This Column Nails It

How Racists Talk About Tamir Rice“:

For as long as I’ve been a newspaper columnist — 13 years and counting — I’ve been on the receiving end of angry mail from white readers. One of their favorite cut-and-paste missives in emails and social media posts criticizes and even mocks what they call “black English.” How they love to spew their racist rants about dialect. It makes them feel so shiny-white superior.

Their hate is couched in white English, which has nothing to do with accents. White English is a state of mind. It turns words into weapons to dehumanize an entire population of people, and it is bubbling up like pus in a dirty wound after Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty convinced a grand jury that the police were justified in killing a black child playing with an air gun.

White English casts Tamir Rice, for the first time in his short life, as an equal among men — rather than as a 12-year-old boy limited by the judgment of his years.

He “should have known better.” He should have “listened to the police,” as if there’s no reason to doubt their claim that they yelled three warnings to this child in less than two seconds.

White English repeats, over and over, that this child was “big for his age.”

He’s not 12-year-old Tamir; he’s “Mr.
Rice.” Even in his grave, he grows. He is no longer 5 feet 7 inches tall.

He was 5 feet 9.

He was 5’11”.

He was 6 feet tall.

He was a man.

He was a menace.

He was a thug.

White English is the language of the Superior White Parents club, where perfect children raised by perfect parents now raise perfect children of their own who would never jump around in a park and pretend to be shooting a toy gun. They know this because they have special powers that allow them to see what their perfect children are doing every minute of every day. If you dare suggest this is not possible, they will turn on you in a hot minute. How dare you question their parenting as they pick apart Tamir Rice’s mother?

White English has no words to acknowledge that Samaria Rice loved her son. That she banned toy guns from their home. That she didn’t know he had his friend’s air gun that day.

This, times 1000.

If the first words out of your mouth are “he was x lbs and big,” you are part of the fucking problem. Until people can show me the rash of white kids being shot like this, we all know why this happened. It wasn’t because the kid was fat.

140 replies
  1. 1
    wormtown says:

    excellent post.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Love Connie Schultz. This is among her best columns, and should win her another Pulitzer.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is, frankly, brilliant.

    Thanks for putting it up, John. It captures a huge part of the problem.

    There are a lot of white people who need, NEED, to have the shit kicked out of them.

  4. 4
    w3ski says:

    I just read but haven’t verified is that the poor kid was living in an “Open Carry” state.
    Wouldn’t that alone make this “murder”?

  5. 5

    Even the origin of the word thug is racist. Entire groups of people (usually tribal) were classified as being from the criminal castes by the British administrators of 19th century India. You see, the kindly Victorians were bringing “civilization” to the heathens by banishing thugee and suttee, at least that’s what the people back home in the British Isles were told.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @w3ski: Open carry is for white people and Alan West.

  7. 7
    Thoughtful David says:


  8. 8
    Seanly says:

    Thanks for posting this, John!

    Unfortunately, nothing will change until little Taylor Alabasterton and Buffy Vanillaskin start getting gunned down by occupying police.

  9. 9
    charluckles says:

    That odious bastard McGinty is right in the thick of it with his comments about Tamirs apparent height and age. F*ck him.

    And here we have a clear case of high government officials colluding with security services to shield them from accountability. Here’s your damn tyranny right here, and of course the right wing has rolled over with its legs in the air. Amazing all that big talk about fighting government tyranny was nothing but angry verbiage.

  10. 10
    Brachiator says:

    Just excellent. Sad. Excellent.

  11. 11
    Brandon says:

    Saying that he looks like a man only makes it worse to me. Because Ohio is open carry it should then be presumed that he had a legal right to possess a real gun. When the police rolled up on him it was stated to be in his waistband, i.e. holstered. Therefore 2nd Amendment or whatever. This racist response makes the legality of police actions even more questionable.

  12. 12
    Coin operated says:

    Spot on…

  13. 13
    ArchTeryx says:

    @charluckles: They don’t think the point of that spear will ever, ever be turned on them. They similarly were completely simpatico with Bush and the Patriot Act. Only when a scary black man got hold of the security apparatus they so lovingly built, did they start panicking in earnest.

    If they’re poor and white, they’re dead wrong – the spear is also turned on them, albeit at a different rate (and in different ways) then poor black urban people. If they’re wealthy and white, they’re sadly all too right.

  14. 14
    Schlemazel says:

    The cop claims he shouted “SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!” 3 times . . . exited the car, shouted that 3 times & then shot & killed Tamir in 12 seconds. The cop is a god damned magician.

    @w3ski: Chris Hayes had an excellent tweet about exactly this. Why is the NRA not up in arms since Ohio is an open carry state? This was a murder.

  15. 15
    greennotGreen says:

    @Seanly: And still nothing will change. Adam Lanza wasn’t a cop, but you would think twenty little children would mean something to the people of this country. Apparently not compared to their precious guns.

  16. 16
    Hal says:

    WASHINGTON — Black boys as young as 10 may not be viewed in the same light of childhood innocence as their white peers, but are instead more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty and face police violence if accused of a crime, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
    “Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection. Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent,” said author Phillip Atiba Goff, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. The study was published online in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology®.

    Researchers tested 176 police officers, mostly white males, average age 37, in large urban areas, to determine their levels of two distinct types of bias — prejudice and unconscious dehumanization of black people by comparing them to apes. To test for prejudice, researchers had officers complete a widely used psychological questionnaire with statements such as “It is likely that blacks will bring violence to neighborhoods when they move in.” To determine officers’ dehumanization of blacks, the researchers gave them a psychological task in which they paired blacks and whites with large cats, such as lions, or with apes. Researchers reviewed police officers’ personnel records to determine use of force while on duty and found that those who dehumanized blacks were more likely to have used force against a black child in custody than officers who did not dehumanize blacks. The study described use of force as takedown or wrist lock; kicking or punching; striking with a blunt object; using a police dog, restraints or hobbling; or using tear gas, electric shock or killing. Only dehumanization and not police officers’ prejudice against blacks — conscious or not — was linked to violent encounters with black children in custody, according to the study.

