Consumer Information

Don’t Let Your Middle Finger Get ‘Mistaken’ For Firearm

If you carry a gun in the car, using your middle finger can get you in as much trouble as using your trigger finger. Watch what happened to a Law Shield Member after he flipped the bird in traffic. It just goes to show that any aggressive actions gun-carriers make can land them in legal hot water.

 

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (43)

  1. state by state rules are different the only consistency is if you draw shoot to kill , by exposing your gun without using it you are threatening instead of threatened

  2. I am generally the same sort of person armed as unarmed. The presence or absence of my firearm does not influence my behavior.

    When I was considering purchasing my first firearm (I was being stalked by a man I knew to be prone to violence) I had a “heart to heart” talk with myself over the course of a couple weeks, asking myself if I was level-headed enough to carry a firearm.

    I decided that I was. So far, so good. I have the right to keep and bear arms, but only if I can do so without threat to innocent others. I can. I have. And, I suspect, I will continue on this same course.

    If I ever pull and point my pistol, it will be with the intent of using it to stop a threat to my life or that of an innocent other. The time allowed to cease the criminal aggression and either offer to surrender or flee will, of necessity, be brief. Beyond that, I will shoot for effect.

  3. Most people find that the are more compassionate and friendly when they carry. This is true for me as my ultimate aim is to avoid and deescalate.

  4. The root of all anger is unmet expectations.
    The expectation that our 2nd Amendment rights shall not be infringed, the expectation that we have the right to defend our unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, and the truth that all of us are created equal, against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. These are mine, but check your expectations, my friends.
    The expectations that a driver shall not cut you off in traffic, or that your children shall not misbehave, or that your significant other shall or shall not do or do not whatever, or the expectation that someone that you have never met shall not assume that you are ignorant, or that you are not making as much money as you should, or that you are not making as much money as someone else thinks you should. The expectation that your computer should work as it is intended. The expectation that your car shall not have a flat tire when you’re leaving work.The self-expectation that you shouldn’t have stayed out so late last night, but even though you did, the expectation you shouldn’t have been challenged for it, or at the very least should have been forgiven. The expectation that your day, week, month, year or station in life shouldn’t have sucked so bad, for whatever reason. Elvis was known to shoot TV sets. I’ve been known to punch a wall. We all get mad, it’s Human. I think you get my drift, don’t be Elvis! These are not the unmet expectations that should be reacted to while you have a firearm in your possession.
    I’m a shooter, I have been since I was young. I’m an NRA member, a Navy Veteran, a hunter and I have a CWP. I maintain my permit and my weapons and I carry, it is my right and responsibility. I expect to be able to protect my life, property and loved ones. I am also aware that our society is FUBAR and you’ve got to pick your fights, e.g. prioritize your expectations and your reactions when they are not met.
    If you cannot do this, please don’t buy, own or carry a weapon of any kind. I have the expectation that you will be a responsible citizen and won’t go off half-cocked, no matter how pissed off you get. DO NOT give the Left the fuel they need to put the Constitution on the Capitol steps and burn it to ash along with the Stars and Stripes. They do not need our help.

    1. Very well said. Especially the part about our society being” FUBAR”. 40 years of liberal education has done that to us. Hang onto your hat, because the ride from here on gets bumpy.

  5. ¨A well regulated militia, being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
    This simply means:
    Because the government needs to be in control of a military, then we the people should have the same guns also.¨
    nothing more, nothing less.

  6. Flipping people off is a bad idea. In Texas, you can be charged with assault for it. And have a nice day!

  7. Folks,

    Not sure how a phone call to LE coupled with no evidence can cause you to get thrown into jail, I mean where is the probable cause?

    Did the caller have a picture of the incident?

    Did more than one caller witness the brandishing of a weapon?

    Ask the Officer if he described the so-called firearm in detail? If so, what was the description? Chrome, grey, black? A good way to catch a liar in the act if you don’t have a black firearm you carry regularly.

    So, unless you act like an asshole to the LEO or get aggressive over the accusation, like you did in traffic; he will have more than enough reason to throw your ass in jail. So don’t be stupid people.

