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By Dean Weingarten

The police Chief of Portland, Maine, Michael Sauschuck, isn’t a fan of the “bear arms” part of the Second Amendment, and he and other Portland officials are quite willing to work to chill its exercise.  There have been recent cases where constables have stopped people who are legally openly carrying guns in the Portland area. One from 2012 has become popular on YouTube, in which a well-read open carrier civilly schooled the police officer on the limitations of detainment under the Constitution and case law. In December of 2012, an activist was legally carrying an AR-15 type rifle, and was stopped twice. He was a law student and recorded the incidents and was not arrested . . .

The police know good and well that open carry is legal and not against the law. It appeared that the case of Carlos Reed would go pretty much the same way. It didn’t.  An Iraq war veteran and college law enforcement student, Reed was stopped on September 27 at gun point for doing nothing but exercising his Second Amendment rights, though he did it at night, so as not to attract undue attention. People in other states have won settlements for this type of overreaction by police. It didn’t happen that way for Reed, though.

The police confiscated Reed’s rifle and pistol while they tried to figure something to charge him with. When Reed later told an instructor that he would continue the walks as a way to exercise his Second Amendment rights and to prepare for a military training mission, the police and prosecutors decided to charge him with “threatening display of a weapon”, though Mr. Reed had never threatened or pointed his rifle at anyone. The appearance of a desire to “chill” the exercise of constitutional rights is clear.

The police obtained a warrant, arrested Mr. Reed and then tried to get him committed to a mental institution. While they held him for evaluation, he lost his job, lost his college credits for the semester and was finally released on his own recognizance with a court order not to possess guns or ammunition in the intervening period. Mr. Reed’s car was impounded as part of the arrest and he had to pay $700 to have it released.

The police then issued a press release that described Reed as a danger to the community and characterized his desire to exercise his Second Amendment rights this way:

 “He said he’s going to arm himself again and force confrontations with the police,” Chief Michael Sauschuck said at a news conference Friday. “If somebody is saying he has piles of firearms and is going to have conflicts with police, that’s a concern for us and the community.”

The article in the Portland Press Herald seems to imply that Reed’s statement that he was preparing for a “military training mission” was somehow frightening or irrational, yet they state in the article that Mr. Reed entered the reserves after leaving active duty. With eight years of active duty, entering the reserves would appear to be a very rational act.

The police say that they found a “hypodermic apparatus” in Reed’s car and a substance that they suspect of being steroids. They have charged him with possession of a hypodermic apparatus and illegal drugs as well.

I do not have any personal knowledge of Carlos Reed, but when a police chief states that he doesn’t approve of the law on open carry in Maine, then goes to considerable lengths to find a way to charge someone who open carries, I tend to wonder about the chief’s motives.

The police have already gone out of their way to punish Carlos Reed without ever having to go to court. They have cost him his job, a semester of college and $700 in cash. They could easily have arrested him by calling him and asking him to come down to the station. He was found to be competent and not a threat to himself or others in the mental evaluation. While the evaluation may have been an exercise to “protect the police”, it reminds one of how the Soviets used mental institutions to punish those who were political dissidents.

The hypodermic and unknown substance are troubling, but they are also the sort of things an overzealous officer might produce in order to please his chief or to put those pesky “civilians” in their place. It’s even possible they belong to Reed and are completely innocent. Both my father and a good friend have or had hypodermics for their diabetes. The unknown substance has not been tested.

A later editorial in the Portland Press Herald changes the tone a bit, merely praising the police for chilling the Second Amendment while saying that Carlos “displayed poor judgement”.

I have long believed that openly carrying weapons is an exercise of both First and Second Amendment rights. Those who oppose open carry are not acting out of a concern for public safety because criminals and terrorists almost never carry weapons openly. Virtually all of the time, people who carry openly are doing it – in part or completely – as a political statement. It educates those who refuse to believe that the Second Amendment actually has teeth.

If Carlos Reed had slipped a loose cover over his rifle, he would not have been bothered, but it would not have changed his abilities in any significant way.  Rifles are almost never used in the commission of crimes and openly carried rifles are an even tinier subset of those. If the police can chill the open carry of rifles, then they can do it for pistols, too. And if openly carried pistols are a threat, then concealed pistols will be deemed more of a threat.

Open carry is a form of speech that the Portland police chief does not like. It shows that there are constitutional limits that he must respect. We may agree or disagree that the speech is effective or not, but we should also agree that it must be protected.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch 

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  1. Maine is a free state. Good people.

    However Portland had a huge population of people who would be perfectly at home at UC Berkeley.
    This story does not surprise me at all.

    • I’m a Portland native and I can confirm this. Unfortunately the relatively low crime rate coupled with the increase in police militarization seems to lead to an increase in porcine behavior.

  2. Yeah, this seems pretty cut-and-dried to me. As you said, the “hypodermic apparatus” is questionable, but if the unknown substance was “illicit” you know damn sure they’d be trumpeting that point along with the rest of this. The fact that they aren’t makes me tend to believe it was fairly innocuous. How can they charge him with illegal drugs if they haven’t tested the substance?