  17. 17
    MomSense says:

    This is so good. My 5’7″ baby faced kid and his unnamed associates play in the neighborhood with their air soft guns, swords, and bow and arrows. They are instructed to stay in our neighborhood but I’m pretty sure they have met at the playground before. They are allowed to be kids because they are white. It really is that simple. Black kids are not allowed to be kids.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @charluckles: It’s like Reinhard Heydrich brushing off some concern by a subordinate about a course of action Heydrich had proposed, by saying “We are the police. Who will stop us?”

  19. 19
    greennotGreen says:

    @Schlemazel: People don’t respond immediately when they aren’t expecting a command to be yelled at them. Look at the John Crawford video: he was on the phone and cops started shouting, “Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!” They murdered him before he even had a chance to realize they were yelling at him. So the defense of the cops that they shot Tamir after he refused to show his hands is bogus.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    ABC News PoliticsVerified account
    ‏@ ABCPolitics
    WATCH: Jeb Bush confuses Chicago and Cleveland in Tamir Rice case: “My bad.”

    It’s a video clip. He concludes “the process worked” and thirty seconds later says the Cleveland DA did a fine job and implies he’s quite familiar McGinty’s excellent record as DA of that city that starts with a “C”.

    He can’t trouble his beautiful mind with details

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @greennotGreen: Moloch must have his sacrifices.

  22. 22
    Gvg says:

    I wonder if anyone is trying to help the friend who gave him the toy gun that day. I would be feeling soul crushing guilt in his place. Such a little action that had such unfair results.
    That prosecutor making snide comments about Tamir’s family just enrages me. I wish someone could make him see what scum he was.

  23. 23
    MomSense says:


    I hope so. Tamar’s sister lost 50 lbs and is suffering with PTSD because of what she experienced.

  24. 24

    The PP killer was a full grown adult who had even shot a cop and the police managed to take him in their custody alive, the difference is stark and there for everyone to see.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Until prosecutors like Timothy McGinty and STL county’s Bob McCulloch pay a price for their aiding and abetting in murder after the fact, this is not going to change. They should be subject to Federal charges for something, but there are no Federal charges acts such as these, not to mention the fact that they get prosecutorial immunity.

  26. 26
    Schlemazel says:

    That certainly is part of it. My comment had to do with the cops story being impossible, try yelling “show me your hands! in a command voice in 12 seconds. That would be a trick, then for Tamir to respond he would have to have time to process the command but within 12 seconds the cop exits the car & shots him dead. The cop is lying obviously but even if he were not the kid didn’t have time to process and follow the command.

    If I wanted to put the best face on this I could I’d say the cop never intended to shoot, that it was an accident caused by fear and adrenaline but that is damning with faint excuse. He would only be guilty of unintentional homicide. But it is homicide none the less.

  27. 27
    ant says:

    There isn’t a 12 year old boy on the planet that could be mistaken even for a 15 year old, even at a glance . The changes they go through are profound and obvious.

    What I hear when people say he looked like and adult is: ‘all black people look the same, and I don’t about what happen to this one.’

    I had a very similar experience in my teen years. We were driving out in the woods smoking pot, and I was driving. One of my friends was shooting a bb gun out of the window, and as we rounded a corner, it accidentally was pointed at some people walking down the trail just as they saw us.

    I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but the people walking called the cops on us, and followed us into town after we left the logging road. I stopped at a hotel for some reason that I can’t remember now, and was waiting in the car when suddenly I had a rifle pointed at me from a undercover cop in an unmarked police truck.

    Hands up, on the ground, searched me and the car, and the whole 10 yards. They never did find the pot, and no charges came of it. But it was scary. I was soooo high.

    I feel like young Rice was murdered, and I’m pissed about it. His life doesn’t count?

    What the fuck?

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    I feel like such an idiot for thinking this case would be different since they had the cop gunning down a child on video. I honestly believed there would be an indictment.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    Black Lives do Matter.

  30. 30
    Poopyman says:

    @Betty Cracker: Do NOT be hard on yourself. That was your humanity talking.

  31. 31
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Chauncydevega at DailyKos went to the sewage of (not so)FreeRepublic to wade in the comments. I am afraid he will have to take a series of Tetanus shots and delouse for a series of weeks, to rid himself of the rot.

  32. 32
    henqiguai says:

    @schrodinger’s cat (#5):

    Even the origin of the word thug is racist.

    Class-based I can understand, but racist? From everything I have seen on the word, meanings and origins, all seem to point to a long progression from Sanskrit to Hindi until it moved into English. And always with more or less the same meaning. Because I’ve been curious about the origins of the word since I first heard of the ‘Thuggee’ (yeah, I admit it – Indian Jones, which prompted me to start doing some digging, because doubt *anything* coming out of Hollywood), I’d be really interested in any pointers to provide some enlightenment.

  33. 33
    Brandon says:

    If I was the family attorney, I would just tell a jury to presume everything that the police and prosecutor said was true, e.g. he looked like a man, etc. And then point out the open carry law.

    While the police and prosector think they found a racist excuse to get out of criminal jeopardy and help their case in the court of white public opinion, their rationalization puts them in greater civil jeopardy because it contradicts and runs completely counter to open carry law.

    Now that is not to say that a predominantly white jury still wouldn’t use basic logic against other undertones (or overtones) and find a preponderance of the evidence. But my word this whole ‘he looked like a man’ business seems so easy to poke holes in if you apply laws meant to protect men (and women) 2nd Amendment rights.

    But like that guy they gunned down in a Walmart, open carry does not apply to blahs and the browns.

  34. 34
    AliceBlue says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    I allowed myself to hope too. I just feel so heartsick.

  35. 35
    oz29 says:

    Too bad some do-gooder white suburban family didn’t take him in and teach him to play football and recite bible verses.

  36. 36
    Brandon says:

    BTW, I am glad you are posting more regularly again John and I sincerely hope you don’t follow through and move into a shipping container by yourself somewhere in the WVa woods.

  37. 37
    gene108 says:

    In the fall of the 7th grade, a couple of months after my 12th birthday, I hit a growth spurt.

    I went from 4’10” tall at the start of the school year to 5’5.5″ by winter break.

    I was skinny, but becoming adult sized, which is what fucking happens to kids in middle school. They hit growth spurts and become close to adult sized.

    Still doesn’t make them adults. Still doesn’t make them look like adults either.

    Some folks said I look like I was 14 or 15, because of the growth spurt.

