Libertarian Republic Article Slams Nick Sarwark for Tweet about Gun-Toting Missouri Couple

The Libertarian Republic published an article from Joshua Ferguson on Tuesday criticizing Libertarian National Committee chairman Nicholas Sarwark.  Sarwark has come under fire for his recent tweet accusing a Missouri couple of breaking the law for brandishing firearms as trespassing protestors descended on their property.

Ferguson writes:

In a stunning and brave example of top-tier Twittering, Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark has shown us, once again, how to analyze a complex situation and get it completely wrong from even a basic understanding of libertarianism.

[…]

Yes, by ignoring the context of the situation you could interpret Missouri statute 571.030 RSMo, subsection 1, subdivision (4), “Unlawful use of weapons” to apply to the armed civilians protecting their property but are libertarians now in the business of using laws to dictate our principles?

Because if so I need to point out that selling less than 35g of Marijuana is a Class C felony in Missouri which holds a stronger sentence than the Class D felony Mr. Sarwark so vociferously reminded us exists.

Is the Chair of the Libertarian Party now going to argue that all people who possess 1 & 1/2 ounces of weed in Missouri are violating a Class C felony in response to people supporting drug legalization?

Somehow I doubt it.

Like those who use democracy only when it suits their ends, here we have Sarwark similarly attempting to weaponize the law for woke points.

[…]

I expected the Chair of the Libertarian Party to choose private property over trespassers. I expected the Chair to choose self-defense over vague gun laws used to over-criminalize our society and chip away at our rights. I expected the Chair to honestly keep true to the very pledge he took in order to be a member of the party he chairs.

68 thoughts on “Libertarian Republic Article Slams Nick Sarwark for Tweet about Gun-Toting Missouri Couple

  1. Bondurant

    Were these folks protesting or trespassing on private property? This shouldn’t be an issue difficult to determine and yet media of the corporate and social variety is a shit show. Can’t find out what happened just what people feel about it.

  2. Thomas Knapp

    Bondurant,

    You write:

    “Were these folks protesting or trespassing on private property?”

    Both.

    St. Louis has several “private streets.” They’re gated, with no trespassing signs posted. This particular one is a couple of blocks from the building my wife used to work in.

    The protesters ignored the signs, entered through one of the gates (some reports say they broke the gate down), and went marching down the property on their way elsewhere.

    The homeowners say they were just trying to have a peaceful dinner when the mob came marching loudly across the private property, and that they didn’t brandish their weapons until they were verbally threatened by several protesters, some of whom who were likewise armed.

    I don’t know the totality of the situation, but I do know that if Nick’s cite of the law stands without added context, I violated it more than once when I lived there (not on a tony “private street, either).

  3. dL

    Were these folks protesting or trespassing on private property?

    Protesting. If it was a case of trespassing, those two would likely be dead from shooting each other. Whenever one encounters the term woke in an article, it’s usually a sufficient excuse to stop reading.

    This shouldn’t be an issue difficult to determine

    It’s not that cut and dried. If private property is a license to treat others as fair game, then by your own rules, so too are you. Wasn’t that the lesson of of that classic short story that I assume everyone read in middle school(or high school), The Most Dangerous Game? The protagonist ended up feeding the Russian Cossack general to his own dogs.

  4. paulie

    I’ve seen video on some FB group, forgot which one, that purports to show that the claims about property damage to a gate and threats against homes were completely bs. I didn’t watch the video because I don’t have sound on laptop or use FB on phone. But everyone in the thread seemed to agree that the video showed what it claimed, marchers peacefully going down the street, but ignoring a private community sign.

  5. Thomas Knapp

    Paulie,

    I’ve seen conflicting accounts of what happened.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to guard your property with guns when a mob of hundreds comes through it. Especially when similar mobs have been burning shit down, beating people up, etc. nearby for weeks.

    Just for physical context, this gated street is essentially across the street and a block or two down from one end of Forest Park, locale of the art museum, where protesters violently attacked devout Catholics for praying at the statue of Louis IX the other day.

  6. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Many of these “overwhelming peaceful protesters” have been quite violent over the past few months. Blocking roads and getting into people’s faces are acts of aggression. Then there are the graffiti, vandalism, fires, fire bombs, looting, and even occasional maiming and killing.

    It’s reasonable that people arm themselves, and even display their weapons, whenever the “overwhelmingly peaceful” BLM and ANTIFA “protestors” arrive.

