Chandler AZ Walmart shooting courtesy cbs5.com
Either the AP or the local PD made an interesting choice of words in describing a shooting that took place in the Chandler, Arizona Walmart on Sunday. The AP story says, “A man who shot and killed another man inside a suburban Phoenix Walmart opened fire in self-defense, Chandler police said Monday. According to Chandler police, Kyle Wayne Quadlin, 25, shot Kriston Charles Belinte Chee, 36, following a fight at a service counter Sunday afternoon.” If Mr. Quadlin didn’t start the fight, it would be just as appropriate to say that he “shot Kriston Charles Belinte Chee, 36, after being attacked” . . .

Under Arizona law, you may not claim self defense if you were the aggressor and then didn’t attempt to withdraw from the encounter and make clear that you were attempting to withdraw. Here is Arizona Statute 13-404  with the relevant sections:

B. The threat or use of physical force against another is not justified:

1. In response to verbal provocation alone; or

3. If the person provoked the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful physical force, unless:

(a) The person withdraws from the encounter or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely withdraw from the encounter; and

(b) The other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful physical force against the person. 

Since the police haven’t charged Mr. Quadlin, it seems likely that he was, in fact, attacked and not the other way around.  The use of the phrase “following a fight” is jarring contrast with the self defense claim in the article. That implies that the “fight” was mutually agreed-to combat. It also implies that the fight was over.

Notice the difference in CBS5‘s account:

 CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) –
Police said an argument led to a fatal shooting at a Walmart in Chandler on Sunday afternoon.

Kyle Wayne Quadlin, 25, of Chandler, and Kriston Charles Belinte Chee, 36, got into an argument at the store’s service counter just after 4 p.m. that escalated to a physical fight, said a Chandler police spokesman.

Quadlin told police he was losing the fight and said he “was in fear for his life” so he pulled a gun and shot Belinte Chee, the spokesman said.

In this telling, we learn that an argument “escalated to a physical fight” though we still don’t know who struck the first blow, which is important. The store video may have been of assistance here, but we don’t have access to that. Yet. What we do know is that Quadlin was released, is said to be cooperating and hasn’t been arrested, all of which is consistent with his being attacked. We also know that Chee was a big man, 6’2 inches tall, and 225 lbs, and that at one point he spent a couple of months in jail for a DUI.

More than twice as many people in this country are murdered with hands and feet as are murdered with rifles. It’s clear that the use of deadly force can be justified against someone using their personal weapons, but a great deal depends on who initiated the physical altercation. That’s the part that is missing from the accounts that have been published so far.

Certainly, if Mr. Quadlin had an opportunity to defuse the encounter or to refrain from an argument, it would likely have led to a better result. But there may not have been time or circumstances to defuse the situation before the attack was initiated.  Being arrested after a self defense shooting is fairly common. That he wasn’t arrested is a little unusual, indicating a fairly clear understanding of the events by the police.

The narrative of the AP is a bit reminiscent of reports in the Trayvon Martin story. Just because a person is “unarmed” does not mean that they cannot be a deadly threat. Many people are killed by a single blow from a fist. Everyone recognizes that a blow to the head can render a person unconscious, at which point they are at the mercy of their attacker, and can easily be maimed or killed without resistance.

Being “unarmed” is not a license to attack people with the assurance that they may not use a weapon against you. Weapons – and firearms in particular – are the great equalizer that assures smaller, weaker people that the large and strong among us cannot assert their will without fear of resistance.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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87 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Words Mean Things Edition

  1. Once again, repeat after me. This is America. People are armed. If you phuck with a stranger and get shot, don’t whine about it. Talk to all around you as if they were armed. They may well be.

      • I have always hated that phrase. It’s the exact kind of thing that makes people think it’s a stereotype of the armed citizen. “Blood in the streets” over the most minor disagreement.

        There most certainly should be no fear of lethal force for being impolite. Aggression and violence are not impolite, they’re aggression and violence, despite the cute movie lines.

        Cutting someone off in traffic, not holding a door open for them, taking the last piece of pizza, calling someone’s wife names — those are impolite. Actions who only recourse is a terse word, perhaps a rude gesture, or at least a flustered look at a companion. But certainly not lethal force.

        Words mean things and project ideas. If the concept of living in fear of lethal violence for the most casual of slights is the position you want to project to the world, be my guest, but be careful what you wish for. It’s concepts like this that fuels their rhetoric. If you keep promoting it, then perhaps their rhetoric isn’t actually wrong, is it?

    • Especially Arizona. A lot of good people in AZ are armed, and the usual demeanor proves it. I moved to AZ last week after living in a blue state for a couple of decades, and wow, what a difference. First observation, people are polite and enjoy freedom. Second observation, there are more gun ranges and gun stores in the Phoenix area than the entire state I used to live. I almost feel like shouting “free at last, free at last, free at last!!!”

      • Just wait until you get to interact with Sheriff Joe and his thugs. They might not be NYPD bad, but they’re pretty bad.

        • Why would he “interact” with Sheriff Joe? Are you implying he’s a bad guy? A criminal?

