Men Brandishing Firearms in Open Vehicle

Military vehicle seen at Leadbetter Beach (Photo: Nextdoor)

Update by an edhat reader
December 15, 2023

I read this edhat post and then heard from neighbors about seeing this guy in the car throughout town.

One neighbor told me he saw this guy cruising around Leadbetter Beach and Shoreline earlier this week. Here are some photos of that.

Military vehicle seen at Leadbetter Beach (Photo: Nextdoor)

By an Edhat Reader
December 12, 2023

I was walking and then waiting at the corner of State and La Cumbre to cross when an open vehicle  – brown camo- slowly drove toward Goleta on State St.  There was a large American flag on the back but what was shocking was that there was a white male posed with one knee up  gripping what looked  exactly like a large assault rife  across his chest.   I just gaped.

I didn’t have a cell phone so I took no photos-BUT…. when I got home about 10 minutes later I called the non emergency police phone number and spoke to the watch commander.   He said yes, “there had been several calls about the armed man.   And they were seen on Calle Real and Turnpike Rd.  I went to a friend’s home where they listened to a police scanner and the vehicle made it down to Milpas area.

Just how is it that people armed with assault weapons get to terrorize  people  and  there doesn’t seem to be any arrests!  I am not an expert on weapons but the gun the man had was large and  it was clearly being brandished to scare people.

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  1. If he was pointing it at you, then definitely could be arrested (or at least cited) for brandishing a weapon. I think just holding a gun in the car might also be illegal. As I recall from when I would go shooting at the Glass Factory, we had to keep our guns in the trunk. Hopefully they at least make contact with this foolish person.

  2. How do you know it wasn’t fake?
    Driving around with a American flag(gasp) I think it is your trigger so to speak.
    He was probably trying to manipulate his 3 decker hamburger LOL.
    If the Bozo actually has a loaded weapon that’s a different thing.
    Being Patriotic is hate speech to some people.
    Personally, I am all for our country.
    We can’t fund the entire planets problems and take care of our own.
    Why is that so hard to understand?

    • OGSB – Has to be a (weapon) shown in a rude, threatening or angry manner. IMO, as reported, “one knee up gripping what looked exactly like a large assault rife across his chest” not good enough for an arrest. Car being “driven slowly” I’m surprised you didn’t get a plate number. Either way, had the car been stopped the occupants likely would have found themselves spread eagle on the ground.

      • SAC – “ No one here said “AR = assault rifle or assault weapon” or anything close.”

        Original piece mentions assault weapon and assault rifle.

        An AR-15 is not an assault rifle and there is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” That is made up terminology to scare up gun control support.

        • Yeah. assault rifle is just a made-up term. Made up by the military in the 1940s to describe full and semi-auto firearms chambered for rounds less powerful than traditional rifle ammunition, but capable of greater firepower at shorter ranges because of more compact size and less weight for both the weapon and larger ammunition load. You gun nuts can rationalize anything.

          • Anon – Read again.

            You clearly need a comprehension check.

            Am AR-15 is not an assault rifle, which is a valid term but not for an AR-15.

            As I said, “assault weapon” is a non existent and unacceptable term to be used when referring to firearms in any sense.

            You are either playing too many video games or watching too many gun control advocacy videos.

            • ” “assault weapon” is a non existent and unacceptable term” –
              OK, so what would you and your pals like everyone to call military style, semi-auto weapons designed for and capable of killing as many people as possible in a very short amount of time? By all means, give those unnecessary weapons a term and I’m sure everyone will be fine using it.

              Problem is, you folks seem to think that by discrediting the term used to describe weapons like that, you can dodge the important stuff like how to keep those types of weapons off the street and back in the hands of only the military, who are the only people that really need those types of guns.

              We don’t care what you call them, pick any name you want. We just don’t want them in the hands of civilians when you folks also oppose any true background and mental illness checks or any meaningful restrictions on sales.

                • Ah yes. The U.S. Constitution, Article I: Section 11:
                  “American patriots have every right to break the doors and windows of the Capitol building, demand the heads of political leaders, defecate on desks, and attempt to steal electoral votes to overthrow free and fair elections.”
                  Can’t believe I missed that one Voice, thanks for the reminder of our rights!

