The law isn’t the problem here

I’m typing this about an hour and a half after the announcement that the grand jury has returned no true bill for police officer Darren Wilson of the Furgeson Police Department. The district attorney for the area did a reasonably good job of laying out the facts of the case as presented to the grand jury and all the evidence shown has been made publicly available. The physical evidence and reliable testimony…testimony given by black folks who didn’t talk to the press…showed that what occurred on that day was a fight and not the random execution a bunch of liars alleged initially.

We’ve mentioned before that unarmed is not the same thing as harmless here on Gun Nuts, and so I won’t rehash ground that has already been covered in The Danger of Fists.

As stores are being looted and set on fire (with employees still in them…I fail to see how endangering the lives of somebody working a minimum wage job brings about “justice” for anybody) the various and sundry talking heads are beginning their foul work. Now that all the facts are on the table and it’s pretty clear by any reasonable standard that Mr. Brown is dead because he picked a lethal fight with a police officer over a minor instance of shoplifting (hardly the first time that has happened) the conversation is being conveniently moved away from the specifics of what transpired between Officer Wilson and Mike Brown and it’s being morphed into a conversation about some cockamamie “epidemic” of police brutality.

Specifically the complaints I’ve heard from at least one congressman and an official in the Missouri Bar Association have been that the law is the problem here. They hold that if the law can find that it’s legal for a police officer to shoot an “unarmed” black man and not be imprisoned for it, that the law is the problem and must be changed. Nevermind that the very same laws that delivered a no bill for Officer Wilson when he shot an unarmed thief with a different skin color delivered the exact same result when police officer Don Hubbard shot white firefighter Anthony Bruno in Kansas City almost a year ago under very similar circumstances. You won’t hear that discussion happen because it doesn’t fit the narrative they are trying to put forward.

This should worry you as a gun owner because police use of lethal force is governed by the exact same laws and principles that non-sworn citizens have to comply with. Outside of a few very specific and pretty rare circumstances, a cop on the street has no more right or ability to pull a trigger on another human being than you do. Someone attempting to change the laws so that Officer Wilson goes to jail for the rest of his life for shooting Mike Brown is trying to attack the very basic concept of self defense and would put you in the cell next to him for defending yourself or your family. 

In the aftermath of this when thugs and criminals are looting and setting things on fire, these talking heads and their willing minions in social media land are going to try and use guilt to try and convince the public of a need to fundamentally alter one of the basic tenets of western civilization because they’re unhappy that the police officer didn’t lose the fight. The man’s career in law enforcement is over, he and his family are in hiding, and the families of all the police in Ferguson have had to be evacuated or put under guard because of worries that an angry mob will do them harm, and all because Mike Brown picked a fight with the police…but that’s not enough. It’s not “justice” unless they get their pound of flesh.

As the Zimmerman incident shows, it’s not going to stop with the police. If you hold the radical idea that you have the right to use force to defend yourself from criminal attack, you’re right up there in the line of fire with Officer Wilson.

There’s certainly a lot to dislike about the state of modern policing in America. I’ve ranted a bit about the deficiencies found in the justice system myself in this very space. What happened here, though, isn’t an example of a problem in American policing. It’s an example of what’s fundamentally wrong in American society.

The people on the airwaves in the next few days running their fetid suck about “justice” are, in reality, rooting for the bad guy. They’re going to cover it with flowery language about “justice” and appeals to a civil rights movement from the 60’s that has nothing to do with looting stores and burning buildings, but the basic underlying truth doesn’t change: They want the bad guys to win. When they spew this garbage in your direction don’t buy a word of it. See it for what it really is and push back.

The law wasn’t the problem in Ferguson that day. One can argue and debate about what factors in society led to producing a Mike Brown who thinks it’s acceptable to fight a uniformed police officer for his gun, but once he made that fateful decision what happened from that point on was reasonable and morally sound. He held all the cards that day. Every day police officers around the country interact with all kinds of people from all possible creeds without killing them or doing them serious harm.

