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Hullabaloo


Sunday, February 16, 2014

 
It's the guns

by digby

Following up on David's post earlier, with which I fully agree, I just want to add that the fundamental problem here isn't only this radical interpretation of the concept of self defense.  It's about the guns.

People are going to get into beefs. I heard one on my street the other night about the very same issue that precipitated the one in Florida: loud "thug" music that some older white guy didn't want to hear. This was coming from a party, not a car, but it was loud and it was late and this fellow was hopping mad. Angry older white guys tend to be short tempered  --- and, sure, young males can be mouthy. An argument ensued. Harsh words were exchanged. Just as it looked as if it might come to blows, the police arrived and that was the end of it.

This happens.  Humans get into arguments, they get in each others faces and they sometimes come to blows. There is no way to ensure that will not happen.  But these minor beefs --- like texting in a movie theater --- would very rarely be deadly if people weren't packing heat! That's the real issue here.

The gun nuts like to say that an armed society is a polite society.  That's just another way of saying that if you are carrying a gun you can make people do what you want them to do --- stop texting, stop playing music you don't like, stop walking through the night with with some candy and a drink from 7-11, even "that's my parking spot":
During an argument over the parking spot, witnesses said a security guard, whose name has not been released, shot the owner of the barber shop, 37-year old Gerson Mieses.

Miami Police Officer Frederica Burden said when one of their officers arrived on the scene, he tried to separate the men.

“The security guard then took a step back and shot the employee of the barber shop, which in turn the officer stepped back and asked him to drop his weapon and then he shot the security guard,” Burden said.
Both the guard and Mieses died.

“The security guard flipped his lid and pushed someone aside and shot the barber,” said Martin Cole who saw it all go down. “The security guard came out from behind someone and then shot the barber in the chest area. I didn’t see any weapon on the barber. He was just mad and waving his hands a little bit, but I didn’t see any weapons.”
This is about about power, which is probably why we see so many cases of unarmed black kids being shot. And it's having a desired effect, I'd guess. I wouldn't ever assume that someone wasn't armed anymore in this society. A European friend told me that it's common advice for travelers to the US to avoid confrontation at all costs because so many Americans are armed and have a hair trigger. That's just horrifying.

There are just too many guns around and apparently there's nothing we can do about it. So, most of us will keep our heads down and our mouths shut and let these bullies call it freedom.

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