  7. wolfefan

    Ferguson doesn’t understand basic English. To note that something appears to be a violation of law is neither an endorsement of that law nor an accusation that one has violated it.

  8. paulie

    I’ve seen conflicting accounts of what happened.

    So did I.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to guard your property with guns when a mob of hundreds comes through it.

    I don’t think that’s unreasonable either. But if in fact the video showed what people seemed to agree it showed – again, I did not watch it myself – pointing the weapons, especially but not only if they were cocked and/or loaded – was excessive, if all they were doing was marching past.

  9. paulie

    Many of these “overwhelming peaceful protesters” have been quite violent over the past few months.

    “Many” is an exaggeration, if you mean a large percentage or anything like that. Of the ones that have some have been agents provocateurs and some were people just stealing shit or getting their jollies being destructive, with no real political motive, and the protests just serving as a backdrop. And their opposition, and media friendly to their opposition, have been amplifying fear and hate by greatly exaggerating the violence and causing people to fear that it may be imminent if they see or hear of protesters.

    Blocking roads and getting into people’s faces are acts of aggression.

    Less than pointing a deadly weapon if there is no real threat to your safety or property.

    Then there are the graffiti, vandalism, fires, fire bombs, looting, and even occasional maiming and killing.

    Not nearly to the extent to justify pointing a weapon if all people are doing is marching past.

    It’s reasonable that people arm themselves, and even display their weapons, whenever the “overwhelmingly peaceful” BLM and ANTIFA “protestors” arrive.

    I have nothing against anyone having or displaying a weapon. Pointing it at someone is an altogether different matter that is only warranted in very specific circumstances and if the description of what the video supposedly showed are accurate I don’t think this was one of those.

  10. Kevin

    The LP has long ago lost credibility by drifting into neo-anarchism with loony left seasoning. I suppose if helping Republicans win elections were the goal, that might make sense. In the short term.

    In the long term, the loony strategy puts a ceiling on what can be achieved, politically, unless the GOP becomes libertarian. But I don’t see that happening, as the “libertarian” brand is now as tarnished as the “liberal” brand, to the point that real libertarians must call themselves “classical libertarian” to avoid confusion. Naturally, Americans generally don’t have the time to sort this out.

    Thomas, to his credit, takes the libertarian view on this one example, because he is far more intelligent than Sarwark. Thomas is a professor Moriarty, propping up the LP intellectually. Yet Thomas is far more clever than he is intelligent.

    On the one hand, he says in his article “Police violence: reform is not enough”:

    “Progressives calling for “defunding” of the police are on the right track, or would be if they were
    serious. Most of them seem to use “defund” to mean “shift funding between state activities,” not to mean “eliminate a state activity.”’

    I read that as, eliminate the police department because they prop up the state. Yet he does not define what he means by “state” or explain how “state” and “government” are different.

    The state enforces a quasi-monopoly of force in a given territory, while a government would allow competing governments within the same system. All states are governments, but not all possible governments are states. “government” is the organization of force in support of a legal code.
    As Machan points out in his classic
    http://strike-the-root.com/content/government-vs-state

    Presumably, police functions that are legitimate would be done by what he terms “going back to voluntary community ‘peace officer’ models of law enforcement.” Are Ken and Karen models for what he proposes? Must everybody bear arms, to be protected? Who knows?

    “going back to”? When has the US, or any government, had “voluntary” models of law enforcement? Imagine the scene at an armed robbery, when someone “peaceful” from the “community” (whatever that is) nicely asks the robber “Would you please voluntarily disarm”? “enforcement” implies the use of force, which is not voluntary.

    Thomas doesn’t want to be seen as crazy, he is too clever by half and walks both sides of the street. When I asked him to clarify how the police could be defunded and still fund law enforcers by another name, he proclaimed that his words are clear enough and that if i persisted in questioning him about the contradiction, he would FB unfriend me. As if he were an oracle, whose cryptic proclamations are unexplained.

    The problem with police is not that they are police (as if the term were the problem), but that they are tasked with enforcing unjust laws, and are paid with tax dollars.

    Questions remain that should not be swept under the rug. What is the difference between a police officer (who enforces the law) and a “voluntary peace officer” (who also would enforce the law)? What historical examples would he have the US “go back to”?

    If Thomas is the best intellectual the LP has, and Jorgenson the best possible POTUS candidate, it’s time to defund the LP.

