(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)


with 4 comments

Gun-toting woman divides community

By Kathy Boccella

Inquirer Staff Writer
LEBANON, Pa. – Before heading out the door to go to Wal-Mart, Meleanie Hain fussed over her children, grabbed her coat and keys, then ran upstairs to get one more item: her loaded Glock 26, which she strapped to her hip.

She never leaves home without it.

Hain, 30, has caused a stir in this rural Pennsylvania Dutch community 25 miles east of Harrisburg for packing a gun everywhere she goes, including to her 5-year-old daughter’s soccer games this fall.

She’s paid a big price for sticking to her gun.

The mother of four, who often carries a baby on one hip and her Glock on the other, has been criticized by even the most ardent gun-lovers. From once-friendly neighbors to the local police chief, the general feeling is that Hain’s pistol-packing behavior is, well, extreme.

“People get alarmed because they don’t see that too often,” said Charlie Jones, a soccer coach who confronted Hain about the gun at a Sept. 11 game. “They don’t know what your intentions are going to be.”

Hain said the outcry has hurt her babysitting business and left her feeling isolated. She has been called an attention-seeker, psycho, moron and worse on hundreds of pages on Internet forums. Neighbors have blasted her on radio shows, her daughter’s principal warned her against taking the gun to school (she doesn’t), and the local police chief advised her to put it away.

Now she is firing back. On Oct. 24, Hain filed a federal lawsuit against Lebanon County and Mike DeLeo, the sheriff who revoked her gun permit after jittery parents complained about her at the Sept. 11 game.

The suit says they violated her constitutional and civil rights and seeks more than $1 million.

“The sheriff got on TV after the hearing and said, ‘I stand by my decision,’ ” said Hain, who grew up in Lancaster County in a family that did not own guns. “That comment makes people think I’m still an idiot and what he did was right.”

DeLeo, who calls himself a staunch NRA member, said he has nothing against guns but felt it was his duty to take action “because of the safety and security issues involving [children] on the field.”

Last week, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence offered to defend DeLeo and the county for free.

“This is a case that calls out for common sense and sanity,” said Daniel Vice, the center’s senior attorney. “It’s an incredible risk to bring a loaded semi-automatic weapon to a children’s soccer game.”

No one disputes Hain’s right to own a gun. Many of her critics are hunters. But they say that packing heat at a soccer game – or anywhere else around children – is dangerous and foolhardy.

In Pennsylvania, gun owners are allowed to carry weapons in the open as Hain does, but need a permit to conceal them in a pocket, purse or car. So without a permit, Hain could still carry a gun at the game but couldn’t take it in the car to get there.

Even Judge Robert J. Eby, who restored her permit on Oct. 14, said he thought she lacked good judgment and common sense.

“You scared the devil out of some other people,” Eby said.

He chided her for causing anxiety and apprehension in other people and said he didn’t think anyone needed gun protection at a 5-year-old’s soccer game. Concealing it “would be the right thing to do,” he said.

Hain, who has children ages 1, 5 and 9 and a 9-year-old stepdaughter, says a near-fatal car accident 21/2 years ago destroyed her sense of security and convinced her that the worst can happen.

“I thought, ‘What more can I do to ensure the safety of myself and my children?’ ” she said. “It’s not a matter of being paranoid. People have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in their homes. They’re not paranoid; they’re prepared.”

Articulate and well-versed in gun laws, she is a vegetarian and Krishna follower with a Sanskrit symbol tattooed on her forearm, though she calls herself a “pseudo-devotee.” Her husband, who taught her to shoot, works in law enforcement but stays out of the fray, fearing it will cost him his job. She won’t say where he works and in fact, he sat in his car while a reporter and photographer were in his house with Hain.

Her babysitting business has suffered. Two babysitting clients have fled and she is down to just one family. Michael Long – who leaves Tyler, 2, and Joshawa, 8, with Hain one day a week – said he doesn’t worry because she locks up her gun when the children are in the house.

“I can see where she’s coming from,” he said, scooping up Tyler in Hain’s living room, which was filled with toys. In a large crate in the kitchen was Ghost, an enormous bull mastiff.

Others, though, say they can’t understand why she feels so threatened.

“I said, ‘Kids are more in danger of falling off a piece of playground equipment or getting hit by a car in the parking lot than anybody coming and doing anything where you need a gun to defend yourself,’ ” Jones said.

But Hain sees danger lurking around every corner.

She carries the weapon cowboy-style because in an emergency – not that there has ever been one – “I don’t really need anything extra in the way of the gun if I’m going to have to pull it out and I’m holding a baby and trying to shuttle two or three other kids,” she said.

And she doesn’t want to have to wait for help to arrive. “When seconds count,” she said, “the police are minutes away.”

DeLeo said he had rarely seen anyone other than a police officer walk around with a gun on the hip. In fact, doing so might make Hain more of a target, he said.

“If you carry it open, you already lost the element of surprise,” he said.

Moreover, it increases the change of accidental shootings, Vice of the Brady Center said. And a child could easily grab it.

“Semiautomatic weapons are made so that even young children can fire them,” he said.

