Elderly Vet’s Firearms Taken After Waitress Misheard Him
With all the talk of guns being taken away by the government, many have questions about how exactly those laws will work. Already we have “red flag” laws being given to local governments that are all too close to violating our Second Amendment rights.
For the left who support these laws, their standard response to our concern is “If you’re not a criminal, what’s the problem?” After all, it’s only the ones carrying out illegal behavior that need to be worried about it right?
But a recent case in Massachusetts is proving otherwise and causing many to be concerned that our rights have already been violated.
84-year-old Stephen Nichols of Tisbury, a small town in the Martha’s Vineyard area of Massachusetts, is a Korean War vet who has spent his life in service to his nation and community. After the war, he settled down with his wife, had some kids, and is now the proud grandfather to 11 little ones.
He is currently employed at the local school as a crossing guard, and according to two separate news outlets, LifeZette and the Martha’s Vineyard Times, he does this “because he loves kids” and “after his wife passed away, he… needed something to occupy his time and his heart.”
Before working as a crossing guard, Nichols was a court officer, a constable, and has served with the local Tisbury Police in supporting roles for over six decades. To say he was an upstanding member of the community is a complete understatement.
And yet, he has recently been relieved of his position as a crossing guard, his legal license to own firearms, and all of his legally owned guns.
The question is: Why? He must have done something pretty wrong to have such disciplinary actions taken against him, right?
Well, apparently, when he was having lunch with a friend in a local restaurant a few weeks back, he made a comment that happened to include the words “school” and “shoot.” A waitress overheard these words and immediately went to the police, who then visited Nichols, took his license and firearms, and told him he was no longer allowed to be employed by the school.
In light of recent and tragic events in schools in other parts of the nation, one would naturally be worried about hearing the two words in the same sentence. However, it is also important to note the context they are coming from.
As a crossing guard who is often on school grounds, Nichols had noticed that a school resource officer had begun leaving the school during the day to run errands or get coffee. Nichols was concerned about this behavior and, therefore, told his friend at the restaurant that he was worried that someone could easily come in and “shoot up the school” while the officer was out on one of his “coffee runs.”
However, the part about someone coming in and shooting up the school was the only part the waitress overheard. And rather than getting more information, she overreacted to ran to the police, who also overreacted.
The Martha’s Vineyard Times said, “Nichols said the waitress made a complaint to Tisbury Police about what she overheard and on the strength of that, (Police Chief Mark) Saloio and another officer relieved Nichols of his crossing guard duties while he was in the midst of performing them and subsequently drove to his home and took away his firearms license and guns.”
It would be perfectly acceptable if Nichols had indeed made a threat or refused to cooperate with law enforcement. But that wasn’t the case.
Instead, this beloved grandfather was treated as a criminal for merely voicing his concern for the lives of students who attended the school he works for, and likely the same institution where his grandchildren attend.
Furthermore, he wasn’t even charged or convicted of a crime. He wasn’t presented with warrants for the seizure of his license or firearms either, according to The Martha’s Vineyard Times. Nichols told them, “he (the officer) just told me to hand it over, so I took out my wallet and handed it to him.”
Nichols had been in possession of that license for firearms since 1958 and was known to never take any of his guns outside of the home.
Luckily his community has stood up for him and allowed him to get his job back. However, his license and guns may never be seen again if the left has their way.