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View Diary: Police fatally shoot man holding an air rifle in Walmart toy aisle (767 comments)

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  •  We see what we want to see. (89+ / 0-)

    the couple has a different story

    she: he was walking around cradling it
    he: he was waving it around and pointing at people

    I would think that if Crawford were white and not dressed in a way that would "fit" the image (ie: all in black with black duster etc) it would be a no story because no one would call.

    Cops come in with the predisposed assumption the weapon is real as reported.  Can't say whether or not they would stop if Crawford did not fit a image - in this case a young black male.

    What a fricking tragedy.

    "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

    by newfie on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:45:00 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  If I see any person carrying a gun (40+ / 0-)

      in public, I will assume it is real and call 911. I hope everyone will. This is absolutely a tragedy, but I don't blame people who chose to be cautious around a gun.

      "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

      by tb92 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:14:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  I'd call the cops on anyone (57+ / 0-)

          No matter who it is, I'd call the cops on anyone I saw carrying a gun (or something indistinguishable from a gun) in Walmart, and especially if they were pointing it at people, but even if they were open-carry nuts.

          The only reason I trust the basic goodness of people in public is because they aren't carrying loaded weapons.  Once someone is carrying a loaded weapon, then the trust deck is stacked.  I'm betting my life on that person's intentions, and they are betting nothing.  That's too much to demand of me.

          If I see someone carrying a gun, no matter who they are or what the reason, I'm calling the cops.

          •  And now we see why that's a problem (8+ / 0-)

            You'd call the cops even though you know that it could mean someone getting shot. The point here is that it's never the white winger who gets shot, it's always some young black guy.

            The only reason I trust the basic goodness of people in public is because they aren't carrying loaded weapons.  Once someone is carrying a loaded weapon, then the trust deck is stacked.  I'm betting my life on that person's intentions, and they are betting nothing.  That's too much to demand of me.
            Do cars suddenly not exist? You realize that cars can be just as deadly as guns. You trust people with deadly weapons all the time, they're just familiar to you. And no, I'm not comparing cars and guns in terms of regulation or whatever, but cars are just as deadly as guns. And yet literally everyone is around them constantly.
            If I see someone carrying a gun, no matter who they are or what the reason, I'm calling the cops.
            So you call the good guys with the guns? The responsible gun owners? This is patently false. You'd never call the cops if you see a cop with a gun.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:29:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Seriously? If someone was holding what (33+ / 0-)

              appeared to be a gun (and frankly I'm not educated enough on guns to know the difference) and he was pointing it at people as one report said, yeah, I'd be on the phone to 911 immediately.  

              People who take the law into their own hands get criticized (and rightly so) all the time.  This couple did the right thing.  They saw something (a guy with a going, a clicking sound, him waiving it at people and pointing it at people) that alarmed them, and so they called 911.  

              •  Most people aren't educated enough to know the (8+ / 0-)

                difference. I think that's dangerous in America, and this is proof of that. People educated in guns would know well and good that this wasn't a real gun.

                People who take the law into their own hands get criticized (and rightly so) all the time.  This couple did the right thing.  They saw something (a guy with a going, a clicking sound, him waiving it at people and pointing it at people) that alarmed them, and so they called 911.  
                And the end effect was exactly the same as if some douche bag concealed carry winger warrior type had been in the store and seen this guy. Exactly the same.

                But really, there shouldn't be access to these things in the store, if they carry them at all. Cut the problem off at the root. Put them all behind the front counter and let people buy them and leave immediately.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:51:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No guns would solve the problem (33+ / 0-)

                  People educated on guns mistake toys for the real thing often enough and visa-versa.  Both too often result in injury of death.

                  Let's not shift blame to innocent people that don't walk around with guns because they are "inexpert" judges of guns.

                  The basic problem is the availability of guns. And in many cases, racism. Subtract the first and the second becomes less often lethal.

                  •  If we are going to have guns in the US (5+ / 0-)

                    and clearly we are, then people should be educated on how they work and what they look like etc. I consider it the equivalent of sex ed. How many accidents where kids do stupid shit with their parent's gun and hurt or kill someone could we prevent if we educated kids on not fucking around with guns? How many people wouldn't wave "fake" guns around like this guy did?

                    The reality is that we aren't getting rid of guns any time soon and as long as they exist then people, including and especially children, should know how to deal with them safely.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:28:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Respect the Second Amendment as written. (16+ / 0-)

                      Regular muster and drill on the village green was of utmost importance when the amendment was ratified in 1789. If it wasn't important to the people who wrote it, it would not have been the first three words of the amendment.

                      The Supreme Court has badly misinterpreted the Second Amendment and completely ignored these words: "A well regulated ...."

                      Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

                      by FrY10cK on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:05:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'd be fine with getting rod of the 2nd (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        FrY10cK, bigjacbigjacbigjac, acornweb

                        I see no reason to fetishize guns. But that isn't happening any time soon. As such teaching kids how guns work seems to me like a good plan. They don't spend all their time at home, and we can't guarantee home is safe.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:23:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  A well regulated militia NO LONGER being necessary (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        third Party please

                        "A well regulated militia," NO LONGER "being necessary to the security of a free state,"  AS SETTLED IN 1865.

                        Guns not registered for use in the state government militia are not protected by the 2nd Amendment.

                        •  No Longer Necessary? (0+ / 0-)

                          Humm...let's just suppose the evil Tea Partiers just totaly get into power in government.  And let's suppose they use that power to strip away my rights and your rights.

                          Let's go so far as to say that they get their wildest, wettest dream imaginable, and they start shipping GLBT people like me off to concentrastion camps and crematoriums?

                          Guns in the hands of private citizens that just might save my ass from this kind of tyranny seems a good idea to me in such a situation.  and don't tell me it couldn't happen in America, because I call bullshit.

                          But, goddamn it, ANY gun should be required to be licensed and registered...and any person obtaining a license should first have to prove they have completed an approved gun-safety course.

                          And if the NRA wants to be a part of our future, they should start making their money promoting gun-safety classes in stead of more gun sales.

                          I am a liberal democrat, but I do not place trust n the government to protect MY rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...ESPECIALLY if the Tea Party asswipes were to seize control of the government!  Do YOU pace your trust in those asswipes?

                          If not, then you, too, should see the value of having guns in the hands of private citizens.  Mine is a more balanced approach.

                          I get it....I understand where you're coming from...and I constantly have to resist the urge to want to just ban all guns, too.  I have to remind myself that - at any time - our government could be over-run by people who actively want to do harm to me and people like me...and I am reminded that privately-held guns might then be the only thing that saves MY ass.

                    •  Trained police officers couldn't tell (26+ / 0-)

                      the difference between an air rifle and a real gun at a distance of a few feet, apparently. So how much education (and when, and administered by whom, and how will it be paid for?) do you think is necessary to make Joe and Mary Blow off the street more knowledgeable than a cop?

                      Odds and ends about life in Japan:

                      by Hatrax on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:36:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't mean how to spot them per se (6+ / 0-)

                        I mean how to act around them and with them in ways that are safe. I don't know that it would have made a difference here, but it would reduce gun accidents among children. I think that's a good plan.

                        And I'm betting that the cops would have done a better job spotting the fact that this gun was fake if the guy hadn't have been black.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:39:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  A lot of your comments can be supported or (0+ / 0-)

                          Refuted by statistics. 50 police shootings are year are at people with toy or air rifles.

                          The tendency for police to shoot is overwhelmingly at armed people. Most often with handguns, then rifles, shot guns, knives.

                          •  How does 50 shootings refute (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            anything I said?

                            How many accidental shootings are there every year? How many of those could be prevented will a minimal amount of education.

                            The tendency for police to shoot is overwhelmingly at armed people.
                            Unless they're black, then they just have to be carrying something.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:57:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  You're assuming a great deal (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mmcnary, acornweb, BYw

                        about the training level of police in general.

                        Police are more trained to follow instructions from their commanders than on anything else let alone how to recognize various firearms (or civil rights).

                      •  Police hysteria is the issue (6+ / 0-)

                        Police depts need to get a handle on their cops.

                        There needs to be a new protocol for confronting people who are carrying unspecified guns. The current protocol is shoot first and ask questions later. That's disastrous now with open carry approved by the Supremes, so many "play" guns being sold everywhere, and so much encouragement of macho gun-toting behavior in our miserable culture.

                        I think, also, someone has to teach young men that cops are definitely going to shoot them if they don't put down the friggin' gun.

                    •  AoT, no one is saying "get rid of guns" (4+ / 0-)

                      so again, you can stop with your hyperbolic nonsense.

                    •  Waving? Looking over? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SilentBrook, acornweb

                      It is all a matter of perception and leaves the actual intent up to the reporting individual.

                      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                      by cowdab on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:59:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  police (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      are you saying the police weren't trained to know the difference between a 'real' gun and a 'play' gun?  They are the ones who shot him.

                      •  The POLICE (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CatKinNY, Shifty18, BYw, Piren

                        come in expecting any gun to be a real gun, and anticipate having to shoot the holder even before they see him, or her.  From witness statements, it appears shots were fired, then he was ordered to put down the gun, which is a distinct possibility, regardless of training.  If you see something that looks like a semi-automatic rifle, with a clip in place, you react as if the gun is aimed at you and the man has a finger on the trigger, shoot first and ask questions later.  That way, you, at least, live to go home at the end of the shift.

