Twenty-four year old Dereck Simonsmeier of Schofield, Wisconsin is another self-proclaimed â€œresponsibleâ€ gun owner who advocates for the â€œrightâ€ to openly carry a firearm anywhere he wishes and derides those who are made uncomfortable by the presence of a loaded weapon in a location where one would not expect to see it. Less than a week ago he had a guest essay published in his local newspaper which quickly went viral on pro gun websites whining that he was asked to leave a Pick â€˜N Save market when he refused to conceal the handgun he was openly carrying on his belt. He now has something new to whine about as he has been arrested and jailed on endangerment charges after threatening a friendâ€™s roommate with that same weapon.
In his op-ed he wrote that he is a college graduate and an Iraq war veteran and that he is always armed justifying it by saying that for his entire tour of duty in Iraq he had been armed and that he can see no reason why that should change on the streets and in the businesses in his hometown.
His actions on Wednesday do not support these claims.
A friend called him and three other friends to assist her in an attempt to make her roommate to leave the apartment that they shared. Simonsmeier, Danny Price, 32, Shannon Wheeler, 25, and Amanda Zastrow, 26, responded to her call for help with all three of the men armed. This does not conform to his claim that he does not carry the weapon to intimidate or pick a fight.
When police were called all three men were arrested on charges of endangering safety and Zastrow was arrested for being a party to a crime.
Police confiscated a .40-caliber Glock handgun, a 1300 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun and a Remington 1911 handgun, the very same weapon that Simonsmeier said he was carrying at the Pick â€˜N Save in his op-ed piece.
Police reported that while no shots were fired in the confrontation,the weapons were used to intimidate the man. The woman who initiated the event when she called for help was not arrested after she told police that she did not know that the men were going to bring their weapons.
While Simonsmeier claims to be non-confrontational, his actions and words tell a different story. In his op-ed he says that he was not trying to be controversial yet when questioned by the store manager as to whether or not he had a permit to carry a handgun instead of giving a straight-forward answer he told him that it was allowable to carry a loaded weapon openly in the state.
When the manager asked him to conceal it he refused citing the fact that he was wearing only slacks a short sleeve shirt and a winter hat, in January.
That statement indicates that he intentionally wanted to cause a controversy by flaunting the weapon for all to see, no one leaves the house in late January without a jacket no matter how long they expect to be gone.
Later in the op-ed he complains of becoming so cold while waiting outside the store in only a short sleeve shirt that he would have had great difficulty in handling his weapon if he had found himself in a position where it was necessary to draw it in the parking lot.
Hopefully after his court case is over he will no longer be able to own any firearms due to a felony conviction.