Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If You Think They Won’t Seize Your Guns…

 

Unbelievable. Stephen Nichols, an 84-year-old Korean War veteran who served on the Tisbury, MA, police force for 60 years has had his firearms seized. Here’s what happened:

He was eating breakfast in the local diner, Linda Jean’s, when he commented to a friend that the school resource officer was often seen leaving school in the mornings. When he’d investigated it, he found out that the resource officer at Tisbury school was leaving — after children were present — to get himself a coffee at the Xtra Mart nearby.

Nichols pointed out that anything could happen while the school security guard was gone. He said that somebody could come in and shoot up the school while the guard was gone. Nichols described the situation as the school guard ‘leaving his post.’

And that’s it, folks. A dangerous, violent threat.

A waitress overheard the conversation and called the Tisbury Police Department, and the Police chief and another officer arrived and told Mr. Nichols to get into their police car; they took him to his home where they confiscated his guns. They have taken away his gun license, which he’s had since 1958. He’s been fired from his job as a crossing guard. Nichols was told that he could have been charged with a felony for what he said, but that he wouldn’t be.

After confiscating his guns, they didn’t give him a receipt for them, although Nichols’ son-in-law, who owns a gun shop, has been told he can take possession of the guns and sell them. Mr. Nichols has 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He was quoted as saying, “I would never, ever, ever, harm a child.”

I hope he gets a very, very good lawyer. Beto O’Rourke should be proud.

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There are 97 comments.

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  1. MarciN Member

    Tisbury is on Martha’s Vineyard.

    I’m glad to see he is getting so much support.

    • #1
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Having grown up in New England and emigrating to free America, I’ve noticed that some non-trivial portion of law enforcement in many anti-guns states (eg.: NY, NJ, Mass) positively takes delight in screwing law abiding citizens over gun issues. They put more effort into this than they do into shutting down actual bad actors. I really don’t understand it other than as a pure exercise of power. 

    Then again: why would citizens of the town put up with it? That police chief should be looking for a job, but I bet he’s not concerned in the least. 

    • #2
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:18 AM PST
    • 24 likes
  3. MarciN Member

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Having grown up in New England and emigrating to free America, I’ve noticed that some non-trivial portion of law enforcement in many anti-guns states (eg.: NY, NJ, Mass) positively takes delight in screwing law abiding citizens over gun issues. They put more effort into this than they do into shutting down actual bad actors. I really don’t understand it other than as a pure exercise of power.

    Then again: why would citizens of the town put up with it? That police chief should be looking for a job, but I bet he’s not concerned in the least.

    I completely agree with this. 

    • #3
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:19 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Percival Thatcher

    If the crossing guard has noticed a hole in your security, doesn’t it stand to reason that anyone else with even modest powers of observation has noticed too?

    Smooth move, Tisbury PD. Buy the resource officer a thermos.

    • #4
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:22 AM PST
    • 22 likes
  5. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Read this article. Complete profiles in cowardice by: police chief, town council, and school administration. Penalties for behavior: 0.0

    https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/10/14/stephen-nichols-reinstated-crossing-guard/

    • #5
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:24 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Percival (View Comment):
    If the crossing guard has noticed a hole in your security, doesn’t it stand to reason that anyone else with even modest powers of observation has noticed too?

    You’re being way too rational, Percival!

    • #6
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:29 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    If the crossing guard has noticed a hole in your security, doesn’t it stand to reason that anyone else with even modest powers of observation has noticed too?

    You’re being way too rational, Percival!

    It hurts when I stop.

    • #7
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:29 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Read this article. Complete profiles in cowardice by: police chief, town council, and school administration. Penalties for behavior: 0.0

    https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/10/14/stephen-nichols-reinstated-crossing-guard/

    That’s exactly how I see it, @tex929rr. Nichols should get more than just his guns back.

    • #8
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:33 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Barfly Member

    Back in April, Colorado’s governor Jared Polis signed our new red frag law. It goes into effect next year, but I think there are legal challenges under way.

    • #9
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:43 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Back in April, Colorado’s governor Jared Polis signed our new red fag law. It goes into effect next year, but I think there are legal challenges under way.

    @barfly, I think you meant red flag law. But maybe not . . .

    • #10
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:45 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Back in April, Colorado’s governor Jared Polis signed our new red fag law. It goes into effect next year, but I think there are legal challenges under way.

    The act appropriates $119,392 from the general fund to the judicial department for court costs, jury costs, and court-appointed counsel costs.

    They may be spending more than that to cover all the lawsuits . . .

