Dealing with AGWs?

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A reader asked me about avoiding problems with armed government workers (AGWs).

I think the best way to avoid problems with AGWs is to avoid AGWs. Will Grigg (RIP) used to write that there’s no situation that calling an AGW won’t make worse. I agree with him. Always keep in mind that AGWs are not there to “protect” anyone – persons or property. They are there to enforce the law. It is an important distiction.

It’s true some will choose not to enforce the law sometimes – that is to say, behave decently, on the basis of common sense and common decency. But there is no guarantee of this and it makes me uneasy to be at the mercy – literally – of the whim of whichever random AGW I am compelled to deal with.

So I avoid dealing with them, to the extent this is possible.

And it is possible to a great extent – by not calling them, obviously. But also by not calling attention to yourself. For instance, when driving, do your best to give AGWs no pretext for stopping you. Ideally, give them no reason to focus their attention on you. Don’t drive with a dead headlight or tail light. Make sure your brake lights work. Don’t let your state saaaaaaaaaaaaafety inspection lapse. Your plates should be up to date. Your exhaust intact – and not over-loud.

Much as it sucks to have to adjust your life this way, I also recommend driving a nondescript vehicle; something bland – and blandly colored (e.g., silver or white or dark blue) that’s not too new and not too old and not flashy.

The idea is to blend in – and this goes for how you drive, too. Don’t drive the speed limit – because almost no one else does. Don’t drive too fast, either. Drive with the flow of traffic or just slightly faster, but always with other cars ahead of you or beside you. Driving too fast – or too slow – all by yourself is certain to garner the once-over by an AGW.

If you do end up having to deal with an AGW – and it’s almost inevitable that you will have to deal with one because there are so many pretexts for AGWs to force us to deal with them, including random “papers, please” checkpoints – your goal is the same as Obi-Wan’s in the opening scene of the original Star Wars.

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

No Jedi mind tricks necessary. Just don’t make an unnecessarily big deal of it. And try to look like your car – bland, nondescript. Lots of tats and a King Tut beard will get you the extra attention you asked for. Again, it is unfortunate that we even have to consider appearing – and dressing – a certain way to avoid The Drill (and a possible Hut! Hut! Hutting!) but reality is real, even if it does bite.

A cleancut look – and a clean interior – will speed you on your way. A car interior filled with old coffee cups and other debris can be grounds for “suspicion” – the informal/not-lawful but just as enforceable basis for what the Germans used to call special handling.

Keep your hands visible, turn on the car’s interior light if it’s dark out. Wait for the AGW to eruct – and comply to the extent you can stomach without giving up important rights. Don’t argue with him over traffic violations or let him know how much you despise him for making you prove to his satisfaction that you aren’t “drunk” – in spite of zero reason to suspect you may be. Just give him your papers – and sign whatever papers he thrusts at you.

You may not have much chance winning the battle in court but you have no chance of winning it by the side of the road.

When not in your car, the same general rules apply. Try not to do anything that will draw the attention of an AGW – even if what you’re doing is legal. For example, open carrying, especially of scary-looking (to Clovers) rifles. It may be your right – and you shouldn’t have to truckle to illegal orders – but the reality is that if you walk around with an AR-15, it is almost certain some old biddy – or young Clover – will “express concern” and that is all it takes for an AGW to minister to you.

Maintain SA – situational awareness – at all times. Don’t cross a street when the “walk” light isn’t lit – even if it’s obviously safe to do so, because there are no cars around – unless you are sure there’s no armed government worker around.

If you see AGWs out, head in a different direction. Don’t approach them; tell your kids to avoid them. Shun them, socially and otherwise.

It’s sad that it’s come to this – but it’s come to this because they’re armed government workers. The work for the government, enforcing its laws. Our rights are as immaterial to them a copy of the works of Pythagoras are to a chicken.

Until this changes, keep your distance.

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Ah…the Catch-22: how to live a Goldilocks existence while on the road? Twice I got pulled over (about 4 months apart) making the same left-hand turn onto the street my home is on. First time, AGW said his suspicions were sparked because I “signaled too early” before entering the turn lane. Second time, AGW was suspicious because I didn’t signal at all. The intersection is a double left-hand turn, with a dedicated turn signal, and both times I was in the ‘left-left’. Shouldn’t it be obvious that I’m making a left turn??? That’s what gets my ire: a deviation or even following nearly any traffic law can be (mis)interpreted as cause for ‘suspicion”, all at the whim of the AGW. Granted, I do (highly) violate the ‘blend in rule’ with my ’10 Grabber Blue Mustang with a shaker hood and BOSS stripes. I stick out like a sore thumb’s sore thumb. LOL.

  2. Our local Sheriff once told me “we are as nice as they let us be”. In context he was saying that the deputies are trained to treat assholes as such and polite citizens as such. It goes without saying that these AGWs are out of control- but showing your ass at a traffic stop is a great way to complicate your life.