  11. paulie

    Someone who may or may not want it known who said this, and is absolutely right: They weren’t defending shit. They weren’t scared of the crowd and they quickly found out where the crowd was going. They were brandishing. Brandishing without finger discipline is a very bad idea. That woman is lucky af she didn’t accidentally discharge. Sarwark isn’t wrong here.

  12. paulie

    https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1277642237896261632

    See new Tweets
    Conversation
    Shane Morris
    @IamShaneMorris
    ·
    Jun 29
    Let’s talk about what happened in St. Louis tonight. Many people on the right are saying these people had the right to brandish and point an AR-15 because it was “private property” — and as someone who lives in a community like that, that’s incorrect.

    It’s not private property.
    Shane Morris
    @IamShaneMorris
    Portland Place and Westmoreland Place in St. Louis are historic neighborhoods, closed to vehicle through traffic… but open to pedestrian traffic.

    I know this, because they’re under the National Register of Historic Places.

    https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/74002276

    Basically, some historic neighborhoods have gates that are designed to prevent cars from cruising through.

    However, the sidewalks and roads are, “public thoroughfares accessible via pedestrian gate” — which is literally the opposite of private property.

    If you’d like to walk around the sidewalks of Westmoreland Place or Portland Place in St. Louis, you’re more than welcome to do so. It’s not trespassing, nor is it private property.

    You could also go for a nice bike ride on the roads of the community.

    While I appreciate all the arguments about the right to defend your property, the people were on a public sidewalk.

    You can’t just point guns at people walking around, not harming your property, and making no threats to harm you, or your property.

    This property is BOTH public and private. The residences are private. (Homes tend to be that way.) The roads and sidewalks are maintained by the city, and therefore… *drumroll*… PUBLIC.

    I know this, because zoning is public record. There are like, maps and shit.

    (map at link above)

  13. Thomas Knapp

    St. Louis’s private streets ARE private property. They’re a feature that has been remarked upon many times over the decades, including a lengthy feature back in the 1970s in Reason magazine. The residents pay for the upkeep of the streets. They also pay taxes for police protection, just like other private property owners do. As for pedestrian traffic, keeping it out (in the form of strolling sex workers, etc.) was one of the REASONS property owners asked to take those streets over.

    The National Register of Historic Places includes many pieces of private property. Being on the National Register of Historic Places doesn’t confer a power on the public to come traipsing through any time they like.

    If I was one of the owners of that street — around the corner from where a nine-year-old was gunned down at a barbecue stand not long before I moved out of the area — and a few hundred protesters suddenly decided they got to take a shortcut across my property because REASONS, I’d probably be less polite and accommodating than they were.

  14. LibertyDave

    You all realize it’s NOT who owns the roads that make them public or private. What makes a road public or private is it’s stated status by the owner. It’s called easement and it written into the deeds of the people who own the land, whether it’s privately owned or publicly owned. An easement states who can use the land for and what they can use it for.

  15. paulie

    Less polite and accommodating than to point a likely cocked and loaded weapon at them with your finger on the trigger? What would you do as they walked past? Fire warning shots overhead? Fire at random into the crowd?

    I think I’d probably be outside with a weapon visible and ready too, but not raise and point it at anyone just for marching down the road. If they actually did make any threatening moves against an individual plot that escalation can be justified, but I would not just assume the property owners after the fact claim that happened is accurate. Otoh if the video now linked above is the one those other folks linked earlier it doesn’t prove anything either. It’s just a few seconds of people walking peacefully past the gate but ignoring the property sign. It doesn’t tell us if they damaged the gate before or after that or if they threatened individual homeowners or their plots in any way.

    But with as many people as have video cameras on their phones these days and or surveillance cameras on the outside of their property I expect the homeowners, neighbors, and or some marchers have more than those few seconds of video that would tell us more so we don’t have to take either side’s word. The photos of gate damage don’t prove anything either, since the people in that neighborhood are well off and fixing or replacing the gate won’t be a massive burden on them, especially as a shared one. I think it’s entirely plausible they may have damaged their own gate so as to falsify evidence against marchers when attention and controversy swirled but also quite plausible that marchers damaged the gate before or after the short snippet of video I now saw.

  16. dL

    and a few hundred protesters suddenly decided they got to take a shortcut across my property because REASONS, I’d probably be less polite and accommodating than they were.

