Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Oregon "Idjut" was not the boy with an air rifle

It's all in the eye of the beholder.

Oregon Idjut Arrested Carrying Air Rifle Near High School:
(March 08, 2017)
 The North Bend High School was put under lock down briefly after a man with a rifle was seen walking toward the building Tuesday morning. Police Chief Robert Kappelman said the man was carrying the uncased weapon in the ready position about 11 a.m. while walking past the city swimming pool, causing generalized panic in the neighborhood and numerous calls to 911.
Um, let me see, which laws were he breaking?
 Police stopped and took into custody George L. Watson, 19, of North Bend. “The ready position is one hand on the forearm stock and the other on the rear stock,” said North Bend Police Chief Robert Kappelman. “You don’t carry a gun like that unless you’re going to use it. To those who saw him, it looked like all he had to do was take aim and fire.” 
Either that, or he was carrying an uncased "rifle-style" bb-gun in a public place .. which, last time I looked, was not illegal.   And unless he was actively pointing his bb-gun at people, he was no threat at all.

 Watson told police that he was headed to a friend’s house to show him the Ruger Blackhawk Elite Air Rifle. Though police took steps to determine if this was true, Watson is still being charged with disorderly conduct II, a class B misdemeanor and is being referred to the District Attorney’s Office.

I don't see any disorderly conduct here.

What I see is an irrational over-reaction to perfectly normal activity by a young man who didn't expect people to perceive a threat by a bb-gun.

And I see a police chief who is punishing a young man because the disorder was caused by over-reaction on the part of the people who freaked out at the sight of a non-lethal "weapon".

We've seen this before! In the case of Tamile Rice ... (2014)

The family of a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer over a toy gun have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the officers "recklessly" shot the boy and then failed to give him immediate medical care.
The civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit was filed by an administrator for the estate of the boy, Tamir Rice.
Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fired the fatal shots, Loehmann's partner Officer Frank Garmback and the City of Cleveland are all named as defendants in the suit.
The suit accuses Loehmann and Garmback of acting "unreasonably, negligently, recklessly, wantonly, willfully, knowingly, intentionally, and with deliberate indifference to the safety and rights of Tamir Rice."
So, what's it going to be?

Is the officer who shot Tamil Rice because he was holding a toy gun to be exonerated because it was an 'honest mistake', and Tamil Rice was not at all liable?

Or is the Oregon Teenager liable to prosecution because witnesses jumped to the conclusion that he was holding a lethal weapon?

We can't have it both ways.

Me?  I blame the witnesses to the un-named Oregon boy with a toy gun.
Maybe we're getting a little too jumpy here.

Or should we outlaw toy guns and air pistols because the MainStream Media is over-publicizing all of these threats?

I don't have an answer,   All I know is, when I was a kid nobody was calling the cops on me because I was wandering around the neighborhood with a Roy Ryder BB Gun.


Anonymous said...

The media, the schools and the politicians have been conditioning the American people to fear anything that remotely resembles a fire arm for decades. Apparently some schools cannot distinguish between the pointed finger pistol and the real thing, or the deadly pop tart pistol. Your example is the result.

Mark said...

The lesson here is that you have to be very careful in public with any gun. Don't display it, carry it in a case or wrapped in a sheet, blanket, etc. Everyone over reacts when any gun is present.

Archer said...

I agree with Mark, and I'd add: The other lesson is to not be a d!ck with a gun or gun look-alike. If it's not holstered or slung, it should be boxed up, wrapped up, or otherwise out of sight.

That said, the difference between George Watson and Tamir Rice, was that Watson appears to have been walking down the street with a BB gun, while Tamir Rice was in one place pointing it at people.

There's a WORLD of difference between carrying a BB-gun and actively threatening people with a BB-gun (with the orange tip painted black or removed, no less). Different behaviors call for different responses.

Based on those different behaviors, I'd say that stopping and questioning Watson was almost certainly justified but arresting and charging him afterward probably was not; a warning would have sufficed. And while it's easy to conclude the officer responding to Rice probably fired too quickly, looking at the scene objectively, it wasn't altogether unjustified, either.

Just my $0.02.