Driver Attempts to Resolve Alley Dispute with Pistol; Veto Guns in Capitol!

The police blotter from Sioux Falls shows how carrying a gun around opens the door to turning a minor dispute into a felony arrest.

Two guys are driving toward each other in a narrow alley. Only one car can fit. Neither guy wants to back up. SFPD Sgt. Paul Creviston describes what follows:

“According to the victim the other driver became visibly upset. It appeared the hand gestures were becoming more aggressive. The driver then reached down underneath the seat and produced a hand gun. He started waving the weapon at the reporting party.”

A short time later, Creviston says the driver with the gun, identified as 72-year-old Robert Rist of Sioux Falls was arrested and charged with aggravated assault [Jerry Dahmen, “Police: Driver Waves Gun At Man, Arrested On Assault Charges,” KSOO, 2017.03.14].

Aggravated assault—attempting “by physical menace with a deadly weapon to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily harm“—is a Class 3 felony: fifteen years, $30,000. One instance of poor judgment could ensure an old man’s last views of his grandkids are through bars. That’s a pretty high price to pay for the minor ego trip of not putting the car in reverse and yielding to another man.

Reagan guns ridiculous

Now consider the ego trips at stake in the State Capitol. Legislators come to loggerheads all the time arguing for animal science labs, tax hikes to subsidize local interests, deregulation of concealed weapons, and countless other issues that mean a lot to legislators’ constituents, donors, and egos, more, I would argue, than any brief tussle over alley space. We have long banned firearms from the Capitol, courthouses, and other such spaces of public discourse out of exactly that concern that disagreements over matters of such great import could easily lead to flaring tempers and rash displays of bravado.

A simple “you back up/no, you back up!” altercation in a Sioux Falls alley is nothing compared to a “raise everyone’s taxes/no, cut teacher pay!” dispute in the great marble halls in Pierre. We do not want a frustrated legislator putting his hands on his hips, pushing his coat flaps back, and saying, “Don’t push me on this bill” while (accidentally?) exposing his concealed pistol.

Governor Daugaard, don’t back out of the alley. Veto House Bill 1156, and tell legislators that our sacred disputatious Capitol is no place for firearms.

20 Responses to Driver Attempts to Resolve Alley Dispute with Pistol; Veto Guns in Capitol!

  1. mike from iowa

    and countless other issues that mean a lot to legislators’
    donors, and egos,

    For some inexplicable reason you mistakenly placed constituents in the text of this sentence. I took the liberty of fixing it for you. :)

  2. barry freed

    Will you post an equally bold headline if the guy is found innocent? Arrest does not equal Conviction, and even if it did, they both committed moving vehicle laws, should we also ban cars?

    Meanwhile in Rapid, four knife murders this year.
    How many more have to die before you finally reject the control the Big Money Knife Lobby has on you and call for some common sense knife banning?

  3. mike from iowa

    How many blades does a knife need to be as deadly as an AR with a 30 round clip?

    A 72 year old with a knife would have had to exit the vehicle to carve a sirloin off his opponent. Not so with a gun.

    People with mental disabilities are usually kept away from sharp objects. Not so with Drumpf and wingnuts and the NRA pushing them to buy guns.

    One guy could just as easily rammed the other guy’s car, so he wouldn’t have needed a gun at all. Carry a car around under yer coat. Just in case, Barry.

  4. Love the Reagan quote, but I don’t think the GOP even recognizes him in a drinking game anymore. They have written him off as a RINO in favor of leaders like Trump, Wayne LaPierre and Steve King.

  5. barry freed

    THIS particular knife was deadlier than an 30 round AR. It held a FORTY round Blade magazine.
    She was stabbed 40 times (without having to reload) by a violent, convicted felon who was able to buy, and own, as many knives as he wished, without ever having to show an ID or get a license. When one knife was wrestled away from him, he grabbed another and murdered her. Had it been a gun that was wrestled away and he grabbed another to kill her, oooweee, the stink at DFP.

    Funny how DFP cannot see the silliness and futility of their shallow solutions to gun violence, when those useless solutions are applied to knives.

  6. Waving a pistol at another driver is a shallow solution… a non-solution. Carrying a pistol in the Capitol is a shallow response to a mostly non-existent problem.

    There is no gun violence in the Capitol. There will be an increased chance of gun violence if we enact HB 1156 and allow people other than law enforcement to carry guns in the Capitol.

  7. Cory, so if I find an instance of someone abusing something, that means we should alter policy?

    So I know a guy who’s drawing medical disability – was discharged from the Navy because of a spinal injury (threw his back out) – but the guy is definitely more fit than I, brags about how much he can bench press, dead lift, etc. (he’s into CrossFit), and is definitely smart enough to do office work, but would rather just draw a disability check.

    Does that mean we should eliminate disability benefits? Hardly.

