Can I legally carry a gun in my truck for self-defense?

 

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

 

gunBob is a truck driver from Iowa who has been driving for many years. He drives in lots of dangerous areas, so he’d like to carry a concealed handgun for self-protection. He’s got his permit, but his employer has told him that he is forbidden to carry it in his truck due to federal law.

 

One day he’s on the job when he parks late at night in an industrial park. He’s pulled up to the warehouse late at night where he is to make his delivery and he’s just waiting for the employees to come out and tell him they are ready to receive his shipment. In the mean time, he locks himself in his truck and tries to get some shuteye. He’s been on the road for a long time and feels like he needs a nap while he waits.

 

Later, he hears a tap on his door. Thinking it’s the ground crew come to tell him they are ready to unload, he opens the door. To his surprise, it is not the people he was expecting from the warehouse. It’s a thug with a gun demanding money.

 

Bob has a dilemma that plays itself out in different forms all the time for interstate truck drivers on the road. He’s got a tire thumper, a miniature baseball bat, under the seat, but against a drawn firearm, it’s useless for self-protection.

 

Bob keeps a fake wallet filled with a few dollars and cancelled credit cards for just such an occasion. He hands the wallet to the robber, who is satisfied and leaves. A colleague in another truck is not so lucky. Faced with same scenario, the other driver resists, and is shot in the head and killed. The memory of these events gives Bob nightmares as he grieves for a friend lost.

 

Scenarios like this one play out all over the country as interstate drivers struggle with the question of whether or not to go against their company policies and carry concealed in their trucks. Many companies re-enforce their anti-carry policies with the threat that truckers caught carrying would be subject to federal law. There’s just one problem. There is no federal law regarding the carry of a firearm in a commercial truck.

 

Wendy Parker is a writer for Overdrive Magazine, an industry magazine and website for professional truck drivers. She discusses this very issue in her article November 2012 article entitled “Navigating Gun Laws for Truckers”. You can read the whole article here.

 

Parker says, The question of carrying a gun for protection is one that comes up often, and there’s a lot of murkiness and misinformation regarding actual laws for commercial drivers. First and foremost, start with your company’s policy. If your company doesn’t want you to carry a gun and you do, you could get into trouble and potentially lose your job. That’s common sense. For owner-operators, it’s up to you.

 

Parker quotes the NRA/IRA law which in essence says that truck drivers are not prohibited by law from carrying guns, unless they are convicted felons or some other legal reason prevents them from carrying.

 

Similarly, Parker says, the individual states determine their own carry conceal laws and it can be a legal minefield truckers to navigate and figure out what is legal where. A gun permit issued by one state, may not be good in another. An interstate trucker is left to figure that out on their own.

 

Gary Slider has a website that is kept up to date and has information regarding current handgun reciprocity laws. You can check it out at http://www.handgunlaw.us/. Slider is known to answer personal questions posed to him on this topic in email correspondence.

 

So if you are an owner operator, you can probably get away with carrying right? The problem is that many warehouses and companies where you may make deliveries may have rules against firearms. So if you are making a delivery, you are effectively left defenseless while you wait. Many of these companies are in states unfriendly to gun rights where carrying a weapon of any kind can lead to prosecution.

 

Things have gotten so out of hand that there has been a recommendation for a universal carry law for truckers, called Mike’s Law, named for truck driver Mike Boeglin who was murdered in his truck and his truck burned. This law would circumvent state laws for interstate truckers allowing them to carry concealed while they are working.

 

The problem here is, why should there be a need for a special permit for anyone? VIPs and politicians, actors and famous people, all have armed bodyguards. They don’t seem to have a problem in any state they visit. Why is it made so hard for legal gun owning citizens to protect themselves with their own firearms? The constitution provides for the right to carry in the Second Amendment. It’s literally written into the constitution from the founding. Laws preventing lawful carry are unconstitutional. Yet people are prosecuted all the time for having an otherwise legal firearm in an anti-gun state. In places like New York, New Jersey and California, you can be charged with a felony for carrying your firearm.

 

Federal law provides limited protection for travelers traveling through different states by plane, but even then lawful gun owners can run amok of local laws if they are caught in possession of their firearm in an airport. Jason Hanson writes about this scenario in his article for USA Carry entitled: Why People Get Arrested at Airports with Firearms. He gives some advice tips, which you can read here.

