The Constitutional Villain Speaks!
Christopher Kairnes, of Warwick, claims — trumpets — responsibility for handing out the pocket Constitutions:
I had nothing to do with the Tea Party float nor did I ride on it. I never talked with the parade committee before the parade nor signed any agreement with it. I am an individual. I report to no one and do not owe anyone an apology for what I have done. If handing out the Declaration of Independence to people who are sitting down on their properties is dangerous, I am guilty of that. …
I walked up and down that parade route with my 11-year-old son twice before the Tea Party float even hit the road, and people were happy to see us. When the float finally did join the parade, I did keep handing out copies of the Pocket Declaration of Independence/U.S. Constitution.
That was when the parade staffer tried to take them out of my hand. I told him I would not let him have them. He tried to grab them again, and at the same time he grabbed my arm. That is when I got loud and told him to back off. He threatened to have the Tea Party float taken off the parade route and have me arrested.
He called a police officer over and I explained to the officer that I was handing out the copies of the Constitution all day and that I was not on the float. He recognized me from earlier and let me go back to it.
With all of the parsing going on about “soliciting” and “entries,” Kairnes clarifies that he was soliciting nothing and was associated only in sympathy with the Tea Party float. He also brings us back to the crux reflected in the title of my first post on the topic: A minor civic functionary attempted to confiscate the Constitution.
Apparently, when the back-roads totalitarian was thwarted in this endeavor, he was so incensed that he lashed out at a group that he and his friends (no doubt) didn’t like anyway. If that assertion of petty authority isn’t corrected, I propose that next year’s parade feature several dozen people handing out the books.