    Would you shoot the police too when they would be trespassing on your property…you know, about an hour later?

  17. dL

    I think I’d probably be outside with a weapon visible and ready too, but not raise and point it at anyone just for marching down the road.

    The video I saw, I only saw tens of protestors, not hundreds.As a BLM supporter, I would have tried to accommodate them, like, offer refreshments. The only people I fear coming onto my property are police. I mean if you are that paranoid about people trespassing, then get a couple of German shepherds.

  18. paulie

    I might have some cool waters as well as a pistol to be prepared for good or bad eventualities. It’s kind of an out of the ordinary thing so I can understand concerns but at the same time it may well have also been getting riled up by the Reich wing noise machine which tells them protesters are “frequently ” destroying property and engaging in violence with the gate damage being done by the owners after the fact to make it look more like self defense.

  19. dL

    I might have some cool waters as well as a pistol to be prepared for good or bad eventualities.

    A pistol is not going to help much when its 20-1.

  20. SocraticGadfly

    I think Paulie has it right all around. AND, one of the Tweets in Douchette’s thread CLEARLY shows … a sidewalk. AND, Douchette is able to cite chapter and verse on Missouri’s version of “Castle Doctrine,” too.

    So, Thomas (and others)? Maybe pull in your horns a bit.

  21. Thomas Knapp

    I find it odd that as a BLM supporter and left-libertarian, I’m the one who has to keep pointing out that it was a mob — allegedly of about 300 persons, and including armed persons as well — trespassing on private property.

    That last clause is an irrefutable fact. Nobody has to LIKE the fact that St. Louis’s private streets are private property. They’re private property whether anyone likes it or not.

    The mob got a warning, backed up with display of weaponry.

    While I wouldn’t go so far as to commend the property owners for showing restraint — they probably could have handled it better — I will go so far as to congratulate the members of the mob for their incredible good luck in that none of them got their asses shot during a crime spree at a time of, and in an environment of, high tempers and reasonable fear, not to mention in a neighborhood in which shootings are unremarkable.

  22. SocraticGadfly

    I think Paulie’s right all around. One of the tweets in Douchette’s thread, for example, clearly shows a sidewalk in the neighborhood. Another has a link to Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which explicitly talks about **individual** defense of house or vehicle. Private streets, even if they didn’t have easements, aren’t individually owned.

  23. SocraticGadfly

    Sorry I semi-repeated myself … WordPress commenting glitches seem to be popping back up, for me at least.

  24. paulie

    Yeah, I got distracted by FB and wasn’t clearing cache here all day. Maybe if someone paid me to do it. Otherwise it takes about a day for comments to show up reliably. But they’re almost always there if you give it long enough.

  25. paulie

    I find it odd that as a BLM supporter and left-libertarian, I’m the one who has to keep pointing out that it was a mob — allegedly of about 300 persons, and including armed persons as well — trespassing on private property.

    I find it odd too. And I doubt it was 300, that’s probably an exaggeration. But even if it was, *if* it’s true they were just marching past and not threatening any individual plot, I don’t believe that’s sufficient justification to point a loaded weapon at anyone. Still remaining unanswered is what more than that you would have done.

    While I wouldn’t go so far as to commend the property owners for showing restraint — they probably could have handled it better — I will go so far as to congratulate the members of the mob for their incredible good luck in that none of them got their asses shot during a crime spree

    Crime spree = walking down the street, and allegedly but not provably damaging a gate? That sounds like death penalty for jaywalking.

    at a time of, and in an environment of, high tempers and reasonable fear, not to mention in a neighborhood in which shootings are unremarkable.

    I don’t think the degree of fear is reasonable. It’s a media and politician whipped frenzy. There is some nugget of truth to it so some caution is in fact justifiable, but it’s vastly exaggerated.

    As for the neighborhood…yeah, gangbangers killing each other or random civilians from their own part of the neighborhood is unremarkable. A lone homeowner killing a lone home intruder on the other side of the divide wouldn’t be especially remarkable. A homeowner emptying a magazine or two into a crowd of people whose crime spree consisted of allegedly but not proven to have damaged a gate and marching down a private street would have been quite remarkable. There may be a planet on which it would not, but it isn’t this one. Certainly not this part of it, anyway.

  26. paulie

    A pistol is not going to help much when its 20-1.