    Still a long fucking way from adulthood.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brandon: It all depends on whether or not Thurston issues an eviction notice.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  39. 39
    JPL says:

    The 911 caller mentioned that it could have been a child with a toy gun. If the person who called the police thought it was a child, maybe the police could have taken a few more seconds, to see for themselves. Two seconds is not enough time to identify someone.

  40. 40
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Glad you brought this bit of dickery up again.

    I have a friend who was a white kid, six feet tall at age six. They had to bring in a desk from another classroom for him in kindergarten.

    But he still had the mind of a child.

  41. 41
    gene108 says:


    And here we have a clear case of high government officials colluding with security services to shield them from accountability. Here’s your damn tyranny right here, and of course the right wing has rolled over with its legs in the air. Amazing all that big talk about fighting government tyranny was nothing but angry verbiage.

    You do realize by tyranny they mean the loss of the white privilege, which has been seriously eroded over the last 100 years, with women getting the vote, lynchings and other assorted crimes against minorities leading to convictions (unless you’re a cop), etc.

    Look at the support for Cliven Bundy.

    Tyranny is government taking away what you have. Tyranny is not government taking away what someone else has.

  42. 42
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Connie Schultz is a national treasure for this piece alone, but she has many other fine pieces along with a Pulitzer. How many racists who are exposed to this column will make an inaccurate assumption about what she looks like?

  43. 43
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Seanly: Got stuck in the airport with little Taylor and Kennedy. “Kennedy, come here!” “Kennedy, sit down!” “Kennedy, get your hand out of that stranger’s purse!”

    My wife thinks Kennedy is a WASP name. I think truly privileged WASPs would die first. Status: unresolved.

  44. 44
    Shell says:

    And of course….

    ‘Jeb! Bush is certain that “the process worked” when a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice..’

    And then, natch…

    “I think that Chicago’s got a lot of work to do to rebuild trust. The level of violence is abhorrent,” he said, when asked about the grand jury decision out of Cleveland earlier this week.

    The reporter corrected Bush, saying, the shooting of Rice “happened in Cleveland.”

    “I’m sorry, my bad,” Bush quickly said.”

    At least he didn’t say “Stuff happens.”

    (I see somebody beat me to it)

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    And lest anyone think this is a problem only on the other side:

    McGinty is a Democrat.

    The Cook County (Chicago) State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, also a Democrat.

    Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor, also a Democrat.

  46. 46
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The gaffe is bad enough, but once he’s told it’s Cleveland he follows with “grand juries aren’t racist” and “trust the police”.

    JEB is less extreme how? Less hair gel?

  47. 47
    gogol's wife says:

    I haven’t even commented on this story because it makes me nauseated even to think of it. Can’t watch the video. Can’t think about it.

  48. 48
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @oz29: This is where I lament once again that you can’t upvote comments here.

  49. 49
    gogol's wife says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Yeah, it’s a good one. (But I don’t want upvotes. What I want is a back button that works.)

  50. 50

    @henqiguai: The British branded entire groups of people, mostly tribals, as criminal castes and barred them from employment in the government. Considering how much wealth they have looted (another Indian word, loot) from around the world the British are the biggest thugs the world has ever seen.

    What do you call discrimination that marks you as a criminal at the time of your birth?

  51. 51
    JordanRules says:

    Wow. Thank you Connie and thank you John for posting this! I love language so that part of the racism disease has always fascinated me.

    I remember when Bill Cosby went on his “anti-hood” tour and language came up in some of his vile complaints. He was a POS to me then, even before he was outed as a serial rapist.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human: ¡Heb! is quite a piece of work.

    “grand juries aren’t racist”


    “trust the police”.

    Trust must be earned. Our police have pissed all trust away.

  53. 53
    Rashi says:

    The open carry argument seems misplaced to me because the cops were told someone was pointing his gun at people. It’s also the case the dispatcher made a critical, and possibly fatal, mistake by failing to to tell the cops the caller thought the armed individual a juvenile and the gun probably a fake. And then we have a cop with such a poor work history that he never should’ve been hired to begin with. So this particular case seems different than many others which isn’t to say blacks aren’t treated like second class citizens by law enforcement or that a good deal of police shootings involving blacks can’t be traced to institutionalized racism. As Malcolm X said about the relationship between America and black people, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock landed on us.”

  54. 54
    gogol's wife says:

    Poor little boy dying there and they don’t even help him.

  55. 55
    Davebo says:

    @Schlemazel: Not twelve seconds. Less than 2 seconds as the article and video point out.

  56. 56


    I just read but haven’t verified is that the poor kid was living in an “Open Carry” state.
    Wouldn’t that alone make this “murder”?

    IIRC, the 911 call said he was pointing the (toy) gun at people. That would move him from open carry (legal) to brandishing (illegal), giving the police theoretical justification for treating him as a danger.

  57. 57
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Hal: 11 year old on trial for murder, faced life without parole (from 2011).

    Of course, evidence suggests that the human brain isn’t fully mature until the mid-20s, so…

    According to recent findings, the human brain does not reach full maturity until at least the mid-20s. (See J. Giedd in References.) The specific changes that follow young adulthood are not yet well studied, but it is known that they involve increased myelination and continued adding and pruning of neurons. As a number of researchers have put it, “the rental car companies have it right.” The brain isn’t fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car.

    We need to stop being so afraid of children and young people. We need to recognize that everyone can (and usually does) do stupid things and act out and so forth until their mid-20s or so. They’re not grown up yet. People who can kill and maim, or lock people up for life, need to be especially aware of that…



  58. 58
  59. 59
    Riley's Enabler says:

    My son is 11. He is 5’8″, weighs 175 pounds and has muscles from playing lacrosse at the travel level.

    In no way does he look like a man. Sweet baby fat cheeks round out his face. It’s clear he’s still a child – a big one, maybe a year or two older than his age but he is well within normal in our area (bit tall but not remarkable).

    He’s 11.

    How in hell did that cop not see the soft curves of Tamir’s face and realize he was a child?

    I am sick to my core over this murder and the callous disregard of so many grown-ass humans for this child.

  60. 60
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: This would carry more weight if the fact that the 911 call also mentioned it might be a toy gun – but THAT part did not get relayed to the officers – was included in the analysis.

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    What do you call discrimination that marks you as a criminal at the time of your birth?

    Whatever it is, I bet you can say your were gypped by the system.

