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Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:09 AM

If Jovan Belcher's girlfriend fired back in self-defense, would the public support her?

The typical right wing argument against Bob Costas's recent comments about the gun culture and Jovan Belcher is that Belcher's girlfriend would have survived if she used a gun in self-defense. Well, maybe. And then I remember Marissa Alexander, the woman in Florida who got 20 years in prison for shooting a warning shot towards the ceiling to scare off her husband during a fight. Alexander's "stand your ground" defense failed.

Well, let's say in theory that Belcher's girlfriend Kasandra Perkins was able to get her own gun and fire back at Belcher. I wonder if the mainstream media narrative would hold up Perkins as a hero who used her 2nd Amendment rights or dismiss her as a psycho who ruined a promising sports career for Belcher and/or left their kid without a father.

Because Belcher and Perkins are black, expect even worse commentary coming from the right wing morally bankrupt media, with the radio blatherers like Rush saying "it's street culture, turning guns on each other and tearing apart families over trivial things." Very slightly to an extent, if the couple were white and Perkins fired back in self defense, even Fox News et al. would be more likely holding up Perkins as a 2nd Amendment hero. But my theory is that conservatives wouldn't accept either situation, as their reactions would be:
- "The victim should've had a gun."
- "By shooting him, she took away a promising career and valuable income source, and the child has to grow up fatherless thanks to that EVIL, EVIL, B_TCH of a mother! Women like Perkins who have babies with ghetto trash like Belcher and end up shooting dads dead over petty arguments are why America has lost family values!"

Sigh.

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Reply If Jovan Belcher's girlfriend fired back in self-defense, would the public support her? (Original post)
alp227 Dec 2012 OP
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #1
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #2
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #3
Eleanors38 Dec 2012 #6
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #22
PavePusher Dec 2012 #24
spin Dec 2012 #9
geckosfeet Dec 2012 #23
slackmaster Dec 2012 #5
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #16
slackmaster Dec 2012 #17
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #19
Warren Stupidity Dec 2012 #20
PavePusher Dec 2012 #25
AlexSatan Dec 2012 #8
rl6214 Dec 2012 #14
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #4
petronius Dec 2012 #7
alp227 Dec 2012 #12
petronius Dec 2012 #15
gejohnston Dec 2012 #10
spin Dec 2012 #11
alp227 Dec 2012 #13
spin Dec 2012 #18
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #21

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:47 AM

1. Everyone should be armed all the time.

Unarmed people encourage this sort of lawless behavior and senseless tragedy. If we required everyone to be armed all the time, the murder rate would quickly drop to zero. Obviously three months is too young, but surely by first grade, in addition to learning to read, our children should be learning to shoot, and along with their backpacks filled with books they should be carrying a gun for protection. Another word for unarmed people is "targets". Don't be a target. Don't let your loved ones be targets. Arm your toddler today.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:53 AM

2. Interesting. I understand your sarcasm, but it was not that long ago when colonial governments

required colonists to be armed. Granted, we live in very different times. But at one time it was considered civic duty to be armed and prepared to defend oneself and property, as well as neighbors and community properties.

Excerpts from this pdf: Colonial Firearm Regulation


... None of the Colonial laws in any way limited the possession of firearms by the white non-Catholic population; quite the opposite. Most colonies did, however, pass laws restricting possession of firearms by blacks and Indians. In a few cases, in a few colonies, whites suspected of disloyalty (including Catholics) were also disarmed. As the statutes demonstrate, colonial governments did not hold that firearms in private hands, "were to remain the property of the government."

Indeed, the evidence is largely in the other direction—that colonial governments were often reluctant to seize weapons for public use. When driven by necessity to do so, they compensated owners of those guns.

Colonial regulations that limited the use of firearms were usually for reasons of public safety. These regulations were similar in nature, though generally less restrictive in details, than similar laws today.


Now, as for "laws restricting possession of firearms by blacks and Indians", lets just say that 250 years on we like to think we are better informed. Personally I am not so sure, but collectively we like to make believe that we are a more "enlightened" society.


Massachusetts adopted a measure March 22, 1630/1 that required all adult men to be armed. Although this measure is not explicit that the arms were firearms, it is apparent that guns were not in short supply in Massachusetts, because within 15 years, the Colonial government had made the requirement for guns explicit, and had even become quite demanding as to what type of guns were acceptable for militia duty. An order of October 1, 1645 directed that in the future, the only arms that would be allowed "serviceable, in our trained bands… are ether full musket boare, or basterd musket at the least, & that none should be under three foote 9 inches…."

Even those exempt from militia duty were not exempt from the requirement to have a gun in their home. A June 18, 1645 order required "all inhabitants" including those exempt from militia duty, "to have armes in their howses fitt for service, with pouder, bullets, match, as other souldiers….upon the usuall training dayes, in the exercise of armes, as small guns, halfe pikes, bowes & arrows….."

The duty to be armed meant that even children were required to learn to use a gun.


Notable non-mention of women and semi-automatic handguns with 30 round magazines. Also, I love the spelling conventions in the language of the day.

Less sarcastically, where do we as a society step up and care for and protect each other? From trying to cheer up someone who seems to be having a bad day, or intervening in someones life who appears to be in emotion turmoil, or pulling someone out from in front of a subway train, or arming ones self to be prepared to defend body and property - what is appropriate? Legally - all of the preceding are appropriate in context.

