Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And yet ... no one got hurt.

The left side of Blogworld is buzzing a bit about the recent instances of armed citizens carrying firearms at rallies protesting the Government in general, and some policies in particular.

We have noticed that in each and every case to date, the rifles have remained slung and the pistols have remained in their holsters; no shots were fired, no one was muzzle-swept, and everyone went home.

As might be expected, I think.

The Brady Bunch, as usual, is all up in a tizzy. As I refuse to link to those parasites, Gentle Readers will have to use Google to find their own links. Suffice it to say, Little Sarah One-Note's sock puppets are their usual hysterical selves.

*sigh*

There is a theory that explains that gun-grabbers hate guns so passionately because they are afraid of what they would do if allowed unfettered access to firearms -- and they think everyone else has the same uncontrolled urges.

In other words, Paul Helmke doesn't trust himself around guns, therefore he doesn't trust me with them, either.

I used to think that was an all-together simplistic answer for a complex problem.

These days -- I don't know. I've seen less poo flung in the primate house at the Dallas zoo than at some gun-grabbers press conferences (metaphorically speaking. I think.)

Ah, well.

LawDog

33 comments:

fuzzys dad said...

Amen Great Point

Diane said...

I find it exceedingly ironic that our mayor, who is vehemently opposed to firearms, and is incensed over the attorney general's recent ruling that *open* carry is legal in WI, should have sustained serious injuries (via a lead pipe) stepping into a domestic disturbance on the way home from the Fair. Perhaps this incident will change his stance.

Peter said...

Re: Milwaukee mayor, are you really suggesting that the intoxicated assailant would have had the presence of mind to back down if the mayor had been carrying a firearm? Or are you suggesting instead that a drunk guy with a pipe warrants the use of deadly force?

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall reports that when Teddy Rooseveldt was running for re-election crowds at his speaches would fire into the air in celebration. We live in more crowded conditions today and this is no longer an option for obvious safety reasons (what goes up must come down) I did see a U tube vid
of some very large union goons kicking and spitting on people who were demonstrating against govt.
health care that immediately backed
off when the saw the holstered handgun carried by one of the
demonstraters. Responsible carry
can and does create a more polite society. Armed citizens ate no threat to lawfull government.
Remember that any government that
does not trust its citizens can't
be trusted by its citizens.
For PETER;
Many people were killed by clubs both before firearms were invented and since. Odds are pretty good the pipe weilding Goblin would realise that he should not take a pipe to a gunfight and yes, he more than likely would have retreated! If not, we probably would have seen a slight improvement in the gene pool.
win-win either way. Of course
Wisconsin could always outlaw lead
pipes. Several friends and I went to the April 15 Tea Party in my
hometown Arlington, Tx. We were
all packing CCW and Gov. Perry and Joe Barton, who were speaking were perfectly safe as we are all law
abiding citizens. It is the criminal, not the tool, that is the problem in society.
Paul in Arlington

Jared said...

I'm convinced that Leftists come in 2 stripes. People with substantial undiagnosed mental "issues" that lead them to trust government more than themselves on a whole range of issues. They project their limitations onto everyone else, probably as a defense mechanism. The thinking goes "If everyone cant handle a gun/keeping my own money/saving for retirement/ deciding what medical care I need, etc, then my weakness is not so bad." The other kind of Leftists are people with a control freak, totalitarian bent and no moral compass that ends up leading the first kind of leftists around by the nose.

Peter said...

Paul,

I've both seen and heard drunk people do really stupid things. Somebody who is intoxicated enough to attack a third party seeking to intervene is probably intoxicated enough not to care much whether that third party is armed (or for that matter, if that third party is carrying a badge, baton, Tazer, OC spray, handcuffs and wearing a uniform.)

I'm not against people's right to possess firearms, or to carry them if they've been properly trained and are responsible. Unfortunately, too many examples I hear of people defending the right to bear arms implies that those individuals would use those firearms in situations where I believe it would be inappropriate to do so. I was merely trying to ascertain if this situation with the mayor was one where other commentators felt deadly force would have been justified. I'm not entirely sure, myself.

