Adam Kokesh

Libertarian Activist Adam Kokesh Gets Two Years Probation for Exercising His Freedom in Freedom Plaza

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The sad saga of anarcho-libertarian activist Adam Kokesh being arrested and tried for video of himself holding a verboten gun on federal property has ended not as bad as it could have for him, the Washington Post reports today, with two years probation–and a vow to abandon civil disobedience:

A D.C. Superior Court judge Friday placed Adam Kokesh, the Fairfax County gun-rights advocate, on two years of probation in connection with an Independence Day incident in which he videotaped himself loading a shotgun in Freedom Plaza, near the White House.

Kokesh, 31, spent nearly four months in D.C. jail after his arrest, but was released inNovember after he pleaded guilty to carrying a rifle or shotgun, possession of an unregistered firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition….

At his sentencing Friday, Kokesh spoke of his right to protest, but apologized for his actions.

"I protest because I believe it is everyone's right," he said, standing next to his attorney. "I made an error in judgement. I am here because I take responsibility. I will be happy to refrain from civil disobedience."…

Kokesh was facing a maximum of more than seven years in prison on all the charges…

Kokesh has to register as a gun offender…

Kokesh's own video from the courthouse. (I've been having problems with the audio on this, but maybe you won't.)

Reason on Kokesh.

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  1. Kokesh has to register as a gun offender

    Wait, what? This is a thing?

    1. Do you have to stay 500’+ from gun and sporting goods stores?

    2. That was my initial reaction too. What?

      1. It’s what happens in the Army when you mistake your carbine or rifle for your “gun”.

    3. Was the gun underage ?

      1. It said in the article he was videotaped loading a twelve guage. The sick freak. Urp. Now I’m not going to be able to eat dinner.

  2. “I made an error in judgement. I am here because I take responsibility. I will be happy to refrain from civil disobedience.”

    Way to prove your point vs. the man, Adam.

    1. For real.

      The guy was making a small career out of being a Anti-Government rabble rouser. I was never much of a fan of his M.O., but shared some of his broad sentiment. I’m pro-2A but think his grandstanding was fucking stupid. And tho I never liked him, I thought the heavy-handedness of the Law coming down on him was absurd to the extreme and completely unjust. I’m talking about the SWAT-team & helicopter bullshit… for an ‘offense’ ultimately warranting probation?

      And they didn’t even sentence him for 4months? WTF? I’m surprised more people weren’t going all Free Mumia on his behalf. It is a sadly typical example of capricious exercise of authority by government.

      That said = given his track record and his apparent desire to create a public fight with The Man… why he didn’t go balls out and fight this strikes me as pathetic. They were holding *7years* over his head?… for displaying a firearm in public? That’s so atrocious that I think it could be construed as ‘unusual punishment’, given his real crime was *anti-authoritarianism* in general…

      That he knuckled under in the end is particularly sad, really, especially in how the Police State never even has to defend publically their behavior in apprehending the guy.

      Wonder what Balko thinks of all this.

      1. I agree with him substantially, but he’s grating and bloviating. Part of that might be age, but rather than being able to talk about Mises and Block and all the material that generally interests ancaps, Kokesh is all about leading a parade and putting on an angry spectacle.

        He did a show with Molyneux and Tucker a while back. Every time Kokesh piped, I couldn’t help but cringe, and it was his own show.

        1. The Michael Moore of libertarianism.

      2. “That he knuckled under in the end is particularly sad”

        Maybe he was a poseur all along and finally got a chance to prove it.

  3. “One year ago,[NBC’s] David Gregory was let off the D.C. gun law hook

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2…..-law-hook/

  4. What if it were a small bomb?

    1. What if unicorns invaded?

      1. You’re the one treating guns as infused with magical rights dust rather than just being a form of a machine designed to tear human tissue apart.

        1. The 2nd amendment is magical! You heard it from Tony first!

        2. You’re the one treating guns as infused with magical rights dust the object of a specific provision of the Bill of Righs rather than just being a form of a machine designed to tear human tissue apart.

          Yeah. Yeah, we are.

          Plus, of course, our irritating resistance to prosecuting people for “crimes” that harm no one.

          1. They harm Tony’s delicate sensibilities.

            That’s enough to advocate throwing anyone in rapecages.

          2. I’m not sure the second amendment “victimless crime” thing really covers this particular situation on its own in that the second amendment is specific about the right to keep and bear arms being in the context of potentially having sudden need of “a well regulated militia,” and it is unclear to me, at least, what stance the amendment is taking on guys wandering around public squares with loaded shotguns.

            We would feel, for example, that we shouldn’t allow someone to wander around a public square with a running chainsaw, even if the guy was a really expert chainsaw wielder and would never hurt anyone. We wouldn’t think, however, to infringe on people’s rights to own chainsaws.

