Friday, June 12, 2015

Dude, Stay The Heck Off My Side

As Tam has often said, and it bears repeating, there's a difference between carrying a gun and carrying a gun at someone.

It's even worse when you're an obnoxious jerk while carrying a gun at someone. Make the someone you're being an obnoxious jerk to law enforcement officers, and you're really not helping our side. Not. At. All.

The Detroit Free Press: Video: Gun rights advocate, Oakland deputies clash

Take a moment and watch the videos. This guy isn't just going about his business and incidentally open carrying. Instead, he's going places to deliberately provoke confrontations, complete with a hostile attitude to very basic and innocent questions from law enforcement. Not exactly a good ambassador for firearms rights.

Open carriers who support this guy - what exactly is the image you're trying to convey - that 1. Law abiding people can carry firearms without the average bystander really needing to worry that they'll go loco, or 2. That open carriers are obnoxious jerks with anger issues that wander around LEO parking lots and can't even have a civil conversation with a deputy doing their job?

If you're trying to go with 1, and I really hope you are, this guy is going full-bore on option 2 and is not helping you, and he's setting carry rights, including open carry rights backwards rather than forwards.

Do you want Deputies seeing open carriers and thinking "No problem, probably just a normal law abiding citizen exercising his rights" (which the deputy likely supports), or do you want them thinking "Yeesh, another loud-mouthed wacko that could go off any minute, I better investigate the heck outta this guy?".

Do you want law enforcement officers coming forward to the firearms ignorant and media spoon-fed public that private citizens lawfully carrying firearms are not a threat, or do you want them to walk away with a mindset that will cause them to announce that civilian open carriers are whackers that can't be trusted with carrying a firearm and may be a threat to law enforcement and the public?

If you open carry, you have an opportunity to portray yourself as an upright and law-abiding citizen and act as an ambassador for firearms rights.

While you have every right to be an obnoxious jerk on your own time, don't do it while carrying a firearm. It's not only really not helping advance your own rights (and potentially may lead you into legal trouble) but it's threatening every other law abiding person's firearms rights as well.

Choose and act wisely and responsibly.

25 comments:

3boxesofbs said...

Should we support the right of people to be "Visibly Armed Jerks" (VAJ) (TM)?

I understand most people want those on their side to be warm cuddly, friendly folks who wouldn't look out of place in church, the White House etc.....but let's face it; most of America isn't really like that. Most people rub someone the wrong way at least once a day.

So shouldn't we simply support the full spectrum of people?
Now I'm not saying we should universally endorse what they are doing but if they aren't breaking the law, if they aren't doing anything unethical; shouldn't we point that out? Shouldn't we say "Even the obnoxious jerks on our side didn't break the law -- say unlike the Occupy Movement? Doesn't it say alot about the freedom loving people who support the right to keep and bear arms."

I say we should for a very simple reason -- somewhere, someone out there thinks I'm a jerk for doing what I do. I blog, I advocate for the 2nd Amendment, I carry concealed......if we don't defend the law abiding but obnoxious; isn't it that much easier for the antis to declare us too obnoxious to be defended?

Bob S.

Murphy's Law said...

I support concealed and open carry but I also support a law that allows local officials to determine that a person like Shawn Nixon is unstable and specifically deny him the right to carry a gun off of his property based on a showing of deliberately hostile actions like he's engaging in now.

Aaron said...

3boxesofbs: Respectfully, no. No, we should not support people being Visibly Armed Jerks.

If you're carrying a firearm in public you'd darn well better hold yourself to a higher standard than being a jerk or you will eventually be in for a world of hurt.

Have anger management problems? Don't carry. Go out of your way seeking confrontations with others? Don't carry. Think you're superman or a wannabee cop 'cause you're carrying a gun? Don't carry.

Going peacefully about your business as a responsibly armed citizen, as most of us do? Then go forth and carry away concealed or openly.

Let's put it this way. If Mr. Nixon gets into a confrontation that leads to a shooting, and there is any question at all as to his being possibly the aggressor and not an innocent victim of an attack, guess what? All his videos showing him going about aggressively while armed are certainly going to come into evidence. Guess what that will do to his claim of self defense before a jury?

ML: No need for such a law as I suspect that given the way he's going he's going to eventually get hit with an actual offense sooner rather than later. He's certainly not helping the cause of open carry.

SJ said...

You know what's odd?

I've seen two openly-carried pistols in the past month. In areas that I've never seen openly-carried pistols before.

Not people "Carrying at someone", but people simply carrying and going about their business.

One was shopping at a grocery store, the other was paying for something inside the gas station.

