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What would happen if you threw a stand-off with Law Enforcement and nobody came?
Well, that is exactly the case with Trinidad resident, John Joe Gray, and his family. John Gray, a self-stylized “free man standing” and “sovereign citizen” has been in a self-imposed prison since he was charged with two counts of felony assault according to Texas Public Corruption. This following an altercation with DPS in Anderson County. He and another were pulled over where authorities found Anti-government pamphlets and references to setting off a bomb on a highway overpass near Dallas.
When Troopers demanded the men step out of the vehicle, a scuffle ensued when Gray allegedly reached for the sidearm of one of the Troopers.
An Anderson County grand jury indicted him on two felony counts – assaulting a public servant and taking a peace officer’s weapon.
A family on the lamb
For more than 18 years, John Joe Gray and his country clan have been holed up inside their own private prison, a 50-acre strip of Trinity River bottomland about 100 miles southeast of Fort Worth in Henderson County. He has not left the property in over 18 years.
He has repeatedly stated that he will not be taken alive, the family warned officials to “bring extra body bags,” if they come for him.
In a twist, authorities do not seem to care. They have not had an active presence at his ranch in several years. According to the sheriff, he does not see dealing with these self-proclaimed “sovereign citizens” worth the potential harm to his deputies.
In fact, back in December 2014, the charges against him were dropped by the outgoing District Attorney.
According to law enforcement, they are as the Sheriff stated, “He actually could walk out tomorrow and be a free man. We ain’t got nothing to arrest him for. He’s no longer a fugitive.”
According to the family, they claim the reason they are still holed up on their ranch is, “We can’t believe anything they say, and we can’t believe anything y’all reporters say.”
At least that is the story they are giving. According to other reports, the family owes $34,618 in taxes.
They are willing to start another standoff should law enforcement move to seize his ranch.
In other words, they consider themselves above the law.
Sovereign Citizens are a Scourge, Joe Gray is no Different
I know that I anger many of my conservative friends when I talk about the problems the right leaning are bringing. However, I am not talking about most conservatives.
I am talking usually about the far Reich Wing that is growing more vocal with each passing day. The side that hates any law that they do not like, that considers brute force the answer to all problems. The ones that are a drain on our society.
Sovereign Citizens are a prime example. They do not mind being the beneficiaries of America’s wealth and prosperity, but shirk their obligation to support it.
The simple fact of the matter is that these are people that feel entitled to what they have or want, they are the ultimate “welfare queens.”
Time and time again on youtube, you can see sovereign citizens cherry pick laws, and terminology when they are pulled over by law enforcement. They have no problem with driving a car, but feel they do not need to obey traffic laws. If you were to ask many, they talk about a violent uprising against the government. Many actually long for that armed revolt.
As we saw recently with such people as Cliven Bundy (who had run up a seven figure tab of fines since 1993), who take up arms against the government when they do not get their way. In that standoff there were these wackos pointing firearms at Law Enforcement.
I want to say they are misguided people, and I think a vast majority of them are. I hope that the majority have just seen Youtube videos and conspiracy sites that spin an interesting lie. As Carl Sagan once said, “People prefer a reassuring lie to the truth.”
I want to be able to say that a reasonable discussion can convince them that they are in the wrong. And for some it probably is possible. But for a crazed group, they are not interested in common sense. Nor do they want to hear anything that could prove them wrong.
But, I think they know they are in the wrong, and just do not care.
The basic truth to the matter is that you and I, as citizens of the United States, have a social contract with our fellow citizens. The Constitution and the laws coming from it are the enforcement of that contract. We choose representatives to enforce that contract.
We cannot cherry pick the laws we want and ignore the rest. If we do not like a law, we have the ability and right to protest, and to support candidates for office that will repeal them.
Unfortunately, the soveriegn citizen feels himself above that.
They end up being a scourge on our society. A burden. A waste of resources.
In my opinion, there is little difference between a Sovereign Citizen and a ISIS fighter. They both want to topple Western Civilization and must be stopped.