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I'm pretty well versed in my rights and don't get pushed around very often, even though I do inspire many inquiries. The thing about THIS one that caught me off guard is that I am not versed in the Homeland Security / TSA / Anti-Terrorist laws enough to have been able to distinguish between correct application and BS.
I've been a strong advocate and defender of law enforcemnt authorities being appropriate in making an inquiry and still feel the same regarding this isntance ... I was on RR property without authorization, so the inquiry is certaiinly appropriate.
HOWEVER ... IF a tax dollar paid, public servant took it upon himself to fabricate a story in an attempt to impose fear into a member (me) of the public in which he serves that PISSES ME OFF. As a servicemember, state official and federal subcontractor, I was always REQUIRED to be truthful in my conduct in the performance of my duties with others ... DIRECT as need be, but still abiding by the factuality of the laws under which I was either subject to or required to uphold.
If the officer says "You're trespassing on RR property and you have to leave." I say, "No problem. Thank you officer." I pack up and go and move to pulbic property and shoot from there. I understand the difference quite well.
The thing here that threw me for a loop was the stated 550 Feet distance requirement. That was a specification that I knew I was unaware of, either by my own ignorance of that specification ... OR ... by its non-existence.
I guess the root issue here is whether or not such a specification exists anywhere. With a chance to "sleep on it" and get my head a little more clear thinking, I'm strongly doubting that such a specification exists ... but would certainly like to find what/where it actually does address the issue @ photographing TSA (planes, buses, trucks, trains, etc.).
Subsequent to that is regarding the HS rules @ hotline reporting and being placed on the watch list ... as to what constitutes provocation for doing so ... and at who's discretion / requirement.
Like I've said before, I'm fairly well versed @ my rights, but like to think I know which battles vs. wars to pick and win vs. lose. I typically choose to not pick a battle of arguing with law enforcement (my town is too small to make a name with the establishment for being difficult an confrontational. Of course, I still retain and exercise my rights to shoot. I just smile and say "Hi, how are you doing officer."
Last week, I was taking some test shots @ sky/sunset/lighting relative to calibration efforts @ meter/camera. I just happend to be in a parking lot across from the police station. An officer comes out and asks me what I'm doing (go figure) and why I'm taking pics of the police station/officers/cars/etc.
We chat, I laugh ... he goes back inside ... no biggie. I'm fine with the inquiries as I've had enough that I handle them very well and recognize them as being dutiful inquiries (mostly to satisfy the nature of their profession's curiousity at peculiarity). The officer even divulged to me that they had been inside watching the "PI" across the street on their monitors. Me, a "PI" ... yeah right, but hey whatever floats your boat. Minor inconvenience, but nothing earth shattering or problematic.
So, what I don't know is whether this was a "BS smokescreen" that I bought into in a moment of ignorance (@ the existence of such TSA specifics) ... or have I really been placed on the Anti-Terrorist Watch List. The latter is all I really care about. I and my family are on good terms with the "MIB" (yes they've been to my house) relative to our security clearance issues.
So, now I have to figure out how "Verify or Flushout" the matter.
Thanks guys ... still looking for specific info (i.e. actual law) regarding the matter if you've got anything else. I prefer to go into a gun fight with a couple of loaded six-shooters and a fully stocked gun belt. It usually only takes one well-placed shot, but it's always good to have more ... it gets in your opponents head that they are better served to pick a different adversary if they don't want a "real fight" on their hands. I haven't lost one yet that I've been properly prepared for. They might get first salvo ... but so far, I'm still standing.
Edited on Mar 12, 2012 at 01:01 PM · View previous versions