You have the right to bear arms — still relatively un-infringed in some States — unless, of course, agents of the state deem you are doing so in an impolite manner. A decorated veteran who was on a 10-mile hike with his 15-year-old son was illegally disarmed and arrested on a Texas county road for “rudely displaying a firearm.”
FOX News’ Todd Starnes reports that Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham was confronted and illegally disarmed of his AR-15 and .45 caliber pistol by the Temple Police Department, despite having the proper permits to publicly carry the weapons. The incident happened as the man and his son were hiking in a rural area known to be home to wild boars and cougars.
Grisham, who describes himself as a serious Constitutionalist and also recently gained notoriety for a blog post criticizing the President, maintains that he has no idea what caused officers to treat him in the manner in which they did.
“I’m still frankly and honestly 100 percent confused about what I’m being charged with,” Grisham said.
When officers stopped Grisham and his son during the March incident on the rural road, they claimed he was rudely displaying his AR-15, which was safely strapped to his back, and proceeded to disarm and detain the decorated vet.
“He slammed me onto the hood of the car,” he said. “I had my hands straight up and that’s when I saw our camera — and turned it on.”
Because Grisham was indignant, and rightfully so, toward the officer trying so hard to prove his authority with no regard to the Constitution that men like the one being apprehended have vowed to protect, law enforcement ended up charging the man with resisting arrest, which was later dropped to interfering with a peace officer while performing a duty.
The officers’ reasoning for what was, no doubt, a classroom example of a Terry stop — minus any sort of reasonable suspicion — was explained, according to Starnes.
“In this day and age people are alarmed when they see someone with what you have,” one of the officers told a handcuffed Grisham. “They don’t care what the law is.”
According to local media, the Temple officers justified their Constitutional abuse with this bit from the Texas code:
A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer’s official duties may disarm a license holder at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the license holder, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder is not a threat to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if the license holder has not violated any provision of this subchapter or committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the license holder.
Due in part to a YouTube sensation wherein American citizens carry rifles in very public places (some undoubtedly in hopes of being confronted by police, so that they can explain why they are within their rights), stories about officers disarming law-abiding open carry advocates are easy to come by.
But Grisham’s case is exceptional, because he was certainly not looking for attention from law enforcement or the public; rather he was carrying in Constitutional and completely justifiable self-defense. What is particularly remarkable, and extremely worrying, about this story is the officer’s utterance, “rudely displaying.”
Americans have seen their 1st Amendment rights largely swept away in the name of political correctness and softer language, because in progressive America anything that hurts anyone’s feelings is to be deemed criminal. Gun legislation is very public and can be shot down by 2nd Amendment supporters who see it coming; but if Americans allow the same tactics of subversion that eviscerated pure free speech to be used with regard to the right to bear arms, there is no hope.
If Grisham’s ordeal is any indication, 2nd Amendment supporters must mount a new battle, that is: a fight against moves to make the Constitution more “polite” by eliminating the liberties it protects.
Watch video footage of Grisham’s incident below:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/63128662 w=500&h=281]
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/63128661 w=500&h=281]