                • VOR –
                  How could he be a fan of it if he doesn’t understand it?

                  I think we can see what side of things he is on by the “only the military should have them” line.

                  And let me guess SAC, the military should only serve to police and persecute all people you describe as bigots?

                  You are a foolish one of you claim the Armalite AR-15 as the modern sporting arms are named after, was never designed to kill many people and is no more fitting for that purpose than other types of firearms.

                  It is a semi-automatic, magazine fed sporting rifle. Plenty of other types and alternatives to those. And no, since you are probably wondering a legal, unmodified AR-15 does not have a full auto mode.

                  You know, the thing the military implements that actually makes a gun kill more people more quickly, rather than any platform or aesthetic design.

                  You should really do some reading before making bold claims on the internet about guns if you know nothing about them.

            • And hold on a second, you say “assault rifle, which is a valid term,” but then the very next sentence you say ““assault weapon” is a non existent and unacceptable term”

              So…. which is it? Valid or unacceptable? Can’t be both. OR… are you distinguishing between rifle vs weapon?

              Either way, like I mentioned, the name is really meaningless. Call it whatever you want.

                • tnky knk – I never said “assault rifle” about anything. Read English. I’m simply asking what term is more appropriate for people like you who think it’s wrong.

                  The burden is on you and the other complainers to explain why it’s wrong or at least provide a better term.

                  Again though, it’s irrelevant and the hyper focus on the terminology does not distract from the true issue no matter how many times you say “assault rifle is a made up word!”

              • Those are two different terms and as I previously said, an AR-15 is not by definition an assault rifle.

                Your word salad doesn’t change that I said assault weapon is a meaningless term and that assault rifle (what military and some police have) is not the firearm we are talking about here.

                Don’t know how many more times you would have to read that in order to understand it but you should get your eyes checked.

                  • Sac – the answer to your “simple question” is that an AR-15 should be called a semi automatic sporting rifle.

                    Somehow you’ve missed the clear answer multiple times. But hey, do whine and moan saying I’m the one not grasping the discussion

                    • SBStoner, no, in fact, an AR-15 should not be called “a semi-automatic sporting rifle.”

                      Anyone who knows anything about guns would understand that the above is redundant. All sporting rifles are by definition semi-automatic.

                      It’s like saying it is a “gun rifle.” All rifles are guns.

                    • Alex, not really. There are some sporting rifles that aren’t semi-auto, like the Winchester lever action ones, unless those aren’t considered “sporting rifles” and just rifles.

                    • You still haven’t explained what term you and your gun pals would like us to use instead of “assault rifle?” You’re hyperfocused on the AR, I’m asking about the term in general since you all constantly cry about that not being “the right word.”

                    • Alex – It seems there might be a misunderstanding. While many sporting rifles are indeed semi-automatic, not all of them fall under this category. The term ‘semi-automatic sporting rifle’ is used to highlight specific features. It’s akin to specifying ‘sports car’ in the automotive world. Just a nuance in terminology for clarity.
                      Just because you clearly “know anything about guns” here’s a little something extra for ya 🙂

                    • In the common modern parlance of those who wish to present facts related to guns rather than hysteria, the overwhelming majority of sporting rifles are semi-automatic. None of them are fully automatic. Therefore, you don’t need to say “semi-automatic sporting rifle.”

                      Yes, there are bolt action rifles. They are not “semi-automatic” because they require manually and mechanically moving a round unlike gas driven rifles. Sporting literally means “hunting” in the history of rifles. Bolt action rifles are more precision weapons, used for target shooting and hunting and are the choice of any sniper in the world, not so good for home protection.

                      Nowadays, a sporting rifle is something that one might use for hunting, target shooting or home protection.

                      “Assault” rifle typically is taken to mean a rifle that is fully automatic. However, “assault rifle” is also a legal term used in some states related to magazine capacity.

                      So, there is some variation as to how people use the language.

