Soldiers defend rights while statist prosecutor destroys them

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine was stopped by police in Temple, Texas, close to Ft. Hood, and arrested him for carrying an unconcealed rifle slung over his shoulder. Texas is a right-to-carry state, and law-abiding gun permit owners can carry rifles and hunting weapons openly, so long as the weapons are not being carried in a threatening way. According to CJ Grisham, he was out hiking with his son. I can’t imagine anyone would find this threatening, but apparently the police did. They confiscated his property and arrested him, coincidentally, after CJ apparently rattled some cages by publicly demanding that local officials do their job and uphold the Second Amendment rights of citizens.

CJ’s son got some video of the encounter, in which the Temple police tell him his only crime was alarming some hoplophobes in the area by “threateningly” carrying a rifle slung over his shoulder.

“In this day and age, [people] are alarmed when they see someone with what you have,” one of the officers tells Grisham in the video. “They don’t care what the law is.”

“When you alarm people, and they call us,” one of the officers in the video begins to say, after Grisham asks why the officiers failed to ask for his concealed-carry permit.

“And did you explain to them what the law is, sir?” Grisham asks.

“They don’t care what the law is,” the officer replies. Graham then shoots back, “Do you care what the law is?”

“In this day and age, they’re alarmed when they see somebody with what you have,” the officer replies.

“Just because a guy has got a firearm, he’s dangerous?” Grisham asks, drawing the reply, “Yes, sir.”

One of the officers tells Grisham he was “rudely displaying” the rifle.

Got that? People don’t care about the law, and exercising this law is rude and will be punished. This is what the Temple Police department apparently think.

Not only that, but according to this story, these authoritarian fucksacks somehow acted to protect themselves. That’s right. A guy is walking along with his son, with his rifle slung over his shoulder is apparently a threat.

That’s the way they apparently work over there, according to some Soldiers.

The conflict between law enforcement and armed military personnel in the community around Fort Hood, one of America’s largest military bases, has recently and repeatedly involved the issue of gun control — and the tension has been exacerbated in part by an Obama-supporting prosecutor described as a “bandleader” of anti-gun efforts in the heavily conservative community.

And it certainly sounds like CJ Grisham got caught in this particular crossfire – an overzealous, gun-grabbing, Obama supporting prosecutor versus a community of military members who not only treasure their rights, but fight to protect them.

Let’s hope the Constitution, our rights and our freedoms win in this case. CJ’s fundraising page is here. He’s fighting for all our rights.

 

13 responses

  1. Just so we are clear:
    I have every intention of open-carrying my handgun from now on, here in CT. Every. Intention.

    It’s legal, allowed, and I am quite sure some ninnies will get their panties in a bunch, but for fuck’s sake, enough is enough. Guns are not the villains. Society needs to remember this.

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  2. Arresting this guy and charging him with a crime goes a bit far, but my reading of the story elsewhere is that the officers asked this man to give them his weapon while he was being “interviewed” and he refused–which prompted the arrest. I used to BE a Texas law enforcement officer and, in similar circumstances, I too would ask the guy to let me hold the gun while we were talking. It’s the only prudent thing to do and is a matter of the officers’ safety…not officiousness. They, after all, didn’t know this guy–whether he was a nut, a legitimate hunter, a kidnapper or someone running from the law elsewhere. I’ve done this very thing (except for the arrest) when talking to someone with a gun. In one instance, I kept the guy’s pistol until the fight he was in with his wife had cooled down, which was several days later. I gave it back to him without argument when he ask for it, and this was years before anyone in Texas even thought about “concealed carry” or “open carry” “permits.” My “permit” is the Constitution. I will NEVER give some petty bureaucrat from the government the “right” to ALLOW me to exercise that right…period. I will decide when it’s prudent for me to carry a weapon, where and how…not some government functionary. That said, I don’t fault these officers for asking to have possession of this guy’s gun while they are talking to him. I DO fault the prosecutor for charging him with a crime and I DO fault HIM for refusing to comply with what was a reasonable precaution on the officers’ part. This situation spiraled out of control because the guy decided to “school” the officers on his “rights” instead of politely complying with a reasonable precaution and volunteering to show them his “permit.”

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    1. Did you watch the video?

      I know the guy. He’s a decorated NCO and he’s hardly a threat of any kind. He’s also not a nut. The video absolutely shows that. Additionally, the fact that they reduced the original charge shows that in my mind. The rifle was slung over his shoulder and they tried to take it. They didn’t ask him for it. And they admit that.

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      1. I don’t know this guy, but the video comes into it well after the initial contact was made by these officers. There’s a REASON he was being manhandled like that, and it wasn’t because he’d peacefully complied with the officers taking his weapons while they interviewed him. Whether or not he’s either a “threat” or a “nut” wouldn’t be apparent to these officers who were responding (apparently) to a citizen’s report of someone walking down the road with an “assault weapon.” They would FIRST have to stop and talk to him to determine whether he was either of those things, and disarming him temporarily would only be a prudent thing for them to do. They should do it politely, however. I used to teach LEOs and one thing I always emphasized was that they HAD to guard against developing a “we vs them” attitude towards the public in which everyone they come in contact with is seen as a potential rapist, murderer or burglar. I’m not defending the officers, only pointing out that, in a similar situation, I would also prefer to be in control of openly-displayed weapons while I investigated a complaint like this one. I wouldn’t KEEP them–and would give them back as soon as I determined that there was no threat to me or to the public involved. How do you “determine” that, you may ask? By being reasonable, rational and learning to “read” people you’re talking to.

