Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

June 21, 2013

Editorial: Antrim man should stick to his guns

Kent McNeil is outraged, and rightly so. Second Amendment rightly so.

Members of Antrim County’s gun board won’t let Bellaire resident McNeil legally amass firearms. McNeil contends the gun board, a group of Antrim law enforcement types, wrongly and prejudicially denied him legal gunownership, so he plans to take his argument to the Michigan Supreme Court.

McNeil’s case is a great opportunity for the top court to strike a blow for regular-folk Americans against an ever-overreaching government. After all, the most important right ever bestowed on an American citizen is the right for anyone, anywhere and at anytime to have an unlimited supply of guns and ammunition at the ready to fend off big government’s inevitable war against their freedoms.

Who do these Antrim gun hoarders think they are, anyway?

McNeil himself earned a master’s degree in criminal justice and is hard at work on a juris doctorate in constitutional law. Shoot, he probably knows the criminal justice system’s inner workings at least as well as the Antrim gun boarders, including county Prosecutor Charles Koop, who seems obsessed with holding against McNeil a little blip in his past.

OK, so McNeil had a teensy-weensy run-in with the law a while back. Seems in 1985 a McNeil associate paid him $2,000 to prod a debtor to repay a loan. And OK, so McNeil took his efforts to convince the debtor a step beyond nagging phone calls and registered letters. And OK, OK, McNeil and two other helpful debt collectors grabbed up the tardy loanee, bound, gagged and drove him to the sticks, where with the help of a shotgun butt, they beat the ever-living debt out of him.

Authorities frowned on their actions, charged McNeil with felonies and he eventually pleaded guilty to kidnapping and extortion. He earned a decade or so in prison for his actions. Oh, and authorities believe McNeil lost an eye in 2006 in a gun mishap, when he allegedly shot himself in the face while illegally handling a firearm, though they never charged him with a crime for that incident.

But Koop and the others just won’t let go of McNeil’s little indiscretions, which certainly don’t add up to a draconian denial of his God-given, National Rifle Association-protected gun ownership rights.

Here’s hoping the Supreme Court sides with McNeil and puts lots of guns back in his hands. Maybe then he can go about collecting his rights denial debt from the gun board and other anti-gun wimps.

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