Warning Shots?

It’s being reported that when rioters tried to move into a residential area of Kenosha, at least one person fired warning shots at them. I was afraid this sort of thing would happen.

It’s understandable that an armed citizen would attempt to repel rioters entering his neighborhood. However, one should not use deadly force irresponsibly, and in almost every instance so called “warning shots” are not justified.

First, a fired bullet is going hit someone or something. A random shot can kill or injure a bystander or do unintended damage. The person pulling the trigger would be responsible.

Second, deadly force is only morally and (IANAL, but lawyers tell me) legally justified in response to an imminent threat of death or serious injury. If deadly force must be used, it must be applied only to the actual threat.

Third, pointing a gun at someone else is an assault. One shouldn’t do it except in response to an actual threat.

I was taught—first by my father, a lawyer with law enforcement experience, and later in the Army—to keep a firearm holstered or pointed in a safe direction until there was no choice left but to open fire. I was also taught that because shooting someone is a use of deadly force, choosing to shot implies shooting to kill. Not to warn. To kill.

It looks as if things are about to get very messy.

Today is yet another day when I wish things weren’t proceeding as I have foreseen.

This Seems Pretty One-Sided

At the election draws near and folks become more … um … excited, tempers appear to be fraying and violence erupting. For example, The Washington Free Beacon reports that two candidates in Minnesota have been assaulted. State representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm after spotting a man destroying yard signs. She said the attack left her scared, and her attacker only desisted when she fled to her car and threw it in reverse. First-time candidate Shane Mekeland suffered a concussion after getting sucker punched while speaking with constituents at a restaurant. Anderson and Mekeland are Republicans.

Meanwhile, my podcasting partner Stacy McCain reports that a Democratic operative was arrested Tuesday after the female campaign manager for Nevada GOP gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt accused the operative of grabbing and yanking her arm and refusing to let go.

There appears to be a pattern here.