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.
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.
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