I’m doing something different here today. I’ve decided that any hateful messages, comments, etc. I get I’m going to respond to if I can.
We posted a tribute to our fallen friends, who were killed in a car crash on the way here to visit us last weekend.
Someone decided to leave the following comment:
The first thing that comes to mind, for me, is how commonly I see anti-gun statists expressing far more violent and destructive habits and desires than any liberty-centric person I’ve ever met.
Anyone who has such a low regard for human life as you do is far more dangerous than any gun. You see this very commonly among those who believe that freedom flows from the barrel of the government’s guns, and it is called ‘projection’. You know that if *you* had access to a firearm, that *you* would be a mass-shooter, therefore you falsely assume that *anybody* with access to a firearm would do the same. Rest assured that violent tendencies and reckless disregard for human life is not normal, and that you do, in fact, have a serious mental condition that should be addressed by a professional.
Secondly, the comment about ‘potential mass shooters’. How is this assumption qualified? Is it because they were firearm owners? Are lumberjacks ‘potential axe murderers’ and doctors ‘potential drug dealers’?
I’d ask about your thought process, but it’s clear you aren’t confident in your assumption. This is evidenced by the fact that you are hiding behind an alias, and the anonymity of the internet. You know that if you were stand behind your comments with the weight of your actual identity that you would be forced to acknowledge how little educated people actually respect you. If you can’t stand behind your statements, you are a coward.
On Monday the 16th of March 2015, I was filming the police department in Rochester, MI. Two men, name tags reading Buchnan and Matynka, approached me. This is what transpired:
This is the email I sent to Lt. Matynka:
If the images captured of me by Rochester Police Department surveillance cameras and in-car video cameras have not allowed you to identify me yet, let me introduce myself. My name is James, and I am the journalist you encountered Monday evening who was collecting images of the police department for the story that I am working on. Before I describe the nature of the story that I’m working on, let me first tell you a little about myself.
I’m a normal, self-employed young adult. I’m a bit of a student of a few topics, like history, politics, and philosophy. I occasionally will write articles, as in this case, but the majority of my content is audiovisual media. I had a bit of an issue with a particular officer in your department a while back, and I grew concerned for his commitment to the document he pledged an oath to defend and uphold, the Constitution. In my pattern of routinely following up with different departments from time to time with different personnel within those departments, I keep a loose track on which police departments are the most permissive/least oppressive, if you will.
This is coming from a value that I hold dearly, and it is Liberty. Otherwise named, Freedom is a principle that I believe is too loosely maintained in modern society. Liberty is rooted in the Non-Aggression Principle, essentially that it is morally wrong to use coercion and force without someone first attacking you. I believe that taxation is theft, and it is morally wrong to take something from someone under threat of coercion or force, even if they are compensated with government services. I believe that war is morally wrong, because soldiers are coerced and forced to comply with killing of enemy combatants who may have done no harm to the soldiers in the first place. I believe that there is no crime if there is no victim who has been substantially harmed. I believe that the very essence of government itself is coercion, and threat of force is government’s way of ensuring compliance. I’ll give you an example.
A man drives 10 mph over the posted 55 mph four-lane rural highway. The friendly state trooper pulls the man over, and writes him a 0-5 over the speed limit- limited access, which is about $110 and no points. The man is told to contact the court within 10 days. Now, no one actually became harmed by the man’s actions, so why is he being fined for it? It is far more just to fine the man a reasonable amount to restore whatever harm he causes someone if and when that harm occurs.
If the man refuses to pay the $110 fine, a bench warrant will likely be obtained for his arrest at some point, and he will be forcibly taken by the police eventually (remember the non-aggression principle here; this man hasn’t done any harm to the officers either). If the man resists arrest, he will be physically taken using whatever means are necessary. If the man attempts to defend himself while the police are initiating force against him, he will likely die very quickly. All because he ignored a speed limit sign.
Perhaps it is an uncommon scenario, but perhaps not. Its possibility exists in our society, and I consider that intolerable.
This is why I take a certain interest in police. When an unjust bill becomes an unjust law, it depends upon the enforcers to enforce that law. I firmly believe that most people, including most police officers, have the morals and conscience to decide not to abide by or enforce unjust laws. My concern is that many police officers have been coerced to believe (through the luxury of gainful employment) that nearly all laws they are charged to enforce are perfectly moral, when the vast majority of them are based in coercion and use of undeserved force.
