City Councilman Jason Arp came to mind the other day when we read of a heavily armed young man prancing around in a park somewhere in Missouri. He was conducting a social experiment, he told authorities, as he wandered about in full body armor toting an assault weapon decked out in gun-enthusiast cammo chic.
Had he been a young black man he would be dead, but happily for him he was requested to surrender to police and to explain himself. ”Have a chair, son. Want some lemonade? Fresh squeezed.” We expect he will receive a ferocious slap on the wrist followed an invitation to speak at an NRA convention, or perhaps a call from Councilman Arp to come to Fort Wayne to reprise the stunt on camera, receive an autographed copy of the Second Amendment, and speak in person to the other members of City Council.
Back in October of 2016, you might remember, Jason authored an ordinance that caused some of his fellow Republican councilmen to scratch their heads, and for others to utter barely audible growls. In explanation, Jason said he was just trying to harmonize city code with state law by striking a few words from our book of laws that prohibited gun toters like the young man in Missouri from prancing around Foster Park with an AK, poking gardeners and tree trimmers, frightening young woman with baby carriages in order to see if someone might not call the FWPD so Prancer could then cite Jason’s amendment expressing Prancer’s right to carry his six-shooter from golf tee to green, scenic overlook to Pavilion Number Two just to see if anyone cared enough to call the police. Then he could pull out his autographed Second Amendment and toss it in the face of anyone who challenged him.
Of course, someone would, and that would lead to a confrontation, an arrest for some ancillary infraction and a chance for Prancer to make the Nightly News. Then, he could dream of a speaking gig at the NRA convention, an appearance or two on Fox News and a book tour that culminate in a triumphant return home, to that smelly town in Missouri where is grand idea was spawned. Those of us scared shitless in the park would just be the collateral damage paid to protect Prancer’s Second Amendment rights to strut around to impress Jason.
There are old sayings: leave well enough alone, let sleeping dogs lie, don’t fix what ain’t broke.
Two years prior to Jason’s attention seeking ordinance the state legislature had already by fiat struck down local laws that were not in harmony with their vote to make open carry legal every where in Indiana. Daycare, hospitals, movie theaters, schools, churches, ballparks, anywhere, anywhere, anywhere. Who needs a defibrillator when a good guy with an AR-15 waltzes into Parkview.
At that October 2016 council meeting nearly every other councilman asked Jason why, except Dr. John Crawford the trophy hunter, and fellow freedom-uber alles councilman Paul Ensley. Crawford loves to show pictures of animals he has killed for the fun of it. He fell into quiet contemplation imagining himself testing the law in cammoface, armor, combat boots and artificial deer-scent.
Meanwhile, Barranda, Jehl and, Didier asked Jason why in the world he had to make a point of changing the law, why even bring it up. Ensley was quick to answer: to make gun-toters feel more comfortable carrying weapons around Fort Wayne. Paul wants more guns on the streets, in the open, propped on someone’s hip. More guns, he argues, will make us safer like more cars would reduce congestion…
Councilmen Paddock and Hines voted against. The Republicans overcame their concern for public safety and voted in lock step with Jason. Mayor Henry chose to sign the bill as a technicality.
Jason’s proud moment only encourages idiots like the young man in Missouri to test the system here in Fort Wayne by standing next to you at the Walmart, or outside a bar, or in a church, or at daycare or a Tin Caps game. He knows he is a good guy, the champion of America’s Second Amendment, so you can rest assured…even if you are peeing your pants because you have no idea who this idiot is or what his intentions are. He knows his heart is pure, but to you death is seconds away.
Just ask Jason, he can easily discern the good guys with good Christian intentions apart from the bad guys like the El Paso-Dayton-Parkland-Sandy Hook-etc-etc-etc shooters. I am sure you can, too, so don’t panic when you see someone in cammo coming your way, just call Jason.
Dumb. Needless. A stupid stunt. That’s Jason.