    • Because they are ze gestapo and do whatever they want, then should it come back to bite em they hide behind their shield and union lawyers. To think cops wonder why they get such a bad rap…

    • I (conceal) carry a ‘hypodermic apparatus’ with me all day every day. I even whip it out whenever I feel the need to tinker with it. It’s called an insulin pump.

      Even if his ‘apparatus’ was used for some ‘illicit substance’, that still doesn’t mean we should just throw him under the bus.

    • I often use 18 gauge / 3 cc hypodermic to inject Epoxy in to wood propellers I repair (Ultralight acft) that does not make me a Drug user, that is not Drug praphanela it’s a tool..

    • Back in my true home, Maine, the law states that anything that cops can prove that was used to consume drugs is “drug paraphanalia” and possesion of said items is an arrestable offense. As you can imagine, this is basically a free pass for officers to put anyone they want into jail. It’s a terrible law and needs to be changed.

  3. I call bullshit on the writer of this article. I carried an unloaded ar15 which was locked in a hard case and was thrown into the fire.
    I spent a night in jail, lost my full time nursing job, charged with a felony and have been out on bail for three months.
    I have a 01 ffl.

    • This guy doesn’t seem like an “I know mah raghts!” jackhole. He complied and got screwed over. You were purposefully and obstinately combative and uncooperative. Thus he gets our sympathies while you do not.

      • He’s got my sympathy. If I’m walking down the street and got harassed by cops I’d be uncooperative too.

        Someone’s getting raped down the alley and Cops want to focus on how many bullets we have.

      • Only the belligerent claimant retains rights in the eyes of the court. One must vigorously assert and defend their rights. Otherwise, they are consistently deemed to have waived them by our courts.

    • “He (Reed) was found to be competent and not a threat to himself or others in the mental evaluation.”

      I suspect that may have turned out differently in your case.

  4. This sort of thing is not new to Maine. Many times LEOs, DAs
    and judges will actively collude with each other to screw with
    somebody. Other times one of these groups takes a dislike
    to someone and starts throwing their weight around. It is not
    unusual to see someone picked up for, at best, a misdemeanor
    and sit in a cell so either LE or (usually) the DA can find something
    else to charge them with. As one who worked for a county SO in
    Maine for 6 years, believe me, it happens (which is in large part
    why I hold most DAs and judges in utter contempt).

    Don’t think Reed’s going to get a fair shack from the Portland
    Press either. The paper is owned by Rep Pingree, currently one of
    the most liberal ideologues in congress. Of course, considering the
    Portland is pretty much a suburb of Boston, it really isn’t surprising
    when you see insanity and lawlessness of officials creeping northward.

  5. RF, Nick, Dan

    You need to start a new category of posts entitled Police State and keeping track of these types of incidents. There are many, many articles posted here that fall into that category and will more than likely become more frequent.

    Start calling out the states, cities, jurisdictions similar to the IGO posts.

  6. Carlos Reed and his lawyer are going to be very rich at the end of this. And there could be a Federal (kidnapping) beef for someone over the Psych eval. There are laws against this, which is why it’s SO difficult to get one for someone who really is mentally ill.

      • Because the wheels of justice turn slowly; when the pursuit of justice comes into conflict with the agendas of the police and prosecutors, the only term that describe the process is “glacially.”

  7. The silence from the ACLU in this (and many other similar cases) is deafening.

    How does an ACLU lawyer count from 1 to 10?

    1,3,4,5,6, . . .

  8. My cousin lives in Maine is a Molon Labe kind of guy. I keep telling him not to push it because that Molon Labe type bravado is not intended for folks like him. His black ass is likely to end up shot dead with the shooter being celebrated as “a hero who did what any reasonable LEO would do”.

    He thinks I’m stuck in the 1950s. I tell him my advice is based on the current environment and perhaps he’s stuck in the late 60’s and early 70’s when them whims of black folks were sort of tolerated.

  9. I wonder how many of government employee Sauschuck’s officers would fail a surprise steroid test?

  10. There are times when I’m ashamed of the country I call my home. This is one of those times.

    There are times I think that the US Constitution is the single greatest document ever written. This is also one of those times.

  11. It is interesting that there aren’t the usual pile-ons railing against open-carry here.

    I wish Carlos the best and I do believe what he and other open-carry advocates are doing is important and worthwhile, however…
    All you open-carry rifle guys MUST keep in mind, and this is not a put-down, just an advisory: If you take on the mantle of a martyr you must expect to get bitten by a lion from time to time. Just sayin’.

    • If you are doing it as a political statement, it’s probably best to have a lawyer ready to help you bite back. The backing of a pro 2A org wouldn’t hurt either.

  12. What struck me was that they did not charge him until he told his instructor that he was going to exercise his rights some more.

    Then they came down on him like a ton of horse manure.

    I also wonder if they were concerned about a lawsuit from the first encounter. This could very well be a “preemptive” strike.

  13. As a combat veteran I have to admit that the current and seemingly popular trend of involuntary psych evals and commitment has me personally worried.

    It seems that a combat vet defying the establishment (aka: contempt of cop) can be thrown in a psych ward just because they’re a combat vet. You refused a search of your car? Dangerous vet, psych eval. You refused to let me in your house? Dangerous vet, psych eval. You openly carry a firearm and tell me that it’s legal to do it? Dangerous vet, psych eval.