            On the other hand, what he was charged with DOES make it a second amendment issue since he was conspicuously NOT charged with public endangerment, seemingly, but with not having asked permission to own a gun and bullets, etc.

            1. and it is unclear to me, at least, what stance the amendment is taking on guys wandering around public squares with loaded shotguns.

              That would be the “bear” part of the right to keep and bear arms.

              1. But you’re ignoring the “well organized militia” part. In case of attack all people have a right to have arms and bear them, but I’m not convinced that this naturally extends to people walking around openly bearing loaded firearms any time any place.

                I think the default is that you can carry any weapon anywhere anytime, but I don’t think the second amendment forbids any particular city, say, from saying “you can’t pull out your loaded shotgun in the middle of a crowded public square.”

                1. The militia clause is a prefatory clause. It announces one purpose of the 2nd Amendment, but does not limit it to that. The historical evidence presented in Heller supports this interpretation.

                  1. The militia clause is a prefatory clause.

                    Exactly. It could say anything and not change the second part.

                  2. Did Heller involve public carrying of firearms? I thought it just concerned possession in the home, and that SCOTUS came down in favor of that being what the second amendment is about. Didn’t seem to have many implication for laws about possession of firearms outside the home, but I didn’t follow it that closely.

                    The first amendment doesn’t have a prefatory clause defining its purpose – why does this one, and why does it only specify exactly one if there are so many?

                    1. I thought it just concerned possession in the home, and that SCOTUS came down in favor of that being what the second amendment is about.

                      No, the law that was struck down in Heller merely dealt with possession in the home. But the finding in Heller was that the 2nd Amendment applies to federal enclaves and protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes. That’s why subsequent decisions have used it as precedent for striking down onerous bans on carrying weapons.

                      The first amendment doesn’t have a prefatory clause defining its purpose – why does this one, and why does it only specify exactly one if there are so many?

                      You would have to ask the person who wrote it. And why would they need to exhaustively list every use? That’s not how prefatory clauses work.

                    2. What is the traditionally lawful purpose of loading a shotgun in a public square?

                      As far as prefatory clauses, in my experience with law if you’re going to get specific, you need to get all the way specific. I.e. if you’re going to make a list that doesn’t say at the end “among other things,” then your list is finite.

                    3. What is the traditionally lawful purpose of loading a shotgun in a public square?

                      Carrying a loaded weapon was in and of itself traditionally lawful at the time.

                      if you’re going to make a list that doesn’t say at the end “among other things,” then your list is finite.

                      Not according to the men who wrote it, scholars, lawyers, and judges from the time of the Founding through the 19th century.

                    4. “Carrying a loaded weapon was in and of itself traditionally lawful at the time.”

                      Not inside walled cities.

                      There were also men who wrote it, scholars, lawyers and judges from the time of the founding through now that have argued all kinds of different things.

                      What was the reasoning presented for why the 2nd does not permit local authorities from banning live firearms from crowded public places?

                    5. Not inside walled cities.

                      Do you have a citation for this?

                    6. Not at hand, but it was always standard practice of walled cities all the way through at least the 18th century to permit only certain people to bear arms inside them. Any old well researched book having to do with early modern cities would be bound to mention it somewhere.

                      These were the days, though, when cities operated pretty independently and made their own laws that didn’t apply outside their walls.

                      To me it seems like the Bill of Rights is really all about navigating that tension between the legal needs of a densely populated city vs. less densely populated networks of smaller agricultural communities, and wanted to refrain from making one law for the lion and the ox, so to speak.

                    7. And again, to clarify, I’m not saying there is an inherent law against loading a shotgun in a public square, I’m suggesting that in a densely populated urban area the 2nd doesn’t prohibit the local government from passing an ordnance banning loaded weapons from crowded public squares.

                2. I don’t think the second amendment forbids any particular city, say, from saying “you can’t pull out your loaded shotgun in the middle of a crowded public square.”

                  Based on what?

                  1. Based on that it doesn’t say, for example, “congress shall pass no law regarding people’s right to carry arms in public in time of peace.” It has something very specific to say, which to me tends to narrow, rather than broaden, its intentions.

                    Again, not saying that it outlaws guns or anything, just saying that I’m not personally convinced that it means that I can just wander around anywhere I want any time with a loaded gun in my hand.

                    1. “congress shall pass no law regarding people’s right to carry arms in public in time of peace.” It has something very specific to say, which to me tends to narrow, rather than broaden, its intentions.

                      I don’t know where you’re getting this distinction between peacetime and wartime. The Amendment makes no such reference.

                    2. Other than the reference to militias, which are inherently about resolving conflicts violently. I didn’t say anything wartime – just conflict.

