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by Peter Moskos

March 18, 2014

This is (not) only a test

I'm going to present a scenario. I want you decide who if anybody is right. And who if anybody should be criminally charged. But you have make a decision before you hear about the race of the people involved. Just imagine that everybody is white.

A guy lives in northwest Albuquerque. He may may not have been wondering around his neighborhood armed (I'm going to guess he was, but I don't know. I wasn't there). No matter, at some point somebody is this suburban-looking neighborhood sees an armed man near her house and gets worried.

The man of the house gets involved. He's got a permit to carry. So he gets in his SUV and goes looking for the suspicious man with a gun. He brought along his 15-year-old son for the hunt, as you do.

He approaches a house, slowly, armed. In the driveway of this house is the guy lives there. He's an Iraqi veteran. So this guy in his driveway sees a suspicious SUV approach and gets scared. He shoots... and misses. The man in the SUV returns fire. The man in his driveway is hit: "He dies from loss of blood, only a few feet from his own back door, dying in his own garage on his own property."

Do you charge the killer? Was the veteran who fired first defending his castle from an armed invader? Or was the man who killed a hero, killing a crazy armed man?

Was a crime committed? After all, a guy was killed standing on his own property.

Now what if I told you the guy killed was white and on his own property and the killer was a black. What if I told told you the killer was charged with homicide. Not hard to imagine. But what if I told you no charges were filed against the killer of the Iraqi veteran killed defending his home? Would you be outraged?

[pause to think now]

But what if I told you that the guy killed was black and the shooter was a white veteran? Would that change anything? Seriously... would it?

Try and play with the race and veteran status. But the question is: is it fair to charge the killer with the killing?

The answer in the comments.

Not according to this story (also the source of the above quote).

Another story with some more details.

Hell, there's even helicopter footage.


PCM said...

The guy killed on his property was black. And a vet.

The guy who killed him was white.

No charges were filed.

But of course race had nothing to do with it. It never does....

Kyle W said...

Without knowing the race, I would have said it depends on what happened with the guy in the car. If he was just driving slow, then the person who died is at fault. If he pointed a gun at him, then he is at fault. (Although I'm not sure if that justifies shooting. It may or may not, you would be able to shed more light on that.) I didn't see anything that indicates that he actually pointed a gun at someone (except someone saying that his brother wouldn't have fired except in that case, which may be true but is hardly evidence).

It sounds like you're saying because someone drove around their neighborhood at night, they're guilty. Much like George Zimmerman. If you happen to have a gun on you, you have no more freedom of movement.

No, if he pointed the gun, only then should he be charged. And I see no evidence for that.

PCM said...

I'm not certain what I'm saying (or I would have said it). But I do think that had a black man shot and killed a white veteran on his own property, the black man would not be called a hero.

Kyle W said...

IF he was running around threatening people or brandishing, then maybe the shooter could be a hero.

The way I see it, the guy was walking through his neighborhood with a gun, and people got spooked. This may be because of the spook culture around guns. This may be because he was black. It stinks all around. I agree with your last comment.