                        •  Unless they're white; white people get a pass (0+ / 0-)

                          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

                          by a2nite on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:06:51 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  'Educated about guns'? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw, Piren

                      You're blaming this on the couple who called the cops because they were insufficiently educated about guns?  Really?  Don't you think the cops who shot him are familiar with guns?  It's part of their job, after all.  They pass proficiency tests with them on a regular basis and seize them fairly routinely, too, but somehow, they mistook this BB gun for the real thing.  

                      •  How did he get it away from (0+ / 0-)

                        the counter in the sporting goods section of the store, where these are supposed to be behind the counter and under lock and key.  If a clerk let him remove it from its shipping box, why did that clerk let him walk away from the counter with it.  He was not that big of a person that the clerk could not have taken it away from him.  The BB's and pellets are also supposed to be kept with the 'real' ammo, under lock and key.

                        We sold these in our store and those were the requirements.  I also agree with the people needing to be educated at an early age about firearms and not by the NRA or the antigun establishment, but in a course designed by each state's fish and wildlife departments and taught by state certified instructors, as it was in the 50's and early 60's.  Our young people also need to be taught to be responsible for their actions, to respect others and treat them as they would want to be treated.  To treat the property of others they would want theirs treated.  It seems that these are things you young people today are not taught.  Things that I was taught while I was growing up.  

                        I also agree that the NRA should be abolished.  They were not always like they are today, they used to stand for sportsmanship and safety.  Once they used to not push for guns in everybody's hands, especially in the hands of 'toddlers', now I see firearms being manufactured to fit first graders.  We dropped our family membership when they started to radicalize as they are today.  What a useless bunch of scared old white guys that they are today.  They seem to be teaching their members that; "Da gubermint is cumin to took yar guns."

                         I am a owner of firearms, the only time I carry my weapon is when I am hunting or at target practice.  Or in the backcountry while enjoying one of my hobbies, have had to defend myself from bear and puma in the past, as well as feral dogs.  I believe in the 2nd Amendment as it was intended, not how the anti-gun crowd are trying to make people believe.  Read the writings of the Framers to understand it better

                        This shooting was a terrible thing there were errors on the parts of everybody involved.  The police could have used a non lethal method like a shotgun with a bean bag round or a tazer to take him down.  It also sounds like the Richie's help instigate a panic in the store that resulted in the death of an innocent shopper, who died from a heart attack trying to flee the store.

                        Everybody has it so cut and dried, the black guy was threatening everybody so he deserved to die and guns go around killing everybody, how sad.

                        My prayers for the victims and their families and friends, may they both rest in peace.

                        /s/ A Proud Honorable Disabled American Veteran, 1970-1994, Combat 1991.

                  •  OBVIOUSLY The COPS Mistook It For A Real Gun!!! (0+ / 0-)


                •  A BB gun is a real gun (6+ / 0-)

                  It can cause permanent damage to an adult and a lucky shot could kill a toddler.  Check out some of the gunfail videos for graphic video of what a BB gun can do to an eyeball.  A BB gun could easily kill a baby with a headshot.  

                  Some asshole walks around a store pointing a BB gun at kiddies, he should expect violence.  Parents aren't going to think "oh, I'd better not call 911, the gunman is black so the pigs will probably kill him!"  What are they supposed to do, risk being killed because they don't want to be indirectly involved in racist police brutality?  

                  Just because pigs are more likely to shoot a black gunman dead doesn't mean that black people cannot be gunmen.  Your logic is utterly bizarre.

                  "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                  by Subterranean on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:50:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  again one witness only says he was aiming (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SilentBrook, acornweb, dfarrah

                    the guy who called. Not his wife who says he was "messing with it" and cradling cell phone (on his shoulder presumably).

                    I am open to the possibility that is an after the fact exaggeration because the guy feels bad the man was killed on his call (rightly or wrongly).

                    Open to this because if you or your children were being aimed at as this man says, certainly you too would have called the police, No?

                    Yet no one else did. Unless the reporting is incredibly incompetent.

                    I suspect he was not aiming at people and waving gun around. Others would have come forward and called.

                    I don't think they were wrong to call the police even if he was just carrying what looked like a real gun. I think the waving around thing may not be true though.

                  •  Right... a real gun (0+ / 0-)

                    and what is more likely to happen in America: getting struck by lightning; getting hit by a car; getting an eye put out by a BB gun?
                    Specious reasoning is FUN, innit?

                    Peace? Where's the money in THAT?
                  •  That IS NOT What He IS Saying (0+ / 0-)

           are extrapolating what you want from what was said.

                    Some asshole walks around a store pointing a BB gun at kiddies, he should expect violence.  Parents aren't going to think "oh, I'd better not call 911, the gunman is black so the pigs will probably kill him!"  What are they supposed to do, risk being killed because they don't want to be indirectly involved in racist police brutality?  
                    That is what YOU WANT out of what was said...because it suits the agenda you are pushing.

                    MY reaction to this was....WOULD THOSE PEOPLE HAVE CALLED 911 IF THE GUY CARRYING THE GUN WAS WHITE??

                    Why are people "threatened" by a black man carrying a gun, but not a white guy carrying a gun?

                    I think THAT is what the person you were resonding to was ACTUALLY going for.

                    For my own case...I'm threatened by ANYONE carrying a gun, I don't give a damn if they are black, white, zebra-striped or even green with purple polka dots!  If they are carrying a gun...and I am on the barrel end of it, then I am threatened.

                    The obvious answer is that guns should NOT be allowed in the store, period, other than locked away, in the sporting goods department...and there ought to be a seperate exit from the store that people can buy their guns and then IMMEDIATELTY LEAVE THE PREMISES WITH IT.

                •  we don't know he was waving it around aiming (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SilentBrook, acornweb

                  one man says so. The one, apparently only one, who called the police.
                  Why did none of the people aimed at or moreover had their kids aimed at call the police?

                  I think he was not aiming at people. I agree if someone has a gun and you can't tell it's fake (ie neon orange squirt gun say), it's right to call the police.

                  Again though we don't know his behavior with the gun at all. The woman just says he was carrying it and messing with it but doesn't say he was aiming at people which is a huge important detail.

                  I think the man exaggerated. But they should have called. I'd have called maybe.

                  I still wonder why no one else did though

                  •  jplanner, how do you know others did not call 911? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    OhioNatureMom, CatKinNY

                    Just because it has not been reported in the media does not mean that no one else called 911.

                  •  Only one man called because........... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    There are only a few out there nutty enough to consider a black man shopping for a bb gun or such as a dangerous killer.  Had it been real, the sales clerk would have had a handle on it.  

                    It was a classic case of doing anything at all while black.  Everything comes under suspicion even if you reach back to pull your undies out of your crack, you're reaching for something to kill with.

                    I have no idea why he didn't put it down when ordered.  We know the police are going to say whatever gets them off the hook much of the time these days.  

                    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                    by cowdab on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 12:41:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They probably.... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      BYw, cowdab

                      ....gave him zero time to put the gun down. Telling him to put the gun down was only cover for the shooting. They can say "he didn't put it down" with a straight face when they also know ha had about half a second to do so.

                      This is the landscape that we understand, -
                      And till the principle of things takes root,
                      How shall examples move us from our calm?

                      (Mary Oliver, "Beyond the Snow Belt.")

                      by sagesource on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:55:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right. And as he began to move to put (0+ / 0-)

                        the gun down, how was it interpreted?  Any move at that point, could be seen as aggressive depending on how the police 'wanted' to see it.  

                        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                        by cowdab on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:12:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Bullets come out the bullet end aimed or not. (0+ / 0-)

                    Use REDUNDANT safety when hauling precious cargo-- Use open source E-Z Baby Saver -- Andrew Pelham, 11yo inventor E-Z Baby Saver

                    by 88kathy on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 12:56:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  AoT: Toy guns are designed to look like real guns (7+ / 0-)

                  so you can stop with your "most people aren't educated enough to know the difference" BS.

                  IF: You and/or anyone else is scared that your gun that you carry inside stores is going to get you shot by cops THEN: the simple solution is, don't carry your GD gun inside stores.

                  •  Real/Toy guns (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I am not a gun nut.

                     My position is you can tell the difference just by how the gun moves or is carried. Real guns have substance and weight.

                    If the police had been theatened with it then the story is a non story.

                    •  Well, Then (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ridovem, BYw

                      why didn't the police recognize it as not a real gun?  Honestly?If they couldn't tell instantly and you can, then I guess you oughta be a cop.

                      And, according to the woman he was talking to on his cell phone, there was no order to put the gun down before she heard shots fired.  What she says is that HE said it wasn't real, and then she heard shots. So this one is on the police and nobody else.

                      Enjoying the Age of Aquarius so far?

                      by sendtheasteroid on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 06:26:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You have GOT to be kidding me (5+ / 0-)

                      Really? So you think that a black man walking around WalMart with a TOY GUN would USE IT TO THREATEN POLICE?

                      I think the likelihood that the police will CLAIM that's what happens approaches unity. I think that the probability that that's ACTUALLY what happened approaches zero. Possibly from the other side.

                •  Ban toy guns? (0+ / 0-)

                  Or at least require a permit and background check for them.  

                •  People educated in guns ... (4+ / 0-)

                  would know well and good that this wasn't a real gun? You mean, like the cops who shot him and HANDCUFFED him as he was dying, presumably after they kicked away the not-real gun? You thought that through really well.

