Sunday, February 14, 2010

1A VS 2A?

From MercuryNews.com:
East Palo Alto cop takes heat for Facebook remarks

An East Palo Alto police detective is taking heat in online forums for allegedly posting comments from his Facebook account that advocate shooting Open Carry gun advocates.

Detective Rod Tuason apparently made the remarks in response to a friend's status update, which joked that gun advocates who carry unloaded weapons in plain view as a political statement should start doing so in places such as Oakland, Richmond and East Palo Alto "and not limit themselves to hoity toity cities."

"Haha, we had one guy last week try to do it!" Tuason replied, referring to a Redwood City man who strolled into the Mi Pueblo Food Center in East Palo Alto on Jan. 27 with a gun on his hip. "He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat!"

After several more comments in the thread, Tuason apparently joked that officers should shoot the advocates, who have made recent headlines throughout the Bay Area for sipping coffee at cafes and performing other everyday acts with visible weapons.

"Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night!" Tuason wrote. "Should've pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement ... 2 weeks off!!!" [Ed: IE, shoot them]
For those unfamiliar with California law, it's illegal in most cases to Open Carry with a loaded firearm. However, one may Open Carry if the gun is unloaded - this is often abbreviated "UOC".

Further down in the article is a mention of the forum at calguns.net, a discussion forum for 2A supporters in California. A member named .45Shooter claiming to be Det. Tuason has made at least 2 posts trying to both apologize and clarify his remarks.

While I find Det. Tuason's facebook comments to be troubling, his department's reaction is no less so:
East Palo Alto police Capt. Carl Estelle said the department's professional standards division is looking into the Facebook remarks to see if they violate any rules or policies.

"We have to be careful because they're on his own personal private Web page," Estelle said. "We have to be careful not to violate his First Amendment rights."
Capt. Estelle, it's irrelevant that his comments were on a "personal private Web page." You seem to be taking the same position that Det. Tuason holds in his "apology", when he stated "I know now that there are certain comments or expression of views are better off not said!".

This isn't a problem of privacy or First Amendment. It's the matter that of one of your officers finds it amusing to forcefully detain citizens who are not breaking a law, and his only regret appears to be that he vocalized his enthusiasm for such things on Facebook. It's offensive that you're more concerned about the 1A rights of your officer than the abuses your officer has been directly involved in.

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