  62. 62
    RaflW says:

    @charluckles: “Here’s your damn tyranny right here, and of course the right wing has rolled over with its legs in the air.”

    I agree. But they are so deeply tainted by a frothy mixture of racism and narcissism that it only looks like tyranny if it happens to your clan.

  63. 63
  64. 64

    @Riley’s Enabler:

    How in hell did that cop not see the soft curves of Tamir’s face and realize he was a child?

    He didn’t take the time to look; as numerous people here have pointed out, he took less than 2 seconds between jumping out of the car and shooting.

  65. 65

    You can’t plausibly charge the officers for not knowing something because the dispatcher didn’t tell them that part. The dispatcher who didn’t include that information deserves some kind of discipline, and the department needs to look at the systemic problem that represents, but you can’t hold the cops on the scene liable for it.

  66. 66
    ellennelle says:

    have not commented in a long while. but the tamir rice case has deepened the pit in my gut yet deeper to accommodate trayvon and michael brown and john crawford and eric garner and laquan and sandra bland…. each killing, each injustice, this pit heads further toward the center of a sick and hate-filled earth, long past impossible to ignore.

    so i have this question for those folks who justify the killing of this child. if he was big enough to be mistaken for an adult, why shoot at all? OH is an open carry state; he would have been perfectly within his rights.

    no right to open carry a BB gun at age 12, it seems.

    totally sick world.

  67. 67
    henqiguai says:

    @schrodinger’s cat (#50):

    What do you call discrimination that marks you as a criminal at the time of your birth?

    If in India, a consequence of its indigenous caste system? If we’re talking the British Empire, its class system. Perhaps part of the problem, for me, is that growing up in Jim Crow America I never fully understood the discrimination of WASPy America against Irish and Italians; after all, we all thought, they were all white what’s the difference? But still looking for some pointers on the racist part of ‘Thuggee’ –> ‘thug’.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @w3ski: @John Cole: He was, but it even goes beyond what John said in his reply. The open carry enthusiasm, such as it is, generally breaks down into three arguments, the first of which is somewhat a throwaway given its obviousness: 1) 2nd Amendment is an enumerated right in the Bill of Rights and should apply and be applied equally to all Americans everywhere within the US; 2) Deterrence: bad actors will be less likely to break the law and prey on others if they can see that there are armed people in their vicinity as this will inform them that these people will respond; and 3) Behavioral to attitudinal normalization: people who are scared of guns, if they can see people carrying them while going about their daily lives and not being violent, hurting anyone, breaking the law, will become familiarized with guns, lose their fear of guns (hoplophobia, which, more accurately would mean a fear of hoplites/ancient Greek warriors), and then we can get around to having argument #1 put into effect.

    Argument #1 is nice, its an interesting Constitutional hypothetical, but not even the recent Heller decision supports it as Heller recognized that the government has always had the power (remember people have rights, states have powers) to reasonably regulate firearms/weapons ownership and usage.

    Argument #2 is, from my somewhat informed view, silly. If I’m open carrying and someone wants to do something bad/violent/illegal/predatory/all of the above, I’m the first target because I’m visibly carrying the weapon. Handguns aren’t aircraft carriers. They don’t provide strategic stand off deterrence. The other issue is that almost the same argument is made for concealed carry by the same people. If more people conceal carry then bad actors will be deterred because they’ll never know who might be armed, willing and able to intervene and stop them. From a criminological point of view both of these suffer from the same fallacy: assumption of perfect knowledge. Rational choice and utility maximization theories were created in 19th century criminology by Bentham, by the early to mid 20th century criminology had jettisoned them as there was no evidence that they had real explanatory power with one exception: Routine Activity Theory. The problem with either the open carry for deterrence or the conceal carry for deterrence arguments is that they assume perfect knowledge and, more importantly, the ability to effectively utilize that perfect knowledge in decision making. I lived in PA for four years, its an open carry state outside of Philadelphia, and I lived in a semi-rural/bedroom community/small town area. As observant as I am, I only ever noticed two people open carrying that whole time. Even when its scaled up to the state level, for say the death penalty, we know that its use is not a deterrent because the empirical studies inform of this reality. And even scaled up to the international system it doesn’t work: Saddam Hussein was signaling the Iranians (mostly) that he had deterrent capabilities that he, in fact, didn’t have. What was the result? US leaders purposefully misread those signals and used them to argue he was too dangerous to be left in place. So no deterrent effect and in fact exactly the opposite. This is why econometric models are so screwy: the math is elegant, the assumptions not so much.

    Argument #3 Attitudinal normalization. I really don’t know where to go with this one. If a bunch of adults all started walking around, and not doing anything else out of the ordinary, with baseball bats or hockey sticks or 3 irons and they weren’t on their way to batting practice a hockey game or the driving range I’m not sure it would really set others minds at ease. If you don’t know someone and they’re doing something or have something on them that seems out of place or odd to you, I’m not sure seeing a lot of folks doing it is going to reassure anybody. If it did people wouldn’t still be complaining about saggy pants or multiple piercings.

  69. 69
    ellennelle says:

    ah, should have scanned the comments before posting, but very glad to see my question was raised by several already.

    very good; my bad.

  70. 70
    Napoleon says:

    FYI, McGinty is being primaried by someone who appears credible to me at this point. Last week, even before this decision, the local party meet to issue enforcements (it takes 60% or something like that to win an enforcement) and the challenger just fell short of winning it.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @greennotGreen: I picked up the meme from Wills, because it’s excellent and absolutely fire for effect (to borrow an artillery term) on target.

  72. 72
    kc says:

    Does anyone remember an asshole rightwing blogger named Bob Owens? Called himself “Confederate Yankee.” Gun humper. Sadly, No! used to make fun of him back in the day.

    Anyway, Owens has been on Twitter saying Tamir had it coming.

    The Second Amendment isn’t for everyone, it seems.

  73. 73
    Svensker says:

    @Riley’s Enabler:

    I am sick to my core over this murder and the callous disregard of so many grown-ass humans for this child.

    In a nutshell.

  74. 74
    kc says:

    @Roger Moore:

    IIRC, the 911 call said he was pointing the (toy) gun at people. That would move him from open carry (legal) to brandishing (illegal), giving the police theoretical justification for treating him as a danger.