Every now and then a police officer or an ordinary citizen is going to cross paths with a violent criminal who isn’t going to play by any reasonable rules. Violence is the only answer for those individuals. Not because we want it that way, but because they will have it no other way. I guarantee you that Officer Wilson didn’t want to be involved in that fight any more than Detective Reston wanted to end up being shot several times (including being shot in the face) by a shoplifter…but people like Jared or Officer Wilson or YOU don’t get to make those decisions. The violent criminals in this world make that decision for everyone else, and those of us who aren’t rabid sociopaths are left with the choice of fighting or dying at their hands. To paraphrase the DA at the press conference, no one should put a police officer…or anyone else for that matter…in the position to need to use lethal force to survive. Yet they have, they do, and they will. 

It would be pointless for us to fight new restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms if we’ll sit back and allow the malevolent and the hopelessly misguided twist the laws so horribly that our firearms are rendered essentially useless as implements of self defense against violent criminals.

Don’t believe the hype. Challenge it. Fight it with fact. You won’t win over everyone, but it will help bolster those who feel enormous pressure to give in with the “justice” crowd but find that the small voice of common sense makes them uncomfortable going along with these people. The right input from you can give that small voice a megaphone.

 

31 thoughts on “The law isn’t the problem here”

  1. Two things:
    1)I completely agree with you that Officer Wilson should never have been convicted of any crime.
    2)The grand jury wasn’t there to decide guilt or innocence of a crime. It was to decide probable cause.

    There is much to say about a society that takes Citizen Zimmerman to trial, but won’t take Officer Wilson to trial.
    I am not concluded myself about what it all means, other than this whole thing stinks.

    1. The Grand Jury’s deliberation was there to decide if there was sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against Officer Wilson. Failing to even find cause to charge him pretty much rules out any good faith effort to convict him. Citizen Zimmerman was prosecuted at the behest of the governor, and that was done using a special prosecutor who behaved in an appalling fashion that unnerved even liberal legal experts like Alan Dershowitz. If you will remember, after gathering eyewitness testimony that supported Zimmerman’s account and documenting his injuries the local police department declined to bring charges against him. It took a politician shamelessly looking for votes to criminally prosecute Zimmerman.

      …which may yet be what happens to Officer Wilson.

  2. If you believe that a citizen is held to the same standard as a public citizen, then you’ve swallowed a BS line, 100%. Everything people tried to say Zimmerman did wrong, this cop did MORE wrong, sometimes more than once. If you think average joe wouldn’t have been brought through the grand jury and given a court date today, instead of a bus ticket, I’m not in the right profession to help you… TRY to find a civilian parallel to this case.

    1. Everything people tried to say Zimmerman did wrong, this cop did MORE wrong, sometimes more than once.

      Please, enlighten us – what exactly DID Wilson do wrong. Because from the evidence I’m aware of, he didn’t. But maybe I’ve missed something?

      1. attempt to use his car as a weapon against a jaywalker? Twice, if you count the door. Read the story as told from the perspective of Brown’s companion at the moment.

    2. An average citizen shouldn’t give chase to a violent felon who he just shot in the hand to defend himself from an assault, but catching people like this is the policeman’s JOB, so he was justified in giving chase, and when the 297 pound Brown turned to attack him again, Officer Wilson was justified in shooting him again.

      Compare to Zimmerman, who broke off a chase on a suspicious figure at the dispatcher’s suggestion, and then was attacked on his way back to his truck and defended himself with lethal force. He shouldn’t have gone to trial, but was railroaded by a prosecutor with an agenda.

      I don’t see any question here.

      1. His job doesn’t involve shooting fleeing jaywalkers after they fight back when you almost hit them with a fucking police vehicle, ON PURPOSE. What weapon did he both use, and then forget to use that could have changed this whole scenario? His gas pedal. If someone sticks their arms inside your vehicle, MOVE THE VEHICLE.

        1. Point me to one piece of actual evidence that shows that he shot at Brown while Brown was running away. Actual evidence, not the testimony of Brown’s known-scumbag friend.

          I’ll wait.

          I’ll be waiting a long f***ing time.

  3. One of the best written and most well reasoned Op-Eds I have ever seen. Very well done sir.

    Pyrodice, you are incorrect, I think, because your use of citizen twice is a bit confusing, but I believe you meant to say that citizens and the police are not held to the same standard.
    One difference in perception between the Zimmerman and Off. Wilson court events is that Wilson is paid and trained by society to go look for and confront bad guys. Zimmerman was not, and a lot of folks had a problem with that.