                      Calling a semi-automatic rifle intended to also appeal to people as a means of home protection a “sporting” rifle is just marketing and it’s false. It’s stupid.

                      People are scared of “black guns” because they are close in appearance and function to actual assault rifles. (and yes, you can get off enough rounds in a short period of time with a semi-automatic weapon to make it close enough to an automatic weapon that arguing about it becomes ridiculous.). People are drawn to “black guns” for exactly the same reason, because they look intimidating.

    • ANON – what does the soundness of mind have to do with it? Would an unsound mind holding a gun be less of a threat? Does only a sound mind qualify for “brandishing?” Not sure it matters. In fact, not sure which is more concerning either.

      If someone sees someone driving through town while holding a large gun, so you still say, “relax?” Why? If this were rural Texas, yeah, probably not a thing to worry about unless they’re pointing it at you. But this is suburban California. Not a lot of folks driving around holding guns on their chests. This behavior SHOULD be reported. I can’t believe I have to say this. Have you never heard of mass shootings? Those happen….. frequently. If you see someone driving in SB while holding a large gun up on their knee, SAY SOMETHING.

      Good lord folks….. this isn’t rural Oklahoma and it never will be. If you want this stuff, go move there. How many more mass shootings do you need before you start being concerned about someone driving around, poised with a gun in the city? SMH……

        • Yeah, that’s not even close to the point LOL.

          Let me help you, you’re having a tough day and it’s showing. So, when I said those words, in that order, when you apply basic understanding of reasoning and logic, it’s a comparison (not to be confused with the word “parrot” or “prison” or even “calamari”) of what is normally seen in a rural (that means not in the city), desolate area is not what one would expect to see in a suburban (city, homes, etc) area.

          Like, if I saw a man roping and branding a calf at the corner of State and Mission, I would have a different reaction (not nuclear, but I know that’s a tricky word) than if I saw it on a farm in rural (remember that word?) pick any low populated area of any state you want. Some things are more alarming given the location and context (a very tough concept for some).

          See? Did that help? You’re welcome. 🙂

  3. Interesting how this alleged incident was allowed to be posted by Edhat censors following a lively discussion earlier about firearms.
    Was there a police report filed? Make of car? Description of (wait for it ) “white male?” Didn’t have a cell phone to document? Witnesses? How substantiated? Reported by “Edhat Reader, who? Statement by police?
    All we really know is the car had an (wait for it) American flag in the back window.
    Really shocked the driver didn’t have orange hair.
    What nonsense, yet another triggering event allowed by Edhat activists/“journalists.” Shame on you Edhat for allowing this garbage to be passed as “Newsworthy.”

  4. This Dershowitz podcast addresses freedom of expression, free speech and differences between actions, conduct, as compared to advocacy — right to bear arms, who, when and where is a state’s rights matter.

    Yelling “FIRE is sounding an ALARM” not free speech — similar to ‘Watch Out’ the building is falling.

    A Call To Action — KILL MURDERERS, ELIMINATE ALL WHITES — Is ‘Advocacy Protected Speech’ as inappropriate, wrong, hateful, threatening as certain phrases are to others.

      • ” you can’t just walk into a store and buy a rifle like a computer.” – depends on the store. If it’s a federally licensed dealer, you just have to pass an instant background check. If it’s unlicensed (gun show, garage sale, flea market, etc) you sure as shootin’ can “buy a rifle like a computer.”

            • You’re moving the goal posts (again…). I provided some examples to refute the claim that Republicans don’t want EVERYONE to have access to firearms. Your retort to those examples they could still do it illegally? You’ve shown time and time again your facts in this area are lacking.

              • No, and really try harder please. My response was only (pretty clearly) to your claim that it’s harder to buy a gun than a computer. Hint: that’s why I put it in quotes and started my comment with it……

                Nice try with your favorite (and getting tiresome) Motte and Bailey!

                  • You know, I’d love to fly out to some red state today (they usually have great bbq) and walk out of a Walmart with a gun and a computer, but I don’t need another gun or computer.