    Although a viewing of the video quickly dispels any notion I might have had that the cops acted reasonably or with any justification at all. They gave him NO CHANCE.

  75. 75
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You can’t plausibly charge the officers for not knowing something because the dispatcher didn’t tell them that part. The dispatcher who didn’t include that information deserves some kind of discipline, and the department needs to look at the systemic problem that represents, but you can’t hold the cops on the scene liable for it.

    Of course you can hold them responsible — because they didn’t take the time to look. No one told them to go charging in at high speed and start shooting within 1.7 seconds of exiting the vehicle. They could have stopped at a distance and talked to Tamir, either by voice or using the cruiser loudspeaker. They could easily have established that he was a child holding a toy and not an adult holding a gun with even a minimal degree of effort, and the fact that they didn’t is entirely their own fault.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Schlemazel: @Hal: @greennotGreen: @OzarkHillbilly: @Schlemazel: So a couple things, and I’ll start with Schlemazel’s last point first:
    There are no accidents with firearms. There is negligence, but never an accident. They don’t shoot themselves. Provided they haven’t been modified in an unsafe way, which itself would be negligence, they don’t fire when dropped or bumped – if there’s even a hint of that recalls are done, even if the company can’t replicate the malfunction in the gun that supposedly malfunctioned (look up the Springfield XD-S recall).

    What this was, and what ties into what I just wrote about no accidents, is a combination of three things: 1) who is being recruited/self selecting into Law Enforcement; 2) training; 3) law enforcement culture. All three reinforce themselves. We have documentation that law enforcement academies and agencies try to screen out candidates with higher aptitudes. The reasons I’ve seen for this is that these folks would become bored with the routine of the job, become problem employees, quit after investment of training, things like that. So what we are getting is not always the best and brightest. In the case of the Tamir Rice shooting we know that Officer Loehmann was terminated by a neighboring agency for a combination of attitudinal/emotional issues and failure to meet standard in training.

    This brings us to training. These things aren’t happening by accident. In the case of the Crawford shooting we know that the responding officers, including the one who shot Mr. Crawford, had recently before that call out (within a couple of days) had received training that emphasized that they take whatever measures necessary to ensure their safety, not to deescalate and diffuse a situation. This is a training failure. Certainly cops should not be trained to be reckless, but this erred way out in the other direction. Similarly, I’ve now got links to four incidents in Texas where female drivers (both white and African American) have been pulled over on the side of the road for a traffic offense and then cavity searched – on the side of the road in front of passersby – by both state and local law enforcement. Female officers are specifically called to the scene to do the searches. Once was a numbskull. Twice, especially given the publicity the first one got including the lawsuit, was a strange oddity. Four or more is a pattern. Someone is providing training that this is a good idea. Similarly the use of force issues with the Albequerque PD.

    Law enforcement culture. Culture is learned and transmitted. Between generations and through training and education. So when items 1 and 2 above are screwed up, then law enforcement culture is going to have some problems. It appears that the recruitment and the training are not improving the culture, rather they are reinforcing its worst aspects and, perhaps, making it worse.

    And don’t even get me started about the inability and unwillingness to hold prosecutor’s accountable when they do something wrong.

  77. 77
    JustRuss says:

    @Rashi: The open carry argument seems misplaced to me because the cops were told someone was pointing his gun at people.

    I guess that makes sense, if you believe that the word of an anonymous 911 caller is gospel and should be acted upon as such.

  78. 78
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    If anyone is interested, this page has a webified version of the 74 page “report” (scroll down). Even if one accepts the facts presented, the framing of the facts is extremely slanted, it seems to me.

    As to what the officers could be charged with given they weren’t informed that the gun might be a toy and Tamir might be a juvenile, it seems to me that police have to behave responsibly and not be reckless. One can be charged for not exercising “due diligence” in operating a car. Surely such a common-sense standard can be applied to police officers.

    I expect the DOJ to come down hard on the department, even if the individual officers don’t end up being charged. This wasn’t some “perfect storm of human error” – it a dysfunctional system. It needs to be fixed – not simply treated as a “stuff happens” event.


  79. 79

    @henqiguai: See the depiction of Amrish Puri as a monkey brain eating thug in Indiana Jones and tell me its not racist.
    The depiction of entire groups of Indians as evil, whose caste/religion compels them to thievery and murder is racist. At once they are dangerous and and childlike who need the steady and benevolent hand of the Victorians to govern them. Strikes me not that different from the depiction of slaves in the South.

    The so called “thugee menace” was manufactured by the Victorians to keep their newly acquired subjects in place.

  80. 80

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If a bunch of adults all started walking around, and not doing anything else out of the ordinary, with baseball bats or hockey sticks or 3 irons and they weren’t on their way to batting practice a hockey game or the driving range I’m not sure it would really set others minds at ease.

    FWIW, there are plenty of people in my area who do carry around golf clubs or baseball bats when they’re walking, and it does make me at least a bit nervous. I just don’t see what they’re afraid of. I live in a low crime area, I’ve seen a grand total of one stray dog in many years of walking, and the wild animals in the area that might be dangerous to people (black bears and mountain lions) are unlikely to be deterred by a club.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: Where I live we have a bunch of senior citizens. We also have coyotes, bobcats, hawks, eagles, snakes, wild hogs/feral pigs, reports of Florida black bear within 15 miles, and alligators. And the senior citizens walk with golf clubs or other similar items to ward off attack. I’m 45 and the good news is that all my dogs and I have to do is outrun the old people with their golf clubs…

    And its not like we live out in the boonies either.

  82. 82
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: I just don’t see what they’re afraid of.

    They might be watching Fox News.

    My mother related that Christmas shopping in Central Florida has been impacted by people too frightened to go out to the mall, and that some people she knows are nervous in church. I asked her if they watched Fox News, and she started laughing. And affirmed that they all did.

    I explained to her that what she should tell them, from the state who has endured the most horrific terrorist attack in the nation, that the proper stance is, “F#&k terrorism, I’m going shopping.”

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WereBear: the best response was in Brussels during the post Paris attack lockdown. The cops and military had an orgy. I’ll be posting about it later today. Its near where my first senseis’ aikido dojo used to be.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WereBear: This is why I’m always saying “home of the brave, my ass.”

    These people are cowards. They deserve to die a thousand deaths. Fuck them. Grow some balls, some ovaries, or something, and stop acting like whipped dogs.