                  •  The operative word is EDUCATED... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sagesource, Kalisiin

                    The problem is that far too many police officers are NOT educated in things like recognizing/identifying REAL guns...or in recognizing when someone is seriously injured and, in this case, actually - rather than possibly - dying.

                    So it's not necessarily the post that was poorly thought through.  It's the training...or LACK of training given to police officers...that has been poorly thought through.  

                    Think about it.  Would you like EMTs as poorly trained as far too many police officers are trained nowadays responding to a medical emergency involving you or your loved ones???  

                    My gosh.  Countless police officers don't even know how to diffuse easy-to-handle situations...instead automatically responding with force in the most minor of situations.

                    That's why training like CIT (Crisis Intervention Training - developed by the Memphis Police Department) and Mental Health First Aid are now being offered to police departments all over the country.  

                    If we don't train our police effectively, if we don't teach them the wide variety of skills they need to do their jobs EFFECTIVELY, then we're going to continue to have needless tasering, beatings, even killings.

                    And, if we don't train our police effectively, one of their pointless victims could be one of YOUR loved ones who was doing nothing more than playing with a toy gun.  And don't think for a nanosecond that it could not happen to you or one of yours.  Not as long as our police are not effectively EDUCATED.

                    (If YOUR police department doesn't require CIT and/or Mental Health First Aid, then start raising a fuss.  It could save YOUR life some day.)

                    •  Is it always necessary to shoot to kill? (0+ / 0-)

                      Can't someone like that be shot somewhere else on the body, to diffuse the situation?  Seems like it's always shoot to kill.

                      •  How about in Texas? What would happen, if (0+ / 0-)

                        a black guy walked around with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder?  That's one thing I can't understand about the nut jobs walking around with their assault rifles.  Are they going to get shot at or is it just white nut jobs, who walk around with assault rifles slung over their shoulder and black guys don't do that?

                •  most people... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  are not the police! They told him to put the weapon down and then two shots were fired?  He didn't shoot -- it's not clear how badly he threatened them with his AIR FREAKIN' RIFLE (good job ID'ing that weapon, boys)  -- and they put 2 bullets into him -- apparently shooting to kill, not incapacitate (e.g., legs) -- and THEN AND ONLY THEN tackled him from behind.  Oh, the brave Sir Robins of Beavertown.

                  Maybe Wal-Mart shouldn't be selling such realistic looking toys -- next time it could even be a white kid (assuming the good people of Ohio would seriously call the police if it was, and the police would respond if that's what the situation was). I think there are a lot pf comments here that are so anti-gun that they pretend they would have done the same thing even if the guy looked OK.  I hope some of them will at least silently reflect on their unexamined racist mindsets.    

                  When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin

                  by Sick Semper on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:49:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And then (0+ / 0-)

                  They followed him.

                  Sounds as if they really feared for their lives.

                •  What about the cops? (0+ / 0-)
                  People educated in guns would know well and good that this wasn't a real gun.
                  Then evidently, the cops weren't even educated enough to make the distinction in this case.

                  And not just this case. The news is filled with innocent people (including children!) being shot by police because they mistake toy guns for the real thing.

                  If anyone is supposed to be "educated" about the difference, it should be the police!

                  Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

                  by FactsPrevail on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:28:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Also, here's the order I blame (17+ / 0-)

                1: Cops for killing him
                2: Store for having the air gun out and/or selling it at all.
                3: Ex-marine for calling the cops because a black guy had something that looked vaguely like a real gun.
                4: The media for turning us into a nation that is ore likely to think something, anything really, that a black man is holding is a gun, and that black men of a certain age are dangerous.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:59:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Tipped but disagree on 3 (8+ / 0-)

                  Lots of people would call the police when they perceive a threat. Even if "Black guy" prejudice and fear pushed the 911 button, calling police is still the right thing to do.

                  I sure don't wan't a bunch of gun toting racist cave men roaming the streets instead.(1)  

                  Had it turned out to be a real gun and shooter we'd be calling the caller a hero.

                  Eliminate the guns, please.

                  (1) NB - Police may fit this description, your milage may vary depending on skin color.

                  •  The marine should have known it wasn't (8+ / 0-)

                    a real gun. That's why I put it on there.

                    And if it had been a real gun then he would have already shot someone. That's what gets me about this. How many people decide to go on a shooting rampage and then wander around a store pointing their gun all over and talking on the phone? Somewhere close to zero.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:22:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So you are saying people were wrong (0+ / 0-)

                      to call the cops on the guy at the Phoenix airport?

                      •  Did anyone have to call the cops? (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Alhambra, SilentBrook, acornweb

                        I highly doubt that a dude with a gun out in the open at an airport had to have the cops called on him. They have cops there already.

                        And I think that every damn black man in the US would know better  than to show up at the airport with an AR15 or whatever the idiot had. The two situations aren't comparable.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:43:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Saying that the "marine' (0+ / 0-)

                        was an accomplice...  

                      •  Really, you think so? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BYw, Piren

                        I want you to perform an experiment.

                        Sit three feet away from your monitor. Then look at the attached image for a few seconds. It is exactly the angular size you would see of these objects in real life at a distance of 30 feet. I've blurred the image very slightly to replicate the effect of motion.

                        Within those few seconds you have to determine if said object is a Crossman Mk-177 air rifle firing a BB that might hurt, but most likely won't kill you, or a Fabrique Nationale SCAR combat assault rifle firing either a 5.56 or 7.62 mm bullet that will turn your head into a mass of chunk salsa at the same distance.

                    •  the lackadaisical shooter (5+ / 0-)

                      The marine was playing Junior Commando - a hero in his dreams. Too many video games, methinks. Yeah, like an armed assassin is going to wander around for a long time, with two people tailing him and whispering loudly on their phone as he does nothing. Not one case of public shooting has been like that. Shooters are in a hurry. They get in and start shooting as fast as possible.

                    •  The Marine Claims he saw Wilson loading the (0+ / 0-)


                      Ritchie, an ex-Marine, said the man was pointing a black rifle at people near the pet section and that “he’s loading it right now.” Later, he said, “He looked like he was trying to load it, I don’t know.” He then added, “He just pointed it at two children.” - See more at:
                      Easy enough to prove culpability here, was the gun loaded or not?  If it was not, then Ritchie lied.  Why?  

                      If he did, indeed see Wilson load it, didn't he see that it wasn't loaded with bullets but with pellets?  

                      In my view, the Ritchies caused this horrible cascade of murder and death of another shopper by making up things that didn't happen, that they didn't actually witness to comport with a personal fear or false story that fit their own beliefs rather than the facts.

                      The Wilsons should sue the Ritchies for wrongful death, and take their house and everything they own.  

                      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                      by Uncle Moji on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 01:54:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Calling 911 is fine. Saying you see a guy loadi... (4+ / 0-)

                    Calling 911 is fine. Saying you see a guy loading a gun when you obviously haven't (because the loading process is totally different) is not. That's probably part of the reason the police were so panicked. (Not that I'm excusing them.)

                •  Doesn't most of America (4+ / 0-)

                  consider someone - of any color - walking around in public with a gun to be dangerous?

                  Yes, they might see black men as being more dangerous, of that there is no doubt, but are you telling me that if this man were white, no one would have called?

                  Phoenix airport puts the lie to that.

                  And I normally agree with you.

                  It's the police response that is racist.

                  •  White dude on Sagamore Pkwy in Lafayette IN (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    A white guy who called himself a "sovereign citizen" walked up and down Sagamore Parkway, a major highway, with a rifle.  Locals called the cops many, many times and the cops went by to take a look.  They could not do anything since he was not threatening with it.  

                    Then the local media and the Greater Lafayette Gossip Network kicked in.  It turned out he was from Mulberry (a small town 13 miles to the southeast), the assorted problems he had with the law got hashed out, as did the assorted, more serious problems his son had.  After a couple weeks he gave up the game.  

                    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

                    by Yamaneko2 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:01:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  LOL (5+ / 0-)
                  3: Ex-marine for calling the cops because a black guy had something that looked vaguely like a real gun.
                  Aside from being a real gun, how does a BB gun only "vaguely" look like a real gun?

                  I can see the "vaguely" charge if the guy had been holding a cucumber or a fishing rod, or even a plastic toy gun.  But a BB gun?  Have you ever seen one?  stand 20 feet away, and it could be one of the "real" guns you speak of.  

                  I think if this guy had been a redneck teabagger, you would be calling him an idiot for brandishing a gun at other shoppers and children.  

                  "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                  by Subterranean on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:55:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not the one you're responding to, but... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    If this were a 'redneck teabagger' (not a phrase I would use), I personally would say the same thing that I would say about this gentleman... if he was actually brandishing the gun and pointing it at people, that was dumb but stupidity is not a crime, let alone a capital one.

                    But of course, let's be honest: the fact that this person is black makes it much more likely that he was just walking around holding the 'weapon' and some details got added so that the police would come more quickly.

                    If someone was really aiming what they thought was a gun at people, would those people really be following him around? Really? They somehow think they're bulletproof?

                    No, this story stinks to high heaven.

