American Christians: Beating their weapons into plowshares.
(Soon, they can pack at school. Then, we'll be a civilization worthy of the name.)
Mall bans man wearing T-shirt about Newtown massacre
City police, called to the mall, later arrested him. He plans to contest the charges.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Police arrested a man after he was ejected from a mall here for wearing what mall security deemed an "extremely distasteful" shirtreferencing the slaying of 20 children in Newtown, Conn.
Security officers banned Stanley Bryce Myszka, 42, from Stones River Mall for life after he refused to remove a shirt Saturday that read, "Has your gun killed a kindergartner today?" Murfreesboro police, who responded to the mall at the request of security officers, then arrested him.
Myszka said the shirt, which he had made at a mall T-shirt hut, was meant to support stricter gun control laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
Twenty students, all ages 6 to 7, and six adults were gunned down at the school a day before Myszka wore the shirt.
"I am just so tired of the nonsense," he said. "It seems we have some type of massacre happening in this country every three weeks."
Tennessee's governor, Bill Haslam, said Monday that legislators should not alter Tennessee's relatively lax gun laws because of the shooting. A bill that would require employers to allow guns carried in the trunks of employees' vehicles is making its way through the General Assembly.
Instead, the governor said his administration would favor improving mental-health services.
Mall spokeswoman Heather Rose said security received complaints about Myszka's shirt, which she said was "clearly in violation of our code of conduct."
"Being that we are private property, we do have a policy that is in place that deals with conduct," she said.
Rose added that Myszka's shirt posed a public safety threat. Mall security was concerned that Myszka's own safety was in jeopardy.
Security asked Myszka to remove the shirt or to turn it inside out three times before he was booted, she said.
Officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department later reported that they caught Myszka in a lie about how he got to the mall, which is why he was charged with criminal trespassing and filing a false report.
Myszka first told police that a friend had dropped him off at the mall about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, Tenn. He later admitted he had driven himself without a license, according to a police report.
He said police had no right to question him about how he got to the mall because he was "lawfully complying with the mall security's wish for me to leave the premises." He plans to fight the charges in court and is scheduled to appear Jan. 21.
Murfreesboro police would not comment beyond the police report.
James F. Blumstein, a Vanderbilt University professor of constitutional law and health law and policy in Nashville, said mall security acted within the law when it asked Myszka to remove the shirt he was wearing and escorting him from the property when he failed to do so.
"There is no current First Amendment issue here," Blumstein said.
"Since 1968, the Supreme Court has held that a private mall is a private mall," Blumstein said. "He can picket on the public sidewalks outside the mall. He can wear his shirt there and even hold up a sign. That's what the law is right now."
Contributing: Chas Sisk, The Tennessean