    • #11
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:47 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. EODmom Coolidge

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Read this article. Complete profiles in cowardice by: police chief, town council, and school administration. Penalties for behavior: 0.0

    https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/10/14/stephen-nichols-reinstated-crossing-guard/

    The Chief is new, there’s been shuffling and re-shuffling of officers in the PD and the Town has a long history of genuine mismanagement in all matters great and small. The PD is included in this and has public and publicized problems with personnel. Too much dysfunction to catalogue, but locals’ suspicion is that the Chief was looking for a reason to 1. dismiss the Crossing Guard (he’s an Old Guy friend of previous Chief) and 2. take his weapons. There are Island insiders galore and washashores and lots of spending of Others Peoples’ Money @drbastiat in the form of non-resident 2nd home taxpayers’ property taxes. And no accountability. Read the letters to the editor for a rich flavour.

    • #12
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:50 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  13. Barfly Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Back in April, Colorado’s governor Jared Polis signed our new red fag law. It goes into effect next year, but I think there are legal challenges under way.

    @barfly, I think you meant red flag law. But maybe not . . .

    Oh dear. A Kinsleyan slip, I assure you. I’ll fix it.

    • #13
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:54 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Read this article. Complete profiles in cowardice by: police chief, town council, and school administration. Penalties for behavior: 0.0

    https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/10/14/stephen-nichols-reinstated-crossing-guard/

    The Chief is new, there’s been shuffling and re-shuffling of officers in the PD and the Town has a long history of genuine mismanagement in all matters great and small. The PD is included in this and has public and publicized problems with personnel. Too much dysfunction to catalogue, but locals’ suspicion is that the Chief was looking for a reason to 1. dismiss the Crossing Guard (he’s an Old Guy friend of previous Chief) and 2. take his weapons. There are Island insiders galore and washashores and lots of spending of Others Peoples’ Money @drbastiat in the form of non-resident 2nd home taxpayers’ property taxes. And no accountability. Read the letters to the editor for a rich flavour.

    It boggles the mind when things are so dysfunctional to see people closing ranks and stating that everything’s just fine. In this case, I wonder if anyone who is covering their “backs” has considered the fact that Mr. Nichols was concerned with the safety of the children? Nah, probably not . . . thanks for filling in the picture, @eodmom.

    • #14
    • October 17, 2019, at 10:55 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I am on a fair amount of the NRA and gun rights sites. This type of thing happen regularly. Now with the red flag laws they can even take your guns if somebody in your family is considered an issue. Sure you may get them back but you have to spend a bunch of money fighting and usually by the time you do get a judge to give the guns back most will be “lost” or in one case I heard about the police department disassembling all the guns and returning them in a box.

    This is one of the reason I do not believe law enforcement will be there for us when the 2nd falls. They will be the takers and the killers.

    • #15
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:03 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  16. Percival Thatcher

    Give the guns back to the old duffer, and put the confiscators under the Barney Fife Rules of Engagement — one live round kept in a shirt pocket until Anje tells them it’s time to load up.

    • #16
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:09 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Barfly Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am on a fair amount of the NRA and gun rights sites. This type of thing happen regularly. Now with the red flag laws they can even take your guns if somebody in your family is considered an issue. Sure you may get them back but you have to spend a bunch of money fighting and usually by the time you do get a judge to give the guns back most will be “lost” or in one case I heard about the police department disassembling all the guns and returning them in a box.

    This is one of the reason I do not believe law enforcement will be there for us when the 2nd falls. They will be the takers and the killers.

    I think it’ll depend on where one lives. Here in Old Colorado, a number of counties have declared themselves 2A sanctuaries. (The Front Range, Denver and its environs, have the votes, however.) Any national compromise on 2A would be particularly dangerous for reasons of legal balkanization alone.

    Although it occurs to me that sanctuaries for illegal immigrants haven’t led to open conflict. I think I expect the left to get violent if counties ignore their will and the laws they like, but not the right.

    • #17
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:15 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. EODmom Coolidge

    It boggles the mind when things are so dysfunctional to see people closing ranks and stating that everything’s just fine. In this case, I wonder if anyone who is covering their “backs” has considered the fact that Mr. Nichols was concerned with the safety of the children? Nah, probably not . . . thanks for filling in the picture, @eodmom.

    This incident is really just symptomatic of what often happens in small isolated, insular communities. MV is perhaps the most liberal enclave – maybe outside of Palo Alto, CA – that I have personal knowledge of. Because of the extreme disparity between the have unbelievably a lot and the don’t have near as much, it’s a really distorted environment. (And then there are the Trustifarians whose family had the foresight to buy really long ago or just long ago, but who now don’t have much at all but want to live like they always did…) Some have power, most have simply relinquished it to someone they thought they trusted to “do the right thing” when it’s usually just about the power. It’s really small enough that no one outside pays much attention and at the same time it’s hard to make enough change to make a difference. I’ve told friends to vote for someone different (non-residents of course don’t get to vote, although they are considering allowing illegals to….) to get something changed, and they always say – Anyone else would be just the same. Given the composition of the voting demographic that may be true. 