                    •  forgot to mention (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      that if he had been a redneck teabagger, he'd still be alive -- that's the whole point here -- NOT that walking around with real or realistic weapons is an OK thing, but that there only seem to be any consequences at all if the gun-carrier is brown, black, Native, Asian or "Arab-looking".  Asshole southern white pricks are A-OK with that kind of behavior, whether it's Wal-Mart, Chick-Fil-A or the White House lawn.  

                      When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin

                      by Sick Semper on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:03:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Still alive? Debatable. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Out her in rural MI, there have been three instances of redneck standoffs with police in the past decade or so - that I know of.  Some redneck with a gun has a meltdown, the cops come out, there's negotiation attempts, then a shootout, and finally a dead redneck is wheeled out of the house in a body bag.

                        Cops don't like it when people with guns confront them.  

                        That said, if one is black, his chances against police are orders of magnitudes worse than those of a redneck.  That goes without saying.

                        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                        by Subterranean on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:24:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Brandishing a gun is a crime (0+ / 0-)
                      if he was actually brandishing the gun and pointing it at people, that was dumb but stupidity is not a crime
                      Nope, that's a crime.  You point a gun at someone, you are breaking the law unless it is in self defense.

                      I don't know if the law applies to pellet guns (it should, they can kill), but since the people and the cops believed it to be a real gun, that doesn't matter in this case.  

                      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                      by Subterranean on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:27:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Honestly, (0+ / 0-)

                      when I see someone holding a gun, I become color-, age-, gender-, and every other description under the sun blind because I only see the damn gun.  And Im calling 911.  

                      A gun is a killing machine.  Members of a peaceful society should never become comfortable at the sight of anyone nonchalantly strolling down the boulevard with one.  Ever.  Even uniformed officers carrying guns makes me squeamish.  

                      Police are out of control.  This was a senseless killing.  But lets place the blame where it belongs, with the violent, trigger happy, out of their minds idiot cops.  Not with reporters.  Or even the victim, although for the record you will never see me brandishing a gun, toy or real, anywhere at anytime.  Ever.

                      Save a child's life. Please sign and share. Save a child's life. Please sign and share.

                      by kmfmstar on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:48:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I'd make it 2,4,1 because cops can be cowards, too (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, SilentBrook

                  Cowards, racist, the two usually go together. And that 3 is on the list is just another illustration of how cops loose our trust.

                  But really, don't start shooting before emptying the store, and once the store is empty, do you have to shoot before you try to talk him down? I have seen video of cops talking down a guy with a loaded real gun talking about shooting people. Drunk old white guy.

                  Cracker(krăk´ẽr ) Someone, usually but not exclusively white, whose world view is primarily formed by consensual validation as opposed to observed fact, hence “cracker” for someone brittle, insubstantial and lacking in nutritive value.

                  by outis2 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:27:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  this is hilarious man (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Amycat, BYw

                  we shouldn't have guns, cause they're dangerous, but you shouldn't call the police if you think there's a guy with a gun.


                •  you left out 5: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Piren, kmfmstar

                  the media for not turning us into a nation that thinks that a bunch of asshole white guys parading around with their open-carry external penises AREN'T a serious threat to public order.

                  When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin

                  by Sick Semper on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:58:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  "that alarmed them, and so they called 911.." (15+ / 0-)

                And yet, not too alarmed:

                The couple said they followed Crawford at a safe distance. "Anytime I saw people walking his way, I would get their attention
                If you are alarmed enough to call 911, then why the hades would you then not get as far away as possible from what has alarmed you??????!
              •  one witness said pointing at people (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tobendaro, snwflk, SilentBrook, dfarrah

                that was the guy who called the police, talking after they killed the man.

                He has strong motive to exaggerate a little. Because many in his shoes might feel bad someone was killed because they called (rightly or wrongly).

                Notably it seems only the couple called. Just speculating but do wonder why people who were aimed at or kids were aimed at didn't call the police or store security?
                Seems strange there weren't multiple calls especially with people aimed at.

                It smells a bit.

              •  Big "IF" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                If he was pointing it at people was the clue.  It's difficult to look at something without flipping it all directions to see how it works and how it's made.  Maybe he was on the phone to someone checking to see if it was what they wanted.  All the witnesses saw was a black man on the phone and looking or checking out a weapon for sale there.  

                 I, too, would have called cops on any color of person if they genuinely seemed threatening.  Even faster on a RWNJ with a very real weapon slung over his/her shoulder and letting it swing around pointing all directions.  They are the ones to watch out for.... not a person of color talking on a cell and looking a gun over, even a pellet gun or bb gun.  

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by cowdab on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:56:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  If they falsely reported that he was pointing or (0+ / 0-)

                waving a gun at people, or threatening people, then that's calling in a false report.  Which precipitated a homicide by cops.

                My question is this:  Did they receive other calls about an armed man threatening people?  If they did, then it calls into question the victim's behavior.  If not, why not?  Why was no one else alarmed by the "threatening" behavior claimed by one couple from Riverside?

                The Beavercreek police department is a very small police department staffed by mostly decent and inexperienced officers.  Something riled them up.  

                "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                by Uncle Moji on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 01:33:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You're placing blame on the wrong party (34+ / 0-)

              Calling the police when you see someone in a store with a gun is the correct thing to do.
              The police shooting a black man with a toy gun dead is not the correct thing to do.
              It's very simple.

              +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

              by cybersaur on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:45:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The police shooting a black man is what happens (9+ / 0-)

                when you call the police because a black man is doing something. Sure, not every time, but often enough that I'd never do it. If I was there I'd say something to him, or at least I'd like to think I'm not so scared of my neighbors that I would.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:53:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is so off-base. (21+ / 0-)

                  If you see a PERSON doing something that you perceive is a threat to others or a danger to others, you call 911.  Period.  End of story.  You're not supposed to start second-guessing that.  You're not supposed to wait for confirmation that he REALLY is a threat.  You are not supposed to try to get a better look to see exactly what's going on.  When there's a potential threat or danger to others, call 911.  That's the rule.  

                  It is far, far, far better to call 911 and have it be a false alarm (I've done that once or twice myself) than to try to get confirmation or try to be absolutely sure before you call, and be too late.

                  And yes, a person waiving what looks like a gun around at people and pointing what looks like a gun at people is sufficient to justify calling 911.  You don't have to be sure it's a gun, you don't have to try to verify that it's a gun.  you call, and it's the job of the police to figure out if the danger or threat is real, or if it's a false alarm.  

                  Whether the POLICE did the right thing is a completely separate question.  But -- assuming that they saw a person with what may have been a gun waiving it at people and pointing it at people -- I think it's totally wrong to blame people who called 911 here.  

                  •  So if something kinda bad is happening (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Ianb007, tobendaro, SilentBrook

                    call out the guns! Because nothing could go wrong there. It isn't as if black people are regularly killed by the police or anything.

                    It is far, far, far better to call 911 and have it be a false alarm (I've done that once or twice myself) than to try to get confirmation or try to be absolutely sure before you call, and be too late.
                    Like this was a false alarm? But hey, what's some dead people, it isn't like they're white or anything.
                    Whether the POLICE did the right thing is a completely separate question.
                    No, it isn't, not when there's a history of abuse against people of color. The police regularly and flagrantly do the wrong thing. These people didn't call the police because they weren't sure. They called the police because they were 100% sure that a black man with a gun was in the store, and there's nothing more dangerous in our society, at least as far as the cops are concerned.

                    You can sit there and pretend like the police have any sort of accountability but I'm not buying that bullshit. You're a lawyer and you ignore reality in favor of the law. Most people don't have that luxury. The police kill regularly, that's a fact. And they kill people of color and especially young black men. That's also a fact.

                    This is a case of a bunch of conservative white people freaking out because there was a black dude with a fake gun and he got shot for it. You and other people here can cover that up with how you should always call the cops if anything remotely sketchy happens but I'm not buying it.

                    This is one of those times where the demographics of this place becomes perfectly clear. Most people here aren't poor and they're white. The attitude toward the police makes that clear.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:26:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Where you are wrong is where you put the blame (15+ / 0-)

                      for his being shot.  

                      Someone who calls 911 -- does exactly what they are supposed to do -- does not get the blame if the police do the wrong thing.  The police get the blame if they do the wrong thing.  

                      Yes, I absolutely, positively DO think that people should always call 911 if they see something they think MAY BE a threat or danger.  And they're allowed to be wrong because I WANT them to err on the side of calling when they are not sure.  

                      I will not blame someone who called 911 for this shooting.  People who call 911 do exactly what we tell them to do - when you are in doubt, when you are not sure, when you think there might be a danger, call 911.  The blame for the shooting lies with people who acted wrongly.  

                      •  No, calling 911 is not what you're suppose to do (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        stargaze, SilentBrook

                        unless you want a racist group of people with guns to show up. That's the reality. You can ignore reality and pretend that the racism of cops has nothing to do with reality, but that simply isn't true.

                        When you call the cops your calling in guns to potentially shoot someone. And if the person you're afraid of is a young black man as this person was, then the likelihood of the police killing that person is pretty great.

                        You want to separate this reality from the justice system somehow but that's not how it works. When you call the cops you're calling for violence. That's reality. I don't think we should call for violence just because something is out of place or a little scary. Maybe I'm crazy like that.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:01:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So you prefer people deal with it themselves. (13+ / 0-)

                          I get it. Just forget about calling the police. I'm supposed to ASSUME that the police are going to do the wrong thing, and because of that, I'm not supposed to call 911 when I think there might be a danger to me, my family or others.  I'm just supposed to handle it myself, whatever it turns out to be.  

