Friday, May 31, 2013

Armed march on cop shop on a ticklish Santa Fe line

Armed gun enthusiasts plan to surround the Temple Police Department in a Saturday morning parade

Gun-Toting Oath Keepers on parade

Temple – An 18-wheeler hauling debris from the demolition site of a former municipal court building backed into an electrical transformer pole and left most of the downtown area of this burgeoning industrial and transportation hub in darkness.

That didn't do anything to soothe frayed nerves among city dads in this bustling railroad town situated on I-35, only a few miles from Ft. Hood, where Oath Keepers sworn to uphold the Constitution and to never participate in disarming American citizens plan to march around the gleaming new building that houses the Temple Police Department in a show of armed strength tomorrow morning, Saturday, June 1, starting at 10 a.m., at 212 S. Main Street.

Crews scrambled to repair the damage as men in mufti with a definite military bearing and demeanor fanned out on foot and bicycles along a 15-block parade route that circles the police department and various other power spots to scan the buildings, flower beds, dumpsters and parked vehicles for improvised explosive devices. They were impossible to miss.

Stickers on their cars told of special ops explosive ordnance units of SEALS, Rangers and other special ops outfits. They transmitted their infra red images to a task force officer sitting at a picnic table with a laptop.

The parade is sanctioned by the City of Temple, with police giving a somewhat grudging approval to a permit granted by the Department of Parks and Leisure following the arrest of a recently returned Master Sergeant named C.J. Grisham, a military blogger not known to shrink from controversy, who calls this place his home town.

Like many of his constitutionalist brethren, Sgt. Grisham espouses a limited, constitutional form of government that is contained by the enumerated and listed powers granted under the authority of the U.S. Constitution.

All this happened just at a time of a sudden and swift changing of the political guard amid hints of scandal and corruption. In this town at the confluence of the main stems that lead from Chicago and the Santa Fe lines to Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, as well as through the trans-Pecos hell country and Sonoran deserts to Los Angeles and Chihuahua's Big Bend, trains hump for all routes, and daily hundred-car-loads of petrochemicals, fuels and lubricants travel through from the Houston Ship Channel communities of Texas City, Baytown, Pasadena and Deer Park.
Materials Transport Corporation

It's the kind of town that serves as a king maker for people like former Mayor Bill Jones, who parlayed his Materials Transport Corporation from a rock-hauling trucking company into a forceful player in real estate, road building and the development of industrial and commercial hubs.

The constitutionalists, many of them in military middle management and recently returned from the fighting in multiple deployments during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, know a power vacuum when they see one.

They took the opportunity to chuck Jody on the shoulder on his way out as they filed back in from the foreign wars of long duration. Here is how it was done. C.J. Grisham went before the City Council to ask that a resolution espousing a strict construction of the Second Amendment be passed in favor of the absolute right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. Mayor Bill Jones and others turned him down - cold. They would have nothing to do with it.

That is when M/Sgt. Grisham took his stroll into history, his son by his side, on an Eagle Scout trek for the right to carry a long gun in public.The Temple Police Department responded to the complaint of a citizen upset by the spectacle of a man carrying a rifle.

According to Oath Keepers spokesmen such as Jay Stang, an Oathkeepers state chapter chairman for Texas, and Mike Vanderboegh, a three-percenter member of the patriot community who vow to stand up to the tyranny of any official who chooses to disarm a lawful citizen, it's high time to put their kind of candidates in office.

The quotient for political drama is high, and the stakes are even more of a caution. Like most cities in the agricultural black lands of Texas and the midwest, Temple has its share of fertilizer mixing facilities for ammonium nitrate, a highly volatile blasting agent when its state is changed due to heat or mixing it with petroleum distillates.
Feed, seed and fertilizer silos near parade route

The battle lines are drawn, and the stakes were never higher – because the dangers are as real as real can get.

On the one hand, a President and executive department bent on taking the weapons of war out of the hands of ordinary persons seems only too willing to suspend all the constitutional rules of search and seizure and due process of law in pursuit of that goal.

On the other, recently returned warriors, fresh from the fight, are reacting to the ham-fisted practices of police who insist that they, and they alone, are qualified to keep and bear arms.

It is a recurring theme in a horrific and nightmarish opera that has resounded through the American experience for the past 25 years – at Ruby Ridge, Waco, New York City, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Boston.

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