The police are where the rubber meets the road, in terms of the complex relationship between the people and the government. A government, whether just or unjust, has no power without law enforcement. I believe it is the duty of every moral police officer to deeply question the morality of the laws they enforce, and to be eager to ignore unjust laws (especially at the protests of the Top Brass).
Even more disappointing than police enforcing unjust laws are the police who don’t know or don’t care about the law, and enforce based on their own feelings. Before I turned 21 and applied for my MI Concealed Pistol License, I found the easiest way to effectively defend myself in my everyday activities was to open carry a Glock in a quality retention holster. Believe me, I was no tenderfoot to the concepts of defensive pistol use, violence deescalation, and fighting tactics; I took my responsibility of defending myself and those around me very seriously.
I soon found that ignorance with the public regarding firearms was a bit disappointing, and that the ignorance of many police officers regarding the laws on open carrying a firearm to be extraordinarily dangerous to my safety. I carried a firearm to defend myself, but I am restricted to open carry due to my age, and I found that I became a target. I wasn’t a target for criminals, because criminals prefer “soft” targets; I found that the sketchiest of characters would move along when they saw my sidearm. I inevitably became a target for police officers.
Many police officers I met had been seeing viral videos on YouTube where open carriers would mouth off to police officers who were dispatcher to investigate the open carrier. I believe that many police officers prejudged me to be the same way, and treated me rather poorly on many occasions. When I would invoke my Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights during the course of illegal detentions, many officers would enhance their oppression as retaliation. It was for my own protection that I began recording police interactions with a camera, knowing that officers behave better when they are in directly front of their cruisers or in front of a cell phone’s camera. Recording police violating my rights and breaking dozens of laws led my YouTube channel to be the #1 YouTube channel dedicated to the open carrying of firearms.
I’ve had police officers draw their sidearms and long guns on me in no less than six occasions when I had broken no law, let alone done some kind of harm. I have never been arrested, and I have no criminal record. My type of journalism is quite dangerous, and I am quite used to having police erroneously and/or maliciously investigating me.
Let me clarify that what I am typing is truth, and I’d be a fool to lie in an email that will pass through the city’s servers. It might sound rather hard to believe, but this is probably because you and your subordinates don’t do such things (or, at least, don’t realize you do such things).
It is here that I should congratulate you. By walking up to my camera, your actions started to become judged by the thousands who are guaranteed to see the video (which I have yet to upload). Your actions were biased in a positive light because you knew you were being recorded, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your professionalism and respect for my rights was real and genuine. After asking me why I was filming the police station, you told me I was well within my rights to do so. I knew I had the right to, but it is significant to me that you assured me that it was my right so early on in the conversation. This indicates to me that you know the pertinent laws, and that you wanted to assure me of that. This is much appreciated, and motivates someone who is accustomed to police harassment to be friendly in return.
You mentioned, in the course of our brief conversation that evening, that you were concerned as to my motives for filming. You said, “[…] you see what’s going on in the world these days; cops have been targeted for things.” You were implying you had a mild concern that I might be a terrorist who stands outside a police station in broad daylight with a camera attempting to do something that might harm a police officer. I don’t think you were really that concerned, because a white guy in a dress shirt and khakis doesn’t fit the profile of the kinds of terrorists you’ve been told about.
This off-hand comment was something I expected you would say, frankly. It is a common line that I’ve heard many of your colleagues say. Mentioning how “cops have been targeted for things” is actually kind of the point of this email. I’ll freely admit that I don’t care for police one bit. I don’t like the feeling of impending doom I get when I see a Crown Vic/Tahoe/Impala/Explorer headlight configuration behind me at night. I firmly believe that police are good people who are coerced and brainwashed into doing immoral things while they wear the uniform on. It is the many immoral things that police enforce that motivate people do commit violence against police officers. We can both agree it is morally wrong for someone to execute two NYPD officers in their squad car for little discernible reason (besides their profession), but I might argue that someone shooting and killing two police officers because they are being arrested (kidnapped) for a victimless crime may in fact be morally justified self-defense.