                          You have gone over the deep end.  

                        •  Well that would be true if you could guarantee (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          VClib, OhioNatureMom

                          that person wasn't a threat.  

                          You can't.  Although you CAN say that black people are more likely to be killed without reason by cops, there is no way an average person confronted by a person with what they see to be a gun, can be assured they are not violent based on the color of their skin.

                          •  So now you have to GUARANTEE someone (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            isn't a threat if they have anything that could be a gun. Never mind that he drove there and could have killed tens of people easily. This country is so fucked up.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:36:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Strawman (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't often accuse people of this but this is in fact a strawman. No one is saying that someone must produce proof that they aren't a threat in order to have anything that looks like a weapon, otherwise all police would be suspected as dangerous, and in some cases perhaps rightly so. However, what makes this case dangerous are the circumstances. Carrying a rifle inside a store without an employee escort is absolutely grounds for reasonable suspicion, and under those circumstances it is entirely reasonable for someone to alert the authorities.

                            While I'm dismantling this portion of your argument, I'd also like to touch on something else that you said earlier about the Tea Party and how they might eventually treat the LGBT community. You said that it is possible they might one day round you all up into concentration camps, or something to that effect, correct me if I've misconstrued anything. Well, I'm here to tell you that that in fact won't happen. Do you know why? All the higherups at the Tea Party don't really hate the LGBT community, or anyone else that they act like they hate for that matter. They act like they hate because, in a nutshell, it gets them rich. Once they're rich, they don't care. The only color any of them give half a fuck about, is green.

                            And if they did, against all odds, actually try to round up all the people they say they hate, then I'm here to inform you that your guns won't do shit. If they ever come into power like you're talking about, and you start giving them trouble with your .223 potshots, they'll drone strike your ass before they waste more men on you. Capturing you alive isn't that important to them, believe me. And really, drone-striking is extreme. The way a government that functions like ours would handle such a problem would involve things like freezing your credit and shutting out your bank accounts. It's not like they need to engage in grand sweeping gestures to crush someone like you or me like a bug. The government has grown so powerful and pervasive that the idea of a revolution like several of the founding fathers talked about has become impossible.

                            That said, I do on some level, agree with you. I'm actually a big fan of organizations like the pink pistols and the black panthers, and I wish they were more well-known. But not because they'll bring down the evil big bad government. It's really easy to get fixated on "the government" as some mindless, ephemeral monster, and really easy to forget that the government is merely a collection of individuals, and that's what minorities and the LGBT community should be afraid of, and yes, I do mean afraid. Rogue yahoos who like to "pick on the local gay," or terrorize random kids who aren't white, those are the real threats. Governments aren't usually the problem, at least not where America is concerned. It's the bigoted, highly motivated portion of the citizenry that is the problem, and they're the reason you absolutely should be familiar with a variety of self-defense tools and tactics, yes, including firearms. There is truth to the pink pistol creed, "An armed gay doesn't get bashed." Though, in that creed "bashed" is less about getting insulted and more about getting struck sharply with blunt objects.

                        •  Be Afraid. Be very afraid. (6+ / 0-)

                          The whole thing is paranoid bullshit brought on by the media constantly pumping the WAR ON TERAISTS. You have more chance of dying from a bathtub slip, and ten thousand more times of dying in a car accident, than from terrorists. But we didn't destroy the Constitution and spend trillions because 50,000 American are killed in cars every year. We're blind to that - although one tenth of what we've spent in the War on Teraists would have put really good national mass transit in everywhere, and saved tens of thousands of American lives.

                          Of course, keeping us afraid keeps us in control, gets us to agree to destroying our civil liberties, and gets mo money for government departments. They just have to scream "terrorist" and the money flows in. They accused a PA library of being an eco-terrorist because they started a seed library - which would have violated Monsanto's right to Control All Seeds.

                        •  I sincerely hope you are never in a position (5+ / 0-)

                          to need rescue assistance and people gawk and attempt to determine if your need for rescue is bona fide.  Sorry, you are way off base on this.

                          The very fabric if our Murkn society is badly tattered and torn beyond repair when we assign more responsibility to citizens than professionals.  Sad, indeed.  Perhaps demanding more of our government is the answer.  And I do not like, nor trust, cops.  Having said that, i still would not make a judgement call that a person with a gun in a store is safe and innocent.  No matter race, size, age, whatever.  Cant outrun a bullet.

                          Save a child's life. Please sign and share. Save a child's life. Please sign and share.

                          by kmfmstar on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:27:18 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  But what if the threat had been real? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          OhioNatureMom, Amycat

                          What I'm hearing you say is that the couple should not have called 911, and should have let matters play out as they will.  But what if this man had a real rifle and had intended to shoot people with it?  Why would it be better not to call 911 and let the shooting occur?  Would you think it better to wait until someone actually gets shot and then call 911, and in the meantime, more people could be getting shot and killed?  

                          I am so very sad that this young man is dead.  The issue is whether the police handled the situation correctly or over-reacted and shot first, asked questions later.

                          But if I see someone walking around a store carrying what appears to be a real gun, I would probably also call 911.  And I would do so whether it was a person of color or not.  I would not wait to see them take aim and fire, because that would be too late.  

                        •  AoT, your comment is absurd n/t (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          OhioNatureMom, WednesdaysChilde
                        •  Yes, You Are Crazy (0+ / 0-)

                          Your attitude is exactly what self-defense instructors try to deprogram from people. If you see something you think is a threat, whatever it is, trust your instincts. Better to raise a false alarm than wind up dead because you were too concerned about being polite or civil. This is the core principle underlying the idea of "The Fence," which is an idea best expressed as "any individual has the right to refuse any physical contact from another source, and in the event of forced physical contact, may lever whatever force they feel is necessary to successfully enact that refusal." This is something I feel is especially important to teach women, given their social training these days.

                          On your comments about toy guns vs. real guns: Air guns/bb guns/pellet guns are real guns and can cause serious injury or death. Whether or not they're recognizable from more standard firearms is entirely irrelevant. And personally, there's no way in blue fucking hell I would be able to tell the difference and I consider myself quite educated on the subject.

                          Without being there, I can't say what should or shouldn't have happened. I can say however that if I was a police officer, and I saw what the man was reputed to have carried, I wouldn't have even warned him. I would have just opened fire. Seen waaaaaay too many dashcam videos of cops getting killed because they took the time to try and warn a criminal to drop a weapon. No way would I have announced my presence and risked getting shot like that. The person, regardless of skin color, should never have been carrying that thing around unescorted by a store employee. If he was there for purchase, and was leaving the store after buying it, he should have had an employee escort. That's how most stores handle firearm purchases. If he wasn't there for purchase, then what the fuck was he doing carrying the damn thing around in a store? Was he trying to be as foolish as the open carry idiots down in Texas?

                          Now, no one has to try and convince me that the cops don't have a history of racist policies, thoughts, and actions, and there could very well have been heaps of racism at play here, but regardless of their motivation for doing so, if that guy was carrying what was shown in the photo, then they did the right thing. I don't disagree with you that resorting to non-violent means of conflict management before anything else is how you're supposed to do things, but the moment a weapon like that is in someone's hands, nonviolence goes out the window unless you're in an extraordinarily advantageous position for stopping the threat.

                      •  Your faith in the police is clearly (0+ / 0-)

                        not shared by all. Wonder why?

                    •  Are you saying black people never kill anyone? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      coffeetalk, OhioNatureMom

                      well then shut up.

                      There is much evidence over the last weeks and months that white people call the cops over white people with guns just as readily.

                    •  It wasn't a fake gun (3+ / 0-)
                      This is a case of a bunch of conservative white people freaking out because there was a black dude with a fake gun
                      On what planet is it permissible to point a BB gun at children and toddlers?  The right shot could KILL a toddler, or more likely, take an eye out.  How is that acceptable behavior?  

                      According to the couple, this idiot pointed the BB gun at anyone who approached him.  Even if they recognized it as a BB gun, it again begs the question, on what planet would people view such behavior acceptable?  

                      A BB gun is not "fake," nor is it a "toy".  It is a real gun that fires a metal projectile at sufficient velocity to cause lethal injury to young children and babies, or serious permanent injury to adults.  It has metal and plastic parts, just like a more powerful gun, and it is shaped like a more powerful gun.

                      Without knowing the details of how he confronted police, I'm not going to comment on whether the police acted appropriately.  But the other shoppers who had a gun pointed at them?  Calling 911 was exactly the right course of action.  

                      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                      by Subterranean on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:08:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  it wasn't a BB gun---it was a pellet gun (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        .177 caliber.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:26:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Even worse (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          OhioNatureMom, sideshowjay, Amycat

                          A .177 pellet gun - at least a quality one - could kill any person with a properly placed shot.

                          It's really sad that this victim's mother didn't tell him to put the fucking gun down.  If she could hear him playing with the gun on the phone, then WTF, WHY didn't she tell him to stop being an idiot?  Someone in his life failed to properly instruct him on guns, on the fact that one NEVER points a gun at someone under any circumstances short of war or murder.  Even kids from gun-free households should be taught not to point guns at people, not even toy guns.  Now that it's common knowledge that cops have killed kids playing with toy guns, I find it incredible that parents don't all teach their kids not to point guns at people.  