    Some cops also beat their wives. Some do worse. Because a few are bad doesn’t mean we take away their batons and firearms; we distribute justice upon those who deserve it. Notice it also isn’t the gun’s fault (despite what the officer claimed) that his fiancee is dead; it’s his.

    I personally don’t see a point in our state legislators packing heat. But if the Governor signs the bill, there are still plenty of laws which regulate those legislators’ actions.

    Someone brandishing a weapon in an argument will be subject to the same penalties as that Sioux Falls driver. And rightly so.

    “That’s a pretty high price to pay for the minor ego trip of not putting the car in reverse and yielding to another man.”

    Indeed, but an appropriate price. And our state legislators will have to deal with the costs if they do decide to carry and misuse that privilege.

    Given the bill requires an enhanced permit ($100 fee, $43.25 fingerprint fee, certification of completion of qualifying handgun course which includes use of force training, basic concepts, self-defense principles and live fire training of at least 98 rounds [so $125 for the course + cost of ammo]), it’s not any ole’ person who’ll go to that length. For instance, will some of our legislators really want to submit their fingerprints to a federal database?

  8. In general, Wayne, doesn’t abuse of a policy often provoke review and amendment of a policy?

    Note that I’m not advocating changing a policy; I’m advocating keeping the status quo, which is no non-law-enforcement guns in the Capitol. Allowing guns in the Capitol sets a bad precedent that invites challenges to our bans on guns in courthouses and other places where guns pose more risk than gain, not to mention violating basic faith in civil discourse.

    I agree the price Mr. Rist could pay for his ego trip is appropriate. Any legislators inappropriately displaying their weapons in the Capitol under HB 1156 should pay an even higher price. But we shouldn’t even get to the point where legislators could pay that price. Bringing guns to the Capitol is an ego trip, an introduction of unnecessary risk in the face of a mostly non-existent threat, and a wedge legislators will use to argue for further gun deregulation.

  9. mike from iowa

    Yer 40 round blade clip doesn’t hold water. You can’t stab 40 people from several hundred yards away, or even 10 yards away.

    With a thirty round clip in an AR one shooter can nail at least thirty others and possibly more as 556 bullets act erratically upon penetration of human flesh.

  10. “Any legislators inappropriately displaying their weapons in the Capitol under HB 1156 should pay an even higher price. ”

    Why? Under the founding principles and written upon the documents of this great nation, we are all to be treated equally. Aggravated assault is aggravated assault. The punishment must fit the crime, not the person’s position.

    And am I hearing a slippery slope argument out of you, Cory? Don’t you poo-poo those when it comes to people concerned about incremental gun control leading to outright bans and confiscation?

    I know you’re advocating against changing the status quo, and that’s your right. I agree the change probably isn’t needed. But more state representatives think differently.

    But as long as there isn’t an emergency clause on this bill, if the governor does sign, the great folks of this state can get a referendum petition worked up pretty well. If enough of us disagree, then we change the law of the land. If not, then apparently we’re okay enough with it.

    Broadly speaking, we take our guns seriously. We also take the penalties for misusing and abusing them seriously too.

    I really wish folks would focus on the misuse of the legislative emergency clause – that’s something we should be getting a petition on tightening up.

  11. Tyler Schumacher

    The emergency clause should only be allowed with some sort of a poison pill. The whole legislature will be ineligible for reelection for 4 years, or something like that. At the very least require a formal investigation that can lead to indictments.

  12. We are talking two very different issues, sort of. In the first scenario, a driver used the fear of being shoot to get his way. He should be charged and dealt with harshly.

    Firearms are not toys, they are weapons, and should be treated as such. If you unholster a hand gun, be prepared to use it.

    I am proud to say I worked in one of the most open capitols in the country. Until three hours before session starts anyone can walk on the the floor and talk to any legislator. There are no security check points or metal detectors. From time to time, some people get a bit passionate about a topic or bill. If there was someone who really wanted to make a grand spectacle, it wouldn’t take very much. The state patrol does a good job. However they can’t be everywhere, or stop everything. Even with legislators on the floor with a handgun, someone could still fire a half dozen rounds or so from the gallery before there is any reaction. It is one those thing to prepare for, that you hopes never happens

  13. Wayne, I’m not saying that allowing guns in the Capitol will inspire some future legislator to propose allowing guns in courthouses, bars, schools, and everywhere. Current legislators are following an incremental strategy where they get footholds for their policy in one area, then bring similar bills expanding their ideas to other areas in the future. There’s a difference between worrying that things will unexpectedly and unintentionally slide downhill and recognizing a concerted effort to drag us down that hill one step at a time. See also HB 1156 sponsors’ efforts against abortion and LGBT rights.

  14. “an even higher price”? Yes, Wayne.