                    Seriously though, while I might need an instant “background check” (NICS) for a gun and not a computer, I could buy one just as easily and quickly from a Walmart or Big5. NICS results don’t show much at all, only arrests. Yes, I’ve used them many times before in a previous job. They don’t show underlying mental illness. They don’t show motive. They don’t show how many times the neighbors called the cops on you for screaming at your wife or kids. So yeah, hand out guns to anyone who doesn’t have a protective order (yet) or arrest for a violent crime (yet).

                    Thing is though, unlicensed dealers are able to skirt NICS and sell to whomever (or whoever?) they want.

                    If you want a gun in the US, it’s as easy as buying a computer depending on where you go.

    • Not what OP was describing at all.

      Across the chest?

      Most people can distinguish a carried firearm vs a mounted gun platform such as the Browning heavy machine gun.

      And before you go running for the hills, I assure you the one on Nextdoor is demilitarized.

      Hence, the gun does not work and would need serious modification to do so.

      • Just because another photo was taken on another day at another place, doesn’t mean the OP didn’t see something else. Could be he was sitting in the drivers seat with a second gun. Let’s not ridicule them for what they say they saw. Who knows.

        But either way, as someone mentioned on Nextdoor, this is not a great idea to be driving around dressed as a soldier with a gun in their lap and/or mounted like that during a time when the US is under a high level of terrorist threat, both domestic and foreign.

        Cool way to flex or whatever, but not the brightest.

        • OP did not see this vehicle Sac.

          Unlike you, I’m not going to babble on about “answering my question or whatever” but you are just doing that thing you do where you (knowingly) misinterpret what I said to try and maintain your stance.

          You and anyone competent knows I’m not saying OP saw this vehicle, I’m saying this is not the vehicle OP saw because they would have mentioned the GIANT MACHINE GUN on the back.

          Did I deny there was a man with a rifle in a vehicle once? No. You are being presumptuous as usual and are taking things out of context purposefully.

          Whether you mean to or it’s subconsciously the only way you can justify your reasoning, I don’t know.

          Thanks for the comment analysis though 👍🏼

          • “OP did not see this vehicle Sac.” – how do you that? Yeah, tell me more about my “Crystal ball” LOL!

            They saw an “open vehicle – brown camo- slowly drove toward Goleta on State St. There was a large American flag on the back”

            Yeah, nothing at all like that vehicle at all……

            “Answering my question” – huh? What question did I ask you to answer? You’re all over the place here.

            But yeah, you’re of course right. There’s no way this was the same open, camo vehicle, flying a US flag off the back with a man poised with a large gun on his knee……

            Stoner solved the case!

  5. Waiting for the official police comment confirming whether this is the vehicle or not.

    Lots of speculation and mismatched info.

    That is not a weapon you can sling across the chest we are talking about.

    Mounted gun vs a weapon you can grip is a big difference.

    These guys are vets or involved with the VA in some way. You can see them at any Veterans Day parade.

    • You’ll be waiting a while as this is not really a priority, except for you apparently.

      “Lots of speculation ” – says the guy who proclaimed that the OP was definitely not talking about this particular camo colored, open vehicle with a US flag off the back and guy poised with his knee up with a giant gun.

      Also brought to you by the guy who’s sure “these guys” are vets….

      • Yeah Sac, the vehicle described by OP doesn’t match this description. You really think that vehicle is brown?

        For those of us familiar with the vehicle and what it represents we know it’s green. Plus as I said before big difference between a rifle of any type and a mounted MACHINE GUN.

        • Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation Is imvolbed in maintaining at least one keep such as this. Without seeing the text on the back it’s hard to confirm but people sounding alarm over something that has been driving around the streets for 8+ years is ridiculous.

          Most of the people commenting here are at this point only engaging out of the passion created by the misleading “guy with a gun in a car” narrative OP created.

          If the title was “decommissioned army jeep seen at Ledbetter” no one here would make a big deal and the response would be “oh I know I’ve seen that before”

          Typical leftist hysteria coupled with a fear of walking back comments and opinions. SMH

          • “Typical leftist hysteria” – no one here has been hysterical (well, besides you). The OP was alarmed by this vehicle and rightfully so, given their unfamiliarity with this type of vehicle and gun.