    BUT, if you remain calm and deny the allegation as horseradish and act astonished; he may call it an evening and let you go. Having an officer come to your door is serious business, so know your rights.

    If anything, the one making the accusation may get arrested for filing a “false report” a punishable offense in some states.

    Just my two-cents . . . .

  8. The fact that I carry means I don’t NEED to get bent out of shape over the incompetence of other drivers. I know who’s really in control.

  9. When someone cuts me off or pulls out in front of me while to close, or any other action that may cause rage, I smile and wave to them.
    It sounds weird, but it lets the other driver know that I’m aware of what they did. After the other driver does something wrong they realize they did it.
    It lets them know what they did, without an excuse to get mad, violent or indignant.(as much fun as it would be to let them know they are number 1)
    Also if I’m driving for my employer and the company name and number are written on the side of the vehicle what are they going to do? Call my boss or the police and complain that I waved ate them?

    1. This is really the smartest way to deal with road idiots. My brother is a trucker in MN and deals with “minnesota nice” everyday. Ironically a smile and wave up there will generate a reaction worse than the “bird”. So it’s satisfying to be nice and stick it to bad drivers at the same time. Try it.

    2. Just so you know, “minnesota nice” is merely a ploy to get tourists up here. The number of a-holes FAR outweigh the nice in these parts.

    3. It cost me $73.50 to park in front of my son’s home in New Hope. Turns out that it’s illegal to park on their residential streets after 4 am … although they haven’t gotten around to posting it yet. I parked there because the driveway was full. Since I can’t park in driveways belonging to other people, there was no legal place for me to park in that entire neighborhood.

      He and his roommate didn’t know about the ordinance either.

      My son has moved and i will not, under any circumstances, be stopping in New Hope, MN ever again.

  10. The simplicity of the Second Amendment has been devastated by law makers who pile on their “versions and misguided interpretations” to the point that law abiding citizens are overburden with restrictions and legal ramifications that ,in too many circumstances, transform them into having to become PERFECT in every aspect of owning, processing, storing, carrying, firing, a firearm! Since when do “IMPERFECT” people have the right to DEMAND PERFECTION from other IMPERFECT people?

    1. I guess since the PoPo Oathers got all the surplus illegal-war equipment from CONservatives, furthering their sense of being above the law, “overreacting” as the video describes it, and the NRA’s push to keep guns in the hands of the criminally insane at all costs.

    2. If you are criminally insane, the law already says that you can’t own a firearm. Too bad that the Justice Department under Obama hasn’t been willing to enforce that law … could have stopped several mass shootings in the past couple of years.

      The used military equipment has been arriving in a steady stream ever since Obama took office. How do you manage to twist that around to a conservative screw up?

      The cop referenced in this video didn’t over-react.

  11. Guaranteed way for an anti-gun person to harm anyone he thinks might have a concealed weapon. If a weapon is found, guilty as charged because having a gun is the evidence. No weapon found, sorry officer, it looked like a gun.

  12. So obviously it is better to report the other person brandished a gun and let them deal with the police. What a world.

    1. Sure … it’s called “swatting”. Happens all the time and will continue to happen until Prosecutors start putting the people who make such false charges in jail.

      Three days for the first offense (or the same amount of time as the wrongfully accused person spent in the pokey … whichever is greater) and 30 days for the second conviction with NO probation seems about right to me.

  13. Apparently no one has examined the word Bear in the Second Amendment or this would not be an issue like it is. Note To BEAR [in Gunnery] a Piece of Ordinance is said to come to bear, when it lies right with the Mark, According to the Constitution we not only have the right to preserve our weapons but can put them on their mark and that cannot be infringed… According to the Constitution we not only have the right to preserve our weapons but can put them on their mark and that cannot be infringed…According to : A Universal Etymological Dictionary dated 1759 By N. Bailey. Our forefathers would have had a full understanding of this terminology considering it is directly pointing to training a militia and is the responsibility of every citizen… Consider the point Gentleman and Ladies it is our right.

    1. Thank you for your insight and research, as well as your service in uniform.

      I 4f’d for Vietnam, but for a long time I carried a photo like yours in my wallet as my son honorably wore the same blouse and cap (it took him a while to get the blood stripe … but it, and his sword, are now set aside for the day of his funeral … A Marine once, a Marine always.).

