Red Flag Laws, Eavesdropping Waiters and Yep, Seizing Your Guns: It’s Happening!

Courtesy of Martha Vineyard Times by Rich Saltzberg

Imagine being an 84-year old veteran of the Korean War and having a hearty bacon-and-eggs breakfast at your local diner with a friend.

Now imagine while refilling your coffee, the eavesdropping waitress hears you say the words “shooting” and “school” in the same sentence.

It’s pretty hard to imagine what actually happens next:  your local Massachusetts police show up at your elementary school crossing-guard job to escort you home so they can seize your guns.

And then imagine, because you used the words “shooting” and “school” while  taking a bite of toast at a diner that you are fired from the job you secured because you were lonely after your wife died and besides – you love children.

This is not some sensational TV drama folks – this is real life in the back-asswards age of red-flag laws.

While recently having breakfast with a friend, Stephen Nichols mentioned his concerns about a school resource officer who was evidently prone to take frequent coffee breaks, leaving his post each morning.  Troubled by a lack of law enforcement presence, Nichols said he was worried someone would come “shoot up the school.”

On the strength of those few words, a nosy waitress called the Tisbury Police about what she overheard, and the Police Chief Mark Saloio and another officer relieved the 84-year-old of his crossing guard duties while he was escorting kids across the street.  They then drove to his home and removed his firearms license and guns.  Any paperwork provided for the seizure?  Any due process?  Nope.

Outraged yet?  How about petrified? If this doesn’t make every law-abiding gun owner’s head explode, we don’t know what will.  If it could happen to an 84-year-old school crossing guard because of some some reckless waitress, it could happen to any one of us.

In an interview with the Martha Vineyard Times, Nichols said he’s been legally licensed for firearms since 1958.  He has “worked in auxiliary roles with the Tisbury Police for a staggering six decades and has also been a court officer and constable.”  Plus, the school indicated that crossing guards are “hired, trained and scheduled entirely by the police department.”  But think on this:  even if Nichols hadn’t worked with such community distinction, the seizure of a law-abiding citizen’s firearms – on the word of a complete stranger – is contemptible.  Since when does voicing concern over the safety of innocent children translate to an unconstitutional cluster?

If it could happen to an 84-year-old school crossing guard because of some some reckless waitress, it could happen to any one of us.

In his own heartfelt words, Nichols expressed deep concerns for the safety of Tisbury School: “When I was in the United States Army — and it wasn’t just me, it’s anybody who’s in the United States service — if you are on guard duty for eight hours, you didn’t leave that position. And I’m just so accustomed to that … [So] when I see someone who’s supposed to be protecting kids leave the school unguarded — if you’re on guard duty, you stay there.”

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people had such a sincere dedication to duty?

Following the incident, the friend to whom he made the “reported” comment said Nichols was no threat of any kind and that the fallout was “absurd.”  The public outcry was heavy and thankfully, the school relented and gave him his job back.  But the fate of his guns remains unclear and the Tisbury Police are refusing to comment.

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a slew of anti-gun bills – some of which expand red-flag laws in California.  He was quoted as saying the new laws would “guarantee continued success” and that “This is another tool in the toolkit from those that know individuals the most. What’s inevitable is you’re going to see these expansions in other parts of the country, and I think this will also expand the debate in Congress.”

God help us.




  1. sherri on October 23, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    They Need to give that Honored Veteran his gun back! This is The most ridiculous story I’ve Ever heard. This Man has Every Right (His Constitutional Right) to have a gun! They should be Falling over themselves apologizing to this Veteran (each and every person involved)

  2. Neil J Friedman on October 24, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Tyrants period.

  3. R. Corrino on October 29, 2019 at 6:17 am

    I live in California. I am a gun nut that has a side gig as a photographer. I stopped using the word “shooting” in public and just use “taking pictures”. Can’t risk something like this happening.

    Any talk of guns and gun related topics are now avoided in public even with family and friends. Even in private places. Never know who has “Alexa” or “Siri” on. I know, paranoid but what can you do in occupied territory.

  4. Kyle Hurth on October 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Absolutely disgusting.

  5. Warthog71 on October 30, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    It would be of great public service to unmask the nosey server who maliciously started it all. Offer up their names and the name of the diner.
    That’s another way to stop people from falling victim to this nonsense.

  6. Frank on January 5, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Is there no due process where a threat assessment investigation is conducted, a finding of a threat, and a day in court? This isn’t the USA, it is liberal fascism. They took his guns with no probable cause? WTF?

  7. Edgar Murillo on January 11, 2020 at 6:54 am

    This the anti gunners plan with red flag laws to ban gun ownership and silence gun owners

  8. Brian on February 7, 2020 at 11:07 am

    The problem with the current affairs of California legislatures, lies not in protecting the people but rather in pushing political agendas. Although this story was not in California, it is easy to see how all the new red flag laws in California will make things even worse, when it comes to due process. You have to go back to the start of the hard core liberal anti-gun movement. They tried to outlaw guns one at a time based on a absurd pre determined criteria, when that failed they enacted the famous (for all the wrong reasons) california drop test, which firearms manufacturers tried to comply with, so they passed the micro stamping legislation. When manufacturers tried to comply, instead of ceasing business in the state of California (which some manufacturers have done) the state legislative body had to come up with another plan to slow down the industry and keep people from accessing their 2nd Ammendment rights. So enters (again) the high capacity magazine ban and the Ammunition registration requirements. If they cant make firearms illegal they will seek to make ammunition illegal. It’s nothing new to those of us who live here and the bulk of us will conservatively persevere like we have always done and seek legislative change through our elected officials and our lobbying groups such as GOC and to an admittedly lesser extent the NRA. Thank you Sam for your work to help Secure our freedoms.