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Reader H. writes:

The anti-gun crowd – Bloomberg, Obama, Feinstein, the Brady bunch, Watts and the rest, with the help of the liberal legacy media – should step up to the plate and take ownership of the results of their efforts in demonizing ‘the gun’ to the point where it is becoming culturally unacceptable and downright dangerous to even be associated with a gun – any gun – even toys, in public. That wasn’t always the case; it wasn’t until recent years that ‘guns’ have fallen into such widespread evil repute. By whipping up unwarranted hysteria at the mere sight of any sort a gun . . .

the antis are influencing social norms to the point that everyone, cops included, are becoming intolerant of the sight of any gun, real or toy, and jumping to the anti’s desired conclusion that the gun holder must be a sociopathic demon out for carnage without giving logic and judgment even half a chance to clarify the moment.

This has been and is the antis’ intent – to demonize that inanimate gun-shaped object, and the holder of that inanimate object, so that arriving to the conclusion of an imminent threat is instantly reached. When cops are conditioned this way, not only with their training, but also by the expected societal anti-gun norms that are evolving because of the antis’ efforts, it’s not surprising to see officers more often shoot first and ask questions later.

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106 Responses to Reader: Anti-Gunners to Blame for Cleveland Boy’s Death

  1. I agree that the demonization of guns is at work here. I also feel one more item may be influencing the quick shooting response of police officers. Many new police officers are recent veterans who have seen children armed and willing to shoot or blow up a careless soldier, and others have seen gang members as young as 12 and 13 armed and willing to shoot anyone. This may affect their response, and who could blame them?

    • I will! If you are going to treat people as if you are the occupying army regardless of your background, you shouldn’t be a cop. By putting on a badge and a uniform you accept a higher level of risk. If you don’t like that, go do something else.

      • You miss the point. The Michael Browns and Trayvon Martins of this country would see the police as an occupying army even if they were all sweetness and light. To the gangs and their members the streets belong to them and the police shouldn’t be disputing that. I hope the cops, white, black, asian and hispanic, give them what they want. It is no use protecting people who will not take the responsibility to take the first step to protect themselves.

      • Maybe if it didn’t take an occupying army to keep order in those hellholes maybe the police would quit acting like one? Look at Ferguson as an example of what happens.

      • I agree Evan. Don’t know what the others here are talking about. This happened in Cleveland. The boy was not rioting in Ferguson. The only similarity between the two is the color of his skin, so that nonsense about Ferguson and street gangs, etc has nothing to do with this. Also, he was in a park, playing, not threatening anyone, or stealing smokes from the neighborhood convenience store. Completely unrelated and not a “racial” issue.

        The cop didn’t want to take any risk (the risk the gun was real), so he shot the kid – simple as that. I think a lot of us here would have done things differently, including minimizing that risk and then accepting it.

      • And simply because the job of a cop is so risky, does that make his life less valued? Does being a cop erase his life as a son, daughter, husband, wife,brother,sister and/or father,mother? Yes, police commit wrongs. Humans all do. The man who drinks and drives is responsible for the murder of those who needlessly die because of his action. Perhaps less attention is paid because cops have duties and these duties often involve tense interactions. Yet must we demonize the police? Must we be so disrespectful? Treat them like inferior beings? Cops are humans first. They don’t enjoy killing others. They don’t enjoy the stress of fearing that one day they will not be going home, but put in a casket. They aren’t machines nor are they slaves.

        Do to others as you would have them do to you. If they make mistakes don’t demonize them, don’t sacrifice them, don’t antagonize them. Don’t pour out all your hate onto a human being just doing his job but still fearful for his life. Cops don’t sign up to die. Nobody chooses to do a job and see themselves as having lives not worth living. Yes, some jobs come with a risk of death, but these people choose to brave that risk for society. They don’t choose it to be sent to their deaths.

        Death of a child is tragic, yet the ignorance of a society and its demonization of people who go out there risking their lives to secure a better world, to keep criminals down, and to protect your rights is outright deplorable. Nobody said they’d be perfect, but a country like America gives its citizens better ways of seeking change. Hate and anger are not those ways.

        • You’re missing the point. By putting on the uniforms, cops volunteer to take on a high level of risk for the sake of lower risk for everyone else. If they are not willing to uphold that promise – if they would rather risk killing an innocent to reduce the risk to their own life – they betray their very purpose and oath.

    • The anti-gun hysteria likely played a part in them confronting the boy in the first place, however almost any pellet or bb gun is potentially lethal under the right circumstances. For those that disagree how many are willing to let someone shoot you in the eye with a 22 caliber pellet gun and/or metallic firing bb gun.