 

Hanson advises that if you are traveling, you are covered if you keep your gun in a locked case, separate from your ammo, and check the firearm in the belly of the plane. If you miss a connecting flight, you have the natural tendency to try to retrieve your firearm if you have to stay overnight. Don’t do that! The firearm is covered as long as it is in possession of the airport where you find yourself temporarily stranded. Once you retrieve your weapon however, you run amok of the law if you try to check it again when you get a new flight. People have been arrested and charged with felonies, their weapons confiscated for just that reason. I would recommend that if this happens to you, don’t get back on the plane. Buy a bus ticket or rent a car.

 

For decades the liberal left has been attempting to erode our Second Amendment rights. There has been some progress made in reinforcing those rights, but much still needs to be done. The left is constantly trying to force upon us even more restrictive gun laws, ending ultimately in confiscation. Ultimately if that happens, no one in this country, other than the rich politicians and public figures, will have the right to self-defense. If you can’t afford a bodyguard, you are out of luck.

 

For the traveler, tourist or truck driver, the problem remains. At the end of the day, I feel, citizens have to push for a national constitutional open or concealed carry law forever cementing your right to personal protection. Until that happens, people will continue to be vulnerable when they travel.

 

For further reading:

 

http://www.thetrucker.com/news/stories/2014/6/27/TruckerfoundshotburnedinhistruckinDetroit.aspx

 

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/11/daniel-zimmerman/truckers-support-mikes-law-federal-right-carry-interstate-drivers/

 

http://www.usacarry.com/why-people-get-arrested-airports-firearms/

 

http://www.overdriveonline.com/navigating-gun-laws-for-truckers/

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Republican Candidate Jim Hagedorn talks about VA accountability.

By Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Republican Congressional Candidate Jim Hagedorn. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Republican Congressional Candidate Jim Hagedorn. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Jim Hagedorn is running as a republican for the First District Congressional Seat against Democratic Incumbent Tim Walz. Today he stopped by the Olmsted County Government Center to talk about to local media about three proposals he has to hold the Veterans Administration accountable to provide quality, timely care to veterans who have earned their veterans. He talked to us by phone to discuss those proposals. Here is an excerpt of our interview with him today.

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Fran Bradley will run once more for state legislature!

Fran Bradley addresses supporters. - photo by Jeremy Griffith

Fran Bradley addresses supporters. – photo by Jeremy Griffith

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online

Veteran Minnesota State Legislator Fran Bradley-R of Olmsted County announced today in front of supporters that he will be seeking election once again as a state legislator for the House District 25B.

He said, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.”

Fran served previously in the state legislature and worked as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. He left the House of Representatives over a decade due to family issues.

Bradley will be stepping down from his current posting as Olmsted County GOP Co-Chair. His co-chair, Aaron Miller, said the Republicans will be seeking nominations shortly to fill the slot vacated by Bradley.

Bradley is a retired engineer having worked for 30 years for IBM in Rochester. He is married to his spouse Mary for 52 years and has four children and 5 grandchildren.

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My Father!

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
My Father, Len.

My Father, Len.

This is my father. Shortly following this upcoming election, he’ll turn 80 years old. He has worked hard all of his life; first for his father, farming on his dad’s property, then as a business planner for IBM. He was the financial guru for the local YMCA. This year, as he has in past years, he’s worked for a local tax service, helping people figure out their taxes.

 

You might have noticed that paying the taxes you owe to the IRS sucks! That’s because taxes are theft. There is no reason on God’s green Earth why anybody should owe fifty percent of their income to pay Uncle Sam. You literally have to work half the year to pay for government services, many of which you will never use. It’s ridiculous.

 

This is what really burns me. My father, who has worked all his life and paid his taxes, works in his old age so that people like you, the welfare bum, the healthy unemployed or underemployed person doesn’t have to. Why should my father work every day so that you can sit on your ass and draw an income for doing nothing.

Dad in a fancy suit.

Dad in a fancy suit.

 

Did you know that social security income is taxed? So my father and mother have a reduction in the amount they receive in social security, money that’s already been taxed, money they put in in social security insurance that they depend on in their retirement, and they have to give it up to the government, who then gives it to you. That’s not fair.

