|The Official Web Site of Jonas Maxwell (Джонас Максвелл)|
"Radical"... "Defiant"... "Rebellious"... "Extremist"... Just like America's Founding Fathers!|
Banned in all 50 states (58 if you're an Obama supporter)...AND NIGERIA, TOO!
I was ready to establish my independence at the age of four. Not 14, not 24, 4! For some reason, I had decided I didn't want to live in the big stone house with my family any longer. I don't remember why. I pulled out a suitcase that was bigger than I was, and started packing. My mother came to my room and asked me what I was doing. "I'm running away," I explained. She pleaded with me to stay, telling me that she and my father loved me. But that didn't matter - I was determined. As she escorted me to the front door, she continued her pleas. We said goodbye as I went down the stairs to freedom.
I soon learned that finding a new place to live was not as easy as I had thought. Within an hour or two, I was back at home in my own room. But on that day, it was clear that I would never be afraid to leave the comfort of my own home, and venture alone into the unknown.
On January 29, 2009, I was arrested and charged with a felony. On my way to work, I had stopped by the Regional Justice Center to take care of a routine speeding ticket. I didn't want to leave my laptop in the car, so I took it with me. I placed the backpack-style case and the laptop on the conveyor belt to be X-rayed. I walked through the metal detector, and was immediately handcuffed. I had forgotten about the handgun I had slipped into an unused pocket of the case.
Three times, I've been offered the same deal by the state: plead guilty to a misdemeanor, pay a $500 fine, and forfeit the handgun. For any felon, that would be a sweet deal. For me, it's no deal. I make my own decisions. I'm responsible for my actions. But I'm not a criminal, and I will not plead guilty to any crime I didn't commit. Plus, I have a constitutional right to own that handgun. The state has no legitimate reason for refusing to return it. I've been properly trained in firearm safety, I've never misused it, and I've twice used it in a safe, legal, and legitimate manner.
First was on Friday, May 1, 1992 - the third day of the Los Angeles riots that erupted following the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Deparment (LAPD) officers who had been accused in the videotaped beating of Rodney King, an African-American. LAPD resources and manpower had been stretched to its limits, and the department desperately needed help. I was invited to be part of a four-man armed unit to patrol the streets of Hollywood alongside LAPD. A curfew had been established, but there was still widespread rioting, arson, and looting, and the National Guard had not yet arrived, so I agreed. Fortunately, the night was relatively uneventful for our team, and the National Guard arrived about half-way through the shift. But this is one example of my commitment to legally help defend and protect my community.
The second use of my handgun was a little more dramatic, and took place during the rescue of an unconcious man. I was at home when my wife, at the time, came home and told me about some suspicious activity in the garage. I went to the garage and found a man unconcious inside his locked car with the engine running and his foot on the accelerator. He had "the pedal to the metal." The car and the entire garage were filled with smoke and gas from the car's exhaust. The first thing I did was find the security guard who patrolled the complex. The security guard didn't have a radio, cell phone, or other means of communication, so she had to go to the management office to call 9-1-1. Meanwhile, the man's face was white as a sheet, and he clearly and desperately needed oxygen. Rather than wait for help, I found a golf club and smashed a small window behind the driver. I reached in and unlocked the car. The engine was shut off, and the man began to wake up. As I helped him out of the car, he saw the broken window, and became angry and violent. He picked up the golf club and took a few swings at me. I backed up as far as I could, but was backed into a corner. At that point, I drew my handgun and told him to drop the golf club, which he did before running away. The security guard had returned around that time, and she and my wife witnessed the incident. I immediately called Long Beach (California) Police and asked them to respond so that I could clear myself. The investigation showed that there was no wrongdoing on my part. Later, the man threatened to file a lawsuit against me and the property owners (of which he was one), but his threats were empty and went nowhere. This was a clear case of a handgun being used properly and legally to deter a violent crime.
"But, Jonas, you put the handgun in the backpack, and you took it into the courthouse. You're obviously guilty!"
If you believe that, I just hope and pray you're not on my jury. Looking back, I clearly made a few mistakes that led up to my arrest. For those mistakes, I plead guilty. As far as mistakes go, those weren't the first I'd made, and they'll almost certainly not be the last. Should I go to prison for those mistakes? I think not. In America, we have penalties for infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies, but not for simple mistakes, not for simply forgetting. Our crimes require intent. In my humble opinion, crimes should be reserved for those who draw the gun, point it at someone else, and demand their money - none of which I would ever do.
According to the criminal complaint, the defendant did "wilfully, intentionally, unlawfully, and feloniously carry concealed upon his person a firearm..." No, I did not carry "wilfully" or "intentionally". If it wasn't wilful (and it wasn't) and if it wasn't intentional (and it wasn't), then it would not be unlawful or felonious. That's not only my opinion. I contacted almost 100 criminal defense attorneys in Clark County, Nevada, where I live. Only the very best agreed to represent me on my terms, namely that I would not plead guilty to any crime, and that I would go to trial, if necessary, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, this may cost as much as $30,000 or more, which I can't afford. But it's really not about me.
I may go to prison, and I'll just have to deal with it. It will be a hiccup in my overall life. What concerns me most is that I have a wife and daughter who, at this point, are almost totally dependent on me. What will happen to them if I'm not here to take care of them? I think about that everyday, but I'm confident God will take care of them. It may not be the dream they had hoped for when they came to America. It certainly won't be my dream to have a criminal record and/or go to prison. But God has a plan, and I'm honored to be a part of it.
For me, the day of evil - one of many - has come. I will stand my ground with the belt of truth buckled around my waist, and when all is said and done, I intend to remain standing.
So what is the purpose of this Web site? Here it is:
On February 14, 2009, a Las Vegas Sun reporter, Jeff German, wrote a news article on my arrest. In the article, German portrayed me as "a former Las Vegas cabdriver with a violent past." Very little of what German wrote is accurate. Most of his story is twisted; some is simply not true. Since I studied journalism in college, and am responsible for writing news articles and press releases for my current employer, I have some idea of the process involved in writing a news story. Apparently, German missed that day when he was in school (if he went to school). He made absolutely no effort to contact the subject of his story. Using only my name, a simple Google search produces my contact information on the first two pages of the search results. There's absolutely no excuse for the sorry example of "yellow journalism" written by German.
Wherever this Web site leads to in the future, the first step for me is to make it known to Las Vegas and to the world who I am and, more importantly, who I am not. If you're interested, you can read my rebuttal to German's news story.
UPDATE: April 5, 2011 - Judge James M. Bixler of the Eighth Judicial District Court dismissed the charge. Case closed.
Copyright © 2010 Jonas Maxwell. All rights reserved.
Starmasters Toastmasters, Las Vegas