Alvin Bragg to New Yorkers: Don't get involved
New York City's district attorney Alvin Bragg's message in charging Marine Daniel Penny for the death of Jordan Neely has come across loud and clear.
Suppose I have the misfortune to be in Bragg's pay-more-get-less sinkhole (NYC) for some reason or other, and I see a thug assault Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who demanded that Penny be prosecuted), Al Sharpton (who also called for charges against Penny), or Bragg. In all cases, also assume I am at least the aggressor's size and, even though I am not as young as I once was, I can more likely than not stop him with my fists or an improvised weapon. What do you think I should do?
The first and most obvious consideration is that the thug might hurt me. Our society, however, once defined a gentleman as a man who will in fact risk his safety to protect others, which is exactly what Daniel Penny did. Colonel Jeff Cooper made this quite clear in To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth. "The press, academe, and the law enforcement establishment preach: Do not fight back! ... You may be hurt. Of course you may be hurt. You may be killed. As my daughter put it just last week, 'Big deal. You expect to live forever?'" I regard myself as a gentleman, so I cannot just ignore the situation.
Alvin Bragg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Al Sharpton have, however, created a second problem for me. Suppose I deliver a solid punch to the aggressor's head and, even though a punch is not reasonably expected to result in death or serious injury unless it is directed at a smaller and weaker person, he falls the wrong way, hits his head on the pavement, and dies. Then, even though I've just stopped a violent crime, I get charged with a felony in response to demands from leftists who think criminals have the right to do whatever they want to whomever they want. Now my freedom is at risk for trying to do the right thing, and I am likely to incur six figures in legal costs. Maybe I'll lose my life savings to defend myself from politically motivated criminal charges whose purpose is to help Bragg, Ocasio-Cortez, and/or Sharpton appeal to their left-wing constituencies. This means I cannot intervene physically on Bragg's, Ocasio-Cortez's, or Sharpton's behalf.
This does not mean I can turn my back, do nothing, and still call myself a decent human being. I almost always carry a cell phone, and I will call 911 and tell the New York Police Department what is happening. I know how to use the phone's camera, and I will try to get a picture of the assailant. When the NYPD arrive, probably not in time to save the victim (when seconds count, police are minutes away), I will give them my evidence and assure them I will testify under oath against the assailant. If they ask me why I did not do anything myself, I will tell them they should look to their city's district attorney, member of Congress, and professional race-hustler for the answer. If these individuals and others like them wanted to send a message by charging Daniel Penny, that message is fully understood. What the rest of our society thinks of that message needs to be reflected in the 2024 elections.
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.