Aaron said...

SJ:

That's the right way to do it. Good for them. They've likely won many more supporters than Nixon will in a lifetime.

Tam said...

Those last two comments, right there.

If you're carrying a long gun around in day-to-day public just to "educate the public", you're being a toolbag, no two ways around it.

Frederic Woodbridge said...

I have a general problem with the idea that a police officer's "most basic" questions are also, per se, "innocent." Let's never forget, shall we, that a police officer's primary duty is law enforcement, and a corollary to that is his building an effective case against you for prosecution. So please, spare me the "innocent" questioning line.

This Nixon guy is a citizen who was exercising a right so basic that in days gone by, it was as natural as breathing, codified as such in our founding documents. Today, he is accosted by agents of the state, however "politely" and treated with a guiding undercurrent that he is only two seconds away from mass murderer. That, in & of itself, is irritating. And if you were honest with yourself, you'd think the same. But, of course, we Americans who believe in our rights (ALL of them) are expected to be judged by a God-high standard simply because we have altogether lost the PR battle. For shame.

Perhaps he shouldn't have been as aggressive as he was; perhaps he should have been calmer; perhaps he was sick of being treated like a potential criminal simply AND ONLY because he was carrying a firearm. I don't know, but I do know this:

Rant, do, against open carriers. Call them traitors to the cause, whatever that is. But the aim & objective of the anti-gun left is a simple one, and will continue to be a simple one regardless of the politeness & appeasement of gun owners: and that is to use the power of the state—right along with its polite officers—to take away ALL 2A rights whatever the interpersonal habits you hold.

Phelps said...

Stop being a Fudd.

Either you support the Second Amendment, or you don't. If you are .2% Fudd, you might as well be 100% Fudd. The Bill of Rights isn't there to support thing that the Power that Be would be OK with you doing anyways. It's about the things that they don't want you to be able to to.

May your chains rest lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our brethren.

Aaron said...

Frederick:

Mayhaps then he shouldn't go out of his way to travel to and wander around the Sheriff's department property if he's expecting not to be asked by the sheriff's deputies what he's doing there. As indeed you say Police can indeed investigate and see if there's crime afoot, and an armed fellow showing up on their doorstep gives them a right to approach and investigate. If you wander around the outside of someone's house armed with a rifle and wandering around their driveway you can expect the homeowner will ask what you think you're doing, or more likely they'll call the police to see what you're up to. The Sheriff's department is rather out of the way from everything, in its own County complex so he deliberately went there seeking a confrontation. He also apparently had no decent answer for what he was up to nor any plan on how to justly manage his deliberately setup encounter. It's not like he was just going about his business on a public street, he had to go there deliberately to set this up and he didn't manage it well at all.

I don't rant against open carriers, I do however reserve the right to call out idiots who are damaging the cause of open carry for their fifteen minutes of Youtube fame.

Phelps: You're either being funny or clueless. We'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that was a weak attempt at humor.

Phelps said...

It's not humor. What makes a right a right is that you don't have to answer questions about it. So what if the County complex was out of the way? That doesn't confer some special status on it. So what if he didn't have a "reason"? Even if he HAD a reason, there is no obligation to explain why you are doing ANYTHING legal to a cop.

A cop can't stop a guy because "we don't see many black people around here." It's the same with open carry. Just because they are unusual to a cop and he has an irrational fear of them doesn't justify a stop, whether his fear is rifles or black men.

You're in this, or you're not. If you're not, you are just another Fudd hoping that the crocodile eats you last.

Murphy's Law said...

Phelps,

We live in a society here, one that protects the rights of all but which also imposes a responsibility on the part of all to cooperate for the common good and work together for public safety. When people like you act like you've got everything coming but that the rest of us are "the enemy", you make things worse, not better. Frankly, idiots like you the rest of us can do without. Don't rush to hold yourself out as a "patriot" because I guarantee you that our founding fathers who were all about creating a country run by and for the people collectively would have sized you up just like I have and told you to pack your stuff and head out with the retreating British.

BTW, I'm also willing to bet that you've never seen a day in uniform despite our country's need for troops overseas, but this being the internet, I'm sure that you'll come right back and claim to have been a SEAL in Vietnam or some such lie. Your kind is nothing if not predictable.

Phelps said...

Actually, no. I didn't serve, because I knew that I would refuse an unlawful order, and it isn't fair to the military or the People to waste millions of dollars training me when they are just going to eventually court martial me and drum me out of the service (whether the court martial sticks or not.)

But, by all means, convince yourself that only those who participate in uniformed service are allowed to dictate how the state is run. Civilian control of the military is for chumps, after all, right?