"Improvement in the gene pool" isn't quite sufficient reasoning for me to justify shooting this particular varmint, though. If stupidity were a capital offense, then I've got a list of people I'd like to submit.

Mikael said...

Re: Peter - A lead pipe is lethal force as much as a gun is, so definitely warranted if he doesn't back down when he's got a barrel pointed at him.

Re: Jared - I take offense to that, that's as bad slandering as calling every right-winger either a) inbred hill-billy drunkard who likes waving his gun around or b) fascist capitalist out to steal money from joe public.

As for my own political views, I consider myself left, because I believe in social safety nets, universal education, etc. And I believe that regulation is required for a sound economic system, a totally free market destroys itself(see the recent crash, after regulation was loosened). But I'm also an avid proponent of personal rights. I'm pro gun. I'm even pro death penalty in cases where the crime is henious enough(such as rape of children), and it can be proven beyond ANY doubt they have the correct defendant(not just reasonable).

And so on.

DoesNotMatter said...

Well, there is the little problem that the Arizona event (I think you're referring to that) was organized by one of those online groups that gave (and continue to) gun nuts their moniker.

That group belives every popular conspiracy theory under the sun and any other they're aware of (or can think of), too.

I'm in favor of gun rights but some of our allies would make so much better enemies.

Chris M said...

The headlines should have read: "Citizen peacefully exercises 2nd Amendment at Rally; Media Talking Heads Soil Pants."

Anonymous said...

Law Dog:
Part of your post got me thinking, about the Sarah Bunch's thinking that "if I can't trust my base instincts with a gun, then I can't trust anyone else's either".

Puts me in mind of possibly why the Muzzies cover their women (usually head to toe); "I might have base instincts about seeing another woman on the street, and will want to do wild wicked wanton things with her. And you might have the same thoughts about MY woman. Therefore we must cover our women, and hide them away, so that we won't succumb to our wild wanton wicked instincts."

Sheesh! Grow up, the both of you!

B Woodman
III

Anonymous said...

re: Peter's intoxicated assailant scenario. I can think of few things more sobering that staring down the barrel of a gun. And if he was stupid enough to continue to try to use deadly force (aka lead pipe), then he's responsible for his own actions.

Don't you think that a drunk driver should be held responsible for his actions? Why not a drunk assailant?

Peter said...

I never said the assailant shouldn't be held responsible for his actions. I'm as yet unconvinced that shooting him dead is the best, or only, way to hold him accountable for those actions. Should we subject drunk drivers to summary execution by any random motorist with a firearm? No, we hold them accountable in other ways. Why can't we do the same thing here?

I do think that assaulting someone with a heavy pipe can be deadly force depending on the circumstances. I don't know enough about this particular incident to judge whether these circumstances would have warranted shooting him in defense of a third party. (And, I tend to be immediately suspicious of those who would automatically say it was, without knowing more. Those are the gun owners that make me nervous.)

KCSteve said...

Peter,

In this case the assaiant was threatening the third parties (grandmother & child) with deadly force and when accosted threatened the interloper with deadly force.

If you come at me with a club you're putting me in a deadly force encounter. In those cases I reserve the right to decide just who that force is going to be applied to.

I do NOT want to ever shoot someone, boh for personal and legal reasons (lawyers are very expensive). But I'd rather shoot someone than trust that they won't cave in my skull.

Rick R. said...

Peter,

A single blow from a stick about 1" thick, yielded by an adult male, can fairly easily KILL YOU. (This is why cops and security guards are taught to NEVER, EVER, swing a blow to the head.)

Don't believe me?

Get a hold of a human skull (it's really not all that hard to do), one with the cranial vault sawed open.

Not much bone there.

Likewise, a single blow from that same stick, delivered in an overhead blow to teh collar bone can break said collarbone -- immediately rendering the victim effectively helpless in a mano-a-mano conflict.

This perp had a metal pipe.

It's a lethal force attack. Just because he was drunk does NOT mean that the victim is obligated (morally or legally) to die. Any mpore than if the perp was a drunk with a gun.

Lethal assault justifies lethal defence.

Peter said...