  85. 85

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I live in Southern California, where the line between heavily developed and wild is a fence. We have both cougars and black bears in my area. There are regular reports of cougars within a mile of my home, and I’ve personally seen a black bear in the area. I still think carrying a club on a walk is silly. A cougar isn’t going to be afraid of your silly club. It’s an ambush predator, and the first sign that it’s attacking you is likely to be when you’re bitten. The black bears are more afraid of people than the other way around, and they’re only likely to attack if they feel cornered or if sow’s cubs are threatened, and in either of those cases a club isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good. Carrying a weapon is just going to give you a false sense of security and maybe convince you to attack when you’d be better off retreating.

  86. 86
    bemused says:


    So do I. She’s a wonderful writer but she also openly and beautifully writes what she feels. I just read her piece on her racist father in the Atlantic which is honest and painful. It reminds me I should be reading her every day, opinion pieces and her facebook page.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the best response was in Brussels during the post Paris attack lockdown. The cops and military had an orgy. I’ll be posting about it later today. Its near where my first senseis’ aikido dojo used to be.

    On the other hand, I’ve heard news reports that Brussels has largely cancelled most of their scheduled New Year’s celebrations.

    But the orgy thing, if verified, sounds like a lot more fun. I guess it’s true that Brussels spouts.

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: unless you’re carrying an outdoorsman load (hard cast keith/flat nose rounds loaded to at least plus P) of a very large caliber 454 casull and higher and you have stand off distance and you can see the attack coming, even a gun isn’t going to do you any good.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I think you mean sprouts

  90. 90
    henqiguai says:

    @schrodinger’s cat(#79):

    See the depiction of Amrish Puri as a monkey brain eating thug in Indiana Jones and tell me its not racist.

    Interestingly enough this scene didn’t bother me since the eating of live monkey brains is a known practice among some groups in the far East. Icky and barbaric by American sensibilities, but then we here in America consider virtually *anything* outside our benightly worldview to be barbaric.

    The depiction of entire groups of Indians as evil, whose caste/religion compels them to thievery and murder is racist.

    I think I may be seeing what you’re saying, but I also see we are using the term ‘racist’ in somewhat different ways.

    The so called “thugee menace” was manufactured by the Victorians to keep their newly acquired subjects in place.

    From what I have read of the Empire-era Victorians, they made up a lot of crap to explain/justify their worldview. From that blog you linked up-thread, the whole Thuggee menace concept seemed to be the product of one or a small group of Colonial officers doing a, sadly, typical ‘scientific’ study to justify and reinforce their cultural biases. And probably bigotries.

    But Empire, be it the British Victorians or any other group, always seem to consider their ways superior and the dominated to be inferior/child-like and in need of guidance; or control.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Damn, stepped on my on pun. I was in a hurry, last few posts before getting out for the New Year.

  92. 92
    PurpleGirl says:

    @WereBear: I know only a few people who changed jobs or life interests to avoid going downtown after Sept. 11th. Most people couldn’t do that, they ahd jobs to go to that they had to go to. Downtown at the time was not a shopping or living hub — it has since become more residential. But midtown Manhattan and the outer boroughs, where most people live, are where they shop. They are not likely to travel too far to go shopping. Life became (more) normal because it had to. So, yes, we kept shopping. And going to movies and restaurants, and the parks and museums and other places.

  93. 93
    Zinsky says:

    A culture that can justify shooting a 12 yr. old boy because he “looked big” can justify anything. Pathetic.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: there is a water park in Brussels.

  95. 95
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: and its most famous landmark is a peeing statue

  96. 96
    dogwood says:

    Your points are spot on. There might have been a serious attempt at indictment in this case if the law enforcement t apparatus felt they could make it about a negligent cop only. But that wouldn’t happen. Go to trial and and it will be about negligent dispatchers, negligent training and hiring practices etc. The system might indict a cop, but it won’t indict itself.

    When I look at this case from every perspective, I realize I most closely fit the role of the 911 caller. I would hope that I could get over the guilt I would feel for the part I played, but I don’t know if I could get over the anger at the mess the system made of it. I could easily see myself making that call. I taught adolescents for 35 years. I adore them, but I know they are knuckleheads. If I saw a kid dinking around with what might be a real gun, I’d probably dial 911.

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yep, been there many times. In fact it was the aikido organization that my senseis belonged to that made and donated his little aikido costume (keiko-gi top and hakama pants).

  98. 98

    @henqiguai: Kali, the supposed patron goddess of the thugs, is big in Bengal, the area that came under British sway in the mid 1700. Since she (and Durga) are war like, they were used as inspirational figures by early Indian nationalists in Bengal.

    If there was really a religious cult that condoned killing spread all over India, they would not have all worshiped Kali.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: We can take this back up whenever you like, but I wrote part of my master’s thesis in comparative religion on the actual, historical Thugee. While the British Raj’s description were often fanciful, at heart, what you had was a long standing group of Kali devotees. Their theology was very interesting. They believed that Kali was caught in a seemingly endless battle with a chaotic force that was bent on destroying all life/creation. It was sort of similar in description to the Greek hydra. Every time she cut down one of her foes, two would spring up to take its place. The Thugee believed that they could send her fighters (unwilling conscripts) by strangling them with silken ligatures or scarves. Once these poor unfortunate travelers were dispatched, the Thugee believed they would appear with Kali, with the ligature that caused their death, and could help her fight off the enemy, by strangling its forces, and thereby preserve the world. Its actually quite an interesting and intriguing take on a violent, millennialist/apocalyptic religious sect.

  100. 100

    @Adam L Silverman: How much of your research was shaped by the writings of people like Grant Duff, who clearly had an agenda in promoting Indians as heathens and the Victorians as the enlightened ones.

  101. 101
    trollhattan says:

    Nevertheless I hope those air guns are dayglo orange or green or pink or otherwise decorated to in no way resemble real guns. If not a cop, some fucking “Patriot” might get overly stimulated and decide to do something heroic.

    We live in bizarroworld.

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Zinsky: They can justify “resettling” some despised ethnic or religious group somewhere far away. Say, to the East.

    That’s how bad this is.

  103. 103
    cat copeland says:


    DITTO THAT!! Now how in the hell do we get this out there to people that don’t read Balloon Juice, et al.
    You know the media won’t do it. We have no more Walter Cronkites, etc., anymore.

