If you ever wonder why the phrase “I support our troops” gets thrown around so much, it’s because of people like Clay Edinger. This man showed a level of principle and calm composure that few people would have been able to maintain in such a frustrating situation.
A former Marine, Edinger carries a firearm with him just about wherever he goes. Indiana law lets him do that, of course, as long as he stays out of places like schools and courthouses where the law very clearly prohibits it. When Edinger wanted to vote, however, the officials there told him that guns were prohibited. Police officers showed up on the scene and tried to explain that Edinger couldn’t bring in a gun. When Edinger asked why not, they spent an hour and a half communicating with the Election Board to try to find a law that would justify the gun ban.
Because, you know, it makes sense to assume that something is illegal until you find something saying you can do it, rather than to assume that something is legal until you find something saying you can’t do it.
The police finally cited a specific statute and Edinger elected to go home and look up the statute rather than lock his gun away in his car. As it turns out, the statute quoted by the police officers pertains to domestic violence, so it amounts to squat-diddly in this context. Edinger called up the State Police and was transferred around for close to an hour while he waited for somebody to produce a law explaining why he couldn’t vote while wearing a gun. They couldn’t find anything, either.
He returned to the voting station 30 minutes before closing time. An officer there explained that guns weren’t allowed in, but he couldn’t remember the law saying why he couldn’t. Edinger decided that he would rather forfeit his right to vote than his right to bear arms. He calmly left the voting booth. Edinger said that his principles made him unable to surrender his gun. More power to you, Clay Edinger.
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