            ” coupled with a fear of walking back comments and opinions” – Says the guy who will insist till the end that this is absolutely, in no way possible, the same “open vehicle” with camo and a guy “posed with one knee up” (like the guy in the PHOTO above) and US flag hanging off the back that the OP and others reported seeing around the same time.

            NOTHING suggests you are correct. Not one thing.

        • “For those of us familiar with the vehicle” – the OP sounds pretty UNfamiliar with this type of vehicle and guns in general.

          “we know it’s green.” – Have you seen the vehicle the OP saw? Is the vehicle in the photo green? Can’t tell, but the guy in the photo is wearing, guess what…. “BROWN CAMO.” Guess what color is prevalent in green camo sometimes….. yeah.. BROWN.

          You’re grasping so insanely desperately to this weird obsession that this photo of an open, camo vehicle is not the same as what the OP saw.

          So let me ask you, what other “open vehicles” painted in camo with guys “posed with one knee up” have you seen around town?

          Why is it impossible for you to accept that this is the vehicle that the OP and others around town saw around the same time? What is the object of your inability to even consider it’s the same open, camo vehicle with a gun and flag?

          Another point: that gun swivels. A guy sitting with a knee up in the back could DEFINITELY have that gun “across his chest.”

          • Sure Sac – I am “grasping” at something I know OP seriously misinterpreted or miscommunicated.

            You have insanely good eyes, like better retinas than all of humanity as a whole of you can say he’s wearing brown.

            The picture is silhouetted. So it’s impossible to know what color it really is. What I do know, to answer one of your questions, is that there is a green (yes, not really at all close to brown) Willy’s Jeep owned and operated by someone at the PCVF. I mentioned this all above, maybe you missed it.

            Or are you still in denial and grasping to the idea that these aren’t just patriotic veterans doing what they’ve done for almost a decade by driving around with that vehicle?

            • “I know OP seriously misinterpreted or miscommunicated.” – You don’t know that at all unless YOU were the OP so just come off it man.

              “you can say he’s wearing brown” – uh, because the 2nd (smaller) photo of him driving away has the gunner wearing light BROWN or tan.

              “So it’s impossible to know what color it really is.” – But you’ve claimed it’s DEFINITELY not “brown” LOLOLOLOLOL!

              So just because Willy owns a green jeep, there’s no way this one had brown in it?

              “Or are you still in denial and grasping to the idea that these aren’t just patriotic veterans.. ” – I never once not ever said this person (likely the same the OP saw) is not just a “patriotic veteran.” I don’t care if a vet is cruising around with a deactivated gun, but it could definitely be alarming to others.

              What is your motive for digging in here and claiming that there’s no way this could be the same jeep (despite it being described almost identically)?

              How about you tell us what other camo colored, “open vehicles” with a flag and a guy with a knee up (EXACTLY LIKE THE PHOTO) it could have been? You’re so sure it’s not this same (identically described) vehicle.

              So do tell us, Sherlock, what other vehicle could it be?

            • I think the case is closed, “Stoner.”

              Check out the Nextdoor post:

              Look at the photos (same as here) and zoom in if needed. The “gunner” is definitely wearing light brown, likely camo. The jeep itself looks like green and brown camo. Look at the photo of him driving away, not the silhouette.

              To say there is no way the OP saw this vehicle and then described it as someone with no military training (or whatever you think is needed to “accurately” describe this vehicle) would, is to ignore reality. Not surprising, but that’s just what it is.

              • Case closed, judge “Sac”.

                Just kidding, you can hold me in contempt because I still say that OP blew out of proportion what is essentially a Veteran’s memorial and is well known by most of the community.

                The ones that actually go outside and don’t just live behind total FUD, that is.

                • “I still say that OP blew out of proportion what is essentially a Veteran’s memorial…”

                  No, you have said ONLY that there is no way this was the same vehicle the OP saw.

                  In fact, ny saying what I just quoted,” you now admit you think that OP saw this “memorial.” Do you realize that?

                  Are you even sure what you’re saying anymore? Think about it as you re-read your comment.


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