Even though I find your entire profession to be morally reprehensible for all of the reasons that I have described, I still believe it is important to work with the individuals who occupy those uniforms in an attempt to get a better two-way dialogue going so that we can all understand each other a bit better. The way I see it, I can’t change the world in a day. However, I will work with everyone I can to at least make sure that hate doesn’t interfere with the flow of knowledge. I hope that this can be the start of that.
Best wishes Lt. Matynka, and I hope to hear from you soon.
For more information, take three hours to listen to Adam Kokesh’s audiobook Freedom. It is a life-changing book
Do your part. Send a lengthy email today. By the way, anyone reading this is free to copy and paste sections to send to your own local LEOs, politicians, and other government employees. Those who would keep our society softly enslaved would have us all fighting with one another.
On March 4th, 2015, local liberty activist Shawn Nixon went for a routine walk though his local neighborhoods and along main roads (video below). This is normal activity for him, and members of the community recognize him well. Although he is a law-abiding, honest citizen, he is known well to his local law enforcement, Royal Oak Police of Royal Oak, MI. Some examples of his previous encounters with ROPD can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here. What makes Mr. Nixon so controversial to some is the fact that he takes a rifle with him on his routine walks. While it is not particularly shocking to most people in his area (because he is recognized easily), certain police and school administrators decided to disrupt the educational environment on March 4th at Lamphere High School in Madison Heights, MI because Mr. Nixon was going on one of his routine walks.
Below is a local news report about the incident.
So this man broke no law. Where’s the controversy? The only issue appears to be the fact that he went near a school. Let’s examine that.
If a person is going on a routine walk down the street, would you expect them to take a different route to avoid passing the school? Of course not, but you might argue that carrying the rifle is needlessly scaring people. So if the police and school officials do not trust Mr. Nixon walking by the school with a late 1800s bolt-action, five-shot rifle, does that mean they would trust him if he did not have a rifle? It seems that the only irrational concern with the local media is that he had a rifle. However, he clearly did not intend any harm toward the school’s occupants. Therefore, why the overreaction? The police in Madison Heights have had contact with Mr. Nixon before, as this video shows. They know who he is, and why he goes on his walks. Yet they lock down the school anyways. If this isn’t brainless, then I don’t know what is.
The rifle does not make Mr. Nixon dangerous. If anything, five shots from a long, heavy, awkward piece of Russian hand-made junk makes Mr. Nixon MORE defenseless from a sudden attack.
This is why he also carries a semi-automatic pistol. Would the media, police, and school officials react the same way if he only carried a handgun? I would argue that fourteen rounds of .40 S&W (in his handgun) is more deadly than only five rounds of 7.62x54R (in his rifle), yet the RIFLE is the concern. He could also legally carry the pistol completely concealed, because he has been verified to be legally qualified to possess a Michigan Concealed Pistol License.
Think honestly to yourself for a minute: if Shawn Nixon, noted liberty activist of metro Detroit, had walked past Lamphere High School with a dozen concealed pistols, would the school have locked down? Of course not, even though he is far more heavily armed than with just a handgun and rifle in plain view.
He uses his rifle as a silent, non-violent form of activism. While a small portion of the people who see him are genuinely and irrationally fearful of him, the vast majority of the people don’t even notice. Out of the people who do notice his rifle, they are mostly curious. Many are supportive, and will honk and give thumbs up constantly. A lot of people will see him, see his rifle, and be genuinely confused:
“I have always been told that guns are bad, but I just saw this man walking down the street with two guns, and no one got hurt.”
Mr. Nixon’s walks have a definite value in desensitizing the people that see him. Some gun rights supporters are concerned that his activism may hurt gun rights long-term. I can only ask those people the following: if you are so concerned that government will take rights away because someone if exercising them, who is at fault? Is it Mr. Nixon, the Government, or is it YOURSELF for not demanding that your rights be taken seriously? Mr. Nixon would seem bland and mainstream if we ALL stood with him.
During Shawn Nixon’s walk on March 4th, he was initially confronted by his “friends” in Royal Oak Police. In typical fashion, Royal Oak PD let him have his space when he declined to talk to them. While only a quarter-way though his walk along 13 Mile Rd between John R and Rochester Roads, he began to be stalked by Madison Heights Police.
