YouTube Fashion Police: Valente Gonzalez Should Be Tossed in a Cage for Wearing a Kilt
By: Shane Radliff
December 23rd, 2015
On August 18th of this year, I posted a video excerpt of Open Carry Texas (OCT) member, Valente Gonzalez, in a confrontation with police extortionists. Soon after, my preconceived beliefs were confirmed: sensationalism “sells”. Within 24 hours, the view count exceeded any of my other videos, and within 48 hours, that video surpassed my previous total lifetime channel views.
Although, with that came the anti-intellectual, hate-filled commenters that, I would presume, YouTube viewers are all far too familiar with. When I posted the video, I mentioned in the description that the character in the video was not me and that all credit goes to Mr. Gonzalez and OCT; I thought that would clear me, but I was mistaken. Not only are these lunatics unable to formulate a logical, rational argument, but apparently they are illiterate as well. That being said, the initial flow of comments were directed at me. One of the first ones read:
And you can see from the boilerplate response, this is how I initially rebutted these folks. After 20 or so comments like that one, I decided to put up a banner on the YouTube video and nip this thing in the bud once and for all.
But, as you could expect, that strategy was ineffective as well, and things escalated quite rapidly. I would occasionally read some of the comments that were posted, but the statist authoritarianism shone so brightly, that I gave up on it for some time.
That being said, a couple of days ago, I decided to read some of the newest comments and look at the ones that were in the spam folder awaiting approval. That lead me to where I am now, with the idea of writing an article examining the most atrocious and most frequent type of comments left on the aforementioned video.
But, before I do that, I’d like to provide a brief summary of what happened in the video, as well as an examination into a couple of legal issues that were brought up.
As I mentioned, Valente Gonzalez is a member of OCT, and in this video, he’s casually exercising his right to carry, while wearing a kilt, when he is stopped by a pair of police extortionists. The officer begins by threatening Gonzalez to “cooperate”. Gonzalez responds by stating that he doesn’t consent to questioning. The officer proceeds to make a couple of atrocious comments, like, “You can try this Constitutional crap all you want, but I got news for ya, okay? I’m part of that 3% that you’re trying to represent…” The officer also states that Gonzalez is walking around on “his streets.”
Automatically, there is a problem here; this police extortionist called the document that he swore an oath to uphold as “crap”. Additionally, the cop actually had the audacity to claim that he was a member of the Three Percenters (aka, 3%ers), just after making that previous statement regarding the Constitution. Now, I don’t like the “paper cage” or the 3%ers (for reasons stated in Jumping the Minarchist Ship: Why & How America Came to Be) but I feel those two points are at least worth a mention.
Then, the friendly neighborhood extortionist requested identification from Gonzalez. Gonzalez responded by saying that he doesn’t have his photo ID, and soon discovers that he is being detained. The cop gets frustrated, as without identification, they are unable to determine whether Gonzalez is a felon or not, and if he is able to carry the rifle legally. Fast forward 20 minutes later, and Gonzalez has his rifle returned and he goes on his merry way.
- Educate all Texans about their right to openly carry rifles, shotguns, and black powder revolvers in a safe manner;
- Condition Texans to feel safe around law-abiding citizens that choose to open carry;
- Encourage our elected officials to pass less restrictive open carry legislation;
- Foster a cooperative relationship with law enforcement in the furtherance of these goals with an eye towards preventing negative encounters.
To an anarchist, some of that terminology is cringe-worthy, but that’s neither here nor there. Putting aside the blatant reformism, OCT is certainly breaking new ground in terms of their method, which are known as “open carry walks,” yet I think enough time has passed where anyone who reviews their footage can come to their own conclusions as to the efficacy of such open carry walks.
So, what about the legality of open carry in Texas?
Well, it’s commonly known in Texas that there are no laws on the books restricting the open carry of long guns, such as rifles & shotguns, or of antique firearms, like black powder revolvers. The open carry of handguns, on the other hand, is still illegal, pursuant to Art. I § 23 of the 1876 Texas constitution, but only until January 1st, 2016, due to HB 910 signed by Gov. Greg Abbot. The only caveat regarding the legality, is that if the firearm is displayed in a manner “calculated to cause alarm”, then it is disorderly conduct; but, then again, Gonzalez had his hands off of the rifle and it was down at his side. In other words, he wasn’t carrying the rifle in the “ready” position as the officer did, much less aiming his sights at anyone. Gonzalez was completely within his rights and wasn’t violating any arbitrary mala prohibita violations. To put it bluntly, the anti-constitutional “Three Percenter” was acting under color of law, which by definition, is illegal.