                          If the victim were white, I'm still not even sure he'd be alive.  Depends on how he confronted the cops.  But if they were getting multiple 911 calls about some nutter running around the store pointing a gun at them and their kiddies, the cops would have been seriously amped up at the time of the confrontation.

                          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                          by Subterranean on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 12:07:11 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  confirmation bias (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      To AoT.  I called 911 when I saw a black kid with a long pistol checking it out before hiding it in his pants.  A cop came by afterwards and told me it was just a realistic toy (I believe this was before orange tips).  He did indicate that they were used in robberies, but were nonetheless legal to carry.  You didn't see this in the newspaper.  You do see all the stories where it goes tragically wrong.  Your attitude towards cops shows as much prejudice as many white peoples attitudes towards people of color.  From the description in the article, I would have phoned 911.  I would also support an investigation of homicide by the police.  It is not an easy job, but they have to be trained better than this.  It is not just the cop who did the shooting who needs to be investigated.

                      Stoking hatred of police in black society is not a constructive attitude.  Demanding - yes demanding - responsible policing is (which of course does not mean that getting it is going to be easy).

                      Bob in California

                      •  Distrusting cops because of their record (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dfarrah, a2nite

                        is nothing like racism. I'm so sick of that stupid and frankly racist comparison.

                        The police are not a ethnicity or race, they are a self selected group of people who chose to enforce racist laws for a living and do so in a generally racist way as illustrated way. This whole "think of the poor police and don't be racist against police" nonsense is flat out wrong. It is nothing like racism, nothing at all. There is no history of oppressing the police in this country like there is people of color, and the police have more power than me, not less.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 01:59:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Thank you. You nailed it. ^..^ (0+ / 0-)
                  •  Well, I've certainly learned something (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    From the upraters of this post.  The original poster is expected, I'm very interested in her upraters

                    Democracy, if done properly, is rude, messy, and loud

                    by allensl on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:51:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The whole story sounds odd to me (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dclawyer06, snwflk, SilentBrook, dfarrah

                    Well, the Said he was waving it and pointing it. As they followed and warned people off. The whole thing sounds off to me - like they were playing Junior G-Man, or had a case of marijuana paranoia.

                    I imagine if you were carrying a toy gun in one hand, to the cashier, and had a phone in the other hand, the gun would be jostling around - but interpreting that as waving and pointing requires a bit of paranoia, IMHO.

                    •  I agree. The Riverside couple made an erroneous (0+ / 0-)

                      assumption about Mr Crawford, they were wrong, dead wrong, but the only one who ended up dead was the completely innocent man these two provably stupid possibly racist junior detectives decided was a mass murderer, when he was just another Walmart shopper with a Walmart product in his hands.


                      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

                      by Uncle Moji on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 01:40:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  You're not supposed to second guess that. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    But violent, abusive cops make us second guess.  Do you not get that fear of the cops is both real and rational?

                    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

                    by libdevil on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:54:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  these toy guns used to have to be obviously toys (6+ / 0-)

                color, size, etc

                whoever demanded that the regulation on toy weapons be relaxed is partly responsible for this mistake, as is the manufacture, Walmart and the cops that responded to the 911 call.

            •  It's the uniform (0+ / 0-)

              There is an enormous difference between a uniformed officer and someone in street clothes, and there is a bigger difference still between a cop with a holstered weapon, and a civilian brandishing a firearm and pointing it at people.

              There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

              by BeerNotWar on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:57:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  cars vs. guns (6+ / 0-)

              > You realize that cars can be just as deadly as guns.

              Are you joking? Guns are made to kill, and bullets travel a heck of a lot faster than cars. While accidents happen, the driver is usually at risk and has a stake, and you can often see cars coming. Bullets not so much.

              "The dirty secret is that Obama is a moderate conservative. If I were a liberal democrat, I probably would be upset." Bruce Bartlett

              by DrReason on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:58:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whether the driver is more at risk or not (0+ / 0-)

                Cars are just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than guns. Only slightly fewer people are killed by cars every year in the US than are killed by guns, and prior to the year before last, and every year before that, there were more people killed by cars.

                I'm not saying that cars are as bad as guns, although when you take into account the environmental effects I think there may be a case for that, but they are potentially just as deadly.

                Why do you think the fight against drunk driving is such a big thing? Because cars are safe? A drunk person on foot isn't dangerous, it's the car that makes them dangerous.

                And let me reiterate, I'm not saying we should allow guns because we have cars and both are dangerous, I'm saying that we live in a society where the majority of people a regularly in control of a deadly weapon. That's a reality. Just because they're also useful doesn't make them not deadly.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:18:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I live in a rural area (5+ / 0-)

              it seems everyone has guns except me.

              But I never see anyone carrying in a restaurant or a store.

              In spite of the hype.

              Yes, this was a black man with what appeared to be a real gun.  But the white guy at the Phoenix airport had the cops called on him too.

              So don't blame the concerned citizens who called in fear - blame the cops who should be trained to make an unemotional assessment of the situation.

              In this case, they seriously failed.

              However, walking around Walmart playing with something that looks like a real gun is not the smartest move.  That said, it doesn't warrant a death sentence.

              •  When the cops prove again and again (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Boy Wonder, a2nite, SilentBrook

                that they will kill black men then calling the cops and expecting something different is naive, at best. Only blaming the cops would work if there weren't ample evidence that the cops are a threat.

                However, walking around Walmart playing with something that looks like a real gun is not the smartest move.  That said, it doesn't warrant a death sentence.
                And if you call the cops on a black guy who's doing that then you have a pretty damn good chance that he'll get shot, if not killed.

                And what gets me is that clearly no one said anything to the dead man. If someone had even yelled at him that they'd called the cops he almost certainly would have dropped the gun. But no one did that.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:21:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do agree with you (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib, Kentucky Kid, OhioNatureMom, Amycat

                  that the cops coming after a black man are much more likely to kill him than coming after a white man.

                  I don't think there is any doubt about that.

                  But you cannot blame people who are scared, who are not used to seeing guns, for calling the cops on white or black men with guns.

                  You need to be blaming the police, as I do.

                  I also think people should not be as scared as they are, but that doesn't seem to work.

                  •  Oh, yes I can (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    snwflk, SilentBrook, dfarrah

                    Old white female here.  And I can SO blame the 'scared' people.  And I DO.  So get the fuck over it already.  

                    Democracy, if done properly, is rude, messy, and loud

                    by allensl on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:57:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Tie that bull outside. (0+ / 0-)
                    But you cannot blame people who are scared
                    We sure as shootin' can blame people who are scared and fail their basic humanity to see if their fears are reasonable or not. How hard would it have been for one of these shadowers to ask the "gunman" about his "weapon"? How hard is it to strike up a conversation like, "Hey, my kid likes toy guns too. That's a beaut'.", or, "Gee, I'd have loved to have a toy like that when i was a kid."?

                    It was this viralent strain of paranoia that brought those cops you exclusively blame here to do their evil deed. If one of these junior rangers had thought to simply ask, to simply treat someone as a human being and find out if their paranoia was justified (& if it was, perhaps by treating an impending shooter as a human being, gotten them to give up peaceably), rather than unleashing the militant paranoia of LEOs on the situation, this tragedy would have been averted.

                    But, no. The MSM stokes our paranoia to sell corporatist "safety thru superior firepower", and "Trust your local (unaccountable) cops", not to mention perpetuating the mythos of Angry Black Men. A lack of willingness to question these lies kept the shadowers from the courage of treating this man like another human being, rather than assuming he was the second coming of Nat Turner. Until we hold this hyperbolic paranoia to account, it will continue to feed people into the meatgrinder of LEO militancy.  

                    We build on foundations we did not lay. We warm ourselves by fires we did not light. We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant... We are ever bound in community.-Peter Raible

                    by SilentBrook on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 12:52:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Utter nonsense. I would never yell at somebody (0+ / 0-)

                  who I thought was possibly a gunman that I had called the police on him.  That seems like a potential invitation to get shot.  Actual confrontation is the dominion of the police.

            •  but it could mean "someone getting shot" (0+ / 0-)

              'cause if the gun IS real, "someone" or "ones" could be shot. Not only an innocent guy who's at risk if you call the police.

              I would call the police with anyone with a gun. "cause more lives are at risk (everyone in store). Statistically, the risk police will shoot the innocent guy even if he's Black (sorry to agree that ups the chances) probably are lower than a guy walking around with a gun shooting.

              Cost benefit many lives might be saved with what likelyhood?

              •  last (I hope) in a long line (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                I am a Patriot

                Many many people in this thread want to let us know how bad they think guns are -- and that they would call 911 anytime they see one brandished in public.

                Let's assume they're all being truthful -- there is clearly no need for every American to have maximum firepower on their person at all times.  OK, agreed?

                The point that I see being made here -- which is absolutely clear and distinct from whether guns good or guns bad or guns whatever -- is that if this had been Gomer Pinkskin with a gun: (a) the fearful white folks of Beavertown would probably NOT have called 911; (b) the police would probably not have shown up if they were called: and (c) there is a far lower likelihood that the toy gun carrier would have been subjected to either a deliberate or amateurish shoot-to-kill assault.  

                That's the nub, folks -- all your protestations that this would have been no different if the guy was white are not believed to be credible.  How many 911 calls have the various open-carry events around the country provoked? Any?? Anyone??