          As for Arpaio, the Sheriff is all right with me. Did you not enjoy your pink jumpsuit and the fresh, warm air outdoors, or what?

        • Yeah, it seems like lots of people who don’t live here just love the guy. That’s probably because he employs (at the taxpayers expense) not one buy THREE publicists to spread far and wide the tales of his majesty. I’ve never enjoyed his hospitality, but as a Maricopa county resident I sorta resent having to pay for his non functioning tanks and his decommissioned Paladin howitzer, as well as the M2 50cal that he picked up after 9-11 to keep the skies of Phoenix safe from kamikaze pilots looking to bring on of our 40 story “skyscrapers” down. Lots of people love Joe because he’s supposedly tough on illegal aliens, but if you know his history you’ll know that he tried to pander to illegals before the winds changed around 2002. Lastly, it’s unbearable to hear him yammer on about how he’s not going to back down from the feds when the man is collecting a retirement check FROM THE FEDS. Anyone who wants to have him as a sheriff can come pick his old senile a$z up any time.

        • Last I checked, “Sherriff Joe and his thugs” weren’t famous for confiscating personal firearms contrary to the second amendment, which makes your bitching here largely irrelevant.

  2. Don’t engage with stupid people saying stupid things at Wal-mart or any other store. I had some lady try to engage my wife and I because we saw her and her kid coming toward us throwing a giant temper tantrum. We both looked at each other and got the heck out of there. She got mad that we did that and asked if we had a problem. No lady, as we can see, you have the problem! I kept my mouth shut and kept walking. Ignore stupid people! They are not worth it.

      • Active shooter comes from the idea that the place is a soft target that a shooter can shoot with no resistance a police station or my house will never have an active shooter

      • Someone playing a first-person shooter game is an “inactive shooter” to me. And I agree that “open fired” is asinine; if anything, it sounds like a cooking term.

    • I was told that “open fire” is supposed to distinguish from “volley fire” (where volley fire = all troops fire at once, vs. open fire = fire at will).

      (And don’t ask me who Will is.)

      • What he meant was the past tense construction, “open fired” sounded stupid. It does. Most people know the present tense construction, “towers, open fire!”.

        “Opened fire” is the correct version.

      • My sense of the phrase is that “opened” is used to mean “began or beginning.” Like the opening act, or opening remarks. He began shooting; he opened fire. But not like open house or opening a show on Broadway, where opening refers to the actual opening of doors/curtains.

        • It implies that he has begun firing and may decide to continue that exercise until his firearm is empty or he is satisfied the threat is neutralized, as opposed to “he fired” which would indicate a single shot and then stopped.

          I almost any DGU I would think that “opened fire” would be much more accurately descriptive than “fired.”

        • I’ve heard the phrase all my life. I’m frankly surprised when I find people who haven’t.

  3. If all the events described indeed happened within the store, then it was all recorded, and from multiple angles. There are no secrets in Wal-mart.

      • I was actually on the jury for a shoplifting trial where the events took place in a Wal-mart. The reason people get away with it comes down the fact that each store records thousands of hours of video every day, and just don’t have the manpower to review every minute of that. They’re limited to looking for events they’ve been alerted to. In the trial I sat on, the defendant, representing himself, questioned the gaps in the recording that the court was shown. The security guy, deadpan, looked right at him and said, “You were in the store for almost four hours. We have around twenty hours of footage of you. If requested, I’m prepared to present every minute of it.”

        • There was this guy in Taos I knew briefly who stole all manner of absurd things from the Walmart; just walked out with them in his arms!

          Way back in yonder times when I actually worked at one for a little while, one of the managers was going out the door with bags full of merchandise (stolen) every night at the end of her shift. She did it for years before getting caught. Don’t ask my what finally tipped them off.

  4. Ah Wal-Mart. Just recently at the local Wal-Mart I was attempting to use one of the self checkout registers when the ‘lady’ behind me approached so closely that she was actually in contact with my elbow. This was at the point where I needed to swipe my card and enter pin numbers to complete checkout. I asked politely if she would mind stepping back a bit so that I could complete my business. She gave me a look like I must be insane. I switched tact and ordered her (command voice) to step back and break contact with me. She left the area screaming incoherently about racists and maniacs. As I left I spoke with the employee who watches the self service isles. She told me that the lady I’d had issue with was an ongoing problem and was apparently insane. I informed the cashier that the lady in question was likely attempting to surf credit card numbers and pins on debit cards and might not be as crazy as she seemed.

    There really isn’t a point to this story other than my venting, but I suppose the take away could be ‘don’t be afraid to assert yourself when need arises’.

  5. How pathetic; In the universe of the statist; the only one justified in using lethal force in self-defense or the defense of others is the designated agent of the state.

    The rest of us peons; just need to bend down and accept that we must be assaulted, raped, beaten and murdered because we are not capable of making such life or death decisions if we haven’t been first anointed and blessed by the powers that be.

    • When you personally encounter one that treats you as a peon, that’s the time to remind them that you’re the Militia.

      • New Mexico is pretty good that way; OC without the need of a license; CC of an unloaded weapon without a license; shall issue for a CC of a loaded weapon.