    If everyone was willing to kill or die, it wouldn’t. But most people would not want to take the chance to be the one with whom the bullet connects. Most people wouldn’t do anything that would justify shooting them, either. Even less so if they are facing a non-trivial chance of being shot too. So being visibly armed is almost always good enough, just in case something bad may happen. In most cases it wouldn’t anyway, and even less often if it’s clear that someone could be shot if it came down to it. Actually pointing the gun at anyone – again if all they did was march – is excessive and unnecessary, but some caution is warranted just in case.

  27. dL

    If everyone was willing to kill or die, it wouldn’t.

    If you have good reason to pull it out(i.e, there is a real threat), it isn’t going to help you. Not at 20-1. “Most people” aren’t congregated outside/on your property with the intent to fuck you up. That’s what we are talking about here by “a good reason.” A real threat. The best self-defense is to not to voluntarily put yourself in an impossible situation.

  28. dL

    allegedly of about 300 persons, and including armed persons as well — trespassing on private property.
    Nobody has to LIKE the fact that St. Louis’s private streets are private property. They’re private property whether anyone likes it or not.

    The video I saw was tens, not hundreds. If there had been armed mob of hundreds shouting “Kill whitey,” the indisputable fact is that those two would have hidden or ran, private property or not, whether anyone likes or not.

  29. paulie

    If you have good reason to pull it out(i.e, there is a real threat), it isn’t going to help you. Not at 20-1. “Most people” aren’t congregated outside/on your property with the intent to fuck you up. That’s what we are talking about here by “a good reason.” A real threat. The best self-defense is to not to voluntarily put yourself in an impossible situation.

    My personal experience is that people just knowing I have a weapon is enough in a situation where there is some danger but not excess danger. It tends to dissuade people who don’t want to take a chance they will be the one to be shot. It generally doesn’t rise to the level of having to point it at anyone, much less shoot, so whether I have enough bullets for everyone isn’t the point. I can also be completely friendly with the same people; they don’t have to assume I intend any aggression against them if I’m armed, either. My read on this situation and the news in general is that some caution was warranted, but probably not to the level of brandishing. You disagree with the first part, Knapp disagrees with the second. Got it. But, I have not changed my mind, as I expect you haven’t changed yours.

  30. paulie

    The video I saw was tens, not hundreds.

    Same. Although, I don’t know whether that was the entire group or part. But 300 sounds like a likely exaggeration for sympathy.

    If there had been armed mob of hundreds shouting “Kill whitey,” the indisputable fact is that those two would have hidden or ran, private property or not, whether anyone likes or not.

    I suspect you’re correct, but maybe not. It’s possible they would have gone down shooting until they ran out of ammo.

  31. Thomas Knapp

    “the indisputable fact is that those two would have hidden or ran, private property or not, whether anyone likes or not.”

    When it comes to use of guns in self-defense, you’re not a credible source for “indisputable facts.” You’ve previously asserted that if someone is knocked to the ground in a surprise assault and then has the assailant looming over him and a potential second assailant moving out of his field of vision, defending himself with a gun is murder, if he happens to be someone whose previous attitudes you’ve heard might be worth taking issue with.

  32. dL

    When it comes to use of guns in self-defense, you’re not a credible source for “indisputable facts.” You’ve previously asserted that if someone is knocked to the ground in a surprise assault and then has the assailant looming over him and a potential second assailant moving out of his field of vision, defending himself with a gun is murder, if he happens to be someone whose previous attitudes you’ve heard might be worth taking issue with.

    I’m not sure how bringing up a guy who got convicted for a 20 year prison sentence bolsters your argumentative chops about is what is legal self-defense.

  33. dL

    I’d need more context. dL, what was your take on that?

    Michael Drejka…We got into a spat over that case at The Garrison Center last year. Bringing it up here only serves to remind one that if those two had followed Knapp’s advice here, they would be in the exact same place Drejka ended up. In jail.

  34. Thomas Knapp

    dL,

    I didn’t make any argument about what is “legal self-defense.”

    I simply pointed out that you call actual self-defense “murder” if you don’t like the defender. As did Drejka’s persecutors.

  35. paulie

    Don’t remember having heard of that case before, but took a quick glance at the start of the Wikipedia article just now. That doesn’t sound like Knapp’s original summary of it above or like self defense, but again I have not dug into the drejka case.

  36. dL

    My personal experience is that people just knowing I have a weapon is enough in a situation where there is some danger but not excess danger. It tends to dissuade people who don’t want to take a chance they will be the one to be shot.

