Guard Encounters Armed Blacks with Guns in Ferguson — Cooperation Ensues

Some National Guardsmen patrolling the wreckage of Ferguson, Missouri came on a remarkable, and alarming, sight: black men with guns, their leader a 6’8″ giant cradling an AR-15. They stood in the forecourt of a Conoco gas station, a building that rose, unmolested, like a meth addict’s last solitary tooth in a micro-Hiroshima landscape of boarded-up, or, worse, looted and burned, small businesses.

This was a building that did not burn, despite containing fuel enough to delight the nihilistic rioters. It wasn’t just standing, it was open. 

The Guard soldiers demanded that the men put their guns down, and were actually starting to cuff them, when the owner of the station emerged. Doug Merello is a second-generation owner of the station, and even though he’s white, he and his shop’s neighbors, just about all black, had always been friendly. They were his customers, and the neighbors were where he turned for his workers, too.

The nervous Guardsmen soon learned that the giant, Derrick “Stretch” Jordan, 37, and his armed friends were local men. They were workers and former workers at the station, and their friends, who knew Merello and just thought it would just flat be a crying shame if his station went the way of so many other small Ferguson businesses. Especially when they knew so many good people in their town, of whatever race, and knew also that the looters were mostly outsiders with a sprinkling of local ne’er-do-wells, incited by an irresponsible media that dreams of a world in flames.

Nobody was paying them. Nobody made them do it. They just decided to be the kind of men who did the Right Thing, and that this was the Right Thing to Do.

The cuffs came off. Apologies were made. The Guardsmen waved to their unexpected allies, and went back to the hard business of trying to keep Ferguson from reenacting the Sack of Rome with a new generation of Vandals.

And the local men kept watch on their friend’s station. Stretch had his AR. R.J., 29, had a Taurus 9mm. Sean Turner brought his .40, and an older guy had a MAC-10. Kids came looking for trouble — they got shown off.

Neither the Guard nor the volunteers at the Conoco station shot anybody.

And, as far as we know, the little gas station is still standing, proof that the only thing needed for evil to fail is for good men to do something.

Source: Emily Flitter with Cary Gilliam, Reuters, in the LVRJ. Hat tip, Nathan Francis in the Inquisitr via The Gun Feed. (Naturally, the reporters play up the race angle, because race is their big thing. The human angle was more interesting to us, but seemed to elude Flitter, even as she got the facts).

Update: Dean Weingarten, whose Gun Watch blog is always worth reading, has an article on informal militias protecting lives & property where the Guard hasn’t been doing so. We’d like to note that in such situations the National Guard usually operates under extremely restrictive ROE, because political leaders are more concerned about the possibility of exacerbating the violence than they are about restoring the rule of law.

Bob Owens at Bearing Arms also tied the two self-defense organization together (the Oathkeepers that Dean noted and Stretch and friends who defended the gas station).

29 thoughts on “Guard Encounters Armed Blacks with Guns in Ferguson — Cooperation Ensues

  1. Pingback: WM: Guard Encounters Armed Blacks with Guns in Ferguson — Cooperation Ensues | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. granpa with an AR

    It is heart warming to know there are people who ain’t fooled by the lies and dissimulations of our tyrants strategy of divide and conquer.
    Good on em’.
    God bless and protect them.
    Not to mention the might and just cause a good battle rifle and the will to use in the name and defense of solidarity and liberty.

    More!
    Plenty more of the same.
    And its about time those lyin’ shitstirrin’ sacks of feces in the media are shown a battle rifle or two in the hands of good men.
    Just so they know personal like what their lyin’ is gonna get em’ if they stop messin’ where they got no business messin’.

  3. Frank Ch. Eigler

    Do you happen to know the legal basis the Guardsmen had in the first place for disarming/cuffing these people?

    1. pdxr13

      Because Officer Safety. No talking unless we dominate you by disarming and cuffing for disposition.
      Police State Thug S O P. Would not be surprised to find that Guardsmen were employees of non-Ferguson LE agencies who accept gear and training to get them maximally-Federalized.

      1. mikrat

        Well within these several states and according to the Constitution FOR the united States, We the People have the RIGHT to bear Arm’s – PERIOD. We do not need permission slips.

        But sadly the sheeple still insist they are free by getting permission slips from those they think they control.

        The best Slave is one who thinks he is Free.

      2. Hognose Post author

        Only places I’ve ever been hassled are Mass and NJ. In MA, a Boston policeman detained me until his supervisor told him he could not arrest a permit holder for carrying. (Yes, really. And the guy was the son of a deceased former SF guy). And in NJ, with the team, in uniform we were threatened with arrest by a NJ State Trooper because our firearms looked to her like “illegal assault weapons” and she “didn’t give a [f-bleep] if we were in the Army.” (We had just jumped off Sandy Hook, been picked up by small craft, and landed on the beach). Once again, a supervisor had to provide some constitutional federalism education to a stupid and ignorant cop.

        Let’s just say, we all knew NJ was a purulent sore before Brian Aitken and Shaneen Allen had to find it out.