 

My dad, like in the last election, will be a delegate to our senate district and state conventions for the Republican Party. I’ll be his driver again this year, and hopefully, being an alternate delegate again this year, I’ll be seated as well as a full-fledged delegate. If I am so fortunate, I will work hard to elect delegates to the national convention who support good strong conservative values: values like strengthening social security and passing legislation that will not tax our parents and grand parents retirement income; I will be campaigning for a candidate that will reduce the national debt, put people back to work who are looking for work, and reducing the federal dollars dolled out for healthy individuals who refuse to work. I will campaign for a strong national defense; one that is capable of fighting and winning our wars and intimidating those nations and rogue groups who want to hurt us. I will support a candidate that will not be a national builder, but will rebuild our own nation first. And I will support a candidate who seals of the border and prevents people from coming into this country illegally, strengthening legal immigration while at the same time preventing people who come here in violation of our nations laws.

 

That’s why I will be supporting, Ted Cruz for president.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is is greeted by an enthusiastic Iowa crowd in Cedar Rapids. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is is greeted by an enthusiastic Iowa crowd in Cedar Rapids. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

 

This statement not supported or funded by any campaign or candidate.

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My Rose!

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Roselle Taburada, my sweetie. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Roselle Taburada, my sweetie. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

This is Rose. She is the love of my life. We’re getting married this July.

Rose came here from the Philippines, immigrating here LEGALLY! She’s done everything right, she’s followed the rules, got her workers’ visa, paid her fees; and last year she studied hard and earned her citizenship.

 

I am very proud of my Rose. That is why it makes me so mad when I hear about the many thousands of people coming over the border illegally. They steal our benefits, our jobs, create an unsustainable burden on our health care and school systems. It is a mess. But they aren’t hurting me so much as they are hurting people like my Rose. People from all over the world do the right thing and follow the rules so that they can become full citizens, earning the right to vote in our elections and so they can have their own individualized portion of the American dream. And meanwhile, people like you, who disrespect our immigration laws, are stealing that dream away from them.

 

No nation in the world is like ours. And, no nation can sustain itself and their laws if they are flooded by this many illegal immigrants.

 

In what I call Rose’s class of new immigrants, those sworn in as citizens on the same day as she was, many of them were from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Many of these were people of color. People coming from the failed nation of Somalia on the African continent were amongst the majority of people coming here legally. They made use of the legal path to citizenship and are now realizing the fruition of their dreams. So it’s not racist to call for strong borders and proper vetting of people who want to come here. It’s a matter of national security. You are stealing from all of those new immigrants and slapping them in the face. People like my Rose don’t deserve to be treated like this, like second-class citizens.

 

That’s why I am going to the Minnesota First District and State Conventions as an alternate delegate. My father is one of the primary delegates and we will be car-pooling. Together he and I will go to support delegates to the national convention of the GOP in order to protect the American Dream for people like my Rose.

 

That is why I support Ted Cruz for president.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is is greeted by an enthusiastic Iowa crowd in Cedar Rapids. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is is greeted by an enthusiastic Iowa crowd in Cedar Rapids. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

 

This statement not paid for by any candidate or campaign.

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The United States Marine Corps (and Werewolves) in Vietnam!

The true unbelievable story about the writer behind Stanley Kubrick’s Epic War Film – Full Metal Jacket.

Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
Gustav "Gus" Hasford from archival photos at GustavHasford.com

Gustav “Gus” Hasford from archival photos at GustavHasford.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The praise I seek from my readers is that they finish my books. After being alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content to trade fame for accuracy of interpretation. Fame, for a writer, is like being a dancing bear with a little hat on your head.” –Gustav Hasford, author of The Short-Timers

 

On Feb. 1, 2016 Netflix re-released for it’s subscribers director Stanley Kubrick’s epic war film Full Metal Jacket starring R. Lee Ermey and Matthew Modine. I watched it again late last month. Curious about the movie’s origin, (there is always a good book behind the best movies) I did some research, and found a story that blew my mind.

 

I don’t think I’ll ever discover many details about the life of obscure English major Matthew Samuel Ross, but the facts I do know are these. Ross received his undergraduate degree in 2006 from the University of Los Angeles. In 2010 he was attending his master’s degree program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and chose to write for his master’s thesis about the life and art of Gustav “Gus” Hasford, the author of The Short-timers and the Phantom Blooper. The Short-timers is the now out of print manuscript that is the basis of Kubrick’s Film Full Metal Jacket.

