People reach into their jackets all the time. Generally nobody even takes notice. Unless, of course, they are pointing a gun at that person. Then, suddenly, that benign gesture becomes a source of great fear.
Why is that?
Obviously because pointing a gun at someone is a death threat and when a person threatens the life of another person who has done nothing to warrant such a threat, the victim has a moral right use retaliatory force to protect their life by any means necessary.
It’s not difficult to imagine that an aggressor would be racked with fear in such a scenario. For, by initiating aggression, they have effectively suspended any immediate claim to the right to live free of the use of force against them in retaliation. This must be the case, for, if indeed, it is just for another to act with violent force against him/her, he/she can not possibly claim a right to live free from it. That is not a very calming state of affairs I’d imagine. But, there can be no sympathy for such a person. They alone have brought this state on themselves. Their fear of being killed is a direct result of acting in a manner sufficient to first instill the same fear in another.
Can you imagine someone assaulting another person for putting their hand in their own coat? “I thought they had a gun and were going to kill me”, they’d proclaim in an attempt to justify their obvious unjustifiable attack. Why would someone, absent some severe mental disorder, think that? The fact is, it’s not going happen because people don’t find that gesture threatening unless they themselves are acting violently; provoking and encouraging another to respond with force. Putting one’s hand into one’s jacket is not a threatening act in the eyes of someone who has done nothing to warrant having a gun drawn on them.
So shooting and killing someone cannot possibly be justified by the fear experienced by the instigator of the confrontation with a peaceful person. And one would think that such an attempt to justify killing would surely fall short of exonerating the shooter in the eyes of nearly any other impartial human being. As a defense, it clearly does not address the fact that the shooter’s initial threat to kill is what put him/her at risk in the first place. Absent their own actions, they would have no reason to fear. Additionally, had the object of the shooter’s aggression retaliated and killed him/her first, there is a good chance that those same impartial folks would find the shooter justified since the deceased was first to threaten harm.
Yet just such an incident occurred in Hummelstown, PA, when Lisa Mearkle chased down David Kassick at gun point and buried two bullets in his back. Due largely to her testimony that she feared for her life because the victim gestured towards his chest, a jury of her peers found her not guilty of murder. How could this imbecile jury have not realized that the fear she felt would have never existed if she was not pointing a gun at a person who had done nothing at all to her.
Yes this actually occurred. Kassick is dead. Mearkle walks free.
Now there is one part to the story that I have intentionally not mentioned. Before I tell you what is though, think for a moment about how you judge moral and immoral action. Do you consider Mearkle’s action’s to be immoral based on the information I’ve provided so far?
Pause for a second and monitor your judgement as I reveal the missing information for any sign of change in your perception.
Lisa Mearkle is a police officer with the Hummelstown Police Department. David Kassick had an expired inspection sticker on his car. He failed to stop as Mearkle attempted to pull him over. He drove to his sister’s house nearby and made it to the back yard before he was tased repeatedly and shot twice in the back as he lay on his stomach in the snow.
Are you now just as certain that her actions were immoral? Or are you scrambling to find ways to justify what she did because rather than judging her actions as a person, you now are judging her actions as a cop? Remember, the interaction between these two people hasn’t changed. Should the costume the shooter wears have an bearing on your perception of was is acceptable?
Cops are people. Should a person under any circumstances do this to another person who posed no threat to them?
Let’s stop allowing cops to act as if they have more rights than God himself provided each of us. Let’s take cops and politicians off the pedestal and put them where they belong – on equal footing with everyone else.
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