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        1. Lets put it this way. The officers admit in the video that they simply tried to TAKE his property. Thy didn’t ask. They didn’t politely request. They tried to relieve him of his property, and since they are armed authorities, I will add they tried to do so BY FORCE. He even stated in the video that had they simply requested he put his firearm down, he would have complied. The guy is CI in the military. You really think he’d risk his clearance and career just for the fuck of it?

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        2. And by the way – I’m not saying if I were a cop I wouldn’t eat to have positive control of the firearm while I spoke to the guy. But I also wouldn’t move in and try to grab his property by force before requesting he put his firearm down and asking for a permit.

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        3. If that’s the case, they were WRONG in how they handled this situation, then. Unfortunately, we DO have some very officious LEOs in this country…which is one reason why I think, if it comes down to confiscation, we’ll have many who’ll “obey” and TRY to take our weapons away from us for good, sparking a shooting war. Some view the penal code as having the same authority (or even superior authority) as the Constitution…or simply don’t KNOW what the Constitution says or means. Law Enforcement attracts two, principle “types.” Those who see it as a way to do work that can be exciting, but is primarily a service job that’s designed to HELP the community, and those who see it as a way to “prove” their manhood while getting to carry a gun. Lately, especially in small towns, there seem to be as many of the latter as the former…and most small towns don’t have the wherewithall to do psych evaluations on applicants. Many don’t even have training academies and just as many can’t pay for good officers and must hire those who are willing to take the job despite the low pay, whether they are competent to do the job right or not.

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    2. @ pappad: You wrote: “I used to BE a Texas law enforcement officer and, in similar circumstances, I too would ask the guy to let me hold the gun while we were talking. It’s the only prudent thing to do and is a matter of the officers’ safety…not officiousness.”

      And then you immediately wrote: “My “permit” is the Constitution. I will NEVER give some petty bureaucrat from the government the “right” to ALLOW me to exercise that right…period. I will decide when it’s prudent for me to carry a weapon, where and how…not some government functionary.”

      If you don’t then see the blatent hypocrisy and irony in you initial statement, I fear for your mental accuity. I don’t see anything in the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth or Tenth Amendment about “officer safety”. In fact, IIRC, Benjamin Franklin had something to say about sacrificing freedom for security. You might look that up. Mr. Grisham did nothing illegal. The officer had no lawful reason to confront him. (In point of fact, “observe and report” would have been appropriate here.) Even if he did approach in a non-confronational manner (which would have been acceptable), any police officer who can not out-draw a slung rifle should turn in their badge immediately, as they are a danger to themselves, their partners, and the community.

      I’ll also point out that the courts have decided that the Citizens may defend themselves with lethal force, if their Civil Rights are being violated. Compared to that, a Citizen defending himself verbaly (lawfully exercising another Constitutional Right) looks positively restrained and thoughtful.

      In short, get straight, or get bent.

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    3. And now I owe you an apology sir, I posted my previous comment before reading the rest of the responses. I am sorry I knee-jerked that reaction before having read the entire conversation.

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      1. Not a problem. I’m not disturbed when someone disagrees with me. That’s part of being an American, after all. Everyone has the right to their own opinions. I merely want to emphasize that an LEO confronting some stranger openly displaying a weapon would be foolish to ignore that fact and pretend that the gun doesn’t exist.

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  3. When I was briefly stationed at Fort Hood in the 60’s (just before going to Vietnam for my first tour), I discovered that Harker Heights paid its officers based on the City’s “take” on traffic tickets…almost all of which were issued to cars with Fort Hood stickers on their bumpers. Temple, TX, is a considerable distance from Fort Hood, but some cities prey on the military for income still.

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  4. I “know “CJ from his former blog and my wife Beth met him at a couple MilBlog conferences, I KNOW that he is totally fearless in defending his Constitutional rights, and sometimes that leads to confrontations that didn’t need to happen, had he been more soft spoken.

    I saw the entire video, and being a former LEO: I think that I can categorically state that the officers involved conducted themselves as what we used to refer to in our squad office as “LTG’s” (Little Tin Gods), officers that thought themselves as above the “normal” Citizens.

    Had I been conducting this investigation, the first question I would have asked is :”do you have a carry permit?”. I may have requested that he place the firearm(s) out of reach until such time as I ascertained that he was legally carrying, but I certainly would NOT have tried to grab the weapon away from him as the officer in the video DID. I hope CJ starts a lawsuit against the officers individually and the their department for failing to correctly train their officers, and wins BIG time.

    PAPPAD; I agree with you that the 2ND A SHOULD be your carry permit, but if you get stopped carrying and it’s found that you do not have a permit, you WILL go to jail. SCOTUS has found in past cases that it is reasonable for the state to require a permit to carry, even though you and I and MANY others DO think it’s an undue infringement. Maybe you could be the test case to reverse that train of thought?

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    1. I have no DESIRE to go to jail over this issue, but, as I said, I am WILLING to if anyone ever confronts me while I’m carrying. I don’t always carry–concealed or otherwise–but I make the determination when it’s prudent for me to do so…not some government bureaucrat.

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