    Instead of being a title worthy of respect it seems it makes the cops so insecure that they must do something to punish these people.

  14. This is Civll Rights struggle 2.0, complete with unconstitutional laws, police brutality, mass protests and the rest. I also believe that it either way it ends, the national guard will be involved to force the issue.

  15. If you have time to open carry, in effect an exercise in political speech, then you have too much free time on your hands. Yes cops are assholes but they get to justify their existence. All open carry folks do is polk the bear looking for a lawsuit. Thanks asshole.

    • You’re obviously confused as who is supposed to be ‘the bear’. Power is inherent in the People and a small, enumerated fraction of that power is loaned to government. When government over-steps its authority, it is incumbent upon every free American citizen to act, in some fashion, against such over-reach; even simply speaking out. Your post does the complete opposite; blaming the individual for the incorrect choices and abuses by government. Lick a government boot and it’s more likely to kick you, not less.

    • “Polk” the bear. Maybe you mean “Polk, the bear.”

      As for assholes, DIG YOURSELF, BABY.

    • To much of a generalization. Yes many who open carry do so to
      not only exercise their rights and annoy those who hate the 2A.
      However as long as it’s a right (as it is in Maine) they’re not
      poking the bear, the bear is hunting them. Huge difference.
      You seem to want OCers to restrict their rights (again in this
      case specifically protected by state law) in order to avoid
      confrontations with LEOs and others who refuse to follow
      the law themselves. Instead of degrading OCers maybe you
      should devote more time into finding out who these “officers
      of the law” who get so easily rattled by freedom are and how
      to get them fired.

      • “…maybe you should devote more time into finding out who these “officers of the law” who get so easily rattled by freedom are and how
        to get them fired.”
        Yes. And recall/vote their bosses (up to and including the Mayor) out of office. Make some noise

    • Mk10108:

      I’m forced to wonder what your rational is and if it would change in light of a few facts.

      The first and most obvious is that this person wasn’t breaking the law. He was by all accounts detained for an activity that isn’t only a natural right, enshrined in the bill of rights but legal by the laws of the jurisdiction he was in. Could you elaborate on why this was provocative or in someway invited police scrutiny and apparent harassment and/or why such behavior by the police is acceptable to your mind in light of the circumstances?

      Would you feel the same way if they had detained him and sent him for a psych eval for engaging in other protected activity such as speaking out against oppression or practicing his religion by praying in a public place?

      Where I live in SE Ohio open carry is both legal and relatively common. Rifles aren’t seen very often in town but can regularly be seen along back roads or in more rural spaces. I know of no case where anyone locally has been detained or harassed, and certainly not sent for psych evals because they openly carried a gun. Since this activity is legal where this individual was at the time, how is it that the unlawful behavior of the police is acceptable there where as the police here obey the law? Does this double standard based on location bother you at all, and would you advocate that the police here ought to be more like those in Portland?

      What other rights, in your opinion, ought we avoid exercising so as to avoid having said rights taken from us?

      Finally, are you familiar with the Jeffersonian concept that a right not exercised is a right lost?

  16. I have several friends who enjoy armchair “schooling” police and the like. Here’s the reality we live in. The police are not attorneys. They understand procedure. Under current law, they can get you detained virtually without evidence or “reasonable” anything. There’s legal and there’s how life works. The reality is that if you’re talking to a policeman and you have a gun, legally or otherwise, the officer can lock you up and make up the charges later. Happened to a friend of mine recently. They claimed he was suicidal and had him locked up for observation and evaluation and he didn’t even have a weapon on him. An officer decided he didn’t like my friend, detained him, and then came back to our place and started asking leading questions to get us to give him reasonable cause.
    I see the appeal of open carry—it’s my right, counter to tyranny…etc. Here’s the thing. If you want to be an activist then you’re going to be arrested. Ask anyone who was active in the civil rights movement—standing up against authority means you’re in harms way. I wish it were different. I’m tired of people going out and doing something clearly designed to flout authority and then complaining that authority took notice. Sure it’s legal. Sure, the police shouldn’t have done anything to this guy. But they can, they did, and at some level we all know that’s how the system works. So go ahead and exercise your rights. Peacefully resist. Just understand that you’re taking a risk.

    • He’s already lost a lot. He might as well take the fight they picked. If the courts follow the law he should win big in a 1983 lawsuit.

      • Way I see it, they backed him into this fight. When that happens, you fight. And you better fight GOOD.

      • Even if he’s right, he needs funding to win. A potential big payout in a couple of years is one thing, but the guy’s lost his job and probably would like to eat sometime this week.

        There’s a good chance his case won’t be pursued because he’s busy trying to put food on the table, and officialdom knows it.

    • Wise words indeed. I see NO reason to engage an officer in conversation. In fact, in all my years I have yet to hear one say good morning to anyone. When the uniform goes on, neurons shift rendering them incapable of situational leadership and treat everyone as a them or a local tax opportunity. I cannot think of any reason I would need the assistance of a police officer. They refuse to administer first aid, nor help you change a tire and arrive after a crime takes place. They serve themselves and protect their pensions.