        In NH, local Chief asked for a meeting before he signed my first Form 4. He wanted to talk about physical security of NFA firearms and DDs. A reasonable request in my opinion; I satisfied him. By now I think every member of the small force has either taken a packet to give to him, or fingerprinted me for a transfer, so every cop in town knows what sorts of things dwell in my safes.

        A couple of them know I have some capability to build them.

        It’s fine and good to understand what your constitutional rights ought to be. It’s also good to have good relations with the authorities. It will help you if or when you have to unload a phased pulse rifle or similar on a meth-powered Wealth Redistribution Specialist at 0400. Unless you’re in some hell hole like New Jersey, in which case God help you.

        But the trendlines are our way.

        1. Aesop

          If you haven’t written up that NJ SF near-arrest experience in a true WM-worthy post, I tsk tsk in your general direction.

          It’s definitely weapons-related.

      3. DAN III

        Daniel,

        “….the Guardsmen were simply detaining them until a determination could be made.”

        I find it more than disturbing how you spewed the words of a fork-tongued attorney….”simply DETAINING them”. In other words these defenders of their neighborhood, these “common” folk, these serfs….were ARRESTED. Their personal property, their arms, were confiscated by government troops. But that’s okay with you isn’t it Daniel ? The arrest or “detention” in your sheeple-like mind was only to determine if the good citizens were in compliance with having government permission slips, allowing them to exercise their God-given rights to self-defense.

        It never ceases to amaze me how those who look upon themselves as Patriots, as keepers of what little Freedom & Liberty remains in this former republic, fancy themselves with justifying unlawful actions by .gov actors. Denial of one’s Freedom & Liberty is always justified when it is denied one by a government enforcer, badge or US Army over one’s heart. Correct ?

        Of course with your admission of having lived in the two most nether regions of fascism, New York & San Francisco, I’m not surprised at your defense of the .gov troops. I’m just disgusted.

          1. DAN III

            Well, Hognose….I guess we’ll never know how well such a solution would have worked. Will we ? Maybe those farmers who stood on Lexington Green should have done the same when the Lobsterbacks came for their powder stocks.

      4. Miles

        That is an incorrect reading of the statute sir. Wiki has been known for a long time for simplistic and incorrect entries. You rely on Wiki entries at your own peril.

        I am a MO resident. I have a CCW permit. I am well versed in OC and CC statues and ordinances in MO. I have to be.

        OC is legal in all areas of MO that it has not been, or could be, banned by statute, or municipal ordinance.

        The new statute (that took effect in October) states that in municipalities which ban OC by ordinance, the new statute overrides the municipal ordinance and OC is now legal with a CCW.

        This was specifically done to protect a CCer from being cited for OC simply because of a ‘flash’ or other occurrence where the concealed weapon could be unintentionally seen.

    2. DAN III

      Frank….it’s my guess they justified their arrests and property confiscations per the ruling governor’s edict of “marshal law”. As far as “legal basis”, whatever actions those in government take, it will always be “legal” whether you like it or not.

  4. Bill T

    As a veteran of “The Long Hot Summers” in the Mississippi National Guard, Mid to late 1960’s, I remember several similar incidents sprinkled among the looting, burning, rioting etc. brought on mostly by “Outside Agitators” fanning the hatred.
    Most sane people, of any race, do NOT want to loot and burn their own neighborhood. Outsiders couldn’t care less because they don’t live there!
    Remember the slogan, Burn Baby Burn? That was coined by the Black Panthers from New York, Pennsylvania, and DC mostly.

  5. Andy

    Hats off to you gentlemen , glad someone did the right thing . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  6. Aesop

    Buncha slackers.
    The cops would have tear-gassed the station, seized their weapons, shot their dogs, and capped a couple of them “attempting escape” on the way to jail.

    Kudos to the guardsmen for taking care of business with their heads on straight.

    When they shoot a couple of looters and publicize the policy, this will probably be over shortly afterwards.

      1. Ben

        This whole tragic set of circumstances could have been avoided if you had put a PT belt on your keyboard.

  7. Woodsman

    It is refreshing to read a good news story here, as opposed to always bad news, or worse yet, a concocted news story to fit a meme elsewhere. This is one of the things well appreciated here; you cut through the back round static to get to the facts as they appear to be.

    In some respects, it is understandable the guardsmen reacted the way they did. In a highly volatile environment like this town was in, some caution with approaching an armed individual would be warranted it seems. Upon a short fact-finding discussion, it ended well.

    A common theme with some persons in a place of authority is a tendency to interpret things as they wish them to be, not as they truly are. You see this with many in positions of power and elsewhere. Some of this is like a computer program. Put junk in, get junk out. The output is only as good as the program developed by the programmer. If enough people start to believe the resulting output, it becomes “fact”.

    More good news stories would be welcome, even though they may be in short supply.

    Or, a good segue would be lessons learned, which appear here often.

    1. Hognose Post author

      The tendency to fit observations to a pre-imagined mental model is a common theme in accident investigations. We’re all vulnerable to it.

      1. Bill K

        The biggest problem I can think of with human nature is the tendency in many humans to want a leader, or to want to boss others around. It really would be nice if these people could find each other without involving me.

        I’ve lost the source of that quote, but it has an eloquence I lack.

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