      I will follow up on your comment and learn more about the actual intent of the Second Amendment.

  14. Instead of pulling my weapon, I will give other rude drivers the finger. I guest I have to watch who I give the finger too!

  15. I believe this story, because when police are involved anything unusual or aggressive or rude will get them acting very aggessively toward you. I have experienced this 1 time myself, even though I was the person calling 911 about someone else.

    1. And in my case, it was just something unusual or quirky that I said. I’m always a boy scout with the cops.

  16. Rules of engagement you are not to fire unless fired upon and then only under orders. Screw that you point your weapon at me, I am going to return one hell of a lot of rounds at you. By standers beware!

  17. Whether the story is fact or fiction, it can and does happen all the time.
    It happened to me after a ‘road rage’ (on the other drivers part) incident. Some skank in a dually truck, in such bad conditioned that it shouldn’t have even been on the road, became enraged after I passed her on a 4 lane street in the town where I lived. I didn’t honk, didn’t gesture, just drove by her. She ran up behind me at well above the speed limit, then, passed me, cutting me off and nearly hitting me. I did honk then, she slammed on her brakes and I swerved around her. With no hands on the wheel, she flipped me off with both hands., I accelerated, well above the speed limit and lost her in traffic. A few minutes later was pulled over by a very upset cop, had his hand on his weapon. She had reported that I had pulled a gun on her. I do normally carry, but wasn’t that day. When the cop couldn’t find a gun, he became even more agitated. I lost all patience and asked for his name, badge number and name of supervisor, (your are allowed under federal law to do this, regardless of what a cop may say). He stomped, angrily, to his patrol car, telling me that he was going to keep an eye on me. I know the woman had to be crazy, but I think the cop was too, or else, she was his wife or girlfriend, but she was Naasstty! So it does happen, at least some of the time.

    1. While it sounds like the female driver was certifiable and possibly feeling the effects of a controlled substance, it would be worth keeping in mind that situations like this are frequent covers for vehicle insurance scams.

      The “swoop and squat” maneuver she pulled on you, whether part of a scam or not, could have left you liable for hitting her from behind. Easy money for her and possibly a mark on your insurance. Worst case scenario, the two of you make contact, she calls the cops, officer “friendly” shows up to haze you about aggressive driving then sites you for the accident. It’s all bad and you where just trying to mind your own business and get home.

      The moral for CCP/CWL holders is we have to be extraordinarily careful on the roads.

  18. Just my 2 cents here, but I have been flipped off a number of times during my almost 70 years. I have never once misinterpreted that very obvious symbol of disgust for a firearm, I tend to suspect that the subject of this story somehow intimated he had a firearm and that intimation is what was reported. A report by the other driver to law enforcement would have been reasonable, if he did indeed act as if he were armed.

  19. For all we know, a gun was shown or even pointed. Then when he realized what he was in for as he got pulled over he denied it, but needed a more plausible explanation than “I didn’t point this gun I happen to have here beside me.”

  20. Lets see if I got this right

    Most of you 2 nd Amendment folks

    Think you should be arrested for having a gun just

    because someone else says you were seen with one ?????

    1. @ abelhorn,

      Nope that is not what anyone has stated hear. Please take the time to read more carefully. Thanks.

    2. “Most of you 2 nd Amendment folks” indicates that you’re not a supporter of the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Why are you hear then?

  21. Well said, Peter.

    I don’t think Legal Shield lied, rather, they blindly accepted a customer’s most uncredible version of what occurred.

    Here we have an aggressive and apparently immature person carrying and brandishing a gun, who in this case is probably fortunate the other party to the altercation was neither.

    1. @ John Morgan,

      I think it is important to distinguish here that it doesn’t matter the validity of the customer’s version of the story to Law Shield. Whether true or not, the other driver provided testimonial evidence to law enforcement that someone brandished a gun. This is in-fact considered testimonial evidence towards the charge and therefore the LEA had the lawful PC to make the arrest.

      So our point is, for Law Shield to have stated otherwise was obviously a very irresponsible statement by an organization that is supposed to know how to represent their clients in court.