      Why would anyone would strap a long gun to their back, walk the neighborhood for no reason other than speech escapes me.

      • Perhaps the logic escapes you because you don’t really understand what it is to be, and what it takes to remain, free?

        • Really, what does it take to remain free? Ready to lead a battalion into harms way to maintain your freedom or you going to plink your pop gun at paper or stroke a few keys and call it good?

          I like to think life is getting better and we’ve evolved enough so when we at discord, we can use the power of reason to carry the day. Our elected representatives lost their ability to reason and must be replaced. The real power is the vote, replace enough and the message is clear and far more effective than 5 lb of trigger pull.

        • I don’t know you and you don’t know me, Mk10108, and neither knows what the other has or hasn’t done. What is known is what you wrote. Assuming that you were being honest about your opinion on the matter then I continue to stand behind what I wrote. Based upon your comment, you apparently do not know what it takes to be and to remain free.

          The person being the ‘internet tough guy’ here is obvious and it isn’t me.

      • They think we’re unworthy of speaking to. Probably best to honor their wishes, in that regard.

    • “The police are not attorneys.”

      While true, they are not exempt from knowing the law.
      Almost every officer has a simplified rule book with them,
      (or has quick access to one). There is absolutely no
      excuse for detaining someone unlawfully before finding
      a relevant infraction.

      • Unfortunately we have police officers who do not like the Constitution or case law cited. To these so called cops, the Constitution is a impediment.

    • So your post stated the obvious… that we probably all know. I didn’t see any proposed solutions in there. It was a lengthy display of defeatism towards open carry and civil rights. I wouldn’t place it at the top of my list of enjoyable reads.

  17. People do understand, mostly.

    It is actually much better now than it was 20 years ago.

    Lots of people have spent plenty of time in jail, the media was just so completely “progressive” that you never heard about them.

    • You mean the media was MORE ‘progressive’ 20 years ago? That’s not how I remember things. And I remember 1993 pretty damn well, but I couldn’t tell you what I ate for dinner last night.

      • No, I mean we did not have much new media to get the word out.

        As the old media has found out it has competition, in some ways it has become worse.

        But there was much less new media in 1994.

  18. “An Iraq war veteran and college law enforcement student”

    And now he should be fully aware that he’s been working for the bad guys all this time. Hopefully he’ll pick a useful profession instead – maybe he’ll become a lawyer who’ll sue police officers who abuse their power.

  19. Anyone who fights for their rights risks being arrested and going to jail even if their right. Rosa Parks was tired and refused to sit in the back of the bus. She stood up for her rights as a human being and was arrested for doing the right thing. Turns out that her being tired that day helped change the lives of millions of people. I’m not trying to compare this guy to Ms. Parks, but protests have to start somewhere and there’s also a price to be paid for standing up for your rights.

    • Walking down a street with a bang stick is not fighting for rights. It’s showing your ass. How about asking our elected reps why they limit lawful self protection outside your home. Ask what is the federal dollar contribution to military gear on the local police force. Poke the bear in creative ways, not by scaring the shit out of mom’ sat the coffee shop.

      • Calling politicians into account and questioning spending by government is part of the work. Another part of the work is actually putting your behind in harms way. Not everyone can or will work where the rubber meets the road, but, only a short sighted fool would keep deriding them about the risks they take. Disagreeing is one thing, but you seem to have an extreme dislike or even visceral fear of these methods. And again, you have the identity of ‘the bear’ wrong. The People are ‘the bear’. Statists always seem to forget that.

        • Let me explain, in my state, jackasses made a point to OC which was legal. End result, legislators made it illegal to OC. Handful of jackasses, exercising “speech” added another hurdle to gain the right of lawful self protection outside the home. They are not fighting, it’s demonstrating and the least effective method of getting your point across. Lawful self protection is a moral right and with every interaction with the public, this must be the overriding theme.

        • You’re blaming individuals for exercising their right to keep and bear arms for what your politicians do? Those who make the laws bear the blame for making them. If you want to mis-assign blame; the people who did not speak out and did nothing are far more culpable than those who exercised their right. How much of a protection for that right did your government provide if they could deem it illegal so easily? You see, it’s not the exercise that gets things banned. It’s tyrannical government that interferes with individual rights. You, sir, have a tyrannical government. How’s your method of dealing with it working out for you so far?

          “End result, legislators made it illegal to OC.”
          It’s the government’s fault that it was made illegal. It’s the People’s fault if they allow it to remain enforceable. It costs a lot to be free and some won’t pay the price of Liberty… eternal vigilance.

        • I agree with John in Ohio. Mk10108, You are actually blaming people who open carry for laws against open carry (Protected by the 2nd amendment). It is a hilarious statement on your part. It is the legislators that wrote the law and you yourself and others like you that did nothing that allowed it to become law. You are like a mouse complaining to another mouse that the cheese was taken because the other mouse was spotted munching on the cheese in lieu of doing something about being seen as a helpless mouse.

    • Agreed! Rosa Parks was fuel for thousands of more protesters to move from the couch to the streets. Tyrants only understand force. You can play the game of law with them all day, but in the end you’ll lose. You are playing their game – not yours, and they don’t care about your rights.