    My method of dealing with these front liners is to get involved with the power behind the front liners. I get to know the candidates for top cop and back the one I think can win. Because I took the time to know and help the elected official he takes my calls- and reacts to my concerns. One bonus is I have his cell phone number- and he made it clear that if I’m in a “situation” call him and he will help.

    The point is that the AGWs you encounter on the road are pawns. They have little authority and are programmed to react- not proact. MOst of them aren’t that bright and most of them deep down want to be liked. When you encounter them save yourself a lot of trouble and act like a gentleman. Get involved in local politics and you will be rewarded with results where it counts.

    Said another way: treat the cause, not the symptom.

    • “I get to know the candidates for top cop and back the one I think can win.”

      So you don’t support the best option, just brown-nose up to the one most likely to get the most votes ????

      Last election here, a pyscho deputy won by <50 votes over a write-in candidate* who seemed halfway reasonable. A year in, I'm surprised he hasn't murdered somebody yet. Or, maybe it's better now that he's tied down to a desk much of the time and not out on the street to harass the public?

      * No one runs for anything as a Democrat in this county anymore

  3. Make sure the entire interaction is recorded.

    Ask the cop to supply YOU with HIS identification and ask for his business card before you hand over any of your papers. Make sure to do so respectfully. If they refuse, ask why. *Make sure the entire interaction is recorded.*

    I have not been pulled over in nearly ten years now as I am old and drive a slow, bland car, but in my 150% of PSL days I got pulled over often. Few tickets though as when flipping through the wallet to get to my DL I always paused at the business card of another cop. Not sure why but almost always got a simple warning to slow down. I think the <90I.Q. cops assumed the card was from a cop I was friendly with and so extended the "friends and family" exception to the rules.

    There is another option too. Before handing over papers, talk and ask questions of the cop until he gets so tired and frustrated dealing with you that he sends you on your way just to end the annoying verbal diarrhea. I saw my friend do this once and the cop was becoming visibly agitated and flustered until he told us to go. No ticket.

    Not sure if any of this works today, especially in a America where they may just shoot you for annoying them. Canada cops are catching up but are still far less HUT! HUT! militarized, so far.

  4. “some will choose not to enforce the law sometimes”

    Actually, MOST of the time – unless it’s convenient or profitable. Too much bother arresting some old drug addict making death threats. Easier to just wait until there’s a dead body (doesn’t matter which one).

  5. Once a year I’d drive from Texas to Ohio via the Ozarks with either a pearl glow yellow 300ZX Turbo or my blue Lotus. Not only was the Ozarks drive fun, but the road was usually deserted during the day, which meant little to no cop presence. And in the few little towns, being a jerk in that sort of isolated environment will get you shunned much faster than a city. Lots of attention at the gas stations with the Lotus, never was hassled by the cops. That’s been nine years since I’ve made that trip; don’t know if it’s changed.

    When back on the Interstate, I’m in the flow of traffic or a bit below (but still comfortably above the speed limit).

    So take the back roads if you can.

    • But what is “being a jerk”?

      I’ve found that often “being a jerk” is not putting up with someone who is the actual jerk. Not allowing that person to have power over you or objecting to their jerk behavior.

  6. There is no “law” enforcement agency anywhere in the US that has protection of the public anywhere in its charter. Its the least of their concerns. Upon the first question asked, politely inform them that per advice of counsel you will not answer any questions, and you do not consent to the search of any person place or thing.

    • To which the immediate reply is, why the “ATTITUDE”?

      A lot of cops don’t give a fuck for your consent. If you refuse to answer, they will treat that as “obstructing” and either cuff you and put you in the back of the ‘squid car’, or do a “pain compliance” until you DO talk, preferably what they WANT to hear. If you refuse a search, then they play the “drug dog” game, and hold you there until the magic pooch arrives, whom always “alerts” that you’ve got the ashes of Jimmy Hoffa in your ride. Or, the “copper” just cuffs you anyway, sets your ass down on the curb, and tosses your ride anyhow. In all cases, you better have a recording going, being uploaded in real time so that “Ossifer Friendly” can’t delete it off your phone or just smash it altogether. Even so, unless the good officer has brazenly beaten the unholy tar out of you, and there are witnesses (hostile to him), if you lodge a complaint with his department, it will head straight to the “round file”, be assured.

      However your advice is exactly what any attorney worth his salt, as Justice Robert H. Jackson, whom was the Chief Prosecutor for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg, advised.

  7. And one other piece of advice: start your record on your phone and record the whole encounter. Be polite but don’t give them any confessions they are trained to get from you. Hand them your licence, Insurance extorsion certificate and registration and simply say; *I know you’re just doing your job Officer, but I don’t answer questions.”

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