        I normally OC pretty much everywhere; even in large metro areas; for the last five years without any harassment from the police or the local citizenry.

        I understand now why being free versus being a slave for most of history was defined by those legally able to KABA and those denied that right.

  6. I think people should change the meaning of “unarmed” be literally having no arms. Because most people are “armed”.

  7. Wal Mart is not gun friendly! Yes I know they sell guns there, but only because there is a profit to be made>
    Repeat after me…….MONEY MONEY MONEY.
    I was buying a set of scope bases for a 22 rifle, and asked if I could bring the rifle in to make sure the bases would match the attaching screw holes. I told them the gun was in a secure case.
    They said “Absolutely not! Guns are strictly forbidden in the store” I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to shop elsewhere, so I asked if the sales person could come out to my car to see if the bases would fit. They agreed.
    I didn’t tell them I had a magnum mouse gun in my pocket.

    • I’ve seen people open carry in Missouri Walmarts. That seems pretty gun friendly. I’ve concealed carry many times, but frequently it isn’t completely covered.

      • The sales person did not say if their “no gun” policy was company wide, or just “store wide”. I suppose there could be a lot of differences from store to store. Glad you place is more friendly.

        • I’ve seen open carry in Virginia Walmarts. Only a couple times, though; I don’t want to give the impression it’s an everyday thing.

    • I OC in the local Walmart (CO) all the time, including at the service counter. I’ve never had anyone say anything at all to me about it.

      It is my understanding that Walmart’s firearms policy is to simply follow the law of the state in which the store is located. Which, here in CO, means open carry or concealed carry (with permit, sadly), as you wish, and signage to the contrary is null and void (short of the threat of a trespassing charge if you are asked to leave).

    • The complete report says that the shooter actually waited around for the cops and left when they didn’t show.

      I expect that, police emergency response time being what it is, the shooter went home to wait for the cops, watch the Olympics and re-shingle his roof.

      • If the victim was still there rather than in an ambulance or hospital, the response time couldn’t have been all that long.

        EMS doesn’t take seven in the middle of a call.

  8. Hmmm… We might not be privy to any surveillance video, but five’ll get ya’ fifty the constabulary took a peek before going their merry way.

    I must wonder: did they leave the li’l guy armed, or at the tender mercies of any other Chees who might be lurking about?

  9. Arizona plus “Chee” = he shot a Navajo Indian, most likely. Don’t count on a quality investigation. Some things have not changed.

  10. Man, there are just too many variables in this one. You try to imagine the circumstances and it’s hard because there are so many possibilities. Not sure if I’m buying the widow’s account right up front. Seems like if it was that clear cut, an arrest would’ve been made.

  11. Not to nit pick little things but use of deaths by fist and feet as twice the deaths by rifles is a bit misleading. While it may be true, but it would probably be more accurate to use deaths by firearms in general so as to not manipulate statistics as liberals are known to do.

      • Because a rifle was not used in this instance. While it is completely true that “deaths by fist and feet is twice the deaths by rifles”, it is a red herring in this particular instance. We already have the facts on our side; we don’t need to shoot ourselves in the foot by trying to slip a little manipulation under the radar.

        Marcus Aurelius’ following comment is spot-on.

    • I’ve generally heard that cited as a response to arguments for banning types of rifles specifically. In that context it’s perfectly appropriate.

  12. Don’t start fights and you won’t get shot.

    Armed societies induce politeness in that society, because if you think you can mouth off and beat someone down – think again. And I condone this resulting behavior.

  13. Y’know, I’d not thought about it in a long time, but I saw something like this once in Barstow back in the seventies.

    This Morongo couple were in a convenience store and a slime made a pass at the wife, behaving as if the husband was beneath notice.

    When the husband told him to back the hell off, the little pr¡ck poked him in the chest – not exactly a blow, but close enough.

    The husband then knocked dudester down – three times. The third time the growled warning to stay down took, and down dudester stayed ’til the couple left.

    I have to wonder if this might not be something similar, only the skeze was armed?

  14. Navajo dude acted just like Navajos act, stupid! His wife claims he was protecting her, that’s b.s and everyone who seen the footage knows that. Put the race card away you cry babies and be accountable for your peoples and yourselves stupid self inflicted misery. You Navajos are a self defeating race and you all know it. You murdrer and mollest your own and rack up more DWI’s then any white person could ever get away with. That guy is dead, not because he’s native but because he’s a bully that got his ass handed too him by a person he was atacking. I’m glad he’s dead, cause if it were me he attacked I would have done the same thing, but with my bare hands instead. And that would have been frowned upon worse then what actually happened to his dumb ass. He’s lucky the dude only shot him and that’s it. I think it’s awesome!

  15. Being a Navajo doesn’t give you the right to attack people. If you are dumb enough to git in a fight you are dumb enough to die.

  16. I’m an educated Navajo with guns. For all you white rednecks who don’t know sh*t about Navajos, go eff yourself and your moms. Turning this into a racial thing is all you can do. Ignorant jackasses. This guy was ‘in-fear’ for his life? What a pussy. Again, Navajos are not stupid, we don’t breed with our cousins nor shit where we eat. Have a good day you cousin puffers.

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