    My experience–and that includes the drug trade, the sex services trade–is that a gun was an automatic ticket for a sure fire prison sentence. And those few instance where I found myself severely outnumbered where the opposite party was armed and had no apparent qualms about ending your life, brandishing a weapon(not by me, but other yahoos in my party) was not a deterrence, it was an invitation. And the self-defense strategy was get the fuck out of there. Fortunately, that kind of shit never happened up close.

  37. dL

    I simply pointed out that you call actual self-defense “murder” if you don’t like the defender. As did Drejka’s persecutors.

    I’m not going to adjudicate that one again with you.

  38. dL

    Don’t remember having heard of that case before, but took a quick glance at the start of the Wikipedia article just now. That doesn’t sound like Knapp’s original summary of it above or like self defense, but again I have not dug into the drejka case.

    Since Knapp is the one that brought it up, I will link to he aforementioned discussion at tGC
    https://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/14604

  39. paulie

    My experience–and that includes the drug trade, the sex services trade–is that a gun was an automatic ticket for a sure fire prison sentence. And those few instance where I found myself severely outnumbered where the opposite party was armed and had no apparent qualms about ending your life, brandishing a weapon(not by me, but other yahoos in my party) was not a deterrence, it was an invitation. And the self-defense strategy was get the fuck out of there. Fortunately, that kind of shit never happened up close.

    I don’t think of those as analogous situations. While I’ve been in a number of those, I don’t believe that the marchers were habitual criminals or that their expectations were those of habitual criminals prepared to deal with other people in the same lifestyle. The reasonable expectation on the part of the homeowners would be either protesters or looters, with the second scenario not being nearly as likely as the right wing noise machine has built it up to be. But in either case, participants would not come in with an expectation of high likelihood of being shot at. That being an option, I would not expect it to escalate further, even when dealing with looters. Only if it looks like it’s about to escalate further could I justify raising the weapon and pointing. The general rule is that if you are ready to aim the weapon you should be ready to fire it at someone. That’s not the case by simply having it on your person visibly displayed, say in a shoulder or belt hip holster. At that point you can also still be friendly, serve waters, etc. That equation doesn’t change if some of the marchers were also armed as Knapp says above. I don’t know whether that was ever established either, but shouldn’t matter either way.

  40. dL

    I don’t think of those as analogous situations.

    Of course they are not analogous. That’s my point.

    While I’ve been in a number of those

    Lucky man. Being chased by an armed street gang for brandishing a weapon while “trespassing” on their turf in the dead of the night is not something you would want to have happen to you too often….

  41. paulie

    Fixed

    I don’t think so. There are different kinds of “trespassers.” Someone going on your plot is different from someone who’s walking down a neighborhood owned street. Daytime vs nighttime makes a difference. There are other factors which make a difference as well.
    A group of people walking down the street that has a no trespassing sign aren’t a huge threat even if some are armed, which you have not established.

    Also, the twitter linked above had a property records photo which disputed the private street claim. Did you look at it, and if so, in what ways did the twitter feed get it wrong?

  42. Thomas Knapp

    I specifically addressed the nonsensical Twitter claim. There is no plausible “dispute” as to whether the private streets in St. Louis are private streets. They’re a long-standing St. Louis institution. The residents pay for their own street and sidewalk maintenance, outside of tax payments (which they still make, and for which they receive emergency services and law enforcement services, such as they are).

    If you can’t admit that trespassing is trespassing even if you support the trespassers’ excuses, there’s really not much to discuss. Especially if you don’t understand that a block either side of those private streets is a fucking war zone.

  43. paulie

    I think I have taken a middle ground in this discussion and I’m sure there are private streets in St. Louis. The claim about this location, in the tweet linked above, referenced a property record of some sort for this specific location. I don’t remember the details but maybe it had something to do with public easement? In any case, I asked if you had looked at it and if so how they mischaracterized or altered the evidence. I’m open to the possibility that they did.

    Trespassing is definitely trespassing. The additional details I referenced also matter. And yes, being right next to a division line matters. I have lived on either side of those and I understand that dynamic.

    T

  44. paulie

    https://twitter.com/Trex0417/status/1277683465257918464/photo/1

    There’s more in the thread but under owner it says “multiple public and private” and under accessible to the public it says “restricted” with the other choices being “no” and “unrestricted.” Elsewhere in the thread it says this means it’s open to pedestrian, but not vehicular, traffic.

