Be Sure of Your Target

I’ve been thinking over the story of the 13 year-old shot by police for holding a pellet gun. Officers hit the teenager seven times out of a believed eight rounds fired. At first this lead me to one of two possibilities. Either the officer took glee in unloading rounds into the teenager or he had poor shot placement.

But another thought has crossed my mind regarding this incident. Since a police officer performed the shooting many people, including advocates of gun control, seem willing to assume fault on behalf of the teenager. We have little more than the officers’ words to go by since the teenager is dead. After 30 years of living on this planet one of the lessons I’ve learned is that police officers aren’t more honest than other individuals. In fact I’ve found that police officers are quite often dishonest. I’m not willing to simply believe the officers’ stories. Even the outcome of the investigation may be in question because the same organization that shot the teenager is performing the investigation. Having a monopoly on law enforcement and justice has its benefits.

Now let’s assume that the person who shot the teenager wasn’t a police officer but an average Joe with a carry permit. Do you think people would be blaming the teenager or the permit holder? My guess is that the permit holder would be the one receiving the brunt of the blame. We need only look at the shooting of Trayvon Martin to get an idea of how things may have gone down. Before any evidence was brought forth people would be calling for the permit holder’s head. The media would be reporting about how the horrible permit holder purposely shot the small child for no reason whatsoever. We would learn about how the kid worked at several local charities, excelled in school, and never did anything wrong. Every bit of dirt on the permit holder would be dug up and put under a microscope. The fact that the permit holder felt threatened by what he thought was a real rifle would be brushed aside. It would be written off as a lame excuse to get away with murdering a child in cold blood. Even if the evidence later exonerated the permit holder his life would be ruined by the media’s character assassination.

This is something to think about. As permit holders we are under far more scrutiny than police officers. While the average person, media, and courts tend to side with the police the same is not true for permit holders. I guess they believe that an officer’s costume and badge somehow make him morally superior to the common man. But my point is that life will be far different for us than it is for a police officer. While police officers get a paid vacation after shooting somebody we get to spend time in a cage. Media outlets will generally consider the evidence and explanations put forth by police officers after a shooting. As permit holders we don’t receive the same treatment. Ever grain of dirt will be brought out for the public to see.

The bottom line is this: we need to be absolutely sure of our targets. We have to be so sure of our targets that we’re willing to go to jail for the remainder of our lives over not defending ourselves. Equality under the law, at least here in the United States, is a myth. Police officers, as the state’s enforcers, receive special privileges that us serfs do not. Keep this fact in mind at all times and let it guide you in whatever manner you see fit.