If I stood on a milk crate at Fourth and Main in downtown Royal Oak and made a speech about the up coming election, I would be arrested for disturbing the peace. If a group of friends planned a gathering in the park near by to protest the war in Afghanistan, we would be ticketed if we hadn’t received a permit from the city.
Both are part of our rights as guaranteed in the Constitution. Communities can place limited and reasonable restrictions on those rights. But, people who want to carry guns think they should have rights that are not limited.
No right is absolute. The right of free speech, assembly, to bear arms and many other rights are listed in the Constitution. There are many other rights that are not detailed but are reserved by the people. But, the community has the right and responsibility to place reasonable limits on those rights. Of course, there must be a balance between the right and the community’s need for safety and order. No right can be limited without just cause.
In this case, the open carry laws, the community should have the right to limit the possession of a weapon. Royal Oak is requesting the state make a minor change in the laws to allow it. Currently, the open carry laws state that individuals can not carry a weapon in any theater with over 2,500 people and other places. The city would like it to read “venue” instead of “theater” so that Arts, Eats and Beats can ban open carry guns.
The law would not ban guns absolutely. Individuals will still be able to own guns. The change in the law would allow local communities to place reasonable limits on the possession of a weapon at events that are as large as the festival in Royal Oak.
Festivals like the Arts, Eats and Beats festival doesn’t create civil unrest where people may need to protect themselves. The media has reported that no one was arrested during the four day event. The government isn’t strong arming the public where guns may be needed for a revolution. The festival is just an entertainment venue of art, food and music. There simply is no need to openly carry guns strapped to the hip.
The request that Royal Oak is making of the state is a reasonable limit on the right to bear arms.