 

Whoever Ross is, we owe him a debt of gratitude that readers of war fiction can never repay because he has given us what I believe is the only written account of biography concerning the obscure and amazingly talented writer Gus Hasford. Ross’s thesis entitled, An Examination of the Life and Work of Gustav Hasford is elegant and detailed and worth the time of reading. In his 107-page manuscript he gave me an appreciation and fondness for this obscure writer and fellow veteran, who lived a sad, lonely life and died alone and forlorn in a shabby Grecian hotel room. You can read Ross’s full thesis here.

 

Full Metal Jacket came out in theaters in August of 1987. Overshadowed a little by the release of another war film, Oliver Stone’s Platoon, it was still met with a great deal of economic and box office success and continued to propel Stanley Kubrick’s career in filmmaking. Sadly, the principle screenwriter and author of the novel that was the movie’s basis was barely a footnote. According to Ross, Vietnam veteran and former Marine Hasford was thrilled that Kubrick had chosen his novel for his next film project and forever after regretted having to work with Kubrick at all, even considering legal action against the filmmaker to even get a mention as a scriptwriter. The relationship between Kubrick and Hasford was very tense. They spoke on the phone many times and in fact only met in person on one occasion, Ross recounts. It’s not clear who was at fault for this very tense working relationship but at the end of the day, Kubrick profited greatly from the success of Full Metal Jacket while the scriptwriter Hasford, barely nominated for best script and losing out, faded from the limelight soon after.

 

Hasford was born in Russelville, Alabama in a very rural setting. He loved reading and loved books and wrote for his high school paper. When the Vietnam War rolled around he volunteered for the Marines, embracing the reality that he would likely be drafted anyway. His experience in journalism garnered him a slot at the Defense Information School, then located at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana where he was trained as a military journalist. (Ross mistakenly calls it an Army school. In point of fact it is a joint Department of Defense School open to all branches and their associated civilians, and always has been. I attended DINFOS myself in 2008 long after the school moved to its present location at Fort Meade, Maryland.)

 

Following his training at Parris Island and Fort Benjamin Harrison, Hasford worked as a public affairs specialist, writing for various military publications such as the Marine magazine Leatherneck and Pacific Stars and Stripes among others. In his last 10 months of service after a personal battle with superiors he was shipped to Vietnam as a volunteer. His first novel is said to be semi-autobiographical in nature as the main character, Private James T. Davis, aka Private Joker, has many of the same characteristics as the author. Both were military journalists in Vietnam and both were involved in the battle of Hue, (pronounced Way. I know, Vietnamese to English translation makes no damn sense at all. )

 

Did you know that the first draft of Hasford’s novel had werewolves in it? It did, in fact. Happily that manuscript is dead and buried, while it is not clear which was true, did the Marines turn into werewolves in order to kill North Vietnamese soldiers or was it the other way around. The final draft that turned into the film did have werewolf references in it though. Interesting.

 

Regardless, the novel based loosely on Hasford’s experience, while not a financial success on it’s own, soon garnered the attention of Kubrick. He was looking for material for a Vietnam War flick and depended heavily on the writing of his friend Michael Herr and on the talents of Hasford for the script. Hasford wrote a much-acclaimed Vietnam book entitled Dispatches based from his experiences as a war correspondent for Esquire Magazine. Herr, who contributed little to the overall adaptation of the script never the less benefitted from his relationship with Kubrick, while Hasford was mostly on the outs. The three men never met in person to discuss the script, but instead were required to send their pages remotely to be edited by Kubrick for the final project.

 

At one point Ross recalls Hasford was so upset with director Kubrick that he feared the film was never going to see fruition at all. He and some friends donned tiger-stripped green camouflage uniforms and infiltrated the film location to indeed validate that the movie was actually in progress of being made. Ross recounts Hasford bragging to the staff at a commissary tent that the movie being shot was based on the book that he wrote. The staff, not knowing who Hasford was, mistook him for Herr, and praised him for his work on Dispatches. Hasford soon left the film location in disgust.

