what you fear they may do unto you, isn’t that it? I think we learned something about legal precedent last week.
In the narrowest sense, we learned that it is now okay for white people to kill other white people, as long as the people killed were protesting with, or on behalf of, a Black person or persons. Before this, white people could only kill Black people and get away with it [with certain exceptions, e.g. it has always been okay to kill bicyclists as long as you use a car].
In the broader sense, it appears that it is now okay to kill anyone, as long as you are afraid. Bear with me for a moment. Suppose I carry a firearm at all times because I fear for my life. Now suppose I kill someone with said weapon, but I testify that I was afraid that they were going to kill me. We used to call that paranoia but now, it seems, we call it self-defense. At least that’s what a jury in Kenosha, WI appears to have decided last week.
The defendant testified that he was afraid – afraid of what, one might ask? After all, he carried a semi-automatic rifle to a street demonstration, where his “attacker” was armed with a plastic bag. Testimony presented indicates that the bag contained socks, papers, deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Nonetheless, he was afraid. He killed the person who had been armed with said plastic bag. (He was no longer so armed, as he had thrown it.) How could the shooter help it? He was carrying a Smith & Wesson M&P 15, which the manufacturer tells us is “easy to accessorize, but hard to put down.” It’s especially hard to put down when it is strapped to your body and you carry it with your finger on the trigger. (I accessorize it with a low-heeled pump and a smart tactical vest to carry extra high-capacity magazines, but that’s just me.)
The next person he killed was armed with a skateboard. He killed that person because he was afraid again.
I just completed a series of trainings at work. One was on active shooters. The defendant was certainly one of those before he shot his second and third victims. We were taught to “get out, call out, hide out, take out”. Step one is to get away, if possible. Don’t get caught in an enclosed space. The demonstrators were already outside on the street. Where were they to go? Step two is that, once you have gotten to a safe place, call 9-1-1. That option is limited when the police have already said to the soon-to-be killer, “We appreciate you guys”. [From a video recording, quoted by Reuters and many other sources, and seen and heard by this writer, who also saw and heard the pre-killing interview in which the defendant said, “We don’t have non-lethal”. I have no evidence that the victims heard these statements, but that certainly sounds as though he came equipped and prepared to kill people.]
If you can’t do steps one and two, hide out. Get someplace where it is hard for the shooter to get to you, and barricade yourself inside, if possible. The first person killed that night was said to have hidden behind a parked car. The defense interpreted this as “a classic ambush”; also not an easy place to build a barricade. I guess he did it wrong – an offense punishable by death. Step four was “take out”. If you can’t escape or hide in a safe place, you are instructed to “take out” the active shooter. The advice we were given was to plan in secret, distract, and attack in a planned and coordinated fashion. The man with the skateboard didn’t do it “correctly”. For this he was killed and then maligned in court for trying to “separate the head from the body”. I don’t know about you, but if I were trying to separate a head from a body, I would use a tool sharper than a skateboard.
The broad view of all this is that as long as I shoot first and kill you because I was afraid that you might kill me, then my actions are justified – especially if I was afraid that you might take my gun away. Apparently you are more dangerous if unarmed, as the defendant killed the unarmed people and only wounded the one person who approached him armed (though under-armed, one might argue).
This is why I should be proud to be an American?