    Again, I don’t know if someone altered or misinterpreted the evidence.

  45. SocraticGadfly

    Thomas still hasn’t addressed anything Doucette had on his Twitter thread, including the Missouri Castle Doctrine in specific detail. To put this straight up, Thomas, here’s the link.

    First, though, this tweet:
    “It doesn’t need to be a public sidewalk. It’s not *their* private sidewalk

    Now if the HOA came out brandishing a weapon, it’d be a different story (not least of which would be corporate personhood made manifest)”

    https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1277459572639268864

    That gets right at the heart of it, Thomas. It’s not THEIR sidewalk.

    Now, Doucette’s link to Missouri’s actual Castle Doctrine.

    https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=563.031&bid=33873&hl=

    Thomas, I suggest you respond to this with your next tweets. You haven’t so far and Paulie posted the link to Greg’s Twitter thread days ago. You speak of others here and their credibility. You can fill in the ______ on that yourself until you respond to Doucette.

  46. Thomas Knapp

    “Thomas still hasn’t addressed anything Doucette had on his Twitter thread”

    That’s incorrect (I responded on July 4).

    “That gets right at the heart of it, Thomas. It’s not THEIR sidewalk.”

    You might want to take an anatomy class if you think that’s the heart of it.

  47. paulie

    So what is erroneous in the property record? Why does it say restricted rather than no public access, and public and private ownership rather than just private? Is it forged? How do we know?

  48. Thomas Knapp

    I never asserted that anything is erroneous in the property record. I assume that the property record — which seems to refer to a location at least 4 1/2 miles away from the street where the incident occurred — is entirely accurate.

  49. paulie

    Your comment on 4 July at 0659 has to be balanced against photographic and video evidence presented in the links. I’ll take your word for the past magazine articles regarding private streets and the information about keeping out sex workers. But it seems a bit more complicated than that.

    The best synthesis of the information I am getting from different sources is that while the streets are closed to sex workers, less obtrusive pedestrian traffic from those not necessarily living within the gates is not entirely unknown or necessarily subject to harassment. There’s at least some degree of legal and habitual public easement, but it’s not unlimited and universal. That’s not limited by any means to st. Louis; there are many, many neighborhoods in many cities and states where the likelihood that you will be hassled for walking through depend on your race, clothing, demeanor, time of day or night, and other such factors. I don’t doubt there is a legal regime making such harassment legal in more than only st Louis, and I doubt it’s the only city where both neighborhood residents and the larger city tax base pay for parts of the upkeep of the streets and where private property signs covering the whole neighborhood are selectively enforced.

    The claim that there were hundreds of marchers seems unlikely. The claim that they were in any way threatening or aggressive also lacks evidence. As does the claim that they damaged the gate. What video and photo evidence I have been able to find backs up the marchers account of the events. While that is not necessarily conclusive as we have no way to know what happens before or after the snippets of video or outside its frame, at least one side is presenting some kind of non hearsay evidence while the other, again to my knowledge, has only their word.

    That word is contradicted by multiple other eyewitness accounts as well as the video and photo evidence. Granted, I know of no neutral observers, and quite possibly there were none. But where were all the neighbors? Did every single other one cower inside except for the one couple when supposedly “hundreds” stormed the gates? What are the chances that none of them have surveillance camera footage or video they shot through their windows? Granted again, it may yet come out. But given the amount of attention and controversy this has generated it helps one side’s credibility and hurts the other’s that only one side is presenting video and photo evidence and multiple eyewitness accounts.

    Also given that controversy, the singular piece of photo evidence presented by the other side, a damaged gate, can easily be perpetrated by the homeowners or someone in their employment as an attempt at damage control. In the video, protesters are seen walking through the gate, which does not appear to be locked or damaged as far as I can see. It’s not impossible that other marchers damaged it later out of spite, but if so, I expect there is some surveillance camera footage of that. In these days, in that kind of neighborhood next to such a stark divide, how could there not be?

    Unless and until additional evidence besides just their uncoroburated word and a single photo with more than one plausible explanation is presented by the homeowners, the preponderance of evidence appears to be on the other side. And if Tom answered whether he would be firing warning shots or skipping that step and shooting directly at the alleged trespassers, I don’t recall seeing his reply.

