Saturday, September 01, 2012

Open Carry Clueless Douchebag

I had seen some of this guy's videos before. He was a bit of a douche, but when the cops infringed on his rights by claiming a complaint equals probable cause for a legal activity, it's hard to blame him. Unfortunately, this video proves that he's just a douche in general. The cop did pretty much everything right, and the OC'er revealed himself to be poorly versed in the law, and failed many other tests of his knowledge.

Here's a distilled script with commentary;

OC: I'm recording.
COP: Keep your hands away from your firearms, you're being recorded too. 

Cop reminds them they're being recorded so they can't do something and edit their own video. Semi necessary, I suppose. This is the closest thing to offensive the cop says during the whole encounter.

OC: What are you up to today?
COP: Just exercising our rights and walking around.

The previous videos I've seen of this guy have him walking around downtown with a big scary rifle on one shoulder and a Ron Paul sign on the other shoulder. I can only assume he did the same thing in this case.

COP: Had a call from a concerned citizen saying you're carrying automatic firearms. It does look like an automatic firearm in my experience. So with that being said, you're required to carry a name, identification, and -- 

Check, and mate. The cop has used a call of a concerned citizen to engage in an encounter with the OCer. This is legal. Once on the scene, the cop indicates that the firearms may be full automatic in his experience. 

Cops are allowed to use their experience to investigate situations further. If you are dealing with a smart cop, they can use their "experience" in legally favorable ways to do almost anything. The only way to prevent a cop from using their experience is to exercise your rights. Those are pretty much the only cases where the cop may not interpret actions as probable cause. This is why you are supposed to refuse the search, ask if you're free to go, and refuse to speak without a lawyer present. PERIOD.

If you try to out-talk the cop, you will lose. They have the advantages in this field. 

Back to the situation; the cop has a legal avenue to stop them, and has used his experience to determine the firearm carried MAY be a fully automatic one. Open carrying a gun has few or no requirements for interactions with the police. However, being in possession of a FA firearm DOES have requirements for interactions with the police, making the investigation quite legal.

OC: But it's a semi auto.
COP: I don't know that until I can--
OC: Well you don't have reasonable suspicion that --
COP: I do, actually.

He does, actually. There may be a time when, after a long and expensive court case and many appeals, the supreme court determines that a cop can't "suspect" that every gun that has an FA variant could be an FA version. But that day is not today, and this not the place or the case for this fight. The douche doesn't have the money or the public favorability to be a test case.

OC: Uhhh-- No.

Brilliant legal retort!

COP: So, here's the lawful order you're going to be given; [regular instructions for interacting with someone who is armed]
OC: But! But! But! I don't consent to unlawful searches! Terry vs Ohio! Am I being detained?
COP: Yeah.

Oh boy. He's been dealing with dumb cops so long he doesn't realize he has already lost. The fact that the cop affirmed that he was being detained should have changed the entire encounter for the OCer. If the OCer believes that what is happening is illegal, and the cop affirms that he's being detained, this is instant court case and cash money payout for rights violation. It's all on tape, right? What lawyer wouldn't take the case? Yet, he blows right past this change in the encounter, and continues with the arguments that expired at the beginning of the encounter.

COP: *inspects firearm* Ok, due to my training and experience this does not look to be a fully automatic firearm. I will do a function check of the firearm... and it operates as such. I no longer have any reasonable suspicion to detain you. Do you have any question, comments, or concerns?
OC: Well! Terry vs Ohio! How do you know it's FA? This is illegal!


The cop has just told you that you're free to go, and you are still arguing that what he did was illegal. What is it you hope to accomplish here? To convince the cop that what he just did was illegal? What do you expect him to do even if you convince him? If you really think you've just caught a blatantly illegal search on camera, you take the first opportunity to whip out your cell phone, call your lawyer, and ask him what kind of BMW he wants to buy with his share of the settlement money for the illegal search you just caught on camera. You don't stay there and argue with the cop like an idiot.

This guy has no idea what the hell he's doing.

COP: You know what you guys should do? You should come to our training program, where we let you fire fully automatic weapons, or you can join our reserve program! I'd love to have you guys, you can pick up forms at the police department.

Oh wow, this cop is so professional and polite it's almost sickening. What an excellent cop. Hats off. Truly.

OC: Well, yeah, but!
COP: *Educates them about a cop's experience and how he may use that experience to obtain reasonable suspicion, then says he's glad they're exercising their rights, and that with open carriers around, there will be less crime*

Ack! My blood! It's turning to sugar water!



This encounter should have taken one minute, and been completely avoided by carrying a firearm that didn't look so "evil."

"But ET! Open carrying EEEVIL firearms is our right! I should be able to carry a Barrett 82a1 over one shoulder and a sign that says 'FUCK DA POLICE!' on the other!"

Yeah, you should be able to... But doing so would not be a good idea, and will likely lead to more encounters with the police, more negative opinion from the public (you know, the people whose minds you SHOULD be trying to change), and increase your chances of flubbing one of those encounters and finding yourself in court on a case that is in the gray area of the law.

That said, I feel compelled to admit something about my open carrying... 

While open carrying, I... *sigh* ...make a conscious effort to appear non-threatening.

I know! I know! Prepare the boiling oil, I'm a traitor to the cause for acquiescing to public opinion in some, teeny-tiny way. But before you warm up the tar and fetch the feathers, have you ever heard of the phrase, "You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar?"

I suppose I'm asking you to check the root of your reason for open carrying.

If you are Open Carrying because you want to walk up to Ma and Pa Kettle, and yell "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"in their faces whilst firing your Bowcaster into the air, enjoy it while you can, because your actions will ensure this right becomes illegal.

But if you are Open Carrying because you want to change the way Ma and Pa Kettle think about guns and the people who carry them? Well then you should take any and all additional steps that help you achieve your ends.

Even if it means the inconvenience of not wearing your Angry Libertarian Eyebrows™, skipping your ATAK NiNJA COMBAT-ENGAGE boots and 5.11 MOLLE-enhanced tactical kilt, leaving your "Sheepdogs save Sheeple" hat at home, and removing the SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED chip from your shoulder while open carrying.

I know, it's hard to just wear sandals and cargo shorts below a shirt that says "I helped at the 2012 charity day!" while smiling politely, and offering to help old ladies cross the streets, but it's a lot easier than fighting to stay so angry all the time.

Read more thoughts about this encounter from the Gun Blogging community here and here.

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