At Wal-Mart, Hain zipped through the aisles like any other busy mother, except she had a Glock on her hip instead of a cell phone. The last time she was in the store, a woman complained about the gun to a manager who asked Hain to leave. She explained that she was legally entitled to carry the gun and marched back into the store.

On this trip, few people seemed to notice the gun as she filled her cart with Pokémon cards, jeans and diapers. Then in the milk aisle, a man and woman approached.

“Thank you for standing up for yourself,” said John Stegall, who said he recognized her from the newspaper.

After they left, Hain, ever vigilant, said she had noticed them looking at her and wondered whether they were going to cause trouble.

“People who carry pay a lot of attention to what’s going on around them,” she said.

Hain has thought about becoming a cop, but friends told her that nobody would hire her because “she makes waves,” she said.

But as she checked out, a young cashier asked whether she was a police officer.

“No, it’s for self-defense,” she said as she loaded her cart. “Do you know how many crimes have taken place in Wal-Mart parking lots?”

Ok let me get this straight…

In Pennsylvania, gun owners are allowed to carry weapons in the open as Hain does, but need a permit to conceal them in a pocket, purse or car. So without a permit, Hain could still carry a gun at the game but couldn’t take it in the car to get there.

You are ALLOWED only to carry in the open but if you do you get shit for it and perhaps have your permit yanked because you wear your APPROVED and PERMITTED side arm? WTF, fucking stupid fearful lemmings one and all. Why in the hell do they allow for an open carry if they get all freaked out and take away rights when you exercise them?

This kind of stupid hurts to even attempt to cogitate!

This woman has the right to do what she’s doing. If people have a problem with it and they own property (aka malls etc) then they should mandate that you cannot carry there. If you then carry there you can complain. State buildings don’t allow for carry as well as other places of business so they should just STFU unless they have a sign up already.

On the other side of this, hey fuckheads in PA, how about just amending the rules and be like CT and mandate only a CCW instead huh? I carry all over the place for such occasion as needed and no one is the wiser unless I deliberately brandish.. and that ain’t gonna happen unless some shit is going down.

THIS.. THIS is the same nitwit babble that the guns communities have been worried about since the Obama admin’s win. I understand that, but hopefully sanity will rule out…


Written by Krypt3ia

2008/12/12 at 19:15

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. They are dangerous, don’t you see? They can just lunge out at you and fire at random passers-by. Heck semi-autos “are made so that even young children can fire them,” as we’re so authoritatively informed by no less than the Vice [sic] of the Brady Center.

    Of course, that assumes that she has a round chambered at all times and keeps the hammer cocked. Plus, it assumes that these young children (I’m guessing the esteemed Vice means “older than six,” for instance) are able to put 2.5kg of pull on a trigger/trigger-safety, since that’s what a Glock 26 requires to fire. When I first fired a semi-auto, I had some trouble with the surprising amount of pull that a triple-safety Glock requires. It’s a long pull (1/2″ of pull, rest-to-fire) and a stiff one (around 2.5kg/5lb) – not as much as a .44 magnum revolver, but still a lot more than a squirt-gun, and certainly more than most kids can do without using the index fingers of both hands and some serious effort. And it takes some considerable effort to chamber a round and/or cock the hammer for the first round to fire.

    As you say:

    THIS is the same nitwit babble that the guns communities have been worried about since the Obama admin’s win. I understand that, but hopefully sanity will rule out…

    We’ll see. I have hopes that this stupid will pass. But for now, it burns. Oh, how it burns.


    2008/12/14 at 00:14

  2. Hey, did you hear that she’s dead now? Yeah… shot and killed by a gun owned by her husband in an apparent murder-suicide.

    Irony is a bitch.


    2009/10/09 at 13:21

  3. Dear,
    I got your response to my posting about Melenaie Hain and just get that feeling you are some sort of ardent “anti-gun” individual who is using the unfortunate demise of Mrs Hain to poke a finger in my digitally opinionated eye.
    My response to your little ironical and snarky comment is the following: “Meh”
    Your inferred argument that the mere ownership of guns and exercising your right as a US citizen to bear arms (mind you in PA, it’s an “open carry” and the poor ruling by the judge in the Hain case was handily overturned) is the leading cause to one’s own demise is faulty at best. At worst, it is the usual claptrap mind drivel that I would expect from your lackluster logical thinking and poorly worded argument cum “naaa naaaa” response to my post.
    The facts are these:
    1) She had the right to carry her legal and licensed firearm openly in the state she resided

    2) The mere act of carrying a gun never in my opinion has voided the possibility of my own or others in like circumstances, demise simply because you have one on you

    3) As in many domestic cases there were issues in the home and had they not been armed with guns they likely would have picked up carving or steak knives to kill. Anything can become a weapon in the hands of a murderous minded person

    4) This case was all about the legal system and the right to bear arms. NOT about bad bad guns. I advocate the law as it has been laid down by the US government and states. It was the abuse of such laws by a rogue judge that the story was all about

    So thank you Syrene for your screed, which you have your right to have and post on my site because of a law known as the “First Amendment” This does not however preclude me my right to the First Amendment and label you a “moron”


    2009/10/09 at 18:56

  4. […] A new comment on the post #5989 “EPIC STUPID THAT BURNS!” is waiting for your approval […]

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