  104. 104
    Soylent Green says:

    @Roger Moore: Mountain lions don’t attack people face to face. If you encounter one this way, all you have to do is stand your ground and act like a bear. Wave your arms around, holler at it, throw a rock or two, and the cat will run away. I know this from personal experience, having surprised one while hiking in Colorado.

    People getting killed happens rarely, and the scenario is usually someone running, and being attacked from behind like any running prey. Without this advantage, the cougar’s instinct is to retreat.

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    Gun-Counter Gomer of “fund mah barbecue”? Sorry to know he’s still among the living.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Not much. I was fortunate to do my MA in religion under a top Indologist – albeit a western one. Spent a lot of time with translations of original sources. While I did read the British colonial take on what they thought was happening, what I was really looking for was what the Thugee believed and how they put it into practice. The project was on millennial/apocalyptic movements – not all of which employed violence. I had six cases: two Christian, two Hindu, and two Buddhist (or one Buddhist and one sort of syncretic Buddhist). The Millerites and the Branch Davidians (the Alpha and Omega of the Seventh Day Adventists); the Thugee and the Brahma Kumari for Hinduism – the latter of which is very interesting in its own right; and Dutengamenee and his Sinhalese Buddhist warriors and Aum Shinrikyo for Buddhism – the last being syncretic, but the closest I could get. What I was really interesting in was how the theology developed, how it translated into actual activity, what that activity was, and why it sometimes manifested as violence and at others it didn’t. I was looking for the definitions favorable, unfavorable, and neutralizing in the doctrine of the differential primary associations and how that translated into actions that could be imitated and either rewarded and punished. It was one part comparative religion one part old style social behavioral approach.

  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @trollhattan: Mah charkole greeyul!

  108. 108

    @Adam L Silverman: I am reading a paper by Stewart Gordon, called The Sword and Scarf on Thugee. I have recently become very interested in 18 century India. This period has been depicted by Victorian historians as the age of decay and chaos. Unfortunately, many still buy this point of view including many Indians.

    According to your research how wide spread was Thugee? By that I mean which parts of India. Stewart focuses on Malwa (modern day Madhya Pradesh, which was a part of the Maratha Kingdom in the 18th century)

  109. 109
    Steve from Antioch says:

    Some people need to learn the difference between open carry and 1) pointing a gun at things in an urban area and 2) putting a pistol in your pocket and (according to the officer) pulling it out when the cops show up.

  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    @Steve from Antioch:
    Well then, why don’t you take time out of your busy day to ed-you-kate us all?

  111. 111
    trollhattan says:

    Great internet skewering or greatest iinternet skewering? I never tire of rereading it, even if I’d completely forgotten about ol’ Bob.

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Am I allowed to go back over the weekend and look at my thesis on the external hard drive? I haven’t looked at that stuff since the late 90s. I’ll take a looksee then do a post up on it – how’s that?

  113. 113

    @Adam L Silverman: Definitely, I will look forward to your post.

  114. 114
    Steve from Antioch says:

    @Steve from Antioch: well I guess maybe a good starting point might be the paucity of police shootings directed at people carrying a properly holstered handgun, I.e. open carry.

    Can you recall ever hearing of that happening?

  115. 115
    Schlemazel says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I disagree about a couple of points. Guns do go off when dropped. They are not supposed to but they do. They also have gone off when hit (again, not supposed to). The military likes hand guns with no external safety and many LEOs carry them also. This not only increases the possibility of impact discharges.

    The lack of safety also increases the chances of an accidental firing you want to call negligence. I don’t disagree but if the shooter didn’t intend to pull the trigger then they did it by accident. That does not release them from responsibility. It can be careless or stupid or negligent but it is still not intentional. It makes no difference to the person spurting blood but it does to a court of law.

    BTW – there is a front pager over at the GOS that does a weekly account of the number of accidental discharges and people shooting folks my mistake. The numbers are staggering. Every week guns go off without a finger on the trigger, many times a week. Many times people do stupid tings like leave a gun where a kid can get or shot a family member because they thought they heard a burglar. I wish the column had a wider audience. If you are not familiar with the NRA’s magazine (I used to get it 40 years ago) there is a monthly feature called “The Armed Citizen”. Many of the stories are self reported but all have guns save the day. This guys work would be a good antidote to that crap.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Thanks, give me a few days. I have to still do that Yemen one I promised last week too.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Schlemazel: Actually the US military requires external safeties. Moreover, even in Iraq and Afghanistan, arms are to be kept in condition green on post, unless one is on guard duty. No magazine inserted and no round in chamber. Its only as one is leaving the base that you switch to condition red.

    And yes, they do go off when bumped or dropped. And yes, they’re not supposed to. Those are then either design/production flaws or the guns have been modified in a way to make them unsafe even when one does not intend to pull the trigger. These are all types of negligence.

  118. 118
    scav says:

    Somehow that “Brandishing” v “Open Carry” is coming off as dog-whistle as “Urban” v everybody else (ahem).

  119. 119
    Schlemazel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: They can justify “resettling” some despised ethnic or religious group somewhere far away. Say, to the East.

    You mean some gawd-forsaken place like Oklahoma?

  120. 120
    pea says:

    male english.
    what happened to tamir rice is insane.
    after 30 years of assaulting women. bill cosby is finally facing charges
    white patriarchy is insidious, destructive to all life on earth and entrenched.
    oh well, and then there are the saudis…
    oh, wait, it;s the people who have money vs those who don’t…
    the koch brothers are the oldest affluenza teens…
    how many ways can the death of tamir rice be extrapolated into deflective “IT WAS HIS OWN FAULT” bullshit?
    when will humans finally confront their self inflicted problems?

  121. 121
    trollhattan says:

    I vote brandish. Plug-’em, STAT!

  122. 122
    Schlemazel says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I was just reading about the RFQ for the special forces sidearm & no external safety. The article indicates the model they carry currently also has none. Its a Glock (I believe 17 but don’t quote me on that) and is popular with cops.

    The military is well aware of the likelihood of accidental discharge and has demanded empty, unloaded weapons in camp since at least the second world war.