  20. Sigh…some of these comments make my brain hurt.

    I can honestly say, wrong place, wrong time, and wrong officers. This was BOUND to happen to somebody (why it couldnt be the D-bag carrier, ill never know) and it just so happened he picked the short straw. If he takes this to court (and he DAMN WELL SHOULD) and wins, its the Colorado recall all over again. Bloomberg and Co. will lose their collective sh!t.

  21. Unbelievably stupid. In what weird parallel universe to idiots such as this become the Chief of Police? Yeah I know, this is NOT isolated. That said, is this an example of the chicken and egg controversy? I don’t know if people of this mindset gravitate toward the position or the position tends to foster the behavior.
    The people need to fight back, literally. We don’t have the financial resources to combat this in court. We pay taxes which pays for the prosecution of victim Reed yet Reed will have to dig deep to stay out of jail when the arrest is completely unwarranted in the first place. The state should have to reimburse Reed if he is exonerated. However, since to be accused is to be found guilty, any testimony Reed presents will be considered to be self serving and not as credible as the “unbiased” police officers who have a leg up in the courts. For every witness the state presents, Reed will need at least two to successfully rebut.
    People need to hold these officers accountable ON THE STREETS. This idiot police chief has declared war on lawful activity and his support creates the environment within the department that lends itself to these confrontations. Folks, we will not win this in the courts, not without a benefactor with hugely deep pockets. Make it more expensive for them to go to work and abuse people than to do what is correct. We are being backed into a corner. As a state trooper I know here stated when he found out about women being struck with batons during the recent Veteran march on D.C. during the “shutdown, “One day the people are going to fight back”. We need to start.

    • I agree with everything you posted, Mark. Thanks for putting it out there.

      “As a state trooper I know here stated when he found out about women being struck with batons during the recent Veteran march on D.C. during the “shutdown, “One day the people are going to fight back”. We need to start.”

      I was in the group right against the White House fence. We were first to arrive and occupied the space; refusing to move when ordered. This kept the area clear for the Barrycades to be ‘returned’ after other groups removed them. Later, a DIFFERENT DC cop, riot (he wasn’t present when we secured the area), assaulted me three different times (at least five or more minutes in between) without provocation. Our job was pretty much finished and before this point so I was complying without hesitation. The look in his eyes and the sneaky way he assaulted me from behind and when I wasn’t looking told me all I needed to know about “where we are today.” I saw a woman (who was complying) assaulted within a few feet of me. She might have been the person your Trooper was talking about. Me, short, pleasant smile, and easy going… her a female… they passed up the younger 6+ foot males who were outspoken and picked some of us who really posed no real threat to get rough with. Their actions proved them to be bullies and cowards in DC that day. IMHO, some will only change behavior if facing threat of force.

      • John in Ohio….while you accused me of licking the boots of my masters, and I give credit for showing up in DC, here was your chance to stand up to tyranny and what the outcome…well actually, according to your account….nothing. No bearing of arms, no statement of protecting citizens rights before you shot the DC LEO who “assaulted” you three times. No Samuel Adams cut & paste quoted speech before battle and presenting the chance to right a wrong and….wait for it…you failed to to be “The man in the arena”. You write the words, however when presented with opportunity to act on your beliefs, tucking tail and keyboarding the experience is how you roll.

        • Blah, blah, blah. Re-read all that I’ve posted to you and you should conclude that you didn’t comprehend most of it. I’m honest in my postings and I don’t bad mouth people (from behind a keyboard no less) out there trying to make a difference. I was reluctant to go to DC. I was asked by an older family member who would not be able to make the journey well alone but swore that I’d be disarmed and wouldn’t react with violence. I kept my word and that will be the last time I go to DC unarmed.

          Spend time in the trenches and sweep your own doorstep clean before bad mouthing others… keyboard commando! ROTFLMAO

      • Thank you. I know, to some, the idea of meeting actions such as this with physical effort is an anathema, however, living ones life being walked on is not very attractive. We are going to have to get our hands dirty.
        I am sorry you received such unwarranted treatment from MPDC. I used to know a few and currently know one former who has relocated. Normally they are pretty good guys but……. The fact that his happened at all is exacerbated by the reason for the demonstration in the first place. What a way to treat vets huh. Too bad you weren’t demonstrating for a higher EBT limit or amnesty for illegals. They may have rolled out the red carpet.
        I have my own ideas about police behavior in groups vs individuals but that is a matter for another topic. I doubt seriously that you guys were a threat to the WH in any way it could be defined. what you did do was to dis the king which begs the question…….were the police being used as pawns to provoke a confrontation for the imposition of more control by our tyrannical government? Interesting to ponder.
        Good luck in the future.

        • It was obvious that they knew we weren’t a real threat. I have a few photographs from where they lined up in front of me and stood there for perhaps twenty minutes or more. I, and others (one person deep along the fence), were sitting on the little stone wall with our backs to the fence and they lined up between us and the main group of protestors. I was eye level with their sidearms and magazines. The thought occurred to me that I could probably dump their magazines with stealth and chuck the magazines over the fence and they might not even notice. (lol) I stood up, moved around, and sat back down multiple times. They were oblivious to those of us behind them. The one stack of Barrycades (to the left as one looked at the WH) was stacked high enough to run up it and jump over the fence before anyone could have prevented it. As a group, we had numbers enough to walk up that stack and pour onto the WH lawn. No, my friend, they KNEW we weren’t any threat to his highness.