Clearly there are moral, ethical and legal questions. My view - is that we must find our own answers to the moral and ethical pieces. The legal issues, our body of laws, while derived from our collective selves as a system of government, provide the only real guidance outside of moral and ethical guidelines. And there are so many gaps, so many grey areas and interpretive loopholes, such a dearth of accessibility in the law, that ultimately we end up making day to day and minute to minute decisions based on our own moral and ethical experiences.

Good god - I have to get going to work......

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:54 AM

3. This is not the 18th century.

We are not in the midst of a centuries long invasion/migration and genocide against the local population, that mission has been accomplished, so the reason why white non-catholic males were required to be armed has vanished.

Instead we are in the midst of a self induced tsunami of gun violence, the solution to which is now "more guns everywhere".

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:31 AM

6. "Tsunami of gun violence?" The data shows falling crime rates...

You should look more closely at the perpetrators of violence and propose plans on how to stop them.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:22 PM

22. Dang - I always forget to switch my calendars.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:24 PM

24. "a centuries long invasion/migration and genocide"....

 

That's the only reason you can put forth for owning weapons?

Your imagination fails you.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:45 AM

9. Great post. Hope you made it to work on time. (n/t)

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Response to spin (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:22 PM

23. Yep. Thanks.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:03 AM

5. The astute observer will note that nobody on this forum has ever made such a suggestion seriously

 

It always comes from gun control advocates as a sarcastic straw man argument.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:26 PM

16. So do you think carrying a gun makes you safer?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:49 PM

17. I don't carry one. I know a few people who do, and they all have good reasons.

 

If I thought that carrying one would make me safer, I would.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 04:51 PM

19. It gives me the ability to resist an attacker.

Violent crime is a reality, and old people are frequently targeted by thugs.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 04:53 PM

20. Seems like a simple question. Nobody cares to volunteer a simple answer.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:26 PM

25. We give clear, concise answers all the time.

 

You just don't like them.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:39 AM

8. Ad from the past

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:57 PM

14. Your screen name says it all

 

Only the anti-gun zealots say shit like this.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:56 AM

4. If she could prove it was self-defense then she would likely be supported.

Marissa Alexander's case was radically diferent. Warning shots are usually wrong. It is meant to warn the criminal but the bullet goes to whom it may concern. That is reckless endangerment, in this case of anybody on the other side of the ceiling, upstairs if there is anybody there. A gun is not supposted to be drawn or fired except in "the gravest extreme". By firing a warning shot you are demonstrating that you are not yet in the gravest extreme as you have time to evaluate if the warning shot does what you intend it to, then if not to shoot for real. She should have shot him instead if she was in that level of danger. But since self-defense is an affirmative defense (That means that you have to prove self-defense after you admit to shooting.) you have to be ready to prove it.

SYG had nothing to do with it. SYG comes into play only AFTER you have proven self-defense and it absolves you from the duty to retreat, nothing more. It isn't a "get out of jail free" card as many attempt to paint it.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:33 AM

7. I would. Had she been able to defend herself - or better yet, escape - it would

have been a far superior outcome. But I think you raise an interesting point about how the narrative around so many incidents is shaped and directed by outside agendas and prejudices: Ms. Perkins' murder has become a gun-narrative, largely to the exclusion of Ms. Perkins herself. Is that right or fair? Perhaps a domestic violence narrative, or mental health, or even a sports narrative, would be more appropriate.

But I think you're correct that if she had survived and Mr. Belcher died the discussion would be very different - it probably wouldn't be a gun talk at all. And your guess about how the Faux/Rush world would spin it is a pretty good one; I'm surprised we haven't heard some echo of that even now...

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Response to petronius (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:44 PM

12. I guess the right was so offended at costas because his comments reveal prejudices.

Because of guns, either way Perkins the victim would be blamed: either for failing to defend herself or if she did, for destroying Belcher's livelihood, or leaving her child without a father. I think the conservatives calling for Bob Costas' head KNOW that they would have bashed Perkins if she stood her ground. Because of the prejudices, Perkins would be remembered more for killing a football player than defending herself/child. Because her child's father and pro athlete was the target, not some robber or mugger, people would react differently to her self defense.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:10 PM

15. I haven't really seen Perkins blamed in any way - and a truly despicable sentiment that

would be. Sadly, we can only speculate how people in the pundit world and blogosphere would react if the outcome had been different.

I do think that a lot of the reaction to Costas (and Whitlock) was rather knee-jerky: neither the quote nor the column really called for gun control or more gun regulation, and in fact was not all that different from what gun owners themselves say. I.e., guns aren't toys, they shouldn't be the immediate go-to for conflict resolution, responsible and safe ownership is a must, etc.

I really don't think Ms. Perkins' murder should have spun into a major gun-rights/control issue at all - it's a symptom of narrative-framing and a polarized discourse that that happened to the extent it did...

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:52 AM

10. unforntunatly, I think you are right for the most part

People like Rush and his clones would have a field day feeding meat to the racists and misogynists.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:01 PM

11. If Kasandra Perkins had a firearm and the skill to use it she might be alive today. ...

She might well have been portrayed as a psycho by the media but she would not be six feet under. Surviving and being alive does have certain advantages.

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Response to spin (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:49 PM

13. ...albeit with tarnished reputation.

If she stood her ground during the fight and caused the death or incapacitation of Belcher, her reputation as someone who destroyed a promising career would give her trouble getting a job...essentially a scarlet letter on her forehead.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:56 PM

18. True. However it's better to be alive with a damaged reputation than dead. (n/t)

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 04:57 PM

21. Actually, the NRA would love her is she had used a gun to defend herself.

It would be another documented DGU, which would trump racial considerations. Remember that both SAF and NRA supported McDonald, who is black.

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