Displaying the fanfare of a whimper, Meredith Graves walked out of court with a $200 fine allowed to return to her life as a medical student in Knoxville, Tennessee where she is set to graduate in May. Her arrest had set off a firestorm all across America as Graves checked her .32 caliber pistol into the 9/11 Memorial in New York while visiting as a tourist thinking she was doing the right thing.
Graves did not know that the rest of the world outside of Knoxville, Tennessee failed to recognize the Second Amendment and she stated in court that she did not know that her gun license was not valid in New York City.
Progressive minded media and politicians poked fun at Meredith Graves and her backwoods naiveté. Who needs to pack a gun—and who doesn’t know that New York City outlawed personal firearms? This isn’t the wild Wild West!
Mayor Bloomberg came out and defended the aggressive arrest of this unassuming woman by stating in a press conference that Graves had been caught with cocaine in her possession as though his city had done a great thing by trampling all over the American rights of the married thirty-nine year old.
The political intrigue increased as Representative Frank Nicely of Knoxville proposed legislation to the Tennessee State Assembly called House Resolution 585 which read, “We remind the citizens of New York, especially those residing in New York City, to drive carefully through the great state of Tennessee, paying extra attention to our speed limits.” In short, Frank Nicely was threatening anyone from New York driving through Tennessee with speeding citations unless Graves was freed from unlawful firearms prosecution.
Graves posted a $2000 bond and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge to avoid the three and a half years in prison she was facing. By pleading guilty she gave the court case-law to use in future cases, but in fact, her plea was obtained under threat—not by a sense of justice to the law.
It is interesting how some of the amendments in the Bill of Rights are respected out of convenience for advancing the progressive political agenda in America while others are ridiculed openly. It was within the last couple of weeks that Jeff Neely, of the GSA took the “Fifth” while testifying in front of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over extreme abuse of tax payer money. Neely was more than happy to stand behind the rights of the Fifth Amendment to keep from implicating himself further in one of the most embarrassing government scandals in recent history. The Fifth Amendment protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Also, countless civil rights activists and other progressive groups constantly beat their drums to the strength of the First Amendment, the abridging of freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. These are amendments to the Bill of Rights of The United States Constitution and they are very valuable, and they deserve to be protected with vigor.
However the Second Amendment is attacked by the same forces that support the First Amendment as if the two amendments weren’t equal. Also the 10th Amendment is routinely abused—most notably by the recent Obama Administration using yet again the far-reaching “commerce clause” to override state sovereignty and pass national health care which is currently in the Supreme Court awaiting a verdict of constitutionality. The progressive minded New York State, specifically New York City will use the 10th Amendment to declare they have a right to ban firearms within their city even though the citizens have a constitutional right to bear firearms protected by the Second Amendment.
Americans like Meredith Graves who come from places like Knoxville, Tennessee have been routinely chastised by progressive groups for years as they protect this duality in Constitutional emphasis. To Meredith Graves, the medical student studying to become a doctor, all the elements of The Bill of Rights are equally important. She did what she believed was the correct thing; she saw signs at the 9/11 Memorial indicating no firearms, so she checked her gun at the door. For that bit of honesty she was slandered by Mayor Bloomberg for cocaine possession, jailed, forced to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, and ultimately coerced to stand in front of a judge and plead guilty to a law that is itself unconstitutional, giving the New York gun ban validity in the eyes of the court because she was enforced to provide a plea that supported a progressive political agenda.
Meredith Graves had no choice but to lend power to the unconstitutionality of the New York gun ban by pleading guilty—because if she hadn’t she could forget her future as a doctor. She could forget her life with her husband while she dwelled in jail. Her life would have been turned upside down and ruined for doing what was right and pleading not guilty under the same protection that Jeff Neely of the GSA used. The Bill of Rights was the same in both cases, only Neely used the Fifth, and Graves used the Second. The Fifth is recognized by the courts, the Second is not.
Under the protection of the Bill of Rights Meredith should have been able to plead the Second Amendment with the same strength as the Fifth, the First, or the Tenth. Meredith Graves should not have served one single day in jail for exercising her rights. Instead the security at the 9/11 Memorial should have thanked her, and handed her gun back to her when she left.
Graves was used by a legal system intent on gradually eroding away the American Constitution with case-law created by coerced pleas obtained under duress. Politicians in New York accused her of being a drug dealer, and politicians in her home state threatened retaliation against all New York drivers through Tennessee using the Tennessee Highway Patrol as their own version of a political weapon. Abuses were distributed against Meredith Graves and the American legal system with an audacity that is disgusting if viewed under the lens of Constitutional purity, but is business as usual under modern legal interpretation.
Once it was realized that Meredith Graves of Knoxville, Tennessee—wife, medical student, gun possessor and future doctor was simply a woman who wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, and not a drug dealer, or gun runner–politicians, lawyers, and media washed their hands and threw her back to the community she came from without apology or concern. Like fisherman who thought they caught a big fish to fry up and consume, Graves was thrown back into the water when it was realized they weren’t allowed to eat her. They reluctantly cast their rods back into the water looking for a new meal to consume and further erode the freedoms of all Americans with unforgivable infringements to personal liberty. The latest victim was Meredith Graves who was simply one fish in a vast ocean. Who will be next?
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