July 9th, 2007 10:34 AM
Mayor's gun triggers criticism - and an award
Mayor's gun triggers criticism - and an award
By Madison Park
Originally published July 8, 2007
Mayor S. Fred Simmons' habit of carrying a gun around Aberdeen has received criticism from residents in recent weeks.
Last week, it got him an award.
An organization Simmons says he had never heard of announced it has bestowed upon him the Responsible Democracy Award - because he carries a gun and isn't afraid to say so.
Maryland Shall Issue Inc., a gun-rights group based in Libertytown in Frederick County, proclaimed that it was "impressed by Mayor Simmons' declaration that he carries a gun because it is his right to do so, and because he may frequent high crime areas."
The group announced Wednesday that it was presenting its Responsible Democracy Award to Simmons and will send him a certificate.
"I had no knowledge of it," Simmons said. "If it's a good organization, I'm flattered they took the time to recognize me."
On his lunch hour, Simmons frequently goes for walks in the more troubled areas of town. "There's no place in Aberdeen that I will not walk," he said.
The mayor carries a 9 mm Glock pistol and said he has the proper permits to carry a concealed weapon.
Maryland Shall Issue describes itself as a nonpartisan volunteer group that advocates for the expansion of gun laws in the state, particularly limitations on the ability to carry concealed weapons.
On its Web site, the organization poses the question: "Why should it be so much more difficult for the law-abiding citizen to carry than for the criminal?"
"This is the hallmark of democracy, which is what this is about," said Henry Heymering, president of Maryland Shall Issue. "There are very few people who openly will declare that they carry a gun, and it's certainly not people here in Maryland."
Simmons' recent history might strengthen his inclination to carry a gun. In June, two teenagers, one of whom was brandishing a baseball bat, confronted Simmons during a walk. That day, Simmons did not have a police escort and radioed for help. The teens eventually backed down, though Simmons has said he did not draw his weapon.
At the public comment segment of a City Council meeting last month, a number of residents criticized Simmons for carrying a gun, saying it made Aberdeen appear unsafe.
The Responsible Democracy Award is the first of its kind issued by Maryland Shall Issue. Heymering said there was no formal nomination process.
"The comment that instigated it was that [Simmons] said he carried a gun and that it was his right to do so," Heymering said. "And that he went to high-crime areas in the city - that was the basis for it."
The group has 2,000 supporters, Heymering said Friday, but he could not say how many formal members the group has.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
July 9th, 2007 10:59 AM
Well done, Mr Mayor.
And for the citizens,the differance is "appear". Appearance is posturing politics, i.e., perception is everything. Obviously, the truth of the matter IS the are is unsafe. Spin it any way you want, won't matter when the thugs are beating in your head with that baseball bat.
On the other hand, nobody should walk into bad neighborhoods simply because they're "strapped". Asking for trouble like that can be a legal nightmare if a defensive shooting does happen. The Mayor can do it, as they are his consituents, but the average Joe who doesn't live in the 'hood shouldn't tempt fate. Betcha the jury won't like it.
If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?
July 9th, 2007 11:22 AM
Is Maryland full of fools?? Good on the Mayor--now how about getting the rest of the citizens in the state a CWP??
July 9th, 2007 02:12 PM
Cool article,thanks for posting. Sounds like the Mayor has his head on straight. People need to get over ****. If the area really is unsafe, why do you care if it 'appears' unsafe? If an unsafe area bothers you THAT much...move.
"To blame a gun for a mans decision is to foolishly attribute free will to an inanimate object"- Colion Noir.
July 9th, 2007 02:34 PM
Remember that the most important thing to the left is that they appear safe, not that they really are safe. That was the claim of the associate vice president of Virginia Tech., “this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.” and he was darn proud of it.
DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONtestING THE VOTE.
Certified Instructor for Minnesota Carry Permit
NRA Pistol and Personal Protection Insrtuctor
Utah Permit Certified Instructor
July 9th, 2007 02:59 PM
Thumbs up for the Mayor, unfortunately in looking at the article, the headline and first sentence read: Mayor’s gun triggers criticism, the media seem to always focus on the negative and normally are anti-gun, why not Mayor receives award, and praise from citizens. I’m sure there were a few folks that have voted for him that applaud his actions and support it.
I know nothing about the gun laws of Aberdeen, is the common citizen allowed to carry concealed?
“First rule of a gun fight is to have a gun”
July 9th, 2007 03:34 PM
I was thinking exactly the same thing.
Originally Posted by SIGguy229
Great and good for a mayor who very likely has or can assign to himself city police or even a SWAT team in plain clothes for personal protection as an escort.
He saying he can walk anywhere in Aberdeen is not exactly a statement with weight. He's the mayor, of course he can do so...just as Bush can do the same anywhere in America without real fear or concern, even as he too might choose to pack.
The same cannot be said for the constituency though.
How about lending a hand to your fellow man and voters to allow them same similar abilities in a practical sense even as the CCW law has been in place in MD for decades though very difficult for anyone but a mayor type connected person to secure.
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
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