Don’t Mess With The Narrative

On August 9, just a couple of weeks ago, Michael Brown was shot in the street by a Ferguson police officer.  Because Brown was an 18-year-old black male, naturally, and unarmed, he has become the newest cause in the vein of Trayvon Martin.

We didn’t even have all of the facts, and by the end of the day – the day he was killed – he was being immortalized as a “gentle giant” who had been shot by a racist white cop.  By the next day, protests had turned into riots.  The riots are continuing today, with everyone from the rioters to the governor of Missouri to the President calling for the officer, Darren Wilson, to be immediately and vigorously prosecuted. 

Who gives a damn what the facts are, right?  Michael Brown was a little angel who was innocently walking home and a cop randomly executed him because of his skin color.  Darren Wilson, if you’re buying the media’s story and that of the rioters, was a racist who committed cold-blooded murder and that’s all they need to know.

As is always the case, facts have come out since then that have shed a lot of light on what happened, but to see what’s still going on you’d never know it.  Last night two white protesters trying to defend the officer from the mob were violently chased until police put them in cruisers and physically drove them far from the scene.  Fully 57 rioters were arrested, yet only four of them were even from Ferguson – and of the 53 who were from out-of-town, another 16 were from other states.

Here’s what we have so far between the police and witnesses.

At 1201 local time, officer Darren Wilson was headed to a nearby convenience store that had been robbed when he spotted Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson walking down the middle of the street.  While still in his cruiser, he asked them to move to the sidewalk and out of the street; Brown and Johnson mocked the officer and refused to comply.  Wilson stopped, exited his cruiser, and again asked the pair to move out of the street.  Brown shoved Wilson back into his cruiser and began assaulting him, punching him with his fists and then struggling to take his gun from him.  At some point during the struggle, the gun went off, and Brown began to flee.  Wilson got out and leveled his weapon at Brown, commanding him to “freeze!”  Brown turned and said, “what are you gonna do, shoot me?”  Brown then rushed Wilson and Wilson fired several more shots until Brown finally fell dead in the street.

Some of this information has been disputed.  The original story was that Brown had his hands up and was surrendering, and the officer – out of spite or hatred – just decided to keep shooting.  A video was released, however, proving that to be false – a video of several witnesses in the neighborhood watching the crime scene and talking about what happened.  Then there’s the position of Brown’s body.  He was in the street, his head toward the cruiser, facedown.  Add that to the bullet trajectories, and the evidence shows that Brown was probably running when he was shot.  If he wasn’t running away from Wilson, that means Wilson is likely telling the truth.

Wilson was also badly injured.  We don’t know all of the details, but we know that he was taken to the hospital with severe facial bruising and swelling and it was discovered that he had an orbital socket blowout – meaning that the bone surrounding his eye had been shattered.  That takes a great deal of force to produce and normally requires surgery to repair. 

Then there’s statistics.  Those don’t lie.  According to the FBI, between 2003-2012 a total of 25 officers were killed with their own service pistols.  That means that the perps in these cases struggled with the officers, took their guns from them, and killed them.  That sort of situation is at the forefront of every officer’s mind.  If a man is willing to physically attack a uniformed and armed police officer, that officer is trained to assume that the perp has that very intention – now their life is in danger and they have no other option.  Since he had already struggled with Wilson once, I think we can assume that’s exactly what Brown had in mind.

But what about the robbery video, Mel?  If Wilson didn’t know about the robbery yet, why would they have released that video?  Well, let’s talk about that.  First of all, we don’t know if Wilson knew about the robbery; it is believed from several reports that he had heard about it and was heading toward the store that had been robbed, but we don’t know for sure.  Whether he knew about it or not, that video is evidence of something very important here, something I shouldn’t have to explain to anybody. 

Motive.

Do you think an 18-year-old boy is going to believe that a police officer asking him questions isn’t interested in him because of the crime he had literally just committed minutes before?  I promise that’s exactly what he thought.  Since he thought he was being contacted because of the robbery, I guarantee he felt like he had nothing to lose. 

Being unarmed does not mean he was innocent, nor does it mean that he posed no threat.  The fact that he was 18 doesn’t mean he was a boy; he was 6’5″ and weighed 250 lbs.  The fact that the officer might not have known about the robbery doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a reason to ask Brown and Johnson to move out of the street.  Brown’s parents should have taught him more effectively to respect the authorities in his life.

