On Saturday, a guy I'll refer to as Whiskey went live on Instagram. He was wearing a flak arranged in a way I'll only call "interesting" and waving a tumbler, the contents of which I won't speculate on.
Whiskey claimed that the police were surrounding his house in Putnam county, NY, trying to serve a red flag order against him for having standard AR magazines.
The segment of the gun community that happened to be fucking around online on a Saturday night proceeded to lose their fucking minds. Facebook and Insta pages went up like fireworks displays, doubling down when reportings and blockings kicked in. Numerous people offered to or claimed to be gearing up and heading to that particular area. At least one 2A supporter drove up to the barricades and asked what was going on before being turned back by an LEO.
Calls flooded the local PD, county Sheriff's office, and local emergency response units. Multiple press releases were posted and then deleted from the Putnam County Sheriff's Dept. Facebook page, trying and failing to get people to calm the fuck down.
Seven hours after Whiskey made his initial postings, he was safely taken into custody.
And what has happened to our valiant martyr Whiskey ever since?
Mostly the discovery that he was completely full of shit.
Turns out Whiskey is in fact a veteran, but has been having some severe issues with PTSD and other problems. So much that multiple domestic violence charges against him have been filed by his wife. What firearms he had were confiscated a long time ago after Whiskey broke into his in-laws house and tried to keep his wife and baby from leaving.
The cops rolled up on Saturday because there was an active warrant out for Whiskey's arrest based on his history of fuckery. When the first officer rolled up, he claimed to have heard a gunshot and called for backup. They found Whiskey babbling incoherently in his garage before barricading himself inside and logging onto Instagram live, because of course.
The cops managed to arrest him peacefully. And it looks like they're not even charging him with anything related to Saturday's standoff, even. They claim there were no firearms, mags, or ammo in the house for them to confiscate.
TL; DR: The online 2A community got well and truly Jussied this past weekend.
A few things I want to establish before I get into takeaways here.
One, I despise red flag laws as a matter of principle. I think they're the greatest single threat to personal freedom and due process in existence now that civil asset forfeiture has been declared unconstitutional.
Two, if you actually want a boogaloo, you're either a lying poser who has no clue of what such a thing consists of, a sadistic piece of garbage, or dumber than the eat-the-rich morons who honestly think the guillotine won't come for them once they run out of bourgeois.
(Spare me your "don't want to, but will!" dickwaving. If I roll my eyes any harder, I'll lose a contact lens.)
Those established, let's recap: a lying piece of shit damn near set off a gunfight. Let's see how that can be avoided in the future, shall we?
First, to the cops: nobody trusts you today on either side of the aisle, period dot. Too many people wearing badges have been caught being shady. Body cameras have been extremely helpful in clearing a lot of the bullshit accusations, but they're by no means the only tool in the box.
The biggest thing here is that your social media game needs to be on point. You need to be there first, fast, honest, and accurate. Covering the ass of whoever gives your orders ain't cutting it anymore. You need to be open and honest about this shit. Especially when you're vastly outnumbered by those trying to discredit you.
Second, to the online gun community: Sweet Daddy Odin and all the little valkyries, where do I begin?
I'll start with this: zip it. Nobody cares about your memes and catchphrases about what a hard dick threeper patriot moto-shirt-wearing spartan viking definitely-not-homoerotic trigger puller you are.
We especially don't care if there's a potential crisis underway. Scrolling through a parade of dick-waving to get to actual info is a pain in the ass. If you're not doing the work of making phone calls, listening to scanners, or otherwise getting primary sources, STFU and lurk. Zip up, grab your tiger tape measure, and go pester someone who'll be impressed.
Third, If you're a mod or a page owner: police your community. Trust me, I have bloodstripes and an arts lesson plan, I know how difficult it is to herd cats. Make it happen anyway. There's a fine line between dick waving and terroristic threats. And people were riverdancing all over that line on your pages this past weekend. Unfuck that shit.
Fourth, About the only smart thing I saw that night was very late on, when people started posting legal defense funds. I know none of the harddicks want to hear it, but in this day and age, a lawyer is probably the most powerful weapon you can possibly carry at the moment.
Way more effective than trying to Avengers assemble a gagglefuck of keyboard warriors with nothing better to do on a Saturday night.
At the end of the day, the world got lucky on Saturday: nobody got arrested that didn't have it coming, and nobody got hurt.
Let's work on keeping the score like that and a little more comfortable, eh?