Murphy's Law said...

Yeah, I figured as much. "Illegal orders'..." please. We all know that your own safety and comfort came before service to the country. Your kind always hold yourselves out to be the only true Americans yet you all give less to this country than Sally Struthers gives to those little African kids that she touts on her commercials.

As for Nixon, he was back in the employee parking lot of the county complex, videotaping people's license plates. While this isn't illegal per se, the police still have a right and obligation to investigate and ascertain who he is and what he's doing. I guarantee that if I was in the parking lot at Burger King photographing your license plate while you werer at work, you'd be livid and probably at least a bit concerned that someone whose order you'd messed up was looking for payback. Reasonable inquiries are not unexpected or wrongful, either there or at the county complex.

Or are you really of the belief that had the police seen Adam Lanza walking up to Sandy Hook school with that AR-15, they should have just ignored him because, until he breached the door and started shooting, "he wasn't breaking any constitutional laws"?

Police ask questions for a reason. Law-abiding citizens cooperate and help out. We all have the same interest in safety and public order.

Aaron said...

Phelps: Google "Terry Stop", we'll wait.

Again, you walk around a Sheriff's department they have the right to approach and ask you what you're doing there, armed or not. That he didn't have an appropriate response for this when he should have known it would occur indicates a clear lack of appropriate planning.

He went there for no other purpose than to get a reaction and he got one.

Again, the point is that what he was doing is not helping the cause of open carry. Between his causing schools to go into lock down and wandering around taking pictures of sheriff civilian cars in a parking lot, he's not helping.

Do try to answer without cliches.

Phelps said...

Sure, they can make a Terry stop. That doesn't mean that he has to have an answer for them. "F you, am I free to go?" is fine.

He's not hurting the cause of Open Carry. People said the EXACT same thing of Tarrant Co. Open Carry here in Texas. Oh, they are hurting the cause. Oh, it's so terrible. Oh, they are such jerks.

The end result? Before they started open carrying rifles, OC of pistols wasn't even on the table in Texas. Two years later, it's the law.

They got results, and a lot more, a lot faster, than anyone else has done on gun rights in the last 40 years.

Murphy's Law said...

Re: the Terry stop, I'd expect nothing less from the deputies under the circumstances that Nixon crafted. And if he refuses to identify himself once he gives cause fr the investigation, I'm good with them arresting him for obstruction and taking him in to be fingerprinted so as to determine exactly who he is. All his choice, of course.

Phelps, If you really think that people like Kory Watkins did ANYTHING for the cause of gun owners, you should probably be institutionalized for your own good. Open Carry happened in Texas in spite of jackasses like Kory Watkins, not because of him. And Nixon is just as bad for Michigan despite the fact that a couple of dozen wingnuts idolize him. Remember--the Boston Marathon bomber still has a cadre of women who attend all of his court dates and insist that he's innocent. A few nutty followers don't confer credibility or legitimacy on someone. Just ask Charles Manson.

Again, try being an American sometime instead of just pulling on your wiener and screaming "NO!" like a toddler every time you're asked to support the community no matter how slight or reasonable the request. You might be surprised at how much easier your life gets.

Phelps said...

Arrest him for WHAT? For not answering questions he has NO obligation to answer?

Open Carry wasn't on the table until after Watkins and his bunch PUT it on the table. Those are the facts. I'm sorry that you can't claim that victory, but that bunch got it to the legislature. They didn't get everything that they wanted, and the lege may think that they were spiting them for that, but the fact is they MOVED THE BALL, which no one else in Texas had done since Ann Richards left office and GWB signed concealed carry.

Aaron said...

Phelps:

TCOC practically lost Open Carry in Texas by their antics.

Indeed, it passed despite of, rather than because of them. Instead it was done by the efforts of others.

Murphy's Law said...

Arrest him for Obstructing a Police Investigation, that's what. When you act in a manner calculated to cause public alarm and the police respond, they, as representatives of the rest of us, have every right to determine who you are and try to figure out if you really pose a valid threat of if you're just pretending to pose a threat because you like the attention. At that point, you've pretty much waived any right not to identify yourself and if you refuse to do so, you get hooked up, then you get fingerprinted and photographed and go see a judge. And it's all so simple that a child can understand it. Don't like it? Don't act like a tool and don't go out of your way to provoke a police response.
Five bucks says that Nixon actually calls the police anonymously on himself before he starts doing the nonsense that he does. Same bet applies to Kory Watkins, of course. Gotta make sure that they show up or else no one is going to watch the youtube video.

Phelps said...

