Jay, as the title of the linked post implies, brings up a tough question. Greg Baer, a higher up employee of Bank of America, had a slight dilemma on a Sunday morning when 500 SEIU hoodlums showed up in his front lawn screaming and holding placards. Of course Mr. Baer wasn’t home at the time only his 14 year-old son was but he did arrive at the scene while the hoods were doing their “protest.”
The question being asked by Jay is when is it OK to introduce such crowds to the business end of a defensive weapon. On one hand they didn’t hurt anybody but on the other hand there is good reason to believe lives were in danger (an angry mob is never a safe thing). Of course most people would say you should barricade yourself in your home and call the police. Of course that’s the best advice except for one little detail:
Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might “incite” these trespassers.
In this case the police were going to be of no assistance.
I believe there most certainly was a reasonable fear of life in this case. These protesters numbered in the hundreds (large crowds develop a hive mentality and all it takes is one person to turn violent for the entire crowd to follow suit) and were fired up big time. In addition the protesters weren’t protesting on the sidewalk or other public property but walked right up to his home. If they decided to go bursting in there would not be enough time for the police to react and with that many hoods the three officers on site couldn’t do anything anyways (gee maybe they should have called for backup).
Personally I think the best solution to this type of problem would be to call barricade yourself and family members in the home where a natural choke point exists (at the top of the stairs in a two story home for instance). Have every weapon available at hand along with as many loaded magazines as possible. I’d also ensure everybody capable of shouldering a weapon would be armed.
Why not give the invaders (what those hoods really were) some warning shots and hope they disperse? Well legal issues aside you’re facing odds of 500 to maybe one or two in most cases. No matter how well armed you are those odds aren’t going to look so survivable. You can only hope the crowd will disperse on their own without attacking, the police will show up and disperse the crowd (which they weren’t looking to keep on doing), or realize you’re surrounded by a superior force.
One thing I would do though is try to get a camera on hand to record or photograph the protesters. This would give a record and source of identifications so you could bring up changes at a later time (trespassing at the very least).
Of course Mr. Baer’s situation was different and worse in my opinion. He was not at the house but his kid was. What he did required major balls:
Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.
I don’t care who you were walking through a crowd of people who outwardly hate you takes guts.
This entire situation was messed up to say the least. As usual the SEIU thugs were using fear and intimidation in an attempt to get what they want. This becomes more obvious when you see how cagey they are:
Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that’s not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.
When I asked Stephen Lerner, SEIU’s point-person on Wall Street reform, about these tactics, he accused me of getting “emotional.” Lerner was more comfortable sticking to his talking points: “Millions of people are losing their homes, and they have gone to the banks, which are turning a deaf ear.”
Millions of people may be losing their homes but that doesn’t give them the right to trespass on the property of those who still own a home. And not only trespass mind you but in an obviously threatening manner. Then the obvious question:
Okay, fine, then why not continue SEIU protests at bank offices and shareholder meetings-as the union has been doing for more than a year? Lerner insists, “People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing.”
Wait what? That makes no fucking sense. They aren’t insulating themselves from damage they are going to work. Oh right I forgot the SEIU wanted to scare Mr. Baer, not make a statement against him or his company’s policies. They are probably also trying to get out of the massive loan Mr. Baer’s company was so good to give them:
Complicating this picture is the fact that BofA is the union’s lender of choice — and SEIU, suffering financially, owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees. Bank of America declined comment on the loans.
I’m just saying. Oh and to just judge the intelligence of the SEIU’s supporters in this particular matter:
Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He’s not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.
In the 1990s, the Baers’ former bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton, denounced the “politics of personal destruction.” Today politicians and their voters of all stripes grieve the ugly bitterness that permeates our policy debates. Now, with populist rage providing a useful cover, it appears we’ve crossed into a new era: The politics of personal intimidation. To top of page
Yeah they’re supporters are mostly uninformed nitwits.