Could a Shotgun-Wielding Mayor Be in Oakland’s Future?

First Phil Tagami fended off anarchists armed with hammers, poles and spray paint bent on trashing his historic downtown office building. And he did it by racking his shotgun, sending the hippies scattering into the night. Now he’s fending off calls to run for mayor of Oakland after he criticized the city’s handling of the mob current mayor Jean Quan likes to think of as peaceful demonstrators. It’s amazing what a conspicuous display of backbone can accomplish. And that hasn’t gone unnoticed by other Oaklanders… has the scoopage:

One Facebook commenter pleaded for Phil Tagami to run for mayor.

Another wrote: “Phil, You have always been my hero, but now you have reached super hero status.”

The long list of comments cascaded below a black-and-white surveillance photo he posted on his own page. It shows Tagami, wearing what appears to be a military tactical vest and carrying a shotgun in his right hand, walking through the lobby of his landmark Rotunda Building.

He obviously wasn’t impressed with the namby-pamby, appeasing attitude he heard coming from the mayor and other officials whose job it was to deal with the situation.

Tagami has been critical of how the city has handled the Occupy Oakland movement, saying the protesters have been handed free reign of the downtown while police officers’ hands have been tied. His story struck a nerve with many online commenters who were fed up with the vandalism and violence accompanying many protests.

But understandably enough, the developer doesn’t seem terribly anxious to dip a toe into shark-infested political waters. Being productive, creating jobs and improving the city in real terms likely takes up enough of his time.

On Friday, Tagami said by phone he hoped to move on from those events, hoping the City Council was moving toward clearing the encampment so business could continue.

And he has no plans to run for mayer — yet.

“Those two things don’t really mix,” the 46-year-old Tagami said of his developer job and running the city. “Maybe when I’m older and wiser.”


  1. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    He should run for President not mayor.

    1. avatar psmcd says:

      TTAGers should be more observant and less prone to manipulation by media or one-sided presentation of events. OWS itself is non-violent and not responsible for individuals with other agenda. OWS participants actively opposed the vandals and rioters.
      The folks in black are not hippies or protestors! Many were thwarted, turned away by the unarmed, non-violent protestors. Tagami dealt with a specific threat with appropriate response. But his comments implying OWS enables or is responsible for conduct of others is wrong.

  2. avatar matt2 says:

    Thanks for failing to do any background research. You know the police in Oakland havent had their hands tied? If I recall correctly, that spat of violence was in retaliation for shooting that Marine in the head with a tear gas grenade, and then proceeding to throw a flash bang grenade in to the group of protesters who came to his rescue. But of course violence is only bad when people you dont support are using it, when the police start shooting peacefull protesters with grenades, in your mind it must be ok.

    Also I doubt that guy has the balls to use his shotgun, 5 – 8 rounds when your confronted with dozens of people if not more. Cause you know those anarchists may not have guns, but they do have molotovs, and from what I hear burning to death sucks alot more than getting shot.

    1. avatar mmasse says:

      Tell you what Matt, you get a bunch of people together (12 or so) with Molatovs and I will bring my scattergun. Being shot to me sounds a lot worse that having to stop drop and roll. Plus its a shotgun; 1 round might hit more that one person especially if he is packing .50 caliber sabot slugs in it. Which is probably the reason the crowd dispersed. Its always the matter of who wants to get shot first so his buddy “might” be able to throw something.

    2. You don’t really understand how the threat of lethal force works on crowds of people, do you? By your logic, the Jews could have easily overtaken the SS guards who were murdering them in concentration camps. After all, what’s 30 rounds against hundreds of people?

      1. avatar matt says:

        The guards at a concentration camp had far more than 30 rounds, and also had fully automatic weapons. If their guards only had 30 rounds of ammo, and the jews had molotovs, then yes, the jews got what they deserved.

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:


        2. avatar matt says:

          It may be harsh, but is it false or wrong? If they, in this very hypothetical situation, had the opportunity to free themselves, and did not simply due to learned helplessness or a fear or self sacrifice, do you think they deserved differently?

        3. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Nobody deserves to have their lives taken from them unless they are in the act of trying to take someone else’s. IMHO.

        4. avatar porschespeed says:

          Even in the camps the Jews were lead to believe they were going to s

          Had Hitler not taken the guns (and naivte, ie, ‘that can’t happen in these modern times’) been the overarching thought process, things may have turned out differently.

