I’ve pointed out before that the tipping point in state/citizen relations happens when you piss off the fat old men. It’s a sad truth that when minorities complain that they are mistreated by police, or poorly served by other state agencies, we’ve pretty much discounted them. Things have changed. I credit the concealed carry movement. Nothing has forced ordinary citizens to consider the laws that apply to them like the legal hoops a concealed carrier has to jump through. Nothing points out the stupidity and inconsistency of the law like having to comply with the law or face jail. This leads to a serious reconsideration of state power, sometimes in unusual places.
Meet Joel Chandler, who just paid his $1.00 toll on the Polk Parkway with a $100 bill, he is not allowed to leave unless he provides personal info to the toll taker. The toll taker tells Chandler this is what happens when they get large bills. She says this is what they have to do.
Think about it. Have you ever asked an agent of the State if you are being “detained?” Where did this guy learn the legal term “detained.” I’ll tell you where I learned it, concealed carry. Until I started carrying a gun, I had no idea what the difference between casual conversation, detention, and arrest was. I had no idea that a police officer (or in this case, a toll booth worker) couldn’t just make you stay there until you answered their questions. Like most ordinary citizens, I assumed that if a cop asked you a question, you had to answer them. Now I know better.
Here’s the problem. As more people like me learn what is and isn’t legal for police and other state agents, how will they accept their diminished power? Will they take it gracefully? Or will they lash out?
Ht: Radley Balko