So we're saying ANY assault with a metal pipe is always deadly force and automatically requires deadly force in opposition to it? A teenage kid brandishes a baseball bat at me because he's pissed about me accidentally dinging his car after a high school baseball game, and I can shoot him dead?

And where did I ever suggest a victim had a moral or legal obligation to die? That's idiotic, and I said no such thing. What concerns me is the quickness and certainty to which some people jump to deadly force as the only resort of self-defense or defense of others.

Mikael said...

Peter you're twisting the argument to absurdity.

If a teenager comes at me with a bat, doesn't back down with a gun pointed at him, I'm going to assume he's either:
a) Too brave/stupid to actually believe he can be hurt.
b) Mentally unstable.
c) Doped up.

If he lacks the presence of mind to back off when he's got a barrel pointed at him, he's not likely to stop at just one swing either.

I'd personally not go for the two to the chest one to the head routine in this case, but I'd certainly feel justified to disable his fighting ability with a shot in the leg or shoulder, even if I still risk killing him if I hit a major artery.

And as always, lethal force is the last resort, I'd try talking first unless he's in full rage zombie mod.

Anonymous said...

Peter, I guess the issue I have is when you bring up the canard of someone being judge, jury and executioner. It's not. It's simply defending yourself. It's not a time for legal niceties, "justice", or Monday morning quarterbacking, it's a time for survival.

As well, just having the gun could be just as likely to de-escalate the situation, so you wouldn't have to use it.

You are confronted in a manner that causes you to fear for your well-being and/or life, and you respond with whatever is available to you to do so. If it's a gun, so much the better. Without the gun, anything else will do - teeth, fists, sticks, stones, skipping ropes, whatever.

A kid brandishing a baseball bat? Well, it'll get my adrenalin running, such that, if I had one handy, I'd draw a gun. If the kid decides to press the matter, then maybe I'd have to use the gun. I'd hope not. But, it would be entirely dependent on what he does. So, he is responsible.

Larry said...

I fully support all our gun rights, including the right to carry. But I am concerned about carrying at political rallys. All it takes is one idiot doing something stupid, and then here we go all over again fighting for our rights.

Peter said...

Mikael, your assumptions are flawed. I'm questioning the judgment to draw down on some high school kid at all over a dinged car door, not that you draw your piece and he charges you with a banzai yell. You're rewriting the scenario to make it a clearcut choice, and I'm suggesting that the incident that provoked this entire discussion wasn't so clear cut. Plus, most use of force continuums don't recognize using firearms for 'disabling' shots or taking out a kneecap. It's either justified deadly force with a gun or not. At least in my state, the 'legal niceties' don't recognize the in-between crippling shots you seem to be suggesting.

Anonymous, we're already Monday morning quarterbacking the Milwaukee mayor's decision to intervene without being armed with a firearm. You seem to be saying the decision to use deadly force isn't one that can or should be second guessed or analyzed after the fact, and that the heat of the moment overrules and justifies any other "legal niceties" or concerns. That's not the society we live in. To suggest that "it's not my responsibility for shooting him because it's his choice not to back down" is a dodge.

Mikael said...

"It's either justified deadly force with a gun or not. At least in my state, the 'legal niceties' don't recognize the in-between crippling shots you seem to be suggesting."

That may be true, but my it would certainly cause me less sleepless nights. As for who's twisting things.

"A teenage kid brandishes a baseball bat at me because he's pissed about me accidentally dinging his car after a high school baseball game, and I can shoot him dead?"

Suddenly becomes

"I'm questioning the judgment to draw down on some high school kid at all over a dinged car door"

The car door is irrelevant to the situation, someone coming at you with a bat is the relevant part. And yes I would draw if someone came at me with a bat and I happened to be carrying. Wether I would _fire_ depends on the assailant. If he does a double take and backs off like any sane person would, then I'm not going to shoot him. If he charges, I AM. This is a clear and present threat to my own life, and I would defend myself.

But even if I am justified in killing, but I believe crippling my assailant would be enough, I may just take that option because I do not wish to kill someone and cause their relatives that much pain, they don't deserve it for what their kid/spouse/parent has done.

