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TAMC Establishes Victim Disarmament Zones 

At Their Health Care Facilities


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, October 16, 2013

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine—You do not have the right to use a weapon to  defend yourself from bodily harm, or at least that what the signage at The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC) seems to indicate when you enter their health care facilities.

   Claiming to be a “Security Notice”, the signs read; “Firearms and weapons of any kind are prohibited in this building” and further states; “Law enforcement personnel must check in with receptionist upon arrival.”

   While that may make many people in today’s cowed, domesticated society feel safe, the sign itself does nothing to deter someone who is intent on doing harm from walking right past it and opening fire in the clinic’s lobby or offices.  Indeed, the signage also seems to indicate a distrust or disdain for local law enforcement by requiring them to check in with the receptionist upon arrival even though they have been trained and have to qualify in the proper use of their firearms on a continuing basis.

   Of course, since law-abiding patrons of the hospital and its associated clinics must be disarmed and thus prohibited from defending themselves and others from one who is harming other human life, the question that is begging to be asked—and was asked to TAMC by this writer—is; “What are the procedures TAMC has in place to actually stop a gunman, or gunmen, who choose to ignore the signage and proceed into the facility and begin to do harm to the people therein with a firearm or other type of weapon?  This question was also followed by; “Are there armed guards at TAMC and TAMC clinics who are armed and trained to subdue gunmen for the benefit of those who either choose to be unarmed, or are compelled to be by TAMC policy, while in the care of TAMC?”

         Responding to those questions for TAMC was TAMC CEO, Syliva Getman, who gave the Fort Fairfield Journal the obtuse, legalese-laden non-answer; “At TAMC, like all hospitals, we have a broad variety of emergency response plans for everything from a weather event and up to and including what we term to be an ‘Active Shooter’ event. As I know you will understand, we choose not to reveal the details of that response to avoid the possibility of that information being used inappropriately and increasing the risk to staff and patients.”

   This answer seems to indicate the gun-hating TAMC administrators have no plan and no idea how to stop a gunman who enters their building and do not want to be on the hook for increased liability by requiring their patients to surrender their right to protect themselves at the clinic’s door.  For if there were in fact undercover, armed security guards at TAMC, rather than exploiting that information potential gunmen would be sure to avoid TAMC facilities. Thus, logic dictates that information would be freely shared by TAMC.  Since it wasn’t, the presumption is TAMC has no effective countermeasures against a gunman except for calling the police (who would then first have to check in with the receptionist before dealing with the gunman in order to be in compliance with TAMC policy).

   Ms. Getman then proceeds to candy-coat her non-answer with a less-than-compelling reassurance that TAMC is “the only hospital north of Bangor with 24/7 designated security coverage. It is unfortunate that this is necessary, but we feel that the safety of our staff, patients and visitors is worth the investment.”

   “Designated security coverage” certainly sounds cozy and safe, but in today’s world of people who have been trained and domesticated by socialist universities and the freedom-hating mainstream television media, “security coverage” is a term that is generally applied to video surveillance and monitoring and perhaps an unarmed “mall security” style guard checking ID badges.  There is no known shooting event that has ever been thwarted by a video camera, just as no sign or policy has ever stopped a gunman from inflicting harm on innocent bystanders—facts that are apparently lost on TAMC administrators.

   The fact is, every major shooting event in recent history has occurred precisely in areas that prohibit law-abiding people from possessing firearms.  These so-called “Victim Disarmament Zones” are easy targets for gunmen because it is known that the people therein are likely unable to effectively defend themselves when a gunman arrives.  Yes, the police will show up when called, but when seconds count, the police are always minutes away.  Additionally, according to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Deshany vs. Winnebego County Dept. of Social Services (489 U.S. 189) the police have no legal obligation to actually protect people who are being threatened.  For example, if you are being threatened and call the police and they either show up late or don't show up at all, you cannot sue them for not being there to protect you if you are harmed because the U.S. Supreme Court has determined they have no legal obligation to provide protection (the court essentially decided that no government bureaucrat is legally required to do his/her job regardless of what that job might be).  What the Supreme Court seems to be saying in this ruling is when it comes to self defense, you're on your own, you cannot rely on the police because they are under no obligation to actually defend you.

   As for those who choose to violate TAMC’s gun prohibition policy by remaining armed in their facilities, there appears to be no statute in Maine that TAMC can rely on to have the person either fined, jailed or otherwise penalized.  At the most, a person who lawfully carries a firearm or “other weapon” onto TAMC premises would be guilty of criminal trespass as noted generically (not specifically related to a firearm or its possession) in Title 17-A §402(C) of the Maine Revised Statutes (MRS), which states a person is guilty of criminal trespass when he “Enters any place from which that person may lawfully be excluded and that is posted in accordance with subsection 4 or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or that is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders. Violation of this paragraph is a Class E crime.”

   While there doesn’t appear to be any gun crime involved for someone who merely carries a firearm or weapon onto TAMC property as part of their self-defense plan, there is a statute that TAMC is in direct violation of by virtue of adopting a policy that prohibits or interferes with rights codified in the Maine and U.S. Constitutions.

   The Maine Constitution says of firearms, “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” (Article 1, §16) and the U.S. Constitution says,  A well-regulated Militia [editor: a militia is the entire body of people, not just the military] being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  The Maine Revised Statutes prohibit the interference with these enumerated rights at Title 17 §2931 which states, “A person may not, by force or threat of force, intentionally injure, intimidate or interfere with, or intentionally attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with or intentionally oppress or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege, secured to that person by the Constitution of Maine or laws of the State or by the United States Constitution or laws of the United States.”  The violation of this statute is a Class D crime.

   The only  places in Maine that do not apply to the protections in 17 MRS 2931 are court houses.  According to federal law, post offices, schools and federal buildings are also excluded from said protections so people may not be allowed to carry weapons in those places.  However, TAMC, or any other hospital or business in Maine for that matter, is not allowed by statute to injure, intimidate, or interfere with said Constitutional rights by enacting a policy that prohibits them while on their property and thus appears to be guilty of a Class D crime in Maine.

   Furthermore, TAMC may be opening itself up to liability for harm done to its patients by an errant gunman because they have forced them to relinquish their right to self-defense while in their care.  Title 17-a §60 of the Maine Revised Statutes says an organization is guilty of a crime when “the conduct or result specified in the definition of the crime is engaged in or caused by an agent of the organization while acting within the scope of the agent's office or employment.” 

   In this context it appears the administrators who, acting as agents for TAMC, in drafting the policy to quash the rights of their patients to self-defense could be not only guilty of violating those rights, but also of harm that is done to them by a gunman while disarmed on TAMC property.

   Certainly the policy to disarm people by TAMC has been arrived at by knee-jerk reactions to overtly anti-gun biased news media reports in an effort to provide the illusion of safety with a plastic sign and block lettering.  However, the only effective way to defend against a gunman is inarguably with a gun.



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