“It’s just about being safe.”
Thus spoke Deputy Corry Bassett of the Lincoln County, Wyoming Sheriff’s Office as he struggled to justify handcuffing Robert Pierson during an August 11, 2011 traffic stop.
Pierson, a Marine combat veteran, had been riding his motorcycle near Alpine when another motorist called to complain about a biker passing a number of slow-moving motor homes. Pierson was not charged with a traffic violation or a criminal offense — but he was arrested and detained in handcuffs for 45 minutes because the sight of a Mundane carrying a firearm caused Bassett to irrigate his underwear.
“I know you have a gun,” Bassett said a few seconds into the stop, which was recorded on Pierson’s cell phone. “Are you a cop?”
When Pierson indicated that he was not part of the armed revenue-extracting caste, Bassett muttered: “OK, what I’m going to do is – put your hands behind your back right now.”
As he handcuffed the compliant motorist, Bassett explained, “I don’t like someone with a gun,” while insisting, “You’re not under arrest.”
The second statement is an unalloyed lie: Whenever a police officer restrains someone, that person is under arrest. The first statement is a lie by omission: If Pierson had been a police officer, Bassett would not have complained about him carrying a gun. The category of “someone” thus applies only to Mundanes, whose very existence is seen as a threat to the unimaginably precious personages who wear state-issued costumes.