  50. Thomas Knapp

    “If Tom answered whether he would be firing warning shots or skipping that step and shooting directly at the alleged trespassers, I don’t recall seeing his reply.”

    If Tom allowed himself to be ordered to play “False Dilemma,” you’d recall it.

    And they weren’t “alleged” trespassers. That part is open and shut.

  51. paulie

    You said it’s open and shut. I’ll keep an open mind and see what other evidence if any is presented.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that you are correct, there are still different degrees of trespass justifying different levels of response. You said somewhere above that you would, or at least might, have responded more forcefully than they did. They aimed presumably locked and loaded weapons with poor trigger discipline directly at people. That’s generally considered pretty serious, but I don’t have to tell you that since you’re well trained. The next two steps that I know of in escalation are warning shots and shooting at people. You can then shoot to wound or shoot to kill. You are saying it’s a false dilemma so let’s try it as an open question. What would you have done?

  52. Thomas Knapp

    “You said somewhere above that you would, or at least might, have responded more forcefully than they did.”

    No, I didn’t. I said that I’d probably be less polite and accommodating, not more forceful. And even that was contingent on the mob numbering in the hundreds.

  53. paulie

    Ok, and I asked for further details on just what you would do to be less polite and accommodating. You can answer or let your nonanswer be your answer, either way is fine.

  54. Thomas Knapp

    1) Maybe that’s what you’re asking now, but it wasn’t what you were asking before.

    2) If the sarcasm in my comment wasn’t clear to you, I don’t know that I can help you.

  55. paulie

    Maybe you can’t, but then again no one is paying you to help me. You’ll either decide on your own whether you were being sarcastic about being less polite and accommodating – which, if so, yes, I did miss – or explain what being less polite and accommodating would consist of. Or let people draw their own conclusions. You seem to be opting for that last one, and that’s fine. If you ever decide to change that, we can consider any further implications from there.

  56. SocraticGadfly

    Thomas, your original answer to Doucette was, to use a legal word, “nonresponsive.”

    Your follow-up was as well.

    Your silence on the Castle Doctrine link is literally nonresponsive.

    Your sidewalk anatomy comment was a weak attempt at being snarky.

    And, the “open and shut” on trespassers is simply not true. (Side note: I also used to live in the St. Louis metropolitan area. I mowed some lawns in that area in high school and college.)

    That said, having run into you on Twitter off and on over the past few years, usually with links from your Garrison Center, none of this surprises me.

    “Goes to character, your honor,” to use another legal term.

    And with THAT, goodbye.

  57. dL

    That said, having run into you on Twitter off and on over the past few years, usually with links from your Garrison Center, none of this surprises me.

    Most of Knapp’s stuff at the tGC is usually pretty good. I do have a severe disagreement with him RE: the stand your ground issue, however. Whenever I read Knapp’s foray into that discussion(and TK’s opinion on this is certainly not an unpopular one), I’m reminded why it is a good idea for private establishments that serve alcohol to disarm their patrons.

  58. Thomas Knapp

    “Your silence on the Castle Doctrine link is literally nonresponsive.”

    I’m not sure why I’d need to be “responsive” to something that I neither brought up nor have any interest in. I didn’t cite the Castle Doctrine. Why would I need to defend this incident as a use of it?

    I’ll take you more seriously as a gadfly if you start at least trying to live up to the Socratic part.

    Or goodbye is fine too.

  59. dL

    Others can also dine on this food for thought.

    Yeah, Charles Manson might be a more sympathetic figure than that shyster lawyer. lol. But my position on the matter wasn’t contingent on disliking the guy. It was obvious from the video that there was no violent mob, that there was no immediate trespass, and that brandishing weapons like they did opened themselves up to being fair game(as it is, it looks like they opened themselves up to possible criminal charges). But after reading that piece, I have to say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander in terms of a civil lawsuit.

  60. Thomas Knapp

    Summary of the first part of the story:

    The McCloskeys are no good, horrible people who deserve to be shunned.

    Summary of the second part of the story:

    Approximately 200 protesters trespassed on the no good, horrible people’s property (to include a private street in which the no good, horrible people own an undivided interest), screeching “whose streets? Our streets!” and “eat the rich!”

    I don’t dispute either of those parts of the story.

    I wouldn’t piss on the McCloskeys if I saw them rolling around in the street on fire.

    Nor do I blame them for “threatening” to defend their property from a trespassing mob.

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