    I will not argue that Zimmerman should have never gone to trail, the evidence early on was pretty clear that PC for the charges did not exist, but different DA, different jurisdiction. Similar things have happened to cops all over the country over similar dynamics.

    Here is a famous example; http://www.royblack.com/files/Alvarez.pdf

  4. The foundation of the problem is this; we live in a society which is conditioned to believe violence, in any form, is unacceptable.

    Despot killing hundreds of thousands of his own people? Don’t send the military, and don’t let them kill people – cause that’s bad.
    Looters and rioters throwing rocks and torching cars? Dont use any kind of force- you might hurt someone!

    Taliban hiding guns in churches and mosques? Better get some popcorn, because you don’t wanna actually kill them….that means using violence, and that’s super-duper bad.

    Someone using a full auto Uzi ? Well, still, don’t shoot them. Its not their fault they’re spraying bullets from an illegal firearm! Rehabilitate them, may be shoot them in the foot, but for the love of humanity don’t kill the psychopath. That would be wrong…..

    The cold truth is without lawful violence, we don’t have a society at all. The edges are starting to crack .

    1. No Sir, any violence in self defense of Europeans, Law, order or our Civilization is unacceptable.

      We are conditioned to believe it wrong to defend ourselves. Any level of violence by Brown was and is acceptable.

  5. Mixed emotions on your article here.
    Yes, the culture has already prosecuted and are trying to hang Officer Wilson and that’s a serious problem. Based on the plethora of evidence presented, he acted correctly. The media is fanning the flames of hate and are loving every second of it. This is what 24-hour news gets you.
    But, the issue of police ‘misconduct’ is a serious and growing one and if you believe that police are held to the same self-defense standards as the average Moe, you’re fooling yourself. They may on paper, but when it comes to enforcement, there is so much leniency and discretion in their favor that anything can be made justifiable where we’d be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. And if you were to take it to the farthest extreme, self-defense against an out of control cop, forget it… you’re lucky if you make it to trial because they’ll keep you locked up and abused almost indefinitely. And the system is skewed in their favor; prosecutors, judges, prison guards, the public at large… all of them favor the police overall, so any corruption and abuse it brushed aside initially, until it’s too big to hide anymore and then it’s seen as a shock.

    1. As a minority who’s grown up in Chicago, i’m of the personal stance police abuse of power is grossly overstated.

      In every profession, there are shady slugs lurking in the mix. Difference is, crooked mortgage lenders , incompetent building contractors, and bent company accountants dont have nearly the level of scrutiny police officers have.

      If cameras were wired to the chests of your typical stockbroker , there’s be riots outside every securities firm in the country. Ive seen and beard some saucy tales in the finance business, and none of it really hits the public awareness unless its a very epic fraud-as in seven figure losses.

      Every officer ive ever interacted with has treated me with professionalism -even in circumstances where theyve had reason to haul me straight to the clink on the spot. Difference is, the crooks at your bank do their dirty business over telephones inside of offices. Cops by nature are in the street, which makes creating a BS story about “corruption” extremely easy.

      Why is it that LE is demonized so much despite most of us rarely encountering them, yet bent bankers and crooked business owners who we HAVE to deal with are given a pass despite the much more monumental damage they do to people’s lives?

      1. Why is it that LE is demonized so much despite most of us rarely encountering them, yet bent bankers and crooked business owners who we HAVE to deal with are given a pass despite the much more monumental damage they do to people’s lives?

        Because bent bankers and crooked business owners don’t have a tendency to walk free and clear without even a trial after committing blatantly unjustifiable uses of deadly force. While that’s pretty clearly not what happened in this case, it has become a fairly common theme (e.g., Jose Guerena, John Crawford III, LAPD during the Dorner manhunt, etc., etc.).