    3. avatar Chaz says:

      that spat of violence was in retaliation for shooting that Marine in the head with a tear gas grenade

      However, according to the Mercury News it didn’t go down that way.

      1. avatar matt says:

        Yes it is ok. How else will they get justice? Violence against property is not nearly as bad as violence against a person.

        If thats not the way it went down, then how did it? Got a link to the news article your referencing? The following article from Mercury News doesnt provide a cause:

        1. avatar Chaz says:

          See link in my reply above (which took a few tries to get properly keyed in so it might have been missing for a few minutes) or again here.

        2. avatar matt says:

          Did you bother to read the article you linked? Se habla ingles? It says the photo circulated was not the specific officer responsible, but rather another officer from a different agency. It says nothing about what caused the protester violence. Try again.

  3. avatar William says:

    Way to defend herd mentality and mob destruction there Matty! I guess you only deserve to live in the face of fascism if you rush in unarmed, are an anarchist and willing to burn someone alive…

    At any rate, anytime you want to get a few buddies together with a glass bottle, full of burning gas and face a man with a shotgun – I say you should go for it. Put your money where your mouth used to be and report back to us how it worked when he pumped your buddies full of pellets and they tucked tail and ran, but not before dropping their firebomb at their own feet.

    Maybe it won’t work that way – but if a gang of morons wanting free stuff from people who actually work decides they’re going to trash my place or burn it down – I’m going to aerate their livers and give as many of them as possible a fatal case of lead poisoning before I go down.

    Defending the criminals because they are retaliating against the wrong person (because if a marine was hit in the head – this guy didn’t do it) is ludicrous. These Occupy folk are alienating the people they claim to be a part of.

    1. avatar matt says:

      Just a FYI but that building owner is part of the 1%. How much is a office building in urban California worth? The answer several million. Who cares about alienating a few million people. There are over 300 million people in the US, 1% of them is over 3 million.

      1. avatar William says:

        Just a FYI

        It doesn’t matter how much his building is worth. He has a right to defend himself from any trash (no matter their political or social stance) that decides they have the right to vandalize it.

        I guess matty is the first member of Occupy TTAG

  4. avatar Silver says:

    You’re trying to discuss morality with an obvious sociopath whose fascinated with burning bystanders to death for something that said bystanders had no part in. And who believes the practical retaliation for perceived police brutality is widespread private property destruction and murder of citizens defending that property. And who apparently believes that if you’re part of “the 1%” then your property and life are forfeit to roving bands of murderers. Don’t feed the psychos.

  5. avatar ARJohnston says:

    Can someone do something about the troll please? Jews got what they deserve? Go to hell. Being afraid isnt a crime you philistine. I bet gandhi was a weenie too huh big guy?

    1. avatar matt says:

      Gandhi wasnt exclusively non-violent, he formed and commanded a medical corps for the British military in the Zulu War Of 1906. He also recruited for the British army for WW1. Also the only reason he didnt actively support the British in WW2 was because they refused to let India be a free state.

      Gandhi also blamed the jews for not resisting:
      “Hitler, killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

      He also said “I do believe, that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.'”

      1. avatar Slicknick says:

        And for a reliable source, we turn to Wikipedia…

        1. avatar matt says:

          So then, how about posting material which contradicts my statement. Or you know, you could always check the references on wikipedia. But then again doing work doesnt seem to be your strong point.

        2. avatar porschespeed says:

          Wikipedia is irrelevant.

          If you studied history in HS, you know that Gandhi was anything but non-violent.

        3. avatar matt says:

          How about citing a source for that claim? Or citing a source contradicting my claims? But then again, it would be too much to ask of you to write more than two sentences.

        4. avatar porschespeed says:

          Since the first post mysteriously disappeared…

          This is common knowledge.

          Gandhi was educated in the British Empire, as such he was
          fully aware of the Empire’s reaction to any manner of resistance.

          Ergo, Gandhi would have been an idiot to think for a moment that
          philosphical ahimsa drawn from Buddhism and Jainism would have
          produced anything but a violent result from the Brits. He would ha
          ve to be a real tool to think that his followers would not have responded in
          kind to said violence.