          “what you did do was to dis the king which begs the question…….were the police being used as pawns to provoke a confrontation for the imposition of more control by our tyrannical government? Interesting to ponder.”

          There is no doubt in my mind that ‘the powers that be’ were looking for a confrontation to further their agenda. However, I went to DC thinking law enforcement officers were merely pawns or ‘just doing their jobs’. While being there, experiencing the whole thing, I concluded that they actually enjoyed it. They’re rabid dogs, IMHO. There was one, and only one, officer that I observed who didn’t seem to like what he was doing. It was practically reading all over his face… he was very uncomfortable and the glances at his fellow thugs showed it. My humble advice to him is leave the profession and get far, far away from Mordor before you become like them.

        • John in Ohio:

          “There is no doubt in my mind that ‘the powers that be’ were looking for a confrontation to further their agenda. However, I went to DC thinking law enforcement officers were merely pawns or ‘just doing their jobs’. While being there, experiencing the whole thing, I concluded that they actually enjoyed it. They’re rabid dogs, IMHO. There was one, and only one, officer that I observed who didn’t seem to like what he was doing. It was practically reading all over his face… he was very uncomfortable and the glances at his fellow thugs showed it. My humble advice to him is leave the profession and get far, far away from Mordor before you become like them.”

          Power is quite the aphrodisiac. It’s always a greater thrill, experience and satisfying to be the teller rather than the told. The police are generally into control. If you want to watch an interesting progression, the next time you have a confrontation, just a conversation about where are your going etc. will do, take the verbal initiative away and watch what happens. Don’t use any verbal abuse, insults, change in vocal tone etc. They get very uncomfortable. Interesting to watch.
          There is some safety and validation in the Nuremberg defense. “I was just following orders” absolves them of guilt. Oh well. This type of thing will escalate. Fighting one is not a problem. Fighting two of anything, even without weapons, can be a problem. What you can count on is the aggressiveness of the minions of Mordor to make that job easier. Attacking first is huge folly, with a stick even more so. Train. Good luck.

  22. “You, sir, have a tyrannical government. How’s your method of dealing with it working out for you so far?”

    I still have a job, possession of my weapons, and cash flow. Ask the same question to Mr. Reed. While I’m sure he gets an A grade for his “speech”, however sighting the end game, what did he gain…admiration of Internet forums and a future three year civil suit with the hope a lawyer takes the case pro bono? The ACLU can be your friend.

    This incident demonstrates local police will source whatever law (upwards of 12,000) they need to curb individual rights, specifically a Veteran open carrying at night with a statement he’s exercising for military training mission. Arresting officers have no idea Carlos mental state and playing the what if game, decide to “infringe”. Finding out Mr. Reed is “normal” and hung up on 2A, employed the executive branch smack down with a judicial assist. Highly effective individual behavior modification tool which I abhor but will live with noting Mr. Reeds situational awareness and judgement.

    As for a “tyrannical government”, I have yet to see evidence of true tyranny. I do see slow march towards over taxation and increasing regulations that keep government employed and slowing private sector growth. Rest assured when true government tyranny exist and no measurable relief presents, I will not use my long gun as “speech”.

    • Thomas Jefferson gives a clear definition of tyranny. NSA, DHS, TSA, etc. Drone stike policy, war mongering, ACA, etc. Free Speech Zones, Gun Free Zones, etc. Every amendment in the bill of rights has been infringed as a matter of law and/or policy except the 3A.

      If you can’t see, smell, and taste the tyranny then the boot leather you’ve been licking has dulled your senses and Samuel Adams has a quote for you…

      “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

      • Well, that was refreshing. I haven’t seen too many boot licking or light chains references around here lately. All I need is for someone to call me a schmuck and I’ll feel right at home.

        • One does what one can. lol I’ve read nothing posted by you that would warrant calling you a schmuck. But, if it makes you feel more at home, I don’t want to be rude… You… you… GUN OWNER! (Nah, couldn’t do it.)

  23. The word we keep not using is discretion. That and judgment.

    When stuff the story above happens, one party, often all parties are light on discretion and judgment. You can’t, in fact, legislate every particular circumstance or series of events. So, people, actual human beings, use discretion and judgment.

    We don’t like to use “discretion” and “judgment” because these words, and similar ideas have been used to shut up uncomfortable opinions. That’s childish reasoning. We can do better. So, use discretion – don’t make a fuss, but also don’t make a fuss *unless you have to*. Use judgment – think through how things will come out. Is this the time or place? Maybe there’s a better way.

    But also, judgment sometimes says act. You can’t necessarily talk down the active shooter in front of you. You don’t wait for the firemen when somebody you can save will die in the meanwhile. Little Johnny’s molesting sis & lighting fires, there’s place for “discretion” that means you remain silent. There’s every place for discretion that means you inform whoever is impacted or can help. Telling dad and the cops is not invoking Maurey.

