High Noon at 1776: San Antonio Second Amendment Standoff
“Take a knee and lay face down on the ground!” the officer barked from behind the open door of his Olmos Park police cruiser. He was among the first to arrive on the scene in response to reports of a man open carrying his gun on the city streets across from the Shell station at McColough Avenue and East-West Olmos Drive on March 27, 2018.
“Why?” came the reply from the would-be offender. “Have I broken any laws?” he asked.
“Because I’m telling you to!”
The tense exchange repeated itself several times with cop ordering the citizen to the ground while the citizen demanded to know under what law he was being charged.
At 53 seconds into the video recorded by the suspect himself, a piece of black plastic blown by the wind skittered across the road between them – a 21st century stand-in for the cliché tumbleweed bouncing between two gunmen staring each other down in the old Western movies.
But this was not the old west. It was the New West and the standoff had more similarities to 1776 than it did to High Noon. At issue was whether or not municipal governments had the power to usurp Texas state penal code and make explicitly allowed behaviors, in this case the open carrying of a gun, illegal within their boundaries.
The short answer is: they cannot.
This did not stop a slough of local governments from defying the state government by passing ordinances against open carrying weapons. It was no surprise liberal bastions such as San Antonio, a city so hyper-progressive in its politics it passed a law barring Catholics and other believers of traditional values from holding public office, jumped on this bandwagon.
What these cities did not count on was the emergence of organized protesters engaging in acts of civil disobedience to assert their rights as given in the US Constitution and enforced by Texas state law.
This put law enforcement in precarious situation. They could either attempt to obey their local governments and enforce an invalid law and put themselves at risk for repercussions for falsely arresting innocent people, or they could flaunt the local ordinances and let citizens carry as they please.
After previous run-ins with civil rights protesters in 2014, the San Antonio police chief eventually settled the latter approach. The police chief of Olmos Park, a suburb located less than ten miles from the center of San Antonio, regrettably chose the former.
A clear shot of what the officers were responding to is available in an opposing angle video shot by citizen journalist YouTuber Battousai. In the video Open Carry Texas activist Jim Everard, who goes by the user name Not So Slim Jim on YouTube, can be seen with a long gun slung across his chest.
Though he is tall and (as his user name suggests) quite large, his demeanor is easy going and calm and his hand never goes to the trigger of his gun.
Soon after, he is joined by another man in a bright yellow shirt. This happens to be CJ Grisham, an Army veteran and leader of Open Carry Texas. Both men and the group Open Carry have been involved in multiple acts of civil disobedience aimed at challenging the unlawful gun restrictions. By the end of the video, both men are arrested beginning with the tasering of Grisham and then the cuffing of Jim Everard.
In addition to the fact no officer can cite the grounds for making the arrests, the situation is notable for several reasons.
As one video commenter pointed out, the officers are clearly acting on pretense instead of evidence. At one point, they demand the gun-toting duo identify whether or not they are terrorists and if they intend to harm anyone.
Naturally, they replied, “No!”
Yet throughout the standoff, the area is not properly cordoned off. Pedestrians (some with cameras) walk and drive freely through the middle of the standoff, some yelping out their opinions as they passed by.
Clearly these bystanders felt no danger and clearly the police’s actions on site belie the fact they too are not responding to a “dangerous situation.” Nonetheless, the scenario went straight to crisis mode with cops pulling guns and barking orders.
According to Everard, this was the most tense moment in his experience with open carry activism. Normally, the situations are resolved through congenial exchanges with authorities and Open Carry Texas.
Things were different in Olmos Park that day. It was the police that escalated the situation which only got worse when Police Chief Rene Valenciano himself entered the scene.
Rather than talking his officers down, he personally arrested Grisham, ensuring both men were taken off to jail.
This sort of soy-based neurotic insanity is seriously out of place in the state of Texas. It is the kind of thinking that got Tommy Robinson illegally arrested in Britain for committing the public service of journalism when he covered the trial of the Muslim gang running a child prostitution ring that specifically specialized in young Caucasian girls.
Tommy Robinson’s rights were violated because the government cared more about protecting the feelings and the reputations of the perpetrators and those who enabled them than about alerting the subjects of the United Kingdom to the imminent and pervasive threat targeting the weakest and most vulnerable among them.
Americans like to shake their heads when this sort of thing happens in non-constitutional European countries, but the fact of the matter is, the problem of Progressive concepts of jurisprudence and law is as widespread here in the States.
Progressive ethics are entirely situational, but the problem goes far beyond the concept of principles. Progressives are actively in the process of dividing the populations of the territories and countries they control into castes – each with its own set of rules and laws to follow.
Through the ostensible goal of protecting equality, Progressives are carving out groups of people who receive special treatment under the law including protection of their feelings (through threat of force no less), freedom from paying taxes, freedom from prosecution depending on the crime (such as illegally immigrating or mishandling classified), free money, free benefits, and preferential treatment in universities, as well as in hiring.
Among conservatives, these people are known as the sainted “victim class.”
At the other end of the spectrum is everyone else. And we get the boot – as in the proverbial boot of George Orwell forever stamping on our freedoms and personal dignity.
According to Jim Everard, all charges have been dropped. This, after an April march in Olmos Park by supporters and members of Open Carry Texas who protested their treatment.
This is ultimately good news but the event should never have happened in the first place. It highlights the danger of faulty Progressive legal thinking that a city could enact an illegal ordinance and expect its law enforcement to fall on their swords simply for the sake liberal feels.
This struggle is taking place across the free world. Activists such as Open Carry are doing their part to keep the rest of us free. It is time everyone got involved in confronting the tyrannical Left.
In the process of writing this article, we reached out to Jim Everard (Not So Slim Jim) and Olmos Park PD for comment. Parts of this article were written with input from Everard. As of this writing Olmos Park PD has yet to comment.