At a very fundamental level, individualists and collectivists see the world in a very different way.
Individuals look at a problem or issue and think, “what can I do about it?”
Collectivists look at a problem and think, “what can I do to get someone else to do about this?”
That foundational difference in outlooks is very much at the heart of the debate over firearms in this nation, as individualists demand to retain their right to own and use the firearms of their choice as they see fit for self-defense, community defense, sport, amusement, and hunting. Collectivists run away from that individual right of self-defense and the sober responsibility that owning a firearm requires, and instead insist that the state—and the state alone—should have that power and responsibility. If only the state has that responsibility, they don’t feel like lesser people for shirking that responsibility.
That larger issue is being played out on a smaller scale in Rochester, Minnesota, as an individualist father practicing his Second Amendment right to carry a firearm to defend himself and those he loves has run headlong into a terrified collectivist who hates the responsibility of self-defense, and has decided to use her First Amendment rights to passive-aggressively attack him.
Matthew Halleck brings his two girls to and from the outskirts of Harriet Bishop Elementary in Rochester every day. “I’m going to protect my children anyway I can,” said Halleck.
For Matthew, that means carrying a concealed gun that he has a permit for, while adhering to all legal boundaries. “It’s not crossing the street here, where the crosswalk is, it’s making sure it’s concealed so the kids can’t see it,” he said.
But Matthew is no longer the only one who knows he’s carrying a gun. Recently a sign went up in a front yard across the street from the school. It has Matthew’s picture on it and reads, “This man carries a loaded gun around your children every day.”
“Since we don’t have a way to stop him, we felt it was important to notify the neighborhood and the parents that there is an armed man in their presence,” said Kimberly Edson, a Rochester resident who put the sign up. “The first couple days of school he had it very visible, we saw it and were quite concerned,” she said.
Kimberly called the police the day the picture was taken, but they said Matthew has a legal right to carry off school property. Matthew also contacted authorities concerning the sign, and while they briefly took the sign down, it was eventually determined that Kimberly was also breaking no laws. “He has a 2nd Amendment right to carry the gun, I have my 1st Amendment right to say that I don’t like it,” said Edson.
Mr. Halleck,a former PTA President and school board President, is very active in the community. He takes proactive, individualist steps to make it a better place through his actions, whether that means volunteering his time at the school, or in providing for his own family’s security.
Kimberly Edson’s “community involvement” seems limited to attempting to passive-aggressive attacks against constitutional and human rights that she doesn’t like, and attempts at bullying people like Mr. Halleck who take their responsibilities to defend their families and communities seriously in a dangerous world.
Curiously, Ms. Edson doesn’t seem to grasp that her passive-aggressive attacks on Mr. Halleck via her yard sign has effectively announced to every criminal in Rochester Minnesota that her home across from Harriet Bishop Elementary is undefended.
We sincerely hope that Ms. Edson and her family members are not hurt when criminals recognize her gun-free home as the target of opportunity that it is, and wonder if she will change her mind about the human right of self-defense once it is her life that has been affected by crime.