Bergman said...

PETER:

I have to agree with Mikael. The relevant issue here is that regardless of what pissed him off in the first place, if someone draws a weapon on me, I am justified in drawing my own in turn. If he has drawn a potentially-deadly melee weapon, and I have drawn my gun, then he has a choice. He can decide that reason is a superior method to violence, or he can decide that violence is a superior method to reason. If he chooses the latter, he is responsible for that choice.

As the victim of the threat (or reality) of violence, I have no moral, ethical or legal obligation to wait until after his blow lands (when I may be incapacitated or even dead on the ground). I have the right of self defense from the moment he sees my gun and decides to attack anyway.

Clubs are only non-lethal weapons in the movies. In the real world, in the hands of someone who truly wants to hurt you, they are often more dangerous than a knife (due to the greater heft and longer reach). Truly, there is no such thing as a non-deadly weapon; Even a TASER can kill you.

DJMooreTX said...

"I seem to recall reports that when Teddy Rooseveldt was running for re-election crowds at his speaches would fire into the air in celebration."

Hear, hear.

I look for the day when all candidates for any office, local or national, regard attendance at county fair shooting matches as pretty much mandatory.

I await the time when all public servants go into office with the image fresh in their minds of smiling youngsters and frowning oldsters proudly holding their rifles while sitting in the front row seats reserved for ribbon winners.

That's the real value of the Second Amendment: not that small bands of local volunteers can rise up against the Feds, but that all politicians and bureaucrats know, in their bones, that they walk among armed free citizens, not helpless subjects.

Anonymous said...

It gets even better. These people are so dishonest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYKQJ4-N7LI

Joe the Younger said...

I believe that the second amendment protects a person's right to own and bear weapons as he chooses, but even I am give pause when someone, much less several people, bring firearms to a political rally. The implication of bringing your firearm to the rally of an opponent is one of intimidation. Even though you are only exercising your right, you are doing it in such a way as to intentionally intimidate those around you.

My problem here is that this will only hurt the cause of the defenders of the second amendment. When you go out of your way to try to scare people, can you really blame them for trying to find a way to make you stop? This, rather than being a sign of the return to the practice of being allowed to carry your arms anywhere you wished, will instead become a rallying cry against us.

The rational non-political individual generally sides with gun owners who leave their guns at home. "You have a right to defend yourself and your home" goes the thought. When that same person sees a headline like "Man brings Assault Weapon to Presidential Rally" it gets much harder for the average person to rationalize. Even if no one is hurt or even threatened, who brings a gun when the go to see the president? The last person to do it that anyone remembers is John Hinckley, Jr...

Stand up for your rights without going out of your way to alienate the people who aren't completely behind you. Hate the President as you may, until now he has made no serious attempt to trample our second amendment rights, even with a democratic congress behind him. Whether this is because he isn't as anti-gun as everyone thinks or doesn't have the political capital to push it through is irrelevant. Incidents like these will eventually get a response and it will not be the kind we want.

~Joe the Younger

PeterT said...

Peter,

Drunk guy with lead pipe sure does warrant the use of deadly force! I suspect you would not find anyone willing to take a hit to the head to demonstrate otherwise.

retiredmaj said...

Peter: You're being disingenuous. A guy swinging a length of pipe at your head is committing Assault with a Deadly Weapon (or whatever variation the particular state calls it). That is, the weapon (it can be a gun, knife, pipe, baseball bat, etc) is capable of inflicting serious or fatal wounds and is being in such a manner as to lead to you believe your attcker intends bodily harm.

Your statement: "So we're saying ANY assault with a metal pipe is always deadly force and automatically requires deadly force in opposition to it?" is half correct and half wrong. Yes, being assulted with a length of pipe may be properly interpreted as intent to use deadly force. However, it does not "AUTOMATICALLY require(s) deadly force in opposition to it." It does PERMIT the use of deadly force in opposition to it. Big difference between those two words.

Steve said...

Look up "Tuller drill" in your favorite search engine. And a lead pipe can kill you just as dead as a .45.

Peter said...