    Think of swearing. It’s usually bad if I swear at you on the street. It’s worse if I swear at you in your house, in front of your family. It’s arguably even worse if I swear at you in church. I’m not saying we should impose some legal penalty that scales up for obscenity in each of those places (and we can’t constitutionally put a special state cussing jar in the church), but I understand if I would pay a higher price in terms of you and others really looking down on me morally (“He cussed Wayne out… and in a church, no less! What a terrible human being!”)

    Legislators who feel they need guns in the Capitol demonstrate a lack of respect for the civic institution that they are very directly responsible for creating and sustaining. Even if they never show off their concealed weapons in the Capitol, the fact that they carry firearms in that most sacred hall of democracy shows me they don’t really understand or have faith in the work they are doing. A legislator who would display a weapon in the midst of an argument deserves not only an aggravated assault charge but also removal from office.

  15. I guess one man’s slippery slope is another’s “concerted effort”. So when Democrats propose / get passed bans on magazines beyond a certain clip size, scary black polymer firearms that are rarely used in crimes, and keep arguing for federal registration of firearms, etc. that we really should see it as a concerted effort to nullify the 2nd Amendment.

    Cory, I construed your comment about legislators paying a higher price to be a legal one; your clarification seems to indicate it’d be a social one. To your comment about losing their legislative seat, that makes total sense. Someone convicted of felonious aggravated assault should be removed from office. But it doesn’t matter if it was a gun or a candelabra used; it’s the act itself which disqualifies.

    It’s interesting to me that you think carrying a gun automatically means someone doesn’t respect the our civic institutions.

  16. Review Rep. Larry Rhoden’s comments when he hit the false alarm during the committee hearing on HB 1156. Review the comments of other legislators on guns in the Capitol. They say they don’t think the Highway Patrol can get there in time to stop armed intruders and prevent harm. They are expressing a lack of confidence in the Department of Public Safety that they themselves authorize and fund.

    I share your opposition to concealed candelabra carry. Carrying any weapon into the Capitol says, “I’m prepared to do violence within a hall dedicated to reason and the rule of law.” That act shows a lack of faith in reason and the rule of law.

    I do not advocate clip limits as part of an overall effort to strike the Second Amendment and ban firearms. Republicans are pushing HB 1156 as part of a larger campaign to allow guns everywhere. The absolutist rhetoric of the South Dakota Gun Owners supports this conclusion.

  17. barry freed

    Yes, the distance or scardy-cat level of a weapon certainly makes a difference to those who are murdered.

    Her killer didn’t kill other people for a lack of want, he tried, and someone BETTER ARMED took him out. Your and Cory’s grand vision won out in this scenario, now, how do I get that guy who used his fists to stop his own murder to guard me, at no cost, 24/7?

    So we better learn Karate, train with heavy weights, and make 80 year women young again, because in Cory and Mike’s World Without Guns, the best puncher, slicer, or kicker is the King, and their word is Law.

  18. barry freed

    MC, Cory, et al,
    The Courts are thankful you could determine guilt without a Trial. That will save much money in the future. Jury Trials are just too expensive, so we can use Cory and Friends to decide guilt or innocence based on hearsay and/or gun possession. Or maybe all of you were hanging out in that alley smokin’ a dube, and saw everything.

    Reality: You weren’t there, yet you make a snap judgement because somebody defended themselves with a gun. You don’t know if your “victim” said: “move it or I’ll kill you”, then changed his mind when he saw the old man he bravely thought he could best in a fist fight, was armed.

    A veteran Cop will tell you people will lie and say anything to avoid jail. The latest knifer in Rapid will say the woman charged him 40 times as he helplessly held the knife. The “victim” in this case might be lying about how things escalated, to keep himself out of jail.

  19. mike from iowa

    mike doesn’t exist in a world w/o guns. mike also doesn’t believe the average Joe Blow on the street needs to be armed like the Marines to go about everyday business. We have paid law enforcement to protect us. Do you also carry concealed fire extinguishers on the off chance some fire bug runs around setting your pants on fire? Of course not.

    My guns stay in my house, I do not lock my doors at night or even those rare occasions I might be gone for a few days. I have nothing worth stealing-ergo I have nothing worth killing an intruder for.

    You gun nuts keep reminding me of the bully dog on the block. Its got two bones and really wants to savor one of them, but he can’t-he has to keep an eye on the other one at the same time so he enjoys neither. You guys wander through life armed to the gills just hoping the next passing stranger makes yer day. Life passes by but you don’t notice. Your trigger finger is itching to shoot someone.

  20. mike from iowa

    Why is the party of guns,guns and more guns and the NRA so afraid of meeting their constituents in a public forum? They all claim the opposition is paid to protest without a scintilla of evidence. We know which of the people at a protest rally are bought and paid for-it is the scaredy cat pols themselves.