Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Weapons Free" Zone - Revisited

I had a guy respond to my post about the “weapon’s free” zone at the New Year’s party, in which he made several points:

  1. Failing to live up to the “no weapons” requirement was as bad a faux pas as all the folks that failed to live up to the dress code requirements.  The owner asked that we all dress in “black tie” and showing up in anything less is disrespectful, the same as showing up with a weapon when the owner asked us to not bring them.
  2. Taking my weapon into a venue where there was a “no weapons” requirement is a violation similar to trespassing.  The claim was that entering a piece of property in a manner contrary to what the owner requires as a condition of entry is the same as trespassing, just like driving past a gate that is posted “no vehicles beyond this point.”  You have permission to enter, but only under certain conditions, and if the conditions aren’t met, you are breaking the law.
  3. I’m an asshat for breaking the rules, and then bitching about people that broke other rules.  

Response to item #1: He never asked us not to bring them. If the owner had made it clear that it was a “no weapons” event in the same manner that he’d made it clear that it was a “black tie” event, then I’d absolutely agree with this sentiment.  It is well within the owner’s rights to determine the conditions of your entry into an event, be it dress code or otherwise.  If, given those requirements beforehand, you decide that you cannot live up to the conditions, then do not attend.  The reason that I don’t equate the two issues is because, while the invitations and information available for the event made it completely clear that it was, indeed, a “black tie” event, there was no indication that the event was “weapons free” at any time, right up until I got in line for the metal detectors.  Coming to an event that is clearly determined to be “black tie” in anything less than said attire is disrespectful.  Coming to an event with a pistol, and finding out only after you’ve bought your tickets, made the trip, and have no other recourse than to not attend at great personal expense and loss of the evening, that the owner doesn’t want you going in with it is completely different.  He misrepresented the issue, and accepted my money without addressing that requirement, so it was not part of our agreement as far as I (and the law) was concerned.

Response to item #2:  There was never an explicitly stated “no weapons” policy, even after the wanding and the metal detectors.  It was unclear what they would have done had they determined that I had a pistol.  They may very well have allowed me to enter once they checked that it was being carried legally with a CC license and so forth.  There was never an explicitly stated “you may not enter with a weapon,” it was only “we’re going to check and see if you have any weapons” with no indication of what the recourse would be if they had actually found one, so I don’t think that this applies.  Since they did not find it, I never found out, and it certainly is not my legal requirement to declare to a private citizen that I have a pistol on me.  If they’d made it clear that it was, indeed, a “no weapons” event, then I might feel differently, except for one thing: don’t forget that the owner and I entered into an agreement where he’d take my money for the tickets, and he’d allow me to enter the venue with the condition that I was dressed in “black tie” attire.  There were no other conditions stated, so in my belief, his springing an additional condition on me at the door to which we hadn’t agreed at the time of payment was not binding to me, legally or otherwise. 

Response to Item #3: you could also make the representation that the owner of the venue was an asshat for springing un-agreed-to conditions on me at the last second, giving me no other option but to either break the rules or forfeit my ticket and my evening.  Two wrongs don’t make a right, but you’ll forgive me for being an asshat to a person that would renege on an agreement at the last second like that.  

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