          Only someone who thinks Gandhi a complete idiot would
          pretend that he didn’t forsee the violence to come. He may not
          have liked it, or favored it, but puhleese, he knew it would come.

      2. avatar ARJohnston says:

        Saying you regret someones inaction which resulted in their death is a far cry from saying they deserved to die. Yes, defending yourself is the right thing to do, not only to preserve your own safety, but to stop the criminal from further wrongdoing. But nobody has the right to judge how someone behaves or doesnt, for that matter when their life is at stake like that. They deserved it? Youre crazy.

        1. avatar matt says:

          “No one has the right to judge how someone behaves or doesnt…”
          I’m pretty sure the 1st amendment to the constitution contradicts your opinion.

          Why bring up criminals? Every thing Hitler did was perfectly legal.

        2. avatar porschespeed says:

          True enough, Hitler was legal.So is “Patriot” and all the horridly UnConstitutional shite that falls from it.Point being?

        3. avatar matt says:

          The point being, is that it can be acceptable to use violence against people other than criminals. Go talk to ARJohnson, he is the one who limited violence to criminals, and free speech to only those he agrees with.

        4. avatar ARJohnston says:

          Matt, At no point did i restrict violence to law breaking criminals as opposed to moral ones, and im not trying to strip you of your rights, im just saying i dont support your views. Feel free to run your mouth, the more of your free time I tie up here, the less garbage you can spew elsewhere. Cheers Troll!

        5. avatar matt says:

          Then why did you say “no one has the right”?

          Your comment regarding self defense from a criminal gave the impression that you were implying this was the only acceptable application of violence. If you belive it is ok to apply violence on moral grounds, then I stand corrected.

          Thanks for the food.

        6. avatar porschespeed says:


          I’m confused as to how you reconcile your views with the 1st Anmendment.

          AR seems to have a better handle on it. Please enlighten us.

        7. avatar matt says:

          My views on the first amendment? I dont think I stated them, but anyways, AR said “No one has the right to judge how someone behaves or doesnt…” to which I replied that the 1st amendment does give me the right to publicly judge another person.

        8. avatar ARJohnston says:

          Im afraid you took me out of context there, I was obviously referring to whether or not you were qualified to judge whether or not i deserved to die if I was held at gunpoint or hostage or imprisoned or some such other extreme circumstance, and did or didn’t act to save my own live or had the personal fortitude and strength to save another. So yea, judgement, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

        9. avatar porschespeed says:

          Your comments are cutting off, but it would seem that per
          the 1st, one has the right to proffer one’s opinion, regardless
          of how odious others may find it.

          Therefore, we define ‘criminals’ according to the rule of
          law. Not whether you believe they are doing something
          ‘”wrong” but that they actually are by statute.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    Be nice to matt. He has a lot of unresolved hostility and just needs a shoulder to cry on, that’s all.

  7. avatar percynjpn says:

    “just a FYI but that building owner is part of the 1%”

    You mean the one percent of upstanding, hard working, job-creating citizens?
    Shame on that horrible guy – tsk-tsk!

    1. avatar matt says:

      How do you know that he was upstanding, hard working, or created jobs? Those building maintenance jobs existed long before the current owner bought the property, he didnt create them. The businesses inside which created jobs were ran by other people. Is applying for and receiving a multimillion dollar loan to speculate in real estate really hard work? Or is it simply acting as agent of the banks, to drive up real estate prices thru speculation, which in turn will allow banks to make even greater sized loans, thereby inflating our currency?

      1. avatar porschespeed says:

        We’ve been cutting taxes for those mythical “job creators” for the
        last 20 years.

        Oddly enough, there are far fewer employment opportunities
        than there were when the top marginal rates were 90%. Ya know,
        like back in the 50s-70s when the average American could do OK.

        As a business manager and owner for over 20 years, I know that one
        hires according to demand.

        No one ever hires because the government cuts their taxes.

  8. avatar Varmint Hunter says:

    Good grief. The filthy, smelly OWS goons are not only stinking up our streets, they’re now stinking up our PCs with their anti-semitic tripe. Put down the keyboard and take a bath; scrub your brain while you’re in there.

    1. avatar psmcd says:

      OWS is worth watching. Think of the Black Bloc disruption of them exercising their 1st amendment rights like Fast & Furious an effort to disrupt 2nd amendment rights. There’s something in common here.

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