Sean, a beloved and well-known activist amongst libertarian-leaning circles, a talented writer, radio personality and more in the short time I’ve known him, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Here is more on the background from another friend, Kelly Patterson, including Sean’s final (unfinished) essay: R.I.P. Sean Gruber – Yet Another Victim of the LVMPD
I’ve known Sean just a few years, and we hung out just a handful of times, but quickly through our conversations and common interests it became clear our philosophical connection and common beliefs in what is right and wrong was strong- One central bond between Sean and I was writing, both in humor and in seriousness, but now I find myself at a loss for words that can measure up. I know I’ve got to bring up Hunter S. Thompson, and what Sean saw in me I saw in him albeit from slightly different angles, and if I did indeed have that Hunter nature, Sean’s Hunter half was fully thorough in his unfiltered, raw, limitless wit, scathing with truth those who oppress, who brutalize, who parade the most grotesque displays of human depravity under the guise of “law”, and he could not stand to partake in “their” world any longer. The main entity of his scorn was LVMPD, for many good legitimate reasons. One of these final eloquent thoughts he delivered shows the emotion that they just made snowball-
“You assholes push me and I’ll say what I mean. I hate you. You made me hate you. I didn’t like cops when I moved to Las Vegas – I left with a paranoid hatred of which I can barely describe.”
After I got the call about his passing… after the shock, I thought, well I don’t know much of his personal life since he’s moved, though I couldn’t help but wonder if or to what degree the harassment by LVMPD had to do with it. Well it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw that he had been put on a “Dangerous Persons” list by Metro, which he found out when he tried to get a concealed weapons permit in New Hampshire, a state that promised to have more “freedom” than most states. I had wondered if he was feeling “freer” there, and I hoped so, but I certainly thought at least the Vegas harassment had stopped.
And then I saw his final essay, said to be unfinished… and it became pretty clear that the weight of the continued pressure from afar was a significant factor. His family had been affected- and he felt they were thus at risk too… and I don’t believe it’s weak to worry immensely about one’s family, when the heat of a gang so murderous and conniving as the LVMPD comes down upon you and your loved ones, directly or indirectly.
I saw for myself, far too close for comfort, and amongst a group of people I was involved with in the Libertarian Party “leadership”- a party he had felt aligned with though understandably became very alienated by, as with many of us- but he to a very direct and disturbing degree. Someone- later it appeared it wasn’t the person he first thought but in the group he knew they were in (we discussed this with each other later after the dust seemed to have settled)- didn’t like the nature of a post of his after the two Vegas cops were shot by people he never met or talked to, words in which didn’t even go as far as his last post- and still he has never threatened a cop once. Well I witnessed this person online say that they would have to report him (as some kind of duty because of their line of work associated with police) if he continued his “language”, or whatever, and I tried defending his freedom of speech but this “public servant” was stuck in their ways and I realized my words made no difference… while this person tried to get all of us to change our profile pictures to the black-crossed police memorial badge thing, as a clearly political ass-covering gesture, and Sean called them out on it (this was honestly a factor in me not going with the herd, aside from the tackiness and insincerity- Sean’s words made complete sense).
(Sean’s words on this can be found here… the person who reported him was not one of the two names he mentioned here- he later learned their true identity. Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something)
Well I didn’t realize until weeks later, after Sean had understandably blocked me amongst others because of our association with the scumbag who reported him, that he actually was reported to “authorities” and “visited” at his home. Eventually he unblocked me and we cleared the story up with each other, and for all this time I felt like complete shit for having been in a committee with the asshole who reported him for his dissent- a complete opposite of Sean, a sell-out fake to the core, whom I didn’t even realized was involved with a Fusion Center (link, where they collect all the agencies’ data of everybody and go after “dangerous people”), without the ounce of ability to ever be anywhere near the genuine friend Sean was. I was at least happy when he stepped down from his position of the LP, because he was too “busy” (apparently too busy reporting people for voicing their harmless passionate feelings), but the damage had already been done.
“The truth about me isn’t very nice for the “powers that be.” I’m very boring. I’m a thirty five year old man. I live on odd jobs and my family’s charity. I have no criminal record. I’ve never been arrested. I’ve never been convicted of a crime. I’ve never even been charged with a crime.”
They accomplished NOTHING by harassing him, by intimidating him to the point of leaving this state, except getting blood on their hands with their pathetic tactics. People like SEAN are the threats? People who raise awareness of the TRUTH- a truth that now has spread so far and deep and gone beyond the point of no return, because those in charge have decided they are still right- as far as they go down the path of tyranny, and brutalization, and cornering peaceful people into hellholes by harassment… so far that they have awakened the actual threats- those inclined toward violence against others, those who truly have gone off the deep end and are most likely not making valid points like Sean, and they should also look within their own ranks first for the real most likely culprits…
Sean, I’m sorry I didn’t tell that bastard off as soon as he posed the possibility of having to report you- I know a couple of us argued that he didn’t need to go to that extent- I naively didn’t think he actually would. The betrayal hits deeper than ever right now. I also had no idea the chain reaction that could start… as Hunter says, “The mind of America is seized by a fatal dry rot – and it’s only a question of time before all that the mind controls will run amok in a frenzy of stupid, impotent fear.”
We’ve clearly come to that moment, and it’s understandable you could not take this rot anymore, especially now that the impotent fear has infected the minds of an army of badged thugs, one especially corrupt gang of which had their sights set on you. Because you have a natural talent to convey your feelings through your words, a mind that cannot be silenced, a passion for humanity that is unwavering and unyielding, qualities I truly admire from the core of my heart and soul, and I cherished each time we talked in person or online. Your friends also did, they loved you dearly and we always will…
Anytime I again feel the lower reaction of fear and self-censorship arise, in the face of the grotesque multi-headed hydra monster that holds the illusion of power over the masses, and uses boots of fear to try to stomp the idea of liberty out of any of us who show value for human life… I will remember you and move forward in calling them out, and strive for anything near your incomparable consistency. You remind me I must live up to that unspoken vow of bringing light to the dark wherever necessary- those of us who see and understand how important that light is, that truth, and how dark that dark that tries to keep the light out is- must be sought after with our life… and no one can turn out that light for us.
It doesn’t matter how many times they “visit” us, which they did quite a bit around the time Sean was visited, we will not submit. Sean did not submit, he fought without violence, until his dying breaths.
And oh yeah, your one constructive critique of my writing I’ve always remembered- too many run-on sentences… yeah, I better work on that too.
And to close with another Hunter quote, whom Sean was like not just in his witty darkness but his blazingly glorious fun, oh what a great sense of humor and vigor Sean had…
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Articles by Sean Gruber:
- An Open Letter to Cops, Their Families, and the Average Statist
- Somebody Saw Unpopular Opinions, Somebody Said Something
- I’m Not Food to be Preyed Upon by the Police State