This pissed him off. I mean, it SHOULD piss him off. The police are not only harassing him with a metaphorical velvet glove, but they are using their scarce police resources (paid for by the taxpayers) to literally STALK him while he is breaking no law. MHPD reported to the local media that they did not obtain a name from him on this walk, and that is because THEY ALREADY KNEW HIM. Madison Heights Police are under no legal obligation to even respond to a 9-1-1 call of legal activity, let alone stalk him.
Mr. Shawn Nixon confronted these officers after a short time. While I myself would NEVER advocate willingly talking with police, Mr. Nixon has a great deal of practice, and is arguably an expert at motivating them to leave him alone. He is the type of man that is literally enraged with the double standards that police employ, highlighted on this occasion with one officer’s willingness to hold his hand on his firearm during the encounter Mr. Nixon had with MHPD. The officer, affectionately called Officer Wyatt Earp, literally was almost taunting Mr. Nixon with the extra rights that he, as a Law Enforcement Officer, believes he has by touching his firearm while Mr. Nixon stands there.
Video from March 4th, 2015
OK, so let’s step back for a second and look at that. What you see is not a crazed gunman just arbitrarily screaming at the friendly neighborhood police. What you see is a free man who is literally enraged to the point of insults that he is being stalked, softly harassed, and intimidated into not continuing with his activism. No matter how you slice it, would you be any happier if police harassed you for no lawful reason?
I will admit that I feel sincerely sorry for those officers. They woke up at 5:30 am and went to work just like any other person. They do their metaphorical 9 to 5 job and go home to their families like any other person. They are being coerced into following Mr. Nixon by their superiors, and they are only guilty of blindly following orders. They themselves have been brainwashed into believing that they are not harassing Mr. Nixon, that Mr. Nixon is a crazy nut, that they are doing a service to the community, and that they are the victims. Make NO mistake: MR. SHAWN NIXON is the victim here, as well as the students who continue to have their learning interrupted by the school’s irrationality.
Mr. Nixon and I returned to the area one week later, on March 11th. We were disappointed that Madison Heights PD had advised the school to lock down again, even knowing who we were. They OBVIOUSLY know Mr. Nixon is not dangerous, and I have a significant amount of notoriety within many police departments in Oakland County as well. Neither of us are strangers to them.
Ridiculousness will often remain ridiculous, ignorance will often remain ignorant, and irrationality is ALWAYS irrational.
Shawn Nixon would like nothing more to be left alone by the police so that he can work a 9 to 5 job and raise his five-year-old son. Is that so much to ask?
You know, there’s a lot of misconceptions/lies/propaganda about the police. Some of my favorites:
Police are doing a hard job
Police are underpaid
Most police are good, and the bad apples give them all a bad name
Police protect and serve the public
As I stop laughing at the four ridiculous points above, let me impress upon you my opinion of police. To clarify, this not a personal attack, this is not me advocating preemptive violence, and this is not me wishing harm upon anyone. There are huge generalizations made, and I realize that. The point is no less valid.
I was on a forum recently and a certain user, Bogartis, was resorting to ad hominem name-calling when he could not argue facts with another user. I predicted Bogartis was a police officer, and I turned out to be correct. He listed all of the horrible things he has endured while on the job, such as being spat upon, having urine thrown at him, being shot at, being punched, and being called names. I told him my take on it.
Bogartis, as an average LEO, you are no better than a common violent criminal.
You kidnap people for victimless crimes.
You use violence against innocent people if they do not obey your coercive commands.
You give people a piece of paper saying “Show up or pay up. If you don’t, we will use more coercion to kidnap you.”
You assist in stealing money from innocent people.
You use mind games, lies, and trickery to coerce innocent people to give up their rights.
You can kill people and not be held accountable.
You can violate almost any law or natural right that you want, and you will not be held accountable.
You enforce laws that inherently violate people’s natural rights.
You are an echo of the oppression that our forefathers fought against.
You are complacent to, and even culpable for the immeasurable similar violations committed by your colleagues.
You resort to claims of “I’m just doing my job.”
You are overpaid to be a “legal” violent criminal.
You have been lied to and brainwashed to believe that your actions are just, moral, and for the betterment of a free society.
None of the legitimate “help” that you may provide to the community justifies the foregoing.
The worst part is, you choose to be a pawn in this protection racket. Therefore, my personal opinion is the following:
You deserve to be cut.
You deserve to be punched.
You deserve to be hit with rocks and bottles.