                When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin

                by Sick Semper on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:21:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  AoT, If I see a guy driving a car in Walmart (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WednesdaysChilde, ctbert, Amycat

              then YES I'd call cops to check it out.

              And .. if I see a person carrying a gun in a store I WILL call the cops to check it out.

              So, if you and/or anyone else is scared of "that it could mean someone getting shot" then my advice is: Don't carry your GD gun inside stores.

            •  This is skewed logic, comparing cars to guns in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              this case.
              If I were to equate the two, I would definitely call the cops if a car was driving around WalMart trying to run people over or if the car was weaving down the road.

              "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

              by Cruzankenny on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:28:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Seriously - you're doing the car comparison? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Do cars suddenly not exist? You realize that cars can be just as deadly as guns.
              A firearm of the sort mimicked by the air rifle in question is capable of killing a dozen people at a range of up to one mile.

              I don't think the typical car has that kind of kill radius.

              'Nuff said.

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:13:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yeah, that old chestnut... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WednesdaysChilde, Amycat

              A car has many uses and purposes, most of which are NOT to kill or maim.  An assault rifle -- by name -- is primarily used to assault something.  A firearm in general is designed to propel a projectile with explosive force toward a target with the intent of doing damage to said target.  The intent behind using said firearm is evil or not is open to question, but the net effect is that someone pulls a trigger and someone or something else takes damage.  That is its purpose and design.  Plus, while a car may be as deadly as a gun, it's also a lot easier to avoid and a lot harder to deploy.  I can't kill you from 300 meters away with my pickup truck, but I could damn sure do it with an AR-15.  And you'd never know what hit you.

              It's a bullshit false equivalence when the RWNJ's use it, and it doesn't become less false or less bullshitesuqe when it's used here.

              And by the way, if I spot a driver that I believe to be dangerous or impaired, you can bet your ass I'm calling 911.

              I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

              by mojo11 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:26:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Cars vs. Guns - Comparing Apples To Oranges (0+ / 0-)

              AoT - you are making a false equivalency here.

              Yes, cars CAN BE lethal weapons.  Cars probably kill more people every day than guns do in this are entirely correct.

              The difference is USUALLY when a car kills someone IT IS A FREAKING ACCIDENT.

              Cars main to get people from Point A to Point B.

              Guns have but ONE PURPOSE.  To kill.  Nothing else.

              •  I explicitly said (0+ / 0-)

                there wasn't an equivalency. Please reread what I said. And the reality is that cars are as deadly as guns. They aren't equivalent in terms of their purpose, but in terms of killing people they are just as deadly, more so in many respects.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:21:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  how much packaging crap was on the gun? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            samanthab, Mommymusic, SilentBrook

            like price tag, security RFID, etc.

            most of the stuff I buy is clearly tagged with stuff that is not easy to remove until you are out of the store.

            I find it hard to believe this toy gun didn't have a price tag or something hanging off the barrel.

            •  Which brings to mind that i often can't easily (0+ / 0-)

              get the tags off an item and get it home - I am of limited strength and dexterity , but it can take a sharp , strong pair of hedge clippers for me to get no - information junk of a newly purchased item. Relevance?  There would be a lot of activity and noticeable sound unpackaging most things (the rason for the packaging) , so where are employees ? They often seem to hide at the Walmart near me.

              Good friends are a dime per molecule.

              by Abra Crabcakeya on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:35:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but the machismo required to stroll around (0+ / 0-)

              the store with this gun in hand, fully knowing the effect, reminds me of t-party idiots.

            •  usually packaged IN a box... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WednesdaysChilde, SilentBrook

              Just pne model here, and probably more out on the web.  My question, why don't they require the orange tip on them like toys in some states?

              ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

              by geekydee on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:50:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  none--that was all on the box (0+ / 0-)

              Usually they are stored in several pieces inside the box, but snapping it together is only a matter of seconds.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:33:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  aholes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Well, here in Apache Junction, people carry loaded Real weapons all the time. It's allowed in Arizona - you can open carry or even carry concealed, almost anywhere. I have to admit it makes me just a tad nervous, though. Not a lot of people walk around strapped in public, and I think the ones who do are kinda nutty. Actually, assholes.

          •  It was a toy gun in the toy department. (0+ / 0-)
          •  You would do this even in states where the act (0+ / 0-)

            was legal?  You would be committing a crime if you did.

            •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

              How would I know the intentions of someone carrying a gun?  Why would I owe that person charity?  

              And even if I had reason to believe that a person openly carrying a firearm had no violent intent, I do not trust any person's ability to handle a loaded weapon safely in any world where cases of negligent handling are passed off as "accidents."

          •  first of all you're ASSUMING (0+ / 0-)

            That the gun is loaded; that the person is 'out of control'; that you're in danger; that police have to be involved... etc
            Because: you have adopted the pavlovian response that we are all being trained to obey-- namely, "Always Be Afraid!"
            (along with "males of color can't be trusted!").
            The mind-poison just spreads itself far and wide... and seems to emanate from the middle of the country in both directions.
            I guess emotional sickness and paranoia Rule here.
            Call the cops!
            Run for cover!

            Peace? Where's the money in THAT?
            •  I don't trust /anyone/ with a gun (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not assuming whether the gun is loaded or isn't, or whether the carrier is in a sound state of mind or not.  

              If I see someone carrying a gun, then I know they have deadly force.  I am, ipso facto, betting my life whenever I'm in the presence of such a person.  In return, the gun carrier is betting nothing.  This is demanding too much of any rational person.  It is not a stable social compact.

          •  I'd Call The Cops ESPECIALLY If It Was One (0+ / 0-)

            of those Open Carry assholes.

          •  Beavercreek is a very small place (0+ / 0-)

            guns, the use of guns, is not unfamiliar to folks who live there.  The cops there are nice but not highly experienced.  They should have recognized an air rifle with plastic parts.

            I suspect there is more, possibly more inflammatory stuff said in the call by the Riverside couple in their 911 call, a call I suspect that shook up the local cops.  It's one thing to call the cops, it's another to falsely report a man is threatening people in a store with a gun.

            There are also not a lot of black people in Beavercreek or in Riverside.  

            The Crosman MK 177 is a "varmit" gun, it is a cheapo Walmart gun with plastic parts.  

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 01:26:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No suprise seeing guns in Walmart (0+ / 0-)

            as 37 Ohio Walmart stores carry guns such as the Sig Sauer m400, Colt M4 OPS, Colt LE6920 Semi automatic carbine, Remington 870 Express Tactical Shotgun, Smith and Wesson 811030 Semi automatic rifle and more.

        •  I wouldn't care what color they were (11+ / 0-)

          But obviously the police do. They just talk to the  white guys, and let them go.

          Women create the entire labor force.
          Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:42:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's very likely prejudice played a role (8+ / 0-)

          The point being the assumption he was intending to do a robbery/whatever; particularly by Police who seem to have been trigger happy in the presence of a black man (oh my, how surprising).

          But ... but ... enough with the guns. Don't sell them, don't allow them in public, melt them down.

          Because it inevitably leads to human misery that is completely avoidable.

          And Walmart does sell that gun, if he did pick it up there, sue their asses.

        •  Whenever government acts with violence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IamAmermaid, SilentBrook

          in situations where diplomacy, negotiation or patience would work and there is a fatality or fatalities, its a tragedy perhaps best resolved with liability.

          I would support a law where if you profit by having a store where people come to shop, its on you to be responsible that nothing bad happens to them because of something you did or didn't do in your store.

          Liability for negligence would include selling toys that look like weapons or allowing them to leave the toy section without packaging that would cause an alarm if removed.

          I don't really blame the officers. They got called to the scene with the information that a person was waving around and pointing an assault rifle at people. they reacted as if the gun was real because it looked real.

          Police are acting edgy because there are people in schools and restaurants and stores with real weapons who do point them at people and then shoot.

          For the officers perhaps the same sort of reeducation classes we give drunk drivers. Mandatory evaluation by a psychiatrist just in case there is an issue because there are police in the streets killing people for no good reason and evidencing hatred and prejudice too often.

          One way to avoid that kind of tragedy is just not to have so many guns or models of guns around, or to make it legal for the store to refuse admittance to anyone carrying a gun openly and then put the responsibility for any tragedy on them.

          Manufacturers could also be expected to share the blame.

          If there is a tragedy with your weapon that you made or sold present then you should be considered negligent like a store that doesn't shovel its means of egress and someone slips or falls and is injured.

          It would be up to the store to weigh the profit from selling toy guns against the possibility of a lawsuit in the case someone is shot or even shoots their eye out with a pellet from the pellet gun.

          Crossman could  easily make a pellet gun that doesn't look like an assault rifle; color it yellow and orange pokeadot or some other  bright color or pattern of colors like a toy.

          If the manufacturer wants to complain that people are buying the guns because they look real then its arguing that it is selling a part of the purpose of a real gun, the threat of injury it poses.

          I think I'd extend the liability to governments. If people die on your watch then your administration has to pay just as if there were a police chase and some innocent civilian's car was sideswiped in the pursuit.

          If your policies create situations where part of your population is in armed revolt and people get shot then you as the city, state and federal government are just as liable as the store owner for the deaths.

          I'd extend the liability the same way we expect government to regulate safety in foods and automobiles, as a valid issue in elections.

