Between the years of 1692 and 1693 more than 25 people were accused of being witches and were either executed or died in prison in the area around Salem Massachusetts.
Nearly all of the accused and condemned had little more evidence against them than some other person pointing at them and yelling “WITCH!!”
One might think that some 300 plus years down the line we might have evolved over such knee jerk reactions and rushes to judgment but when it comes to gun owners that is often not the case. In particular, a person can request a protective order in many states by simply saying they were threatened. No proof is needed, no evidence required. Yet for a falsely accused gun owner they are completely stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights, as a condition of a protective order is that you must forfeit your firearms for the duration of the order.
That doesn’t seem like due process to me. That seems like you are going to be treated as guilty until you can somehow prove your innocence. Yet considering that you were condemned in the first place by someone who didn’t produce any evidence proving you did anything wrong, disproving it may be difficult.
I bring this up because of a story in neighboring Connecticut where a Fire Lieutenant is facing this type of baseless accusation and the repercussions it brings.
Hartford Fire Lt. Michael Patterson had a protective order issued against him on Oct. 1st after his mother-in-law, Cynthia Chevannes, said that he threatened him. That’s it, that was the extent of her proof. She said so. The mother-in-law lives in the family home with Patterson, his wife and their two children. As such the police came and confiscated all of Patterson’s firearms and ammunition.
Finally, three weeks later Patterson took the stand in Superior court to challenge the protective order calling it baseless and asked simply that the protective order be lowered to a no contact order. Patterson has no interest in seeing his mother-in-law but takes issue on his 2nd Amendment Rights being violated. The no contact order would have returned his firearms yet kept him from interacting with his mother in law. The judge summarily ruled, based on nothing but Chevannes original statements, with audacity stating: “There is a clear indication in the state’s case that Cynthia Chevannes felt an imminent fear.”
I have an imminent fear that police officers are going to harass me for being a gun owner…can I have a protective order from them?
So while being denied his 2nd Amendment rights the case will be continued in another week on the 28th of October. A full month of being denied rights just on the word of one person with no proof.
But while looking through the testimony of the case a reason for the lie becomes revealed.
Much like the Salem Witch trials in which neighbors would accuse neighbors of witchcraft in order to get their land and property, so too does this story hold an air of questionable motives.
You see, Chevannes had sold the house to the Patterson’s to cover medical bills for her husband. But an argument about splitting expenses came up and according to testimony Chevannes refused to pay anything and then began a tirade against Patterson telling him his wife (her daughter) was having an affair and that Patterson’s mother was a whore. Patterson had the wherewithal to phone his wife on his cell-phone so she could hear all this.
Chevannes feared that she was going to be kicked out of the house so when Patterson left for his second job she called the police and made her accusations.
Because of her say so, Lt. Patterson is being charged with second-degree breach of peace and second-degree threatening. BUT, seeing how this is Connecticut and the state has turned to hating gun owners, Patterson is also charged with 29 counts of risk of injury to a minor. Why? Because of the 29 firearms that Patterson has in the house.
The evidence to support the risk of injury? The boys bed is being stored in his parents bedroom because his room is being renovated while he sleeps in his sister’s room. But like the scene from “Meet the Parents”
You can’t store a child’s bed in a room with a gun in Connecticut. It doesn’t matter if he’s not actually using it or staying there, just can’t store it near those “evil evil guns.”
This whole ordeal just hearkens back to the Brian Aitken’s affair in New Jersey and goes to show how gun hating states and the judges and politicians who inhabit them will make life a living hell for gun owners whose only crime is that they choose to exercise their constitutional rights.
A right that is vulnerable when all it takes to violate it is someone to point at them and say “GUN OWNER.” Burning them at the proverbial stake as unjustly as they were burning “witches” 300 years ago.