You deserve to be spat on.
You deserve to be called names.
You deserve to be pissed on.
You likely deserve to be shot at as well.
You deserve no respect, no appreciation, and no paycheck from myself or any other contentious freedom-lover.
I have no personal vendetta against you, and I bet you’d be a really awesome person to know and befriend in a different context.
Nevertheless, you are a mini tyrant.
You are a small-scale oppressor.
You are a violent clown in a silly costume.
You are a government-sanctioned thug.
You are a disgrace to humanity, and I hope you use the foregoing to take a good look at your role in society.
You are the reason I fear for my liberty.
You are the reason I fight for my liberty.
My friend and associate from Hells Saints recently made the news like crazy for merely going on a walk. This is idiotic to say the least, but these sorts of things are not new to the open carry community. It is idiotic that people who make a lifestyle of exposing things the news won’t end up getting used by the news to make bullshit stories that not only have much to do about nothing, but entirely miss the point being made to begin with. This event was no exception.
Tens of thousands of people have run their mouths, thinking that because they have an NRA membership and/or watch CSI and/or play Call of Duty, they are entitled to speak. But they don’t know us. They don’t understand what we do and why, and the news damn sure won’t be telling them. They probably don’t even grasp the basics of gun safety – nevermind the appropriate uses of firearms or conflict de-escalation. So, let’s consider why he ACTUALLY chooses to open carry and engage police.
He is, in fact, sick of tyranny. He is sick of police taking money that is stolen from citizens under the threat of death and then using their stolen wages to treat us like their subjects. He is sick of people thinking they’re free, even while they get screwed over by governments and their corporate handlers in every possible way government officials and corporate executives can manage. He is sick of people thinking that cops are here to protect them and that when cops step out of line they can’t – or shouldn’t – be challenged, an especially important thing to him (and most of us, as well as huge portions of minority communities) after all the years he’s been harassed by cops for doing nothing illegal. Contrary to what legions of apathetic shit talkers online have to say, he does not do this for personal attention, he does it to support my freedom and yours.
He is a local resident, and he is very well known of by the police officers that appear in the above video. This is important to note for those who think he’s some sort of unknown stranger to this community, a stranger who is angling to stir up trouble in the midst of well-intentioned, concerned cops. This is simply not the case. Although you can see him in many other videos essentially setting the standard for how to bitch out harassing cops without giving those cops any justification to arrest him (A DIFFICULT THING TO BALANCE – AND NOT SOMETHING I SUGGEST TO ANYONE INCLUDING HIM), this time was different. He was furious, and he let them verbally have it in a way that went further than any other occasion I can recall from him or anyone else. I hope that his attitude will serve to teach those who might otherwise partake in fairly useless activism like occupy protests and “die ins”. You gotta start somewhere and make due with what skills and resources you have, but you SHOULD consider yourself above the police because you pay their wages, and your activism should reflect your inherent superiority. (“die ins” are in my opinion an acknowledgement of victimization rather than a statement that the police are not above the law and must be stopped from being cold blooded murderers. Merely protesting murder is a far cry from saying you’ll lose your rights over your dead body as Charlton Heston used to so frequently do. I suppose that I need to make another post about non aggression principle based protesting vs non violent protesting, but that’s another topic for another day.) However you want it to happen – whether extremely professional and business-like, or like the actions depicted in this video, or anywhere in between – you have to remember that you own yourself and they are not in charge of you. Remember too that no end of the spectrum is wrong. They are already abusing you, and your anger is extremely justified, but there is also nothing at all wrong with being very polite.
Which brings me to my next point. There is an epidemic of “us against them” hatred from cops toward the public. We as tax-paying citizens do have by default the moral high ground because we are the victims of their theft and their enforcement of laws against “crimes” with no victims. Even though their very profession is in contradiction with our rights, we nonetheless should remember to NOT stoop to that level. For me, this means that I prefer not to interact with cops unless in writing, other than occasionally using the wash rinse repeat method to gather evidence during an unlawful stop such as we did in Muskegon. For example, I will give copies of the same material we hand out to everyone else on our walks, or email with them later if they want (though it’s extremely rare that they do). They are people, after all, and thus, there is no reason to neglect to (carefully) share the message of liberty with them out of the hopes that they too can get the message and help better the world.