          Maybe I'd go further. If parts of a civilian populace find themselves at risk of loss of life or property or are unjustly treated by a stop and frisk or some other such  policy then the government should be automatically fined just like it would fine a civilian for operating a motor vehicle improperly; only have to pay the civilian triple damages because it is the governments job to preserve, protect and defend its populace as well as its laws.

          "la vida no vale nada un lugar solita" "The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch

          by rktect on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 03:28:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  AoT, Really? You blame ppl 4 calling cops on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WednesdaysChilde, Amycat

          some guy who is carrying a gun?  WTF??!?!?

          I don't care what color, how old, how tall, how skinny a person who is carrying a gun is ... I AM calling the cops to check it out .. and .. only a fool would not call the cops.

      •  on one level (4+ / 0-)

        yeah, on another level, in this situation 911 turned a Walmart with no guns and no real danger into a Walmart with dozens of guns and two dead people.

        I think there are very good reasons to think of calling the police not as a "better safe than sorry" thing, but as a calculated risk.

        911 is not a "Magic Away the Gun" Hotline, it's a "Send More Guns To My Location" Hotline. Even if it's just for my own safety, I'd rather think through what I'm hoping to get from the police and how likely that is than wing it when guns are involved.

      •  This is why open carry groups exist (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jon Says, CarlosJ, SilentBrook

        This is why people show up to stores and restaurants with guns and will continue to do so. That behavior didn't come out of a vacuum, it is because of actions like this, and yours.

        Open carry protests will continue so long as "call 911" is the reflex response. So have fun stoking the flames

      •  Really? You would assume this in a store that (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, mwm341, StrayCat, snwflk, SilentBrook

        SELLS TOY GUNS?  How in the hell are you supposed to buy the thing without picking it up and carrying it out.  Seriously, if this wasn't about a black guy getting shot please show me all of the 911 calls and subsequent killings from white guys carrying assault weapons in public.  

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:32:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How was he supposed to buy it? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, dfarrah

        Apparently it was on the shelf, unpackaged, and he wanted to buy it. How do you do that without carrying it up to the front of the store?  If he was waving it around, maybe, but if he was just carrying pointed up, that actually seems appropriate.  I suppose a shopping cart would have been good, but if he didn't have one with him, it might not have occurred to him.

        Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

        by Leftleaner on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:15:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Clearly, we need to not sell realistic toy guns! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IamAmermaid, JG in MD

        They aren't good for ANYTHING.

        They can be used instead of real weapons to steal from stores.

        They make kids feel like they are "fun" and "safe."

        They do not encourage creative play.

        Toy guns should look like toys.

        No one should have to decide if a gun is a toy or real.

        Everything is part of a system. Some people believe that system is science, some believe it is G-d. I believe science is part of G-d's system.

        by Anna Wise on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:01:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Carrying a Gun (0+ / 0-)

        There are several issues/problems here.

        You can tell the difference from a BB gun and a real rifle by the weight of the gun its not empirical but it damnn obvious.

        If you are in a toy aisle you can tell by a glance the difference between real/toy and vice versa if you are in a gun area you can get a sense instantly the difference.

        I also question the idea that people in WALMART could be allowed a real gun to walk around the store with a real gun. IF that is the case then WALMART should be sued for letting it happen.

        The police over reacted. Simple as that. The guy at least according to the story did not threaten the police or make any obvious move to shoot at the police.

    •  Correcting one part of what you said (7+ / 0-)

      You said:

      she: he was walking around cradling it
      he: he was waving it around and pointing at people
      What she said was that he was cradling a cell phone.  In regards to the air rifle, she's reported to have said (italics mine):
      She said the man was cradling a cellphone between his left ear and shoulder while he messed with the rifle.

      "He just kept messing with it and I heard a clicking," April Ritchie said.

      The only thing that's obvious about this case is that it's complicated.  Attempts to form a judgment from a distance will come across as awkward.
    •  Not arguing with you, you make a good point but... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, roadbear, newfie

      Not arguing with you, you make a good point but she said he was cradling the phone between his ear and shoulder as he messed with the gun, not that he was cradling the gun. The couple was telling the same story.

      •  he says waving around and aiming at people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newfie, SilentBrook

        how could she leave out that very important detail? And seemingly why didn't those people who had a gun pointed at them also call police?
        Or maybe they did and the reporting is terrible.

      •  Yes - I misread that portion. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But to me the reports are still different.  They are telling the same story but the is a different takes - she says he was messing with it - which to me means someone is playing around with something.  His report is clearer and gives a much stronger picture of a threat.

        "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

        by newfie on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:33:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  newfie: different stories from eyewitnesses are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          typical and expected and that's why cops interview more than one eyewitness.

          •  we should also keep in mind that at the beginning (3+ / 0-)

            of any event there are always multiple versions, usually contradictory, of what happened. Witness accounts rarely agree--they are Rashomon-like, with everybody seeing something different, not because they are dishonest or lying, but because "what we see" is always different for different people--a fact cops have known forever. At any crime scene or sudden event, the eyewitness accounts will always diverge wildly.

            So 80% of what we are hearing right now is simply wrong.

            The best way to determine what happened is through the video footage--and none of us have seen that.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:21:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Another point I find inconsistent... (7+ / 0-)

      in their story is that they were concerned enough to call and report him to police, but then proceeded to follow him around the store. Closely enough that she could hear a clicking noise from the gun. Doesn't seem realistic that someone so concerned that this person was going to shoot someone would risk their lives to follow them around the store.

      If I saw someone open carrying a weapon, I would also call the police. Even in an open carry state. But when I did, I  would already be in the process of getting away from the person with the gun.

    •  Not quite, (4+ / 0-)

      She said he was cradling his cell phone while messing with the gun.  Her story is perfectly consistent with his story.

      If the the couple's story is true, then he was walking around a store pointing a BB gun at children.  Race is not required to explain the reactions of other shoppers, and if the police received multiple 911 calls about some idiot pointing a gun at kiddies, it's understandable that they went in expecting a suicidal shooter.  

      It will be interesting to learn more about his reaction to the police.  Did he point the gun at them, "hey it's not real, man, just kidding"?  Did he hit the ground as ordered?  Did he shove the gun out of reach?  

      The victim doesn't sound as if he was in touch with reality; thinking a BB gun isn't a "real gun" and pointing it at shoppers and kiddies is highly disturbing behavior and if a redneck teabagger did it, the reaction at dKos would be quite different, I suspect.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  she doesn't say he was pointing at people he (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snwflk, SilentBrook, dfarrah

        only does.
        Why then did not those people, their children threatened by gunman, call 911 themselves. WHy wasn't there are scene of screaming running chaos?

      •  To me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IamAmermaid, snwflk, SilentBrook

        the victim seems like he did something stupid and immature.  And The Dkos reaction would be somewhat different if it were a white guy but only in that race would not be seen as a factor.  

        So were multiple calls made?  I don't know.  But I don't think the responding officers get each 911 report.  They get dispatched with a description of what they need to deal with not how many people called.  So IF the 911 report is that there was a man messing around with a gun in walmart versus a report that a man was pointing a gun at people and threatening them - we might see a different reaction.
        But maybe not and it all depends on multiple factors - how did 911 operator interpret the call and translate that to police?  What did police assume when they came into the store and saw the guy.

        I have my own experience with something similar.  One night, many years ago my wife had come back from walking the dog - we were living in a small town at the time.  We had this parking area behind our townhouse and she told me that there were 2 guys out back trying to get into a car.  I asked if it looked like they were locked out or breaking into it.  SHe wasn't sure.  SO I called the police department (not 911) and stated that there were 2 guys who appear to have locked themselves out of their car but I wasn't certain that that was the case.  Within minutes there were several squad cars and they surrounded these guys like they were armed bank robbers or something.  

        The reaction didn't meet my expectations.  Heck - I figured if they sent a squad car around and the 2 guys were breaking in they would bolt - or at least stop and walk away fast.  But the police treated as worst case scenario.

        Later - talking with my neighbors they informed me that the police there always assumed worst case with black people.  I had grown up in a more rural area with few minorities and always looked at our police as being there to help.  I've even had them jimmy a car door or too back when it was easy to lock your keys in the car. I never thought that they would treat anyone differently because of skin tone.  I was very wrong.

        "I'm not left wing because i'm ideological, or passionate, or angry. I'm left wing because I'm informed." - Mikesco

        by newfie on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 04:51:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check out the open carry diaries (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IamAmermaid, Amycat
          The Dkos reaction would be somewhat different if it were a white guy but only in that race would not be seen as a factor.  
          Rednecks open carrying at Home Depot, who kept their weapons under control and never pointed them at anyone.  Many asked the obvious and reasonable question:  "how do the other shoppers know they aren't there to rob the place or go on a shooting spree?"

          Yet here's a guy "messing" with a gun, apparently pointing it at other shoppers, and the same question is scoffed at.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:20:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  what you said (0+ / 0-)

        "if the couple's story was true"

        if we're going to wait and see what the facts were, let's not put all our egg's in the basket of the people who weren't killed by the police  

        When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick." ~ Mikhail Bakunin

        by Sick Semper on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 08:31:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you're bing disingenous (0+ / 0-)

        there's a BIG difference between cradling a cell phone and messing with a gun and walking round the store pointing the gun at people

    •  no she said cradle cell phone not gun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      not that I'm not outraged about this, though waiting for more info.

    •  Shopping while Black! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

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