When you act in a manner calculated to cause public alarm and the police respond, they, as representatives of the rest of us, have every right to determine who you are and try to figure out if you really pose a valid threat of if you're just pretending to pose a threat because you like the attention.

So, your rights go away if exercising them causes "public alarm"? I seem to recall a time not so long in this country where walking down the street while black in a white neighborhood caused public alarm. Does that excuse the cops stopping those black men, demanding that they explain what they are doing in that Nice Neighborhood, and arrest them if they don't give answers that the cops like?

In fact, there are still some neighborhoods where a black man walking down the street STILL causes alarm? Do we go ahead and start stopping the black men walking down the street in easily alarmed neighborhoods, or do we tell those people to toughen the F up and get over the fact that other people have rights?

Murphy's Law said...

Nice straw man argument, Phelps. Do try to stay on topic though.

The sighting of a man with a gun messing around in a parking lot for county employees when he is not an employee of said county, photographing people's license plates, is certainly suspicious enough to warrant at least a cursory investigation, and let's be real here--that idiot Shawn Nixon went to that parking lot with his guns and cameras specifically to provoke the ensuing confrontation and he deserves whatever he got.

Hell, he's lucky that he didn't try that at a union shop someplace and get his head caved in and his arms broken. Of course Shawn Nixon lacks the balls to mess with union goons or the local drug dealers. He's really a coward at heart, which is why he only messes with police, who he knows are too professional to give him the ass-whupping that he really has coming.

Oh--and Shawn Nixon is another one of those losers who lacked the character and the balls to join the military when tend of thousands of real Americans were volunteering for service in Afghanistan and Iraq. That doesn't stop him from going around in store-bought camouflage every day, trying to imply that he served, but like Kory Watkins and other self-described "patriots", he was too selfish and/or too yellow to put his country before himself.

Phelps said...

Again with the didn't enlist ad hominem. It isn't impressive. Signing up and changing oil in truck for four years doesn't make you a patriot, and that's 90% of the service.

It's not a straw man, it's a direct comparison. It's all about public fear vs rights. People really did call in "black man" calls, just like "man with a gun" calls now. Both are instances of someone simply exercising their rights and getting harassed over it, as a message of "you don't really have that right."

Did he provoke a confrontation? Sure. So why did the alleged professionals GIVE IT TO HIM? Are they even stupider than he is? If the cops know that he's provoking a confrontation, DON'T GIVE IT TO HIM. Do like this cop instead:

https://youtu.be/N30TagPCNE4?t=32s

And yes, he is lucky that criminals didn't decide to beat him up for whatever reason, just like all of us. That union thugs are thugs again doesn't mean that we should change our behavior to accommodate their thugishness. You might not have the balls to stand up to them, but I have and will.

Aaron said...

Nixon is either an attention whore or perhaps even an anti-gunner playing at trying to make gun owners out to be aggressive idiots.

He's caused a school to go into lockdown twice by parading around it (not on his way to anywhere and no, he doesn't have kids at that school either).
He also has falsely claiming to be a journalist while filming the county jail apparently while armed, and then in this latest episode filming the sheriff's cars while armed.

If he's some kind of OC hero (newsflash, he's not) then why did he lie to police falsely claiming to be a journalist while filming the jail?

If you don't think his actions are proper cause for police to at least approach and investigate to see if he's stable or some guy about to go loco, I'm not sure what is.

Again normal gun owners don't wander around filming jails or police employee cars nor do they march out of there way to a school that they have no involvement with otherwise - Mr. Nixon apparently wanted negative attention and sure got it.

Unfortunately he's besmirching law abiding gun owners with his actions and making it harder for firearms rights not easier.


Phelps said...

1) Anyone gathering information is a journalist. The state doesn't get to decide who freedom of the press does and does not apply to -- it applies to all of us.

2) Sure they can approach him. That gives him NO obligation to cooperate with him. They can try to talk to him, just like any other citizen can talk to him. What they can't do is force him to answer or arrest him for not answering without some articulable probable cause, and they can't perform a terry stop without an articulable reasonable suspicion. That suspicion has to be more than a mere hunch, and it has to be based on actual lawbreaking. As I keep saying over and over, open carrying isn't lawbreaking and therefore can't be the basis of the suspicion.

Aaron said...

"Gathering information", come on, even you don't believe he was doing that.

Yes, skulking around a jail and sheriff's department and acting evasive and suspicious can certainly be cause for a LEO to approach and see what you're up to.

In any case, how is skulking around a jail or videotaping sheriff's cars assisting in getting an effective message across regarding Open Carry Rights? - Oh, that's right, it's not.