Friday, April 12, 2013

Grisham Arrest An Attempt To Shut Down 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights?

According to Patrick Howley @ The Daily Caller:
 "...Texas is a right-to-carry state, and law-abiding gun permit owners can carry rifles and hunting weapons openly, so long as the weapons are not being carried in a threatening way..."
Nevertheless, reports Howley: "a Sergeant C.J. Grisham was arrested recently for “rudely displaying” a hunting rifle:

"...Grisham, who is stationed at Fort Hood, was arrested in his hometown of Temple, Texas, east of the base, after police stopped him for carrying an unconcealed rifle slung over his shoulder..."
According to Howley's article,
"...The conflict between law enforcement and armed military personnel in the community around Fort Hood, one of America’s largest military bases, has recently and repeatedly involved the issue of gun control — and the tension has been exacerbated in part by an Obama-supporting prosecutor described as a “bandleader” of anti-gun efforts in the heavily conservative community..."
Howley cites Bell County prosecutor Ken Kalafut as "...described by multiple sources as one of the few recognizable liberals in the heavily Republican area..."  He quotes Sergeant Grisham's attorney, Kurt Glass: 
“...The prosecutor in that case [Kalafut] has a picture of President Obama behind him in his office, and he sits there and tells me, ‘I will make sure that gun does not fall into anyone else’s hands. I will have that gun destroyed,' ..."
The video of the event shows the tense situation between Grisham and police officers.  Howley says Grisham was arrested, but that "...His charge was later reduced from resisting arrest to the class B misdemeanor of “interrupting, disrupting, impeding and interfering with a peace officer while performing a duty.”

Kudos to Patrick Howley for the article.  There is also additional background information regarding Sergeant Grisham that was not part of the article.

C.J. Grisham is a military blogger, who despite his military superiors' efforts to shut him up and shut him down, continues to speak his mind on his blog.

Jon R. Anderson describes that situation @ Military Times in the Facebook Face-off section article:  "Services squabble over future of social media."
"...Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham sits at the nexus of a much wider debate over the future of social media in uniform. Even as Grisham's command wrestles with how to handle an outspoken soldier, the brass battles over a set of new regs that will govern how troops connect online..."
Anderson quotes Noah Shachtman, editor of Wired magazine's award-winning Danger Room blog, which focuses on military issues:
"...'The military blogging community, he says, has largely matched the military's mostly conservative make up. That was fine when George W. Bush was president but may be creating problems with Obama in the White House....There's a lot of military bloggers like C.J. who could be really vocal politically but were maybe seen as supporting the mission. But now that their politics don't match the commander in chief's, it's made the picture much more complicated,' Shachtman said..."
Anderson writes @ Military Times in another article, titled "The Rise And Fall Of A Military Blogger:"
"...Assigned to a military intelligence company at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Grisham's in-your-face opinions have won him a loyal following but also earned the scorn of his superiors, who contend he violated military limits about what troops can say on certain topics...Grisham has criticized President Barack Obama's fitness to run the country, chided the Democratic Party and battled with local school officials. He has been investigated by the inspector general and called on the carpet by his commanders...Though he has not been ordered to stop blogging, he says he can't do so under the restrictions placed on him...In a note to the nearly 5,000 people on his private mailing list, Grisham wrote, 'The facts are clear. The Army does NOT want honest bloggers. They want sheep. ... If I can't be honest and open, I won't write at all.'..."
So, just who is this Sergeant Grisham?  Anderson describes him thus:

"...Standing an inch shy of 5½ feet tall in basic training, Grisham was dubbed "Chicken Hawk" after Henery Hawk, the tough bird with a big mouth in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. He earned the nickname when he took down the biggest guy in his platoon three times in a row during pugil-stick training...Eight years later, during the invasion of Iraq, Grisham took down a squad of Iraqis when his counterintelligence detachment got pinned down in an ambush. He earned the Bronze Star with "V" after rushing through the gunfire by himself with just a 9mm pistol and a hand grenade...No, Grisham is not afraid of a fight and he's not afraid to speak his mind, either...After returning from war, Grisham launched A Soldier's Perspective. He started the site as a way to share his experiences and tell his Army story. In his first post he promised to cover the range of military life 'from the inane to the insane. ... Sometimes I will complain about and sometimes I will laud my chosen profession of arms.'..."
But Grisham is not just a military blogger. Apparently he is a blogger, pundit, radio show personality, and a social-networking machine.  Says Anderson:
"...Pugnacious, deeply patriotic, pro-Army yet prolific in both his praise and criticism, Grisham has helped launch four successful blogs and a weekly Internet radio show. He mostly focuses on raising awareness (and often money) for veterans issues, but he also patrols through the mine fields of local and national politics...Indeed, he is an unabashed conservative with razor-wire wit who has cast stones at what he calls "Repugnicans" and "Dumbocrats" alike but has also been to the White House twice — invited first by President George W. Bush, and more recently by President Barack Obama — for roundtable discussions on military outreach..."
And yet someone wanted him silenced.  From the article in 2009, Anderson:
"...Yet after nearly six years of active blogging, in recent months Grisham has found himself the target of an inspector general investigation and a threatened general letter of reprimand. Now his command is exploring formal charges against him..."
The catalyst for action against him, Anderson says, was Grisham's criticism of his commander-in-chief, Barack Obama:

"...Grisham got into hot water when someone complained to officials that he encouraged readers to vote against gun control measures, called for a wholesale changing of the guard in Congress and questioned Obama's truthfulness...In a blog section titled 'Obama is wrong for America,' he wrote: 'The reality is that the American people can NOT take the President at his word'...At least that's what he assumes was the problem based on the questions investigators with the Army Intelligence and Security Command's inspector general asked him..."
That investigation, it turns out, went nowhere, but, says Anderson, "Grisham was fired from his job as an intelligence company first sergeant at Redstone and punted to a garrison position. The firing also came not long after he announced on his radio show — during an interview with Gen. Peter Chiarelli — that he was wrestling with post-traumatic stress disorder and planned to seek help. During the show, Grisham said he wanted to lead from the front when it came to reducing the stigma of PTSD."

Grisham continued to speak/write his mind, and when he again got in trouble, his wife took over the blog, and, according to Anderson, he was reprimanded for what his wife was writing. He was at that time taking on his local school board. Grisham has since been stationed at Ft. Hood, but apparently he has not gone unnoticed, as recent events demonstrate.

There is an ominous cloud of suspicion about his recent notoriety, namely his arrest by police officers.      That cloud hovers over the circumstances of his arrest.  I qualify this by noting that two police officers in a very conservative area, confronted Sergeant Grisham.  I am familiar with central Texas.  When you are there, you are quite certain that you are, as the song says, "deep in the HEART of Texas."  There is also that recently released survey of 15,000 police officers, which shows that police are overwhelmingly pro-gun, and anti-gun control.  You can see the specifics of that survey here.

I watched the video, which shows the policemen disarming Grisham.  My observation is that a pro-gun policeman would have respected Texas gun laws, regardless of what had been reported.  In fact, a pro-gun policeman, in my view, would have respected that it was a military man (and not a very young one), and that he was within his rights with respect to the weapons he was carrying, and would not have used force, however minimal, and would have instead asked for his weapons rather than disarming him.  And knowing the law, and Sergeant Grisham refusing to turn over his weapons, they would have allowed him to keep them, and at worse kept an eye on him until he returned home.

The two police officers, acting with full knowledge of the law, investigating before acting, deciding upon the developments of the interaction would not have arrested Grisham.

Police officers, however, following orders with a specific agenda, would effect a different result, namely, the arrest of Sergeant Grisham.

Fortunately someone was there to video the events as they unfolded, and the charges against Grisham were subsequently reduced.  But what if there hadn't been anyone there recording those events.  Might the outcome of this have been something else?

It is too convenient a set of circumstances that unfolded there that day, for I suspect that an opportunity presented itself to someone, and that someone possibly thought that they could take advantage of that situation, and deliver an effective blow, not just to the first amendment, Sergeant Grisham's Constitutional right to speak out, but to kill two birds with one stone, and effect a double whammy of confiscating his weapons and shutting down his Second Amendment rights in the process.

What would this do?  It would make an example of Sergeant Grisham for other bloggers/journalists to see.  It would stifle free speech, and it would show that law abiding gun-carrying citizens can be punished by law enforcement, and so, in effect, cause citizens to leave their guns at home, rather than have them on their person for protection.

All this, of course, is suspicion, and I don't pretend to have the facts. It is pure speculation.

But in light of recent events:  A President determined to campaign cross-country in favor of anti-gun legislation, and in light of the fact that the same President is inclined to stretch his authority with the use of Executive Orders, and in light of the fact that there is an agenda that the Obama camp feels compelled to carry out, I maintain that there might be an effort to stifle free speech and to restrict second amendment rights. I speculate that members of the groups that follow that agenda, in that chain of command might feel compelled to comply with that agenda.

What do you think?  Do you think Grisham's arrest was an effort to shut him up and shut him down; to make an example of him?

If so, how would you handle it?  How would you help Grisham, and thus help others who are similarly outspoken, and choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights?  What would you do?

C.J. Grisham:  2nd Amendment Legal Defense Fund

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