 

A little before the film’s release, Hasford finished his second book, the Phantom Blooper, which was a sequel to his first novel. Phantom Blooper continues where the first novel leaves off. Following the battle of Hue City, Joker, a sergeant, leaves his base to locate and kill another former Marine now fighting with the enemy. The Marine, known as the Phantom Blooper, is apparently to blame for killing some of Joker’s friends with an M79 grenade launcher, called a blooper gun. Joker fails to find the Blooper and instead is captured by the enemy. Phantom Blooper as seen through the eyes of it’s main character, seems to humanize the enemy for the reader where the fist novel, The Short-timers, seems to destroy the image of Hollywood war films and the role of the federal US Government in sending young men to war. You can see in both novels Hasford disdain for John Wayne style Hollywood war films and what he feels like are false representation of what war is really like.

 

Hasford’s life falls in disarray shortly after the release of Full Metal Jacket. His dust up with his publisher Bantam over the publication of his second book leads this writer to the belief that it was Hasford’s attitude that was largely to blame for his lack of success and not just Kubrick’s greed, although that might have been a contributing factor. Hasford refuses to endorse other works of fiction outside his own. This leads to a bitter dispute with Bantam, who retaliates by failing to properly promote the book, which leads to the ultimate failure of the novel commercially.

 

Hasford’s trouble with filmmakers and book publishers are the least of his problems. Hasford is accused by library officials in California for allegedly stealing thousands of books and storing them in a private storage locker located on a university campus. Hasford refutes the charges but eventually pleads guilty as part of a plea agreement for the theft. The judge in the case makes an example of Hasford and charges a huge fine and shockingly, a six-month prison term for the book thief.

 

The jail term is the last straw for Hasford and slowly his mind starts to deteriorate. He abandons longstanding friendships and moves to Greece after completing his last book, A Gypsy Good Time, a parody on cheap crime and detective novels. He dies alone of untreated diabetes probably brought on by his poor diet and alcoholic lifestyle. The eccentric writer is said to mix beer, milk and wine, which he imbibed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yuk!

 

While it is somewhat of an oversimplification to say that Hasford’s two first novels is a window into the world of the Vietnam veteran, all veterans’ experiences are not the same, it can be said that his novels are a window into Hasford’s experience. When taken with other fiction and non-fiction on the Vietnam war, one can get a picture into the shared consciousness of all veterans post Vietnam era.

 

Hasford’s last novel, having little literary value, probably is more valued in that it gives us a sense of the deteriorating mind and spirit of this writer, former Marine and Vietnam veteran.

 

Hasford’s work and art deserves our appreciation and respect. While this veteran didn’t agree with everything Hasford has to say about the war, he respects his work and his opinion. (Hasford is a little too easy on the communists for this writer’s tastes. While hammering the US for their mistakes, Hasford gives the communists a virtual pass on their atrocities during the war.) Hasford is a victim of his era. His rejection by his audience is emblematic of the rejection many Vietnam era veterans faced when returning from that war and attempting to re-acclimate to civilian life. Indeed, the effects of that war and the disrespect of many veterans by the nation and the VA hospitals charged with treating them is evident today in the national headlines.

 

Hasford’s life is a cautionary tale for writers. In order not to be cheated by greedy filmmakers who want to profit from your story while leaving you out in the cold, get an agent who will represent your interests. When working with a publisher, be nice. Don’t be an ass. And, if you have a debilitating disease, listen to your doctor and follow his advice.

 

For more on the life and work of Gus Hasford, we recommend you read the thesis by Michael Samuel Ross, or go to the webpage GustavHasford.blogspot.com.

 

If you are trying to find copies of either the Phantom Blooper or The Short-timers, good luck starfighter. They are hard to find. Independent sellers on Amazon will attempt to sell you a hard cover for $140, while beatup paperbacks will fetch $90 plus. The Saint Paul Public library’s online inventory says there are a number of copies in their inventory on shelf; some are even printed in English! I’ve not yet made the pilgrimage from Rochester to see if that is the case. Regardless, you can go online at several websites and download a pirate version if you are interested. I’ve included links below. I wouldn’t even bother with A Gypsy Good Time. If you find a copy in a University or public library, honor Gus’s memory –and steal it!

 

The Phantom Blooper:

https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/Vietnam/blooperall.html

 

The Short-timers:

https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/i2l/shorttimers.pdf

Respectfully submitted by

a DINFOS trained killer

DINFOS Trained Killer

DINFOS Trained Killer

 

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