All of these people who are out in mobs rioting and demanding justice against an officer who is likely innocent are not making things better.  Rather than being violent and insisting on the outcome they want, they should be insisting that the truth come out – and be willing to live with whatever the search for truth comes up with.  If and when officer Wilson is vindicated, nobody currently screaming for his head is going to settle for that truth.  Governor Nixon won’t step forward to apologize.  Al Sharpton certainly won’t apologize.  Nobody is going to learn from this.  This incident isn’t about finding the truth…it’s about getting what they want, and what they want is to continue in their belief that the black community bears no responsibility for their current condition.  They want to believe that everything going on is someone else’s fault.  Until that mindset is challenged from their own leadership, nothing will change.

Oh, and about Dorian Johnson…he currently has a warrant out for his arrest in St. Louis for giving a false report to a police officer.  Don’t make him out to be innocent.

As for officer Wilson, his life is over.  He will never be allowed to live in peace again, and that is a travesty that cannot be put to words.  I am sorry that the Brown family lost their son.  It appalls me, however, that they are so willing to allow that officer and his family to have everything they know and love taken from them by the rabble.

Sociopath

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were arrested for breaking into a van and stealing several computers during their junior year. They so impressed their probation officers (Harris in particular) with their good manners and apparent willingness to change that they were released from probation several months early. One year later, they took a pile of homemade bombs and three guns into Columbine High School and went on a rampage, killing 13 before committing suicide. Harris wore a plain white t-shirt that read “natural selection.”

After he made himself infamous with his final violent act, his journals were discovered. He wrote about the probation process and the adults involved. He ranted that the owner of the van was to blame for leaving his computers in plain sight, and he (Harris) had every right to take them because the victim was “a dumbass.” Most of his journal entries were along those lines. He railed about being superior; he believed that natural selection gave him every right to assert that superiority.

Elliot Rodger, the UCSB shooter, sounds eerily like Eric Harris.

The Friday before he went on his killing spree, Rodger posted eight different videos to YouTube and sent a nearly 140-page diatribe to several sources, including the media. In one video, he says, “I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am the superior one, the true alpha male.” He expresses frustration bordering on rage that girls have never taken an interest in him. In his final acts, he stabbed three roommates to death in his apartment, then went on a drive-by shooting spree that killed three more. He ran over four people in his expensive black BMW before getting into a shoot-out with police, then shot himself in the head.

There’s something more to this kid, though, that it seems everyone is missing. He was diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome and had difficulty making friends when he was in private schools. His parents reportedly sent him to the best schools available; he wanted for nothing, with Gucci and Prada being his favorite styles. An incident he describes himself in one of his videos is very telling, though. He talks about being at a party and being angry with women for not paying attention to him, so he tries to shove several girls off of a ledge. Several men at the party, angry with him for his actions, tossed him over the ledge instead, injuring his ankle. He leaves, discovers that he’s lost his Gucci sunglasses, and goes back to get them – only to find the same angry men waiting to beat the crap out of him. They did so, sending him home a mess.

I don’t give a damn who you are – if you try to shove women over a balcony, yeah, you deserve a first-rate beatdown. Had I been there, I would have done the same thing. I do not care what your motives are or how hurt you are. One does not alleviate their pain by inflicting pain on others. It doesn’t work that way.

Rodger’s own description of some of the things he’s done tells us quite a bit about him. He was an angry boy who always found the most inappropriate methods for expressing his anger. Then he simply couldn’t understand why nobody wanted to be around him. His parents were the liberal anti-gun sort, typical of the Hollywood types who teach their kids the “peace and love” mantra without ever teaching them chivalry, honor, and respect. He was probably never taught that the way to a girl’s heart is to first respect her and show interest in her (NOT of the sexual variety). It doesn’t take much. It had nothing to do with his race (as he angrily claimed). It had everything to do with the fact that he was a sociopath who believed himself superior to everyone else and was never taught to care about other people. All he cared about was himself – his feelings, his desires, his passions. When he discovered that the world was not going to give him what he wanted he pitched a hissy fit.

This had nothing to do with women, his unrequited sexual drive, or his loneliness. It sure as hell wasn’t about the NRA or the gun culture. Rodger used knives and his car along with his guns to kill and maim. This had everything to do with his selfish, sociopathic attitude and outlook on life. To blame it on anything else is shortsighted at best.