    BTW – there is an interesting book, “Mortal Error” that was written by a ballistics expert who talks a lot about accidental discharge, as a cop and then gun store owner and expert witness he saw a few. The book is about the Kennedy assassination & he theory includes an accidental discharge. It didn’t kill Kennedy but explains a lot of the evidence.

  123. 123
    pea says:

    @Roger Moore:
    within less than a minute a 12 year old with a fake gun was killed.
    .no taser, no rubber bullets, no questions
    shot dead playing.

  124. 124
    Schlemazel says:

    While typing the above my wife read a headline to me she saw online
    “Couple fire 27 shots at women they mistake for intruder” . . . it was his mom. There is your armed citizen right there.

  125. 125
    dogwood says:

    @Steve from Antioch:
    I can’t be the only one here who notices your repeated qualification that you can’t brandish weapons in urban areas. It’s not about race it’s about geography? The white militias, Bundy ranchers , and motorcycle gangs are allowed to brandish weapons because they do it rural America?

  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Schlemazel: SOF is a different beast than the Conventional Force. All conventional personnel are qualified on, and if necessary, issued (currently) M9s. This is a 9mm Beretta and it comes with an external safety. Each SOF element has their own requirements. For long guns they are issued either M4s (carbine) or M16s (rifles). These too have external safeties. The upcoming trials for a new military sidearm for the conventional force will still require an external safety.

    My guess is that you’ve read the RUMINT (rumor based intel) that Naval Special Warfare Group has dropped the SIG for the the GLOCK 19. The SIG comes with an external decocker and it, like the Beretta, is Double Action/Single Action. The GLOCK, which comes only with a trigger safety, is striker fired. It is unclear if the SeALs have actually switched completely over or if this is just an internet rumor going around on the gunsites to justify one’s personal preferences in handguns.

    Special Forces are a different beast with different requirements. They handle and use their weapons far more often than the Conventional folks and are given more choices and options for that reason. Comparing what they are issued, or are allowed, versus everyone else in the Conventional Force (regardless of service), is like comparing apples and steaks.

    The reality is that any mechanical device or part can fail. But the US military’s primary issued sidearm and long arms for the vast, vast majority of their personnel all have external, mechanical safeties.

  127. 127
    pea says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: @Schlemazel:
    what marks one for discrimination from the time you were born?
    being female/not male/ not white/not rich.

  128. 128
    Schlemazel says:

    Sorry, I am not seeing a connection from anything I posted & this. I certainly don’t disagree with your assessment.

  129. 129
    Schlemazel says:

    Here is a link to the story about the couple shooting at mom . . . its better than advertised, the couple are cops

  130. 130

    @pea: All true, but being marked a criminal and a murderer at birth is particularly heinous.

  131. 131
    Woodrowfan says:

    great essay. many of the comments are toxic though..

  132. 132
    Original Lee says:

    @Roger Moore: Walkers in my neighborhood tend to carry walking sticks or golf clubs. It’s not so much against stray dogs as it is against temporarily escaped dogs and rabid critters. A number of folk are known to let their dogs out to run around for a while every day. Not all of these dogs are lapdogs – one in particular is a Tibetan Mastiff (intact male). And of course every few weeks a rabid fox, racoon, or squirrel makes an appearance.

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Original Lee: I keep saying I’m going to get a Tibetan Mastiff. The dog that walks like a bear!

  134. 134
    Barry says:

    @Roger Moore: “You can’t plausibly charge the officers for not knowing something because the dispatcher didn’t tell them that part. The”

    Wrong. Instead of pulling up at a distance, taking cover and yelling, they pulled right up to him and shot immediately (I doubt that they yelled commands; they’d have been too busy getting out of the car and pulling their guns).

  135. 135
    Barry says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Argument #1 is nice, its an interesting Constitutional hypothetical, but not even the recent Heller decision supports it as Heller recognized that the government has always had the power (remember people have rights, states have powers) to reasonably regulate firearms/weapons ownership and usage.”

    And it’s a lie, as shown in those two recent cases in Ohio. Gunning down a black man/boy with a bb gun is perfectly good, by those people’s standards.

  136. 136
    Barry says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Argument #3 Attitudinal normalization. I really don’t know where to go with this one.”

    I think that it’s because you aren’t realizing what it really means. It means that white people have the right to go armed, and to kill non-white people at will.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barry: @Barry: I’m aware. I was trying to actual not treat these like throwaways and strawmen arguments.

  138. 138
    J R in WV says:

    I was on a murder trial jury once, that included a possibility that the shooting was an accident. The victim was splattered with bits of the holster the gun was in when fired. The gun had an adjustable trigger pull, which was set to the lowest level, what is called a “hair trigger” idiomatically.

    The prosecution’s ballistics expert was on the stand, on cross examination by the defense was asked how many police “ready rooms” (aka locker rooms for cops) he had been in in his long career. His answer was in the hundreds.

    Then he was asked how many of those ready rooms had no sign of an unintentional discharge. There was a long pause, and he said very few, if any.

    We acquitted the defendent, partly based upon that expert testimony.

    I worked with a woman who’s husband was a city policeman, in the largest city in the state. He shot her in the leg while cleaning a pistol. She could have been killed, it was a huge gun, a .357 magnum. She limped on weather days years later. It was an accident, he was still an officer, they were still married two decades later. A wonderful person to work with too.

  139. 139
    hkedi says:


    I definitely don’t believe that the racism is only on one side, though it is much, much better than in the past. Racists within the Democratic party, and the digging out of that poison, over decades is in many ways the defining story of the party. By turning away from the racists in our midsts on the concept of voting and explicit civil rights, it allowed the southern strategy to flourish, and allowed the rise of Reagan.

    Supporting, and letting Obama win, brought forth the rebellion of the “soft racist” Blue dogs, which rapidly discovered, to their sorrow, that there was no space in the party to defend them from those who want to see anyone “other” ground below their heel. Thus the 2010 wave election happened. The next five years, fortunately, have devolved into trench warfare where the racist Republican party (I think with the popularity of Donald Trump in the primary we can dispense with the fiction that the majority of the Republican party is not racist).

    Things are better, much, but it will be interesting on the explosion of misogyny that is going to happen when Hillary gets the nomination. Here’s hoping we make it past the next hurdle.

  140. 140
    Prescott Cactus says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Carrying a weapon is just going to give you a false sense of security and maybe convince you to attack when you’d be better off retreating.

Comments are closed.