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Escalation in Arizona: Firearms confiscated
Posted By Joe Kovacs On 07/27/2011 @ 5:40 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Residents of the Arizona town that has become a YouTube sensation after police forcibly removed a woman speaking at a recent public meeting are now experiencing firearms confiscation by the government.
The stunning action is taking place in Quartzsite, Ariz., where Town Councilman Joe Winslow has prompted the seizure of guns from local gem dealer and online entrepreneur Michael Roth because Roth allegedly glared at the councilman, blocked his entrance to Town Hall and called him a “turd.”
Karen Slaughter, the elected justice of the peace for the region, issued a harassment injunction against Roth on behalf of Winslow, the lawmaker who called for the silencing of pet groomer and publisher Jennifer Jones in the infamous video.
That original video of the June 28 town-hall fiasco posted on YouTube has been viewed more than 120,000 times.
"I don't know the source of his animus towards me and at this point I don't care," Winslow said of Roth at a July 19 hearing.
Councilman Joe Winslow of Quartzsite, Ariz., sparked the confiscation of firearms from town resident Michael Roth.
"I know that I'm 71 years old. I don't want to be a statistic, I don't want to go to jail and I don't want to go in the hospital. But based on my history of 24 years in the service, I am more concerned about my reaction to his aggression than anything else, especially now that I believe that he is carrying a handgun. His actions have demonstrated in the past to me that he is not in full control of his emotions."
Winslow told Slaughter what he wanted was that Roth and others with similar views "not be allowed to walk around armed. To me, I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I have been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) ... that's what I'm concerned with, that he's gonna get so far into my personal space that I'm gonna react without thinking. I'm not making threats or anything like that. I'm not proud of that, but it's the way I am."
Winslow said he has been flooded with several hundred emails from Americans not happy about his demand for the removal of Jones from speaking, as he called her "disruptive."
"They're contacting people all over the country with similar political beliefs and that's why we had to declare a state of emergency, and Mr. Roth is involved in that," Winslow said.
As far as specific actions or threats from Roth that might warrant the restraining order, Winslow claimed on his official complaint form that on July 1, Roth blocked him from entering Town Hall and said, "Hey, Terd (sic), where's the keys to the arms locker?" Roth allegedly continued, saying, "Tell one of the other terds (sic) to bring out a key."
Quartzsite Councilman Joe Winslow lists reasons he sought a restraining order against resident Michael Roth, claiming his entrance to town hall was blocked and that he was called a synonym for dog feces.
Additionally, Winslow told Judge Slaughter that after a meeting several months ago, "I was talking to someone and I saw [Roth] glaring at me, and I said something like, 'What's your problem?' ... It was very uncomfortable."
But Winslow indicated his biggest concern is the firearm issue.
Justice of the Peace Karen Slaughter ordered the confiscation of firearms from Michael Roth and banned him from public meetings at Town Hall in Quartzsite, Ariz.
"I don't like firearms," he said. "I have nothing against anyone who wants to own a gun for protection, hunting, recreation, whatever, that's their business. But you bring the two things together – the fixed-minded people who for whatever reason are aggressive and confrontational by nature and bring in firearms and it's a bad combination. As far as name-calling goes, that's sophomoric. I just ignore it."
Ironically, despite Winslow's self-expressed aversion to firearms and desire to confiscate Roth's weapons, the councilman admitted he had recently gone gun shopping for himself.
"I felt it necessary for me to go out and purchase a gun, and I did," Winslow said. "I went out and bought a 12-gauge shotgun. I don't like it. I don't like being in that position."
Judge Slaughter granted Winslow's request for the injunction, saying, "I will go ahead an issue the order. However, on the portion for [Roth] to stay away from the town council or the from the Town Hall, I don't think I can give a blanket order to do that. What it's going to say is that if he has to have specific personal business at the town, then he'll have to call and make an appointment. ... He can make an appointment if he wants to talk about his water bill or whatever the case may be, then that way you can leave or whatever so that you don't have to have a confrontation with him."
Her official order bans Roth from attending public meetings at Town Hall, precludes him from possessing or purchasing firearms and ammunition, and orders him to surrender his firearms to law enforcement.
Justice of the Peace Karen Slaughter ordered Michael Roth to surrender his firearms, and mandated he stay away from Town Hall except by appointment.
"I am stunned this can happen in America! What's going on here?" Roth exclaimed. "I had a heads-up that the corrupt chief of police was going to try and disarm me. I didn't know how this was possible since I didn't break any laws that would've allowed him to do this."
Roth, 46, is outraged at the mandate, telling WND his constitutional rights are being "completely" violated.
"Town Hall is where anyone in America can air their grievances to the public and to the politicians. Now I am ordered to stay away, effectively stopping me from warning others about the police state we live in," he said. "And in these times of rising crime, I can't even defend myself or my family because a crooked councilman and a misguided judge are worried about what the councilman might do to me because of his self-confessed mental instabilities. It's complete insanity!"
Justice Slaughter refused further comment about her ruling, as her assistant indicated the judge did not wish to be interviewed, even by email.
WND asked Roth about the allegations Winslow made in the hearing, and he responded:
"I never blocked his entrance. He even said he got inside Town Hall. I never 'glared' at him, especially when he said I did, as I have not been going to the meetings because this town council does not let you ask questions about the budget, or spending or policy. Most things on the agenda at these Town Hall meetings are 'Not open for public discussion,' so what's the point in even going? If you do speak up, they end up arresting you. I've been arrested twice at Town Hall meetings, and several times I have been arrested around town, simply because I've spoken truth to power.
"I did call him a turd once right after I heard Desert Freedom Press publisher Jones say, 'Good morning, Turd, I hope you have a good lawyer.' But I don't think this is reason enough for a restraining order, and to ban me from public meetings, and to take my guns away from me. This is simply an out-of-control local government, which is obviously trying to hide something. What? We don't know yet."
Roth says Councilman Winslow sought the restraining order when he knew Roth was going to be out of Arizona and unable to defend himself.
Roth said, "When I got back and discovered what they did in the hearing, and heard Judge Karen Slaughter saying she would look into whether or not she would order me to turn in my guns, I remembered my retired law-enforcement friend's warning and gave all of my guns away. Better to let a patriot have them than this thug of a chief.
"When a sheriff's deputy came to my door asking for my guns the day after I was served, I didn't think I had any. However, after he was gone I remembered that I had one rifle that I bought at a yard sale and completely forgot about it, so I called up the sheriff's office and told them I would comply with the court order and to come and get my rifle, even though I think it's unconstitutional what Judge Slaughter did."
Roth noted the judge "is a former sheriff's deputy and does not have formal legal training. She is the justice of the peace because she won an election. She's there because she won the popularity contest."
A video of the July 19 hearing in front of Judge Slaughter has been created from the audio of the proceeding and has been posted on YouTube.
As WND reported last week, the state of Arizona indicated it was investigating allegations of massive corruption among government officials in Quartzsite, and where the mayor said he's not being paid and most local
police officers were in the process of being fired and were ordered not to
leave their homes.
Mayor Ed Foster, who's been at war with his own council and Police Chief Jeff Gilbert
whom he has called corrupt and "a Nazi," believes potentially millions
of dollars of taxpayer money is being illegally funneled through secret
checks to unnamed councilmembers.
A Facebook support page for Mayor Foster has been inundated with viewership and messages of solidarity.
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