Just What Is an Unarmed Man?
Much of black America and the liberal media are making a huge issue of the Ferguson shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer. We are being treated to endless live reports of rioting and looting, some of them detailing inflows of black and leftist agitators from around the country to keep the Ferguson opportunity hot and in full media focus. All of this comes out of a neighborhood shooting where, if the parties involved had their races reversed, the incident would have been merely local.
But what amazes me is the justification for all this upheaval: that a white police officer shot an unarmed black youth. I’m a white man who many decades ago was a military policeman – one who had frequent encounters with unarmed young black soldiers who all too frequently vigorously resisted arrest. Except that they weren’t unarmed for the simple reason that they were young and strong and possessed quick fighting reflexes honed on the hard streets where they were raised. Quite often they were larger than me or my partner, who also quite often was black – not that this racial relationship often meant anything at all to the perps we were trying to detain. And once detained, their usual fate was that we took them back to Fort Campbell and released them in the parking lots of their barracks without filing charges. It was not our mission to bring young soldiers more grief; the lives of enlisted soldiers were already hard enough back in the late '50s. What we did try to do was to save them from their own bad actions.
But occasionally we did come upon a subject whose size and aggressive militancy required stronger measures, such as the judicious application of a nightstick. In those situations, did I ever fear for my life? Damned straight I did. Facing a much larger man, both in height and weight, who is determined not to be detained, you are praying that he’ll come to his senses and submit to arrest. Your gun is there at your side, but that is the last thing you want to introduce into such an encounter. But – and that is a very large but – that call is his.
And that is where I have tried to place myself in that officer’s situation in Ferguson.
The officer has a seriously damaged eye from a very hard, crushing shot from a very large fist. That indicates that the perp in this situation had the opportunity to throw at least one clearly damaging punch at the officer and effectively connect before the officer even could exit his vehicle. The severity of the damage to the officer’s eye and cheekbone indicates what could be expected from a sucker-punch from a 6’4” almost 300-pound assailant. And because I’ve been there and done that as a young man, there lies my problem with this media meme of the assailant being unarmed. The shoulders and arms of a 6’4” 300-pound man driving a large clinched fist render that fist a lethal weapon. Ask anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of one. People are regularly beaten to death all around the world by such fists. Add to that the widespread availability of martial arts training in today’s society, and you can never be sure that any human you go up against doesn’t possess the ability to kill you with his bare hands, regardless of size.
And that, folks, constitutes a deadly threat against one’s person, which in most states nowadays justifies a deadly, defensive counter-response, whether you be a civilian or a law enforcement officer. Confronted by such a threat from any person – black white, brown, whatever – I’m going to defend myself with whatever means I have. If that means is a handgun, then I will discharge that handgun into that large oncoming mass, and I will continue to discharge that handgun until that large threatening mass is no longer oncoming and is very decidedly unthreatening. If that means dead, so be it, no matter how many times his family assures me he was a “good boy.”
Now, I ask you, what is not commonsense about that?
So, those of you so quick to condemn this Ferguson police officer for shooting an unarmed man might want to put yourselves in that scenario and wonder just what you might do with an exceptionally large, very angry, violently threatening man charging toward you with unknown intentions – plus the certain ability, by virtue of his size, to do you grave injury, even to beat you to death with nothing more than his large, hard fists.
Again I ask: just what is an unarmed man?