There was also another issue regarding legality in the comments section, and it was about Gonzalez’s decision to leave his identification at home. According to Texas Penal Code 38.02(b):
“(b) A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has:
(1) lawfully arrested the person;
(2) lawfully detained the person; or
(3) requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.”
So, was Gonzalez required to show identification? Well, it is true he was being detained, but according to the statute, he would only be in violation if he lied about his identity; he didn’t provide it at all. Hence, the reason he was able to go home a “free” man.
With all that being said and the legality of Gonzalez’s actions vindicated, let’s return to the YouTube comments and see if that is really of concern to those joining in on the discussion. It’s worth a mention that there is some overlap in some of the following categories, meaning, if a comment had both a pro-gun control and pro-cop stance, it would fall into both. Additionally, there were a number of comments that didn’t fit into the selected categories and there were also some duplicates that won’t be included into this data set.
Before moving forward, I’d first like to state that as of December 21st, there were 715 comments. Any comments made after the 21st will not be factored in, obviously.
These are the categories I have opted to use, along with the criteria for each:
- Kilt: any comment referencing the kilt
- Kilt/jail: any comment stating that Gonzalez should be locked up for simply wearing a kilt
- Legal: anytime someone says that Gonzalez didn’t have to provide identification, that open carry is legal in Texas, or anytime someone provided an actual legal citation
- Illegal: any comment that implies open carry is illegal, or that Gonzalez was required to provide identification
- Ad hominems: anytime someone avoids an intellectual conversation and reverts to personal attacks against me, Gonzalez, or another commenter
- Pro-Gun Control: anytime someone says that Gonzalez was a threat to “national security”, any reference to “mass shootings”, or anyone that advocates for making open carry illegal in Texas
- Pro-Cop: strictly meaning that someone said the cop was right, or that they should stop someone who is openly carrying
- Anti-Cop: anytime someone stated that what the cop did was wrong, or that he overstepped his bounds
- “Constitutional crap”/”My streets”: anytime someone references the cop’s comments regarding his contempt for the Constitution or “his streets”
I put together an Excel spreadsheet to track the results. Here they are:
- Kilt: 41
- Kilt/jail: 3
- Legal: 37
- Illegal: 7
- Ad hominems: 41
- Pro-Gun Control: 29
- Pro-Cop: 77
- Anti-Cop: 98
- “Constitutional crap”/”My streets”: 99
Since this is YouTube, the ad hominems are commonplace, so that shouldn’t be a surprise. I found it interesting that there were so many comments referencing the kilt, but was surprised by the fact that there were only three people that advocated that Gonzalez be thrown in a cage, for simply wearing it. Considering the authoritarianism rampant in the comments section, I expected more than that.
I was actually quite satisfied with the end total of seven for the “illegal” category. People have a bad habit of making unfounded claims regarding what the law says or does not say when they haven’t even taken the time to look up the actual citations, so to keep that to a minimum, this is certainly a success. As far as the “legal” category, I was pleased that there were at least a few defending Gonzalez, but I wish I would have seen more than a handful of people actually post the legal citation, just for purposes of intellectual honesty, if nothing else.
I’ve mentioned the authoritarian takeover in the comments section, so the number of Pro-Gun Control and Pro-Cop stances were certainly not a surprise. That is pretty typical, when looking at the religion of statism. What I did find surprising though, were a number of comments from folks in Europe and the UK advocating for gun control in America. As far as I’m concerned, they can keep their socialist oyster utopias on the opposite side of the pond, far away from me and my property.
To conclude the analysis, I was pleased to see that the “Constitutional crap”/”My streets” category was the most referenced; although, to be honest, I would rather have seen 100 people post the legal citation clearing Gonzalez of any illegality; but hey, apparently that’s asking too much, isn’t it?
As I mentioned in the introduction, sensationalism “sells”. I put about five minutes of work into the editing of this video, and it currently has more views than I have total lifetime views on my channel. I’m assuming that is because of the exorbitant number of views and the lifetime ones just haven’t had a chance to catch up yet, but I could be wrong.
I’ve also learned that I would rather debate people on Fascistbook, if I was forced to choose between the lesser of these two “social media” evils. I replied to a few of the initial comments, but the responses I received were so nonsensical, illogical, and contrary to any notion of freedom, that I hardly ever read the comments anymore (except for the purposes of this article, of course).
In summation, this project has given me a better understanding of the outright authoritarianism inherent within many citizens today. I was already well aware of it, but the comments on this video helped to paint a much clearer picture. Not only are people willing to use violence against those that have opposing views, but there is now such a thing as a “YouTube fashion police”, and if they got their way, Gonzalez would be rotting away in a government dungeon because of his choice of clothing.