                    3. Other than the reference to militias, which are inherently about resolving conflicts violently. I didn’t say anything wartime – just conflict.

                      Okay, now you’re just being pedantic. Change the word “wartime” to “times of conflict” and my point still stands. It places no restrictions on when arms may be possessed and carried.

                    4. I’m talking about crimes, riots, gangs of vandals, brawling neighbors, people trying to steal your stuff, etc. Arms and militias needn’t necessarily always be about wartime. What I’m saying is that there are situations in which one needs a gun, and there are situations in which one doesn’t really need a gun. We might refer to the latter situation as one “of peace.”

                    5. is there some rash of people walking about with shotguns over their shoulders and visible sidearms that I have not heard about? Because that appears a theme here.

                    6. There’s the guy who got arrested for loading a shotgun in a public square. You may have read about him.

                    7. so, an epidemic then.

        3. a form of a machine designed to tear human tissue apart

          And the mechanical properties of human tissue are different from other animals’ tissue how exactly?

        4. You’re the one treating guns as infused with magical rights dust rather than just being a form of a machine designed to tear human tissue apart.

          Um, no. You’re the one treating guns as special. When it comes to ownership rights, I view guns the same as I view a bottle of orange juice.

        5. You’re the one treating guns as infused with magical rights dust rather than just being a form of a machine designed to tear human tissue apart.

          You’re the one with a totemic fear of a few pieces of machined metal. An irrational animist like you accusing others of magical thinking is comical.

    2. What if you WEREN’T an asshole?

    3. What if it were a small bomb?

      You know, like a shotgun shell?

      1. Or a firecracker.

    4. Or a five-gallon gas can. Or, God save us, 2 150-gallon gas tanks attached to a 10-ton killing machine capable of achieving speeds in excess of 90 mph. You can convert that to km yourself.

      This world sure is a dangerous and frightening place.

    5. What if he were hit by a bus and got pregnant?

    6. A small bomb? Like with a pressure cooker perhaps?

      Good thing those are just machines designed to cook soup or else you might be able to hurt somebody with them.

      1. Soup never hurt nobody!

    7. What if it were a small bomb?

      It wasn’t. Nice subject change.

    8. What if it were a unicorn horn, or a photon torpedo?

  5. and a vow to abandon civil disobedience

    Something something redress of grievances.

  6. I found this whole episode disappointing.

    It’s one thing to engage in civil disobedience that will be a catalyst for change. But this sort of thing doesn’t do that. The system is well versed in grinding down people for this sort of violation, does it all the time, and it will not create outrage.

    So it becomes a pointless exercise.

    Worse, it gives the hoplophobes an excuse to pump out more propaganda to alarm people.

    I don’t have a suggestion as to what Mr Kokesh should be doing. Just that he shouldn’t pull anymore of these stunts.

    1. Agreed. There are ways to be smart and strategic. Kokesh was neither smart nor strategic. He stood like the man on Tiananmen Square and was run over by a tank.

    2. “I don’t have a suggestion as to what Mr Kokesh should be doing”

      I do. He should spend more time online. That’s where the real battles are being won.
      Winning hearts and minds: it’s not just for Mohammedans any more.

  7. Speaking of activists. I LOVE these guys!

    ‘Robin Hoods’ who feed parking meters are hit with lawsuit in New Hampshire

    Robin Hood

    Activists in Keene have been “Robin Hooding” for years now. (Here are all our Robin Hood related posts.) The purpose is to rescue motorists like you from being ticked by Keene’s “parking enforcers”. If your meter is expired, Robin Hood and the Merry Men and Women will place a coin into the meter to extend your time, presuming we reach the meter before the King’s enforcers. If a “parking enforcer” is on the street, the Merry Men and Women will usually be seen walking directly in front of him/her and check and feed meters before the enforcer.

    The text of the note that they leave on each car they rescue:

    Your meter expired!
    However, we saved you from the king’s tariff!
    -Robin Hood & The Merry Men

    1. The city of Keene says its three parking inspectors have been taunted, insulted and followed by the group ? to the point that one of them says he has suffered heart palpitations and is thinking about quitting his job.

      One of the inspectors, Linda Desruisseaux, said that one of the six liked to taunt her by saying, “Linda, guess what you’re not going to do today ? write tickets.”

      If the meter deserves get a safety zone, then so should my car.

      1. No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

      2. You really can’t get more of an NH name than “Linda Desruisseaux”.

        1. I have seen many punchworthy faces, but never a punchworthy name. Before today.

          1. Are you angered by French Canadian things or something?

            1. I was just thinking he doesn’t like the Lindas of the world.

              1. My mother? Let me tell you about my mother…

      3. I don’t understand why Linda is upset at all. Wouldn’t her job be easier if she didn’t have to write as many tickets?

        Unless she has a quota to fill that impacts her bonus.