  6. ” Mr. Brown is dead because he picked a lethal fight with a police officer over a minor instance of shoplifting”

    ahem, for the record, it was not shoplifting, it was strongarm robbery, which is a felony in Missouri, and after telling Brown to get out of the street, Wilson saw the cigars in Brown’s hand and realized that he was looking at the robbery suspect he’d just heard about on the radio. So from that point, Officer Wilson knew he was heading into a felony arrest situation, and I’m guessing that Brown did as well.

    1. What would be on the radio? The store already said they didn’t call it in.
      Before any such “point” in the situation, there’s at least one witness account that Wilson used his CAR as a weapon.

      1. The district attorney presented evidence that there was indeed a call related to that robbery. You can see the transcripts of the radio traffic here:

        http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1370609-radio-traffic.html

        On the top of page 6 the call is right there.

        All your hysterics here appear to be founded on complete ignorance of the actual evidence of the case. Perhaps actually researching the evidence presented would calm you down.

        1. Gosh, it sure does get harder to calm me down having to operate in a hostile fucking environment that keeps deleting my comments.

          >Call is singularly undereventful for the amount of police presence called to a homicide
          >”Call related to robbery” does not contradict “Store said they didn’t do it”, and you knew that by your choice of words.

  7. Don’t worry, if any laws are changed, the fine print will contain LEO exemptions, so only the public will lose the right of self defense….the State isn’t gonna put it’s agents deliberately in harms way.

  8. Law, reason, right, wrong, common bond of citizenship are not how to judge these matters.

    None of them apply.

    You should view them as the enemy views them, through the lens of politics. This is simply political violence, stirred up around the nation to descend on St. Louis as well as other cities where the opposition to our civilization is concentrated sufficiently.

    This was an excuse to engage in political violence. Officer Wilson acted correctly to save his own life. His hapless superiors Politically and in the Law Enforcement chain of command then responded fecklessly and incompetently. They certainly would have given him up except this time Team Blue and it’s supporters rallied to his defense. They not only failed to back their men and to maintain/establish order in the Community, at every opportunity they failed to either demolish the idiotic lies that Brown was innocent, maintain order, call for sufficient reinforcements or even time the Grand Jury announcement for anything but Rioting Time of night [although Friday would have gotten them more impact]. The enemy were waiting for any excuse, they are waiting for the next one, many of the organizers are paid to wait for grievances and pounce on them. Here’s where you pay your $50K tuition as a grievance studies major.
    There’s probably too many of them for FOP/PBA to pay off, and Blackmailers simply return for more when paid. These Sir are Facts and this is Cold Reason.

    Facts? You are not learning Sir. You are not. Reason? I respectfully question yours. The above is a list of wishes, given current circumstances almost nostalgic already.

    You’re involved now in Violent Politics which if it continues to grow will probably expand into War. The sooner this is recognized and coldly faced the better the choices that will be made.

  9. I believe that one of the shady aspects of Zimmerman/Martin was that Angela Corey skipped the grand jury and went straight to indictment.

  10. You know, I KNOW I had replied to at least two of these before. I find it offensive that my replies were just whisked away as if yours is the only story to tell… You wanna let me know how those disappeared? Because if it’s censorship, you might want to consider that bad ideas don’t need intervention to be quenched.

      1. That’s a thin excuse. You deleted one comment where I acknowledged someone correcting the double use of the word “citizen”, and nothing more. You’re deleting things you don’t like based on author, not content. I guess some trolls scream about censorship to get to say dumb crap, and some trolls claim they’re just cleaning up rule-violating, to mask poor behavior.

        1. I get the feeling that you’ve never read our comment policy. It states, quite simply: “Don’t be a dick, and don’t piss off the staff.” You violated the second part with your thug-loving cop-bashing antics.

          I am under no obligation to publish anyone’s comments. This is private property. I wouldn’t let someone come into my loft and shit on my hardwood floors, either.

          1. Sure, it’s entirely your blog, which means that making excuses in the first place is just poor character. You say “it’s mine and I’ll do what I want with it”, that’s honest.
            Seems a shame ‘don’t be a dick’ isn’t reciprocal.
            The funny thing is when people can’t see that thugs and cops are the same people… Which one are YOU loving on, then?

            Whatever; you want to delete comments, you can certainly keep at it, but YOU’LL still see them, so the message is that you don’t want others to have a shot at considering them.

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