The Rule of Law

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by Gunnery Sergeant John McClain, USMC, Retired, ©2013, blogging at Gulf1

(Apr. 19, 2013) — Last week, a retired Master Sergeant, Iraq and Afghanistan multiple tours in each veteran, was taking his son on a hike as part of his son’s work to earn his “Hiking merit badge” in the desert land in Texas.  He took a handgun and a rifle along for safety.  Carrying a gun has never seemed very odd in Texas, at least to me.

Someone saw him with the rifle and called the police, demanding he be checked out.  Since the Scouts require documentation of merit badge activities, they, the father and son, were recording the hike on video.  When the officer confronted the two, he demanded the man turn over his rifle, eliciting the question; “why?”  He received no answer, just “hand the rifle over, do you have any other weapons?”  At this point, the Veteran asked if he was being arrested.

The officer stated he was being detained for further investigation, the veteran stated absent an arrest, there was no reason to disarm him.  The officer replied he could disarm anyone who he felt threatened by.  The Master Sergeant asked if merely having a rifle made him feel threatened and the officer replied it did.  At this point, the officer stated he felt threatened, and put his hand on his own weapon demanding the rifle.  While the officer took his rifle and handcuffed him, the veteran carefully transferred his camera to his son, telling him to record the whole incident.

The officer’s supervisor was requested at which point the other officer, standing behind the patrol vehicle, stepped forward saying he was the sergeant and supervisor, at this point, the veteran directed further conversation with the sergeant.  The junior officer continued placing him under arrest, handcuffing him after seizing his handgun for which he had a concealed carry permit.  He then demanded his wallet, at this point, the man asked again if he was under arrest and was told emphatically no, whereupon he told the officer he did not have permission to look in his wallet, looked to the sergeant to enforce the law, and was treated with total contempt.

The man was arrested for “resisting arrest” having been told he wasn’t being arrested.  As they took his son taken away, his dad said to answer no questions, but wait until his mother arrived and leave all answers to her.  At the station, the boy was not allowed out of the vehicle because he refused to answer without his mother present.  He was intimidated into answering their questions despite his absent parents.

This American was polite, responsive, gave no cause for questioning, as visible on the video, yet  he and his son were treated as if carrying a rifle and a pistol on a hike in the desert were a crime, in and of its self.  The sole issue appears to be his presumption of respectful treatment by a police officer.

Every aspect of the encounter was dealt with complete respect and reasonable response from the father and son, and every aspect of the officer’s conduct was completely out of line in the absence of any evidence of any crime.  The officer came upon a father and son on a trail hiking, with no act, no provocation, no possible excuse for the behavior of the officer.

The fact a supervisory officer was present and backed up the officer in the commission of his crime makes this a matter regarding the whole of the police force, its training, and standards of practice.  The fact the citizen was arrested for “resisting arrest” demonstrates the total lack of respect for the law on the part of the District Attorney’s office, and reflects on the state of town government, and county.

While citizens serve in government, “we” have no rights in office, the officer had no right to impose his will upon the law abiding citizen.  The situation was clear, there was no violation, so every action once that was notable was criminal on the part of the officers.

If the least of government is this far out of touch with constitutional law, how could we not expect the most of government to be explicitly wicked?  We can take back our Nation, by force if necessary, or we can capitulate, and choose to be subjects.  Just as the officer chose to suggest the man was a threat, we citizens have reason to believe rightfully, someone in a police uniform is a terrorist, and a threat, just judging them by their actions.

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