      4. “Linda, guess what you’re not going to do today ? write tickets.”

        My God! Those monsters!

    2. Gotta love those wacky Keene anarchists.

  8. I guess the government prefers uncivil disobedience.

  9. “I made an error in judgement. I am here because I take responsibility. I will be happy to refrain from civil disobedience.”…

    Sounds like Adam has won the victory over himself.

      1. I saw a great one liner today on a CNN comment board:

        Our government is so inefficient it took them till 2014 to get to 1984.

  10. +1 bullet in the brain

  11. That sucks. But I’d probably say just about anything too if I had 7 years hanging over my head for bullshit.

    I like the guy based on what I’ve seen of him, especialy his “occupy” coverage, but I haven’t seen all that much, so I won’t argue with those here who seem to think he’s a bit of a dope.

    1. Yeah, but if you didn’t want to have 7 years hanging over your head, I would think a more prudent strategy would be not to perform grandstanding stunts that were guaranteed to bring the heat down on your ass.

      1. Of course, maybe he saw what happened with David Gregory and figured that in DC you were allowed to perform stupid grandstanding stunts *without* the heat coming down on your ass.

      2. Kokesh didn’t think it thru well, but don’t blame the victim.

  12. After his release:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df0SFAlwuMM

    Adam Kokesh and Stefan Molyneux debate the best way to advance the cause of freedom, increase human liberty and end the tyranny of the state. Political Action, Civil Disobedience, Peaceful Parenting or something else: What is the best method?

  13. Does anyone really think Kokesh means exactly what he says?

    This is simply politicians insisting a man lie because they are so used to hearing lies that hearing the truth would give them upset stomach.

    1. He’s just saying what the government lawyers want him to say to avoid going to prison. I’d do the same thing.

      1. Yep. Hardly any of us have the genius of Snowden. I know a guy (barely) who was sentenced to 3 years and his employer was so desperate for his programming services they were able to get him out after 9 months. The employer was quite connected and the “crime” was non-violent contempt of cop. And from what I know of the guy, I don’t think he was all that excited about getting out early, I think he was somewhat enjoying watching the government waste its money.

  14. Wait, Koresh is alive? I thought they capped that fucker back in Waco.

  15. I like Kokesh. The guy has tremendous potential as a speaker. He’s done some of the best firey pro-liberty speeches that I have ever heard. He’s just young and needs to think a little more.

    Gun offender, my fucking ass. Fuck the government, Kokesh has never harmed anyone.

    1. I think he’s pretty good for the movement. We need more firebrands and less circle jerking philosophers.

      1. You mean you think he ‘was’ good for the movement. A firebrand he is no more.

  16. The problem with Kokesh and Snowden is that there are not enough of them. But I call it a good start.

    When there are a few Snowdens and Kokeshes, the government will remain arrogant and above the concerns of the people.

    When there are millions of Snowdens and Kokeshes, the government will fear the people as our founders intended.

    1. Do you know why there aren’t millions of Snowdens?

      It’s the same reason why a soldier with one bullet in a bolt-action rifle can keep 50 POWs without any problem from them. Those 50 POWs could easily jump that man and steal his rifle away, but they don’t because everyone of them knows that the first one of them that gets up and rushes at the soldier is getting killed.

  17. late to the party and while not a huge fan of civil disobedience, the guy traded a huge chunk of his free speech rights for a get-out-of-jail card. Is that how it’s going work now? “Give up a right, we’ll let you walk.” Ends well. No doubt.

    1. Let me see if I got this straight. The government violates the constitution when they arrest this man for practicing his constitutional rights, and then threaten with 7 years in prison if he didn’t agree to give up his constitutional rights.

      So basically they violate this man’s constitutional rights to force him to agree that it’s ok for them to violate his constitutional rights.

  18. He had national attention after getting arrested dancing at the memorial. The next show with potentially 1000s of new people tuning in, he compares park police trying to protect him to nazis trying to protect Jews. Sigh. A little nuance, a little class, and keeping it positive instead of paranoid he could have reached someone over 30.

    That said, I blame him not for saying whatever he’s got to say to get out. Prison sucks balls, not just for the inmate but for their families and friends. May not be good for his career but martyrdom just isn’t for everybody. And he can always just say he lied when he gets the inkling. But he’ll have to wait 2 years if he wants to do it near DC.

  19. Sounds like daddy jo jo is not going to like this at all.

    http://www.AnonPlanet.tk

  20. He gazed up at the enormous ‘Hope’ poster. Thirty-one years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath his dark complexion. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Obama.

  21. Its a good news that he got time to do exercise as it will help him out.
    jumper’s knee

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