*sigh*

I wasn't trying to argue that a lead pipe can't kill someone. You can beat someone to death with your bare hands, too, but that doesn't mean if someone comes at me bare handed that I'm justified in shooting them. It's the assumption that, without any other information about other circumstances, every instance where a pipe might be used as a threatened weapon would justify deadly force that I'm questioning.

Regardless, this is all off-topic from what LawDog originally posted about, and I apologize for leading the comments this far afield.

Rick R. said...

Peter,

A guy casually holding a metal pipe while he screams incoherently at me from 50 feet across the road way is not a lethal threat.

He may have means and motive (even if I do not understand his motive), but he doesn't have the OPPORTUNITY to immediately threaten me. Which means he isn;t placing me in "reasonable" fear for my IMMEDIATE safety.

A guy approaching to mugging range while acting aggressively towards me with that pipe IS a lethal threat.

Means? A pipe is a lethal weapon.

Motive? Again, teh courts have ruled that I am not required to be a mind reader -- if he acts threateningly, I can resonably presume his motives are malign.

Opportunity? HELL YES. Most police officers, WHEN ANTICIPATING, cannot go from a, "everything is just peachy" stance to drawing, firing, and HITTING a man sized lethal zone target before a man in a business suit standing flat footed can sprint 21 feet and stab a target. (Usually, a civilian instructor will pick the LEAST athlethic looking guy who isn't wearing running shoes, just to illustrate the point.)

This is a standard self defense drill -- intended to illustrate that if you knowingly and willingly let a threat with a "contact" weapon close to 7 yards (the edge of the zone of most defensive shootings), and you have not ALREADY readied your weapon in anticipation of need. . . you will live or die SOLEY based on what the aggressor decides.

When someone threatens you with IMMEIDATE serious harm, you are generally entitled to protect yourself.

The most reliable protective measures (short of physical isolation from the threat, like not going there in the first place) are ALL potentially lethal.

The least likely to be lethal is a Taser (not a stun gun), but it ain't as easy as "COPS" makes it look. (And you only get one chance with a Taser, unless they've introduced a repeating model recently.)

Da Curly Wolf said...

Peter, re drunk drivers...
Execution? Not unless there's a death involved. otherwise
1st offense: Your license is suspended til you finish a rehab program,which YOU pay for. THEN you can have your license back.
2nd offense:Your license is suspended yet again, minimum 12mos in prison, your license is suspended for further 2yrs, then you go on probation with a breathalyzer attached to your ignition. for a further 2yrs. You get through that..you get full privelages back. You've done your penance.
3rd offense:If you're *stupid* enough to pull this drunk driving crap a 3rd time..do not pass go, do not collect 200dollars just go straight to jail for a minimum 5yrs. Your license is permanently revoked for the rest of your natural life. 'how am I supposed to get around?' walk numbnuts, or ride a bike, take a cab..frankly I don't care. You obviously have no self control so I'll be damned If I'm going to license you ever again to get behind the wheel of a 2,000lb blunt instrument. If you kill someone while driving drunk its an automatic murder in the 1st. 1st offense? too bad so sad. should have thought about that BEFORE you got behind the wheel hammered to the 4winds.

*looks down* okay who put the soapbox under my feet?

Jonathan said...

Peter --

Someone who is bent on assaulting you even while totally unarmed can definitely be shot legally!

If they're not carrying a weapon at the time, though, you may have a harder time proving their intent and that they were actually on their way to cause you a world of hurt, but the very fact that you're carrying means that if they manage to wrestle the firearm away from you, they've now got the power to kill you and you can't do much about it.

Charles said...

Hey, I know some very nice people with poli sci degrees. People who you have more in common with than you think.

Mark said...

I don't understand why legal carry is an issue.

*blank look*

I don't understand why it is an issue for either party. There are gun-owners making a point that doesn't need to be made. There are antigunners making some hay from it.

This is silly and pointless. From the slung weapon to the news reportage to the caterwauling. This is idiocy. Carrying a gun should not be a big deal. Americans carry guns. Nuh.

This guy was carrying a gun As A Point, but that's his own private concern.

Humans. *sigh*