The Only Way to Defeat a Marine?

Colonel Jeff Cooper, the founder of Gunsite and author of To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth, borrowed from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to depict soldiers of dictatorships as orcs, communist-occupied East Germany as Mordor, and violent criminals as goblins.  "When three goblins broke into his house with knives, he produced his regimental sabre and gave battle."  See also: "It seems that the concealed carry policy now in effect in 30 states is unfair to goblins.  They cannot tell who is armed and who is not, and when their intended victim shoots back it hurts their feelings — along with other things."

Although I cannot give legal advice, everything I learned from armed self-defense courses taught by law enforcement professionals, and books by Cooper and also Massad Ayoob, conveys the same message.  You can legally kill or seriously injure a goblin who puts you in what the law defines as reasonable fear for your life.  "Reasonable" means the goblin must exhibit (1) a verbal or visual threat of death or serious injury and (2) the immediate (not future or past) means of putting that threat into effect.  This means is that, when five individuals surround Bernhard Goetz on a subway and allegedly demand money, the law's hypothetical reasonable person can construe this as robbery and open fire on them.  Once they flee, however, or are down and incapable of violence, they no longer have the immediate means of harming you even if they had it but seconds earlier.  If you then take the law into your own hands by saying, "You don't look so bad, here's another" and shooting at a fallen and disarmed assailant, you are likely to get into real trouble.

The recent attack by thirty or more (alleged until proven) goblins on three U.S. Marines in San Clemente, California underscores this concept.  Thirty to three is disparity of force that the law generally equates with deadly force.  I am in fact surprised that thirty or forty of the dregs of society were able to get three Marines on the ground and into fetal positions to protect themselves from a gang beating, because Marines learn martial arts techniques that do not require weapons to cause death or serious injury.  As but one example, Richard Riddick, or more to the point, a trained Marine, can indeed kill you with a tea cup.  "As I look around my office, I see a stapler, a coffee mug, a pencil holder, a phone cord.  If I had to, I could use any of those to kill you.  Marines also learn to kill with their bare hands, if necessary, said Bourgault."  The rim of Riddick's metal tea cup concentrated the force of his blow into a very small cross-sectional area, and this is probably how one does this. 

Some have argued that the Marines were afraid they would be arrested and/or court-martialed for putting a dozen or so goblins in the hospital or in the ground; I assume the others would have scurried like rats when they saw their fellow goblins getting thrashed.  A court-martial or administrative discipline against a service member for clear-cut self-defense would pretty much wipe out enlistments throughout the Armed Forces if tolerated by (ultimately) Lloyd Austin and President Biden.  The Marines were in fact just reciting the beach's posted rule: "Fireworks are also prohibited."  Pointing out a rule to somebody, such as the need to pick up after your dog, not litter, not smoke where smoking is prohibited, and so on does not constitute fighting words by any stretch of the imagination and does not justify the goblin's alleged sucker punch that started the fight.

The Marines therefore had the mantle of innocence, which means they were entitled to use reasonable and necessary force to defend themselves against a violent felony.  "[T]he attackers could face charges that include assault with a deadly weapon and/or assault and battery," and you can legally kill somebody who attacks you with a deadly weapon.  If the Marines had killed or messed up some goblins, and a prosecutor had the appalling judgment to actually charge the Marines (the goblins should be charged), the instant I saw "thirty or forty against three," I wouldn't even want to waste my time listening to the defense's side of the story before I acquitted them.  The decision to charge Kyle Rittenhouse despite equally compelling evidence, including video of Anthony Huber hitting him with a contact weapon while he was on the ground, shows, however, that there are in fact prosecutors who will, as I perceive it — my opinion and not a statement of fact, because I can't read their minds — file junk criminal charges to ingratiate themselves with the political left.  

Hate Crimes against Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen Are Federal Crimes

I also think the U.S. attorney for San Clemente needs to look into this, noting that aggravated assault on a member of the Armed Forces is, if done as a hate crime against the Armed Forces, a federal felony.  "Whoever knowingly assaults or batters a United States serviceman or an immediate family member of a United States serviceman ... on account of the military service of that serviceman or status of that individual as a United States serviceman, or who attempts or conspires to do so, shall ... in the case of a battery, or an assault resulting in bodily injury, be fined under this title in an amount not less than $2,500 and imprisoned not less than 6 months nor more than 10 years."  The Department of Justice was up to the job of locking up a lot of people who went to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, so it ought to be up to the job of caging these goblins if they are in fact guilty of this crime.  If their motive did not involve hatred of the Armed Forces, a California state goblin cage will work instead.

Don't Be a Goblin

This incident, and also the attack on Kyle Rittenhouse, underscores just how easy it is to become a goblin when you go along with a group of irresponsible people.  The teenagers in San Clemente were apparently engaged in minor misbehavior (setting off fireworks on the beach).  When somebody pointed out the rule to them, one of them allegedly sucker-punched him, which escalated within seconds to a situation in which the victims could have been within their rights to use deadly force against them.

Here's another situation that could have gone bad within seconds if the woman whom (Caucasian) Black Lives Matter people surrounded had had a firearm.  Middle fingers; Hitler salutes; and, in this case, upraised fists from across a street are constitutionally protected freedom of expression, regardless of what you, I, or anybody else thinks of obscene gestures, Hitler salutes, or upraised fists.  An upraised fist over somebody's head is an implied physical threat, multiple upraised fists are disparity of force, the skateboard a man is banging nearby to emphasize his position is a potential contact weapon capable of causing death or serious injury, and the woman is surrounded and cannot retreat in complete safety.  This, boys and girls, is exactly how you can change, in the space of seconds, from an ordinary person into a goblin subject to deadly physical force from whomever you are menacing.  I am glad nobody got hurt in this incident, or another in which a Black Lives Matter goblin menaced a driver with a gun, noting that you cannot retreat in complete safety from a bullet and are thus probably within your rights to floor your accelerator and run over the gunman.  It is, however, only a matter of time until a similar group puts somebody in reasonable fear for his safety, and then we get the kind of headline nobody wants.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of a contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.  The author is remaining anonymous due to the likely prospect of being subjected to "cancel culture" for exposing the Big Lie behind Black Lives Matter.

Image via Picryl.

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