    • #18
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:22 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I am on a fair amount of the NRA and gun rights sites. This type of thing happen regularly.

    I didn’t realize that this happens so frequently, @fakejohnjanegalt. The problem is that enough people don’t even know it’s happening; I’m sure the MSM doesn’t talk about it. And everyone just laughs at Beto; I certainly don’t. Thank for your adding to the specifics.

    • #19
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Read this article. Complete profiles in cowardice by: police chief, town council, and school administration. Penalties for behavior: 0.0

    https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/10/14/stephen-nichols-reinstated-crossing-guard/

    Read the story and he DID NOT get his guns back. Another reason not to live in Taxachusetts.

    • #20
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    Read the story and he DID NOT get his guns back. Another reason not to live in Taxachusetts.

    If they ever return his guns (and it will probably take a lawsuit), I would consider a new place to live.

    • #21
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:28 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    This is one of the reason I do not believe law enforcement will be there for us when the 2nd falls. They will be the takers and the killers.

    Fortunately, all my guns were lost in a tragic canoe accident.

    • #22
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  23. Percival Thatcher

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    This is one of the reason I do not believe law enforcement will be there for us when the 2nd falls. They will be the takers and the killers.

    Fortunately, all my guns were lost in a tragic canoe accident.

    Huh … that’s funny. They were here a minute ago …

    • #23
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:37 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. EHerring Coolidge

    Didn’t we learn anything with the abuse after law enforcement was allowed to confiscate property in the name of the war on drugs? 

    • #24
    • October 17, 2019, at 11:56 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  25. Barfly Member

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Didn’t we learn anything with the abuse after law enforcement was allowed to confiscate property in the name of the war on drugs?

    Yeah, we learned it was an efficient way for police departments and entire municipalities to enrich themselves by ignoring citizens’ rights to property and the protection of law and due process. 

    • #25
    • October 17, 2019, at 12:02 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  26. Stad Thatcher

    Tex929rr (View Comment):
    Having grown up in New England and emigrating to free America, I’ve noticed that some non-trivial portion of law enforcement in many anti-guns states (eg.: NY, NJ, Mass) positively takes delight in screwing law abiding citizens over gun issues.

    In most parts of the country, the rank and file would say, “You do it, Chief!” if ordered to take away people’s guns . . .

    • #26
    • October 17, 2019, at 1:00 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Barfly (View Comment):
    Yeah, we learned it was an efficient way for police departments and entire municipalities to enrich themselves by ignoring citizens’ rights to property and the protection of law and due process. 

    I think you’re right, @barfly. We have to continue to be vigilant if we want to maintain our rights.

    • #27
    • October 17, 2019, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Stad Thatcher

    By the way, doesn’t it seem funny when you compare Robert Francis O-Rourke’s “People will obey the law” comment to the Federal “Do Not Call” list? I just want to grab him by the lapels, shake him and say, “Dude! Lawbreakers don’t care about laws!”

    • #28
    • October 17, 2019, at 1:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Doug Watt Member

    Electing the right county sheriff is a necessity. As crazy as Oregon is it is still a shall issue state. Permits are issued by the county sheriff. A few years ago the Oregonian stated that they were going to file a FOIA lawsuit to obtain the names of CHL holders in Oregon. The response from Sheriff’s throughout the state was you can file all the lawsuits you like we are not going to provide that information.

    I suspect the response would be the same in Idaho, Wyoming, eastern Washington, Nevada, with possibly the exception of Las Vegas. Arizona, Texas. California might meet resistance from rural counties. New Mexico might be more problematic. Apologies to anyone’s state that I left out.

    The majority of rank and file police officers, as well as county deputies are supporters of the Second Amendment.

    It is rather dismaying that most of the original colonies that revolted against the British have now surrendered the most basic right that ensures they keep the rest of their hard earned rights.

    • #29
    • October 17, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  30. Barfly Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    The majority of rank and file police officers, as well as county deputies are supporters of the Second Amendment.

    But the higher echelons are not, or at least that’s how it seems. What’s your sense of 2A sentiment among midlevel and senior police? And how will that shake out at crisis time – will the majority of the rank and file follow orders, will they passively resist, or will they defend the armed citizenry?

    • #30
    • October 17, 2019, at 1:30 PM PST
    • 2 likes
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