    Judgment doesn’t mean you’ll always stand down, or step up. Discretion means whatever you do, you create less splash damage, vs. angling for more.

    We especially require discretion and judgment of people who wield great power, especially those who have chosen to wield that power, and double-especialy those who do so on our behalf. (With great power comes great responsibility, Mr. Parker.) I think this is perhaps why gun owners get so bent about high-handed officialdom. It’s power, wielded without discretion or judgment. People who have chosen to wield great power – guns – and the terrible privilege that goes with it, are incensed with people who wield power ignoring the responsibility.

    We should, I think, select the people we empower to act on our behalf on the basis of their discretion and judgment more than anything else. They violate our trust by abusing the authority we give them. And they, being professionals should know better.

    – Any professional member of the legal system who looks for opportunities to escalate has it wrong. Their job is to keep things going, with minimum interruption imposed on regular life. If they’re looking for drama they’re unsuited for the role. If they escalate unnecessarily by accident, they need better training.

    – Any professional member of the legal system who goes politicking with a situation in progress is disqualified. No discretion there. “Politicking” includes making hay with press releases, but more important starting a PR sliming campaign targeting some citizen, even one accused of something.

    – Any behavior or argument that amounts to: “He screwed up a little, so it’s fair game! (Woo-hoo!)” is immediately disqualifying. Where’s the discretion? The judgment?

    Every LEO interaction should first be judged by the discretion and judgment exercised. Was there a lower-impact way to resolve this? By that standard, this and many other stories are stories of failure. In fact, every use of the mechanisms of force and law should go with feelings of remorse. We weren’t clever enough, or strong enough, or wise enough, so now it’s come to this. This necessary regret because when it comes down to force and law, there’s nothing good, only choosing among bads.

    Law and law enforcement don’t work like that much. No discretion, no judgment, and especially no regret. What to do?

    The problem is a matrix of benefits & influence that holds the bad actors. Inquisitor / prosecutor-guy has sponsors, and a system, and frankly gets a payoff – from the agenda-mongers who will sponsor him next time, from some law enforcement who don’t want civilians armed at all, from a local crony system that’ll generate fees and seizures. Somehow the impound lot owner is always related to somebody who’s part of seizing cars.

    The judgment-challenged open carry-guy has no system. He’s just a guy. He’s screwed not because of a his lapses in judgment – several and small, by comparison – but because those lapses made him fair game for a system looking for fodder.

    A standing donation-funded defense fund for “victims of mountains made of molehills” would be a start. We’d at least balance, a bit, the gigantic mechanism of law and public funding as it grinds up a guy who had a lapse in judgment – but where’s the judgment in taking him apart for this? Where’s the discretion in DA-guy prosecuting this in the press?

    Where’s the donation link?

    • Eloquent and informative–beautifully written. I subscribe to the Brave Heart School of activism. In the beginning of the movie, Wallace’s father says that “We don’t have to beet them, just fight them.” He is subsequently killed fighting the British. William Wallace doesn’t just fight; he mounts a military and political campaign to actually “win.” I don’t want to resist. I want to change law, to effect change in our system of law enforcement. Resisting for the sake of resisting simply lends credence to those who oppose me. To win hearts and minds, to make those in power take notice, to change the system requires more than well intentioned if ill-considered displays of bravado.

      • You are correct. The fight is not using guns, this would be simple if we did. The upcoming battle is with words and long days of exhaustion getting the message to our friends and persuading opponents. Not once but multiple times. The only thing an elected representative responds to with clarity, is the vote. The need now is leadership with a coherent plan to move forward.

      • MD Matt,

        First, you won’t win ‘the hearts and minds’ of liberals. There is a nanny state agenda at best and a full socialism/communism agenda at worst. The individual right to keep and bear arms is completely incompatible with that agenda (“being necessary to the security of a free state”). Second, it’s not much of a protected right if individuals cannot exercise it. The whole reason for the Second Amendment requires that individuals have the ability to freely move about with arms, wich most assuredly includes long guns, in public and in private. The Second Amendment doesn’t work for its intended purpose otherwise. And third… “to change the system requires more than well intentioned if ill-considered displays of bravado”; you are assuming that all OCers carry due to bravado. That’s an incorrect assumption and is quite insulting to those that have OCed, minding their own business, and have had to put in time, money, and great effort to overcome the systemic abuses and infringements. Many in the “concealed means concealed!” and FUDD crowds are fighting for the RKBA based upon secondary, tertiary, or even quaternary reasons for the Second Amendment. The primary reason, as stated in the amendment, is the security of our free state; not self defense, not hunting; not target shooting; and not gun collecting. Cased rifles in public and concealed sidearms only might work just fine with these ancillary reasons but doesn’t fit with the primary and stated reason for the Second Amendment; the reason for which it shall not be infringed.