    2. Hold on there guys. It really does not even matter if this happened or not or whether the cops did the right thing or not. If the article caused you to stop and think about the possibility of aggressive moves or your mode of operation, isn’t that enough? Shoot I’ve flipped of an idiot or two in y life and never thought about what could happen as a result until now.

  22. @ PeteDub,

    You spared me from making the same post. That “lack of evidence” statement really makes them look like a bubblegum operation. That was incredibly careless for them to have said given people need to trust and depend on their organization’s abilities to save them from the loss of freedom. But, we must keep in mind, they are salesmen selling a packaged product, and with that comes a bit of commercial hype. It is still no excuse, but it is a reason. Hopefully the actual lawyers they employ will do a better job.

  23. I have no respect for Legal Shield, because they outright lied.

    There was no “lack of evidence.” The police received a report that the accused brandished a weapon. Like it or not, that is not only “evidence” in the eyes of the law it is sufficient evidence to arrest. If the cops ignored that report, they would not be doing their jobs.

    It being a mere “he said, she said” situation, however, there was not enough evidence for a judge to find probable cause to bind the accused over to face the charge much less convict. As the Bible makes clear, a person cannot be convicted on the testimony of a single witness; criminal law is built on the same principle. This is a good example of why we have preliminary hearings — to get rid of crap like this which, even if true, simply cannot be proven at trial.

    But weak / dishonest / police-controlled judges are allowing prosecutors to bring cases to juries every day on LESS evidence than what got this guy in the slammer. And juries who are improperly instructed on what “beyond a reasonable doubt” really means hand out convictions to inept and dishonest prosecutors like candy. (Probable cause means that the evidence presented in court must affirmatively exclude any conclusion other than the accused’s guilt — it is not what the jury “thinks” that matters it is what the state PROVED. But juries get that wrong almost every time.)

    While I feel sorry for the guy if it really happened the way he claimed, frankly I doubt it actually happened that way — a middle finger cannot be mistaken for a gun and a person making a false report like that takes the substantial risk that the lie can be easily proven by any number of video recordings that could have been made, putting the accuser in the slammer rather than the accused.

    But this is a good lesson for people who are SERIOUS about self-defense: the freedom being armed can give us against real threats also can give us a level of serenity that allows us also to be free from petty dick-measuring conflicts like this.

    Being armed is a very serious responsibility, and just because it is “legal” to give an a-hole the finger in traffic does not mean that it is smart to do so. “Know your target and what is beyond” means a lot more than the literal warning to know what you are shooting and what else is in your bullet’s path AFTER you pull the trigger. It starts with knowing what is in your own heart and mind BEFORE you strap on, at any given time — including whether you have the proper temperament to be armed. A person who is SERIOUS would not strap on when drunk, angry, agitated or emotionally distraught — or prone thereto.

    The willingness to get into a petty dispute over a traffic incident is a pretty good indicator that one is in need of a bit more serenity before strapping on VERY SERIOUS TOOL that is legitimately there for use against actual threats but not hurt ego / feelings.

    Given the way this went down, I strongly suspect that the accused created his own problem by dealing with the cops aggressively and arrogantly, creating an impression of emotional instability and validating the accusation by whining about his “constitutional rights” — which rights, BTW, do not include the right to brandish a weapon over a petty traffic dispute.

    I have been stopped closing in on half a dozen times while armed, and each time so far the stop ended with the cop THANKING me for being responsibly armed. A calm and respectful recitation of THE FACTS will get the job done, unless you have the misfortune to encounter one of the too-many cops who should not be a cop. And if you live in a jurisdiction that hires bad cops, either do your job a a citizen to put an end to it, or move.

    1. An accusation is not evidence – no doubt that was what the video meant when it says the person was arrested without evidence – the accusation combined with the presence of a gun in the accused’s car established what the officer likely considered probable cause for the arrest but there was lack of actual evidence to proceed beyond arraignment – the driver probably made the situation worse by badly interacting with the police officer as you say, but the unfortunate situation is that anyone could be arrested like this on an unsubstantiated claim that if phrased properly wouldn’t even get the accuser slapped (“OMG, I think I saw a guy waving a gun around”)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.