GUN CONTROL NOW!!! (Updated)

I knew it was going to happen, and it did. As soon as the news hit that there was a shooting going on at a DC Navy shipyard, liberal commentators the world over began renewing their calls for gun control.

There’s some reality that we need to look at here, though.

The shooter was identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. According to news reports throughout the day, we’ve discovered that on May 6, 2004, Alexis flew into a rage and shot out the back tires of a Honda Accord parked in a driveway next to the house he was living in. He was about 25 years old at the time. According to police reports, there had been some kind of dispute with a nearby construction site about parking in the area – but the Accord wasn’t even parked in HIS driveway. Witnesses say that for several days, he stared and glared at workers passing by his house. He was later arrested and Seattle PD pressed charges.

Shortly before his 28th birthday, Alexis joined the US Navy Reserves. How he was able to do this with a violent felony on his record I don’t know. He was not active duty – he served in Ft. Worth and worked at a Thai restaurant while he was there. In September 2010, Ft. Worth police responded to a 911 call of shots fired from Alexis’ apartment. He was 28 by this time. When police first arrived, he didn’t answer the door. As they prepared to make a forcible entry, he finally did answer – he claimed that he hadn’t answered because he “thought it was his neighbor.” He reported having a “contentious” relationship with the woman. He then claimed that the gun had discharged accidentally; he said he’d been cooking, his hands were slippery, and as he cleaned the handgun it discharged by accident. The neighbor, however, says she was terrified of him because he frequently got angry over the noise he said she made.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it is believed that he was not accepted for re-enlistment because of the second shooting incident. At least one senior defense official has commented that he had a history of misconduct.

Here’s my problem with this picture. In the 2004 incident, he gave police some song and dance about having been involved in rescue efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11 and said that he was “disturbed” by what he experienced. I’ve been disturbed by a lot of things I’ve seen – I’ve never used that as an excuse to fly into a rage and shoot at a person’s car. In light of that, I cannot believe his cockamamie excuse that his weapon “accidentally discharged” while he cleaned it. I grew up with guns. The way I’ve been trained, the first thing you do when you clean your steel is unload it. You don’t do it while you’re cooking and your hands are slippery – you pay careful attention, make sure your hands are clean (I actually wear gloves now), and use extreme caution. Add to that his own admission that he didn’t get along with his upstairs neighbor (whose floor the bullet traveled through) AND the previous incident, and I am convinced that he did it on purpose.

I don’t care if he played violent video games. I play Assassin’s Creed all the time, it doesn’t make me want to go out and shoot people. I don’t buy that he was so deeply disturbed by what he saw on 9/11 that he was that prone to “blank rage”. Especially considering what happened today, I think it’s likely that he was prone to outbursts of anger long before the 2004 shooting. That incident alone should have made him ineligible to possess a firearm. Legally, anyone who commits a violent act with a firearm is supposed to be considered a prohibited person.

What raises questions here is not whether we should all have to give up our guns. It’s not even whether we should have to go through more stringent requirements to get guns. It’s why he had guns after what he did in Seattle when he was 25. I can’t find whether he was convicted, but considering what happened I’m sure he worked out a deal. After the 2010 shooting, he was not charged, which tells me that whatever deal he worked out in Seattle included not being convicted of a felony and not being stripped of his civil liberties. THAT is what we should be questioning. The very instant someone deliberately walks out, pulls a gun, and shoots at anything in a populated area, whether they argue that they flew into some kind of rage should be irrelevant.

I’d be willing to bet we’re not going to find that Alexis was some kind of right-wing nut. I know the liberals are hoping he will be. Today was a tragedy that we should mourn, but it makes me nauseous that the political claws have already been bared.

I wish more than anything that we lived in a more peaceful world. I have said many times before that I wish we didn’t have to carry guns. I long for the day when we can “fashion our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks.” I love being a caretaker and wish I didn’t have to protect anyone, but the world we live in is full of fallible human beings who are capable of not caring about doing the right thing. If we lived in a perfect world we would not need armed police or military and we would not need prisons. The sooner everyone grasps that concept, the safer we’ll be.

***UPDATE***

According to another news source, Alexis arrived with only a shotgun. He collected the AR-15 and the handgun after storming the NAVSEA shipyard.