s more reasons, but I think you probably get the point.

  5. I am not at all clear why the commenters (virtually unanimously, it would seem) believe that soccer fields should be gun free zones. Because the presence of a gun makes other attendees nervous? Because soccer fields share similar characteristics to schools, which should be gun free?

    There is mounting evidence that mass murderers actually actively seek out “gun free” zones, so as to maximize the number of casualties they can inflict before being stopped. See, and links. Common sense would argue for the same conclusion.

    Apparently Pennsylvania allows open carry in public places, presumably with restrictions for certain areas. Which areas then become the very places that attract such killers.

    It’s not as if Ms. Hain drew her pistol on the referee or opposing team in a burst of irrepressible anger, after all! And in fact, by virtue of having applied for her carry license, and passed a background check together with whatever training is required in PA, she no doubt qualifies as among the safest of citizens statistically.

    Against this, we have the complaint that her perfectly legal open carry should be prohibted at soccer games because it distresses other attendees. No doubt those attendees would be considerably more distressed while waiting the long minutes for police to arrive, if faced with actual threat by a killer shooting down their children and other parents. How many lives would have been lost if church attendee Jeanne Assam had not stopped the killer intent on taking out as many congregants as possible in Colorado last year?

  6. Bob, Esq.,

    “…I still say the NRA is wrong when it claims the 2nd Amendment ‘confers’ any right whatsoever to bear arms.”

    I agree with the “whatsoever” in your statement. I disagree with some of the all-or-nothing-at-all stances that the NRA sometimes espouses regarding certain classes of firearms and all firearms’ ‘display’ and/or ‘use’ where deemed inappropriate by local jurisdictions.

    My strong advocacy for the 2nd Amendment does not make me legally, ethically, or morally blind to the need for effective and commonsense gun laws that restrict the use or open display of firearms in certain situations. If I lived in Ms. Hain’s community, I would advocate for a local ordinance legally restricting the *open* display of any firearm within 100 feet of the public soccer field or similar venues. I would also strongly recommend to any person with a CCW permit to consider not carrying a concealed firearm to events such as a soccer game, in this instance. I would never consider the need to *carry* in such situations.

    The discussion between you and mespo is interesting.


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