        • John, if my comments have offended, you have my sincere apologies. I didn’t claim that open carry was bravado, just that I don’t see the value in picking a fight with law enforcement to no purpose. We can agree to disagree here—I simply see open carrying with the express intent of forcing confrontation for its own sake as counterproductive. I would rather see a group of concerned citizens demonstrating near the court house; publicly highlighting the inequity of the police chief’s decision to ignore the law.
          I do take issue with your claim that you can’t change the hearts and minds of liberals. I’ve taken several to the range. After their ignorance was tempered with experience, most purchased firearms of their own. There are those whose beliefs stem from ignorance and those who willfully refuse to see the light. If we reach out to the first than we can shift public opinion in our favor. If we attack vulnerable code through litigation we can effect change. The SAF has done exactly this. If we mount a campaign to elect those who support our views we can change the face of politics such that real headway can be made at all levels. That will take decades if not generations of work, but it can be done.
          All I’m saying in this case is that there’s a difference between a person walking down the street with an AR15 and a group of veterans standing vigil before a war memorial with M1 Garands at port arms. Symbols have power. We need to redefine how guns and gun owners are perceived. We need positive symbols to point to. I don’t see picking a fight with police as accomplishing that goal.

        • No worries, MD Matt, I wasn’t offended but thank you for thoughtfully asking. My primary disagreement was with how I interpreted your ‘bravado’ comment. The rest was just me dragging out the 2A soap box. Many OCers are also the ones you will see outside the courthouses and at other demonstrations. In Ohio, we have used day-to-day OC as a means of ‘clearing the way’ for our group rallies and demonstrations to go smoothly. I’m not sure if we’ve both been participating in liberty activism for the same amount of time, however, as I get much older it does seem to me (and practically ALL of my cronies from the 1990s) that we’re less free now than we were then. We seem to get a bone thrown at us in one area only to see other areas suffer. In other words, we actively and aggressively pursued the pathways back then that you’ve identified and it didn’t seem to make the headway we felt was needed… in some ways we’ve lost major ground on individual liberty. It’s been my and many of my compatriots’ opinions that we are actually going to lose a war of attrition since government has many lifetimes whereas a man has only one. Anyway, I can agree to disagree. We’re on the same side of this fight. It’s all good, brother. Carry on!

      • Thanks for reading past my bad typing. (Also thanks to mk10108 if that was for me.) Credit where credit is due – that too-lengthy ramble is structured like talk I heard by Isaac Asimov years ago. Stealing from the best only makes you look better. I’ve been practicing working that borrowed structure for years.

        On point, pragmatically, there are three things to do…

        – There’s leverage in collectively addressing abuses of authority. They pick people off one at a time as object lessons for everybody else – this could happen to you. At the overlap of so many laws, so much discretion, and the cost of being tagged at all, even if its thrown out, the message becomes “Don’t draw attention. Don’t draw my ire.” They get away with it through a mismatch in resources, including knowledge of the system they live in but the rest of us only visit.

        We can level that out a bit by pooling our resources in aid of the one they’ve picked off. A person alone is easy prey. You gotta decide who makes up the tribe you’ll throw in with, but this is the solution. Start with the people you love.

        – Make discretion and judgment qualifiers and especially disqualifiers for anyone who would wield our delegated authority. Make discretion and judgment part of the conversation every time. When someone shows a lack, make that the issue, hard.

        The nice thing here is abusive acts by officialdom create paper trails. Even better, investigations and record requests put a burden on them, kind of like the summary punishments handed out by detaining someone on suspicion, or dragging them into court. “The process is the punishment” can work both ways.

        – Exercise discretion and judgment ourselves. People tend to give people they like the benefit of the doubt, and trust people they find admirable. It’s tempting to throw in with the screechy-people, yet only a few will be swayed by their antics, and that’s only temporary. The distaste created extends to everything else, and lasts. Best of all, there’s no better way to make someone else’s lack of discretion or judgment the issue than to show these traits yourself while you deal with the same situation.

  24. “When Reed later told an instructor that he would continue the walks as a way to exercise his Second Amendment rights and to prepare for a military training mission,”

    He’s an immature wannabe cop rationalizing his “look at me!” behavior. The fact that it takes the form of carrying a gun means he’ll get support here. That’s fine, but happily real cops know this guy’s type and decision-making ability well enough that he can forget a career in law enforcement.

    You can fight for your rights against the establishment, but don’t try and become part of it at the same time.

    • I did it, survived and won. The establishment was created to protect the rights of everyone. I took an oath to the Constitution, not to the political elite.

      Many military officers that I know/have known also took their oath seriously.

      Unfortunately, there are many that think of the oath as a joke.

  25. I lived in Maine for my entire life, up to about 10 days ago when I crossed the boarder into New Hampshire. Yes Maine is technically a free state, but this is southern Maine we’re talking about here. Most of the state south of Bangor is as blue as Mass or Commiefornia. I see more Obama stickers than anything else on vehicles around these parts. For reference, I’m from the very most southern tip of the state, near kittery. There are many like us, but Mainers still vote blue and are generally afraid of firearms.

  26. Just liked to state. I know him personally. He was walking around at 1 am wearing a bulletproof vest with two guns and a bunch of ammo. I can understand why the police stopped him. With all the shootings we’ve had in the past year its understandable that law enforcement is a little uptight. That being said, I spoke with Reed after. He did it because he was bored. He is also using steriods, drinks nearly all the time and is slightly autistic. Yes he is a law student, hence he knew to say ‘second amendment’. I have no issues with Reed, but these are all facts and personally I am on the officers side on this one.

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