      • A ballpoint pen is also a deadly weapon under the right circumstances. Give me a break. If it can barely break skin, it’s not a weapon.

        • I have owned pellet pistols and although they don’t have nearly the power of pellet rifles, they have the ability to severely injure you. Virtually anything can be a weapon. A can of Chicken Noodle Soup at the grocery store can be grabbed and used as a weapon, so your assertion that a ball point pen is could be a weapon is a little thin. Remember, these pellet pistols closely resemble real fire arms and can injure you. I for one, would find it challenging to quickly discern the difference in a stressful situation. If I was being robbed by someone armed with one, given the chance, I would draw my real Sig 229 and kill them.
          Was the cop a little quick on the trigger? Hard to say, I wasn’t there and didn’t witness it first hand.
          What is sad, a 12 year old boy played a stupid game and paid with his life. He’s 12 and 12 year olds do dumb things. That is the tragedy

      • Toy gun-real gun, it is all irrelevant. No one was being threatened by the kid. They did not have to shoot him. Lets say a kid steals his dads gun and goes down to the playground to kill himself because his uncle molested him. Should the cops walk up and blow him away before assessing the situation? What if a drug dealer stashed the gun in the playground the night before when he saw cops rolling up then the kid found it there and was just holding it to see if it was real and or loaded? Should he be shot on sight just for mere possession? People holding guns should not be shot automatically. Sadly, this is becoming the norm. The police chief said “guns are not toys”. Well toy guns are and real guns are not a threat. The person is the threat and if the person is not trying to hurt anyone then he must be allowed to live.

        • “Toy gun-real gun, it is all irrelevant. No one was being threatened by the kid. ” So you were there, which is why you’re contradicting the 911 caller? The one who said “It’s probably fake, but he’s scarin’ the s*** out of everyone”, and “He’s pullin’ it in an out of his pants and pointing it at people” and ” I don’t know if it’s real or not.”

          Real gun or realistic looking fake, if the police show up and tell you to put your hands up and instead you pull the gun/fake gun from your pants, yeah you’re gonna get shot.

        • You mean that lying sack of feces 911 caller that has been completely discredited by the video evidence of the incident? That one?

          Or do you mean the other 911 callers that also called and expressed concern over the behavior? Oh wait. They don’t exist. Unlike virtually all real emergencies in crowded / very public places, this incident had precisely ONE caller and he incited the fatal panic (woman died) and violence (police shot young man holding bb gun) that followed.

        • “You mean that lying sack of feces 911 caller that has been completely discredited by the video evidence of the incident? That one?”
          No not that one. That was the caller from the John Crawford Walmart shooting 2 months ago. Since the photo shown is Tamir Rice, from the recent Cleveland park shooting, that’s the incident I’m discussing.

        • A 12-year-old in possession of a handgun is inherently illegal.

          Anyone waving a handgun and pointing it at people is menacing, and represents a threat.

          A person being detained by police officers, under orders to raise his hands, who instead raises his shirt and reaches for what any reasonable person would believe to be a real handgun, assumes the liability for being shot as a reasonable threat.

          Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

        • Well turned out to be a toy so nothing illegal took place.
          How many people did this boy assault before being killed?
          How many people did John Crawford assault before being killed?
          This pre-crime use of deadly force has to end.
          I am 100% behind Darren Wilson and George Zimmerman for defending themselves against “unarmed” attackers. But I can’t take the police side of these two Ohio shootings.

        • I’m talking about Rice, not John Crawford III. Please don’t conflate the two shootings with respect to my comments.

          (WRT John Crawford III, the 911 caller should be prosecuted for making a false police report leading to Crawford’s death.)

          As for Rice: the Reasonable Man standard applies. If he had been waving/pointing that very realistic 1911-replica AirSoft at someone, and that someone reasonably believed it to be real, that person would have been statutorily justified in using deadly force in self-defense. Period.

          Instead, people merely called 911, and police responded.

          The police were statutorily justified under RAS to detain him. When they ordered him to raise his hands, he disregarded that lawful order, and instead raised his shirt and reached for what a reasonable person would believe to be a real firearm. At that point, the police reasonably perceived that action to be a threat, and were statutorily justified in using deadly force in response to that threat. Period.

        • The training is to blame and that means the police department should be held responsible for provided improper training. It is also possible that the kid pointed the guns at the officers in a similar manner to what a gang member would if planning to kill an officer and when you take into account the recent attacks on police such as but not limited to the NY hatchet attack they may have thought that their lives were in danger. It is impossible for a police officer to know everything about a situation before getting involved so maybe all police departments should be disbanded and let the disorganized militia take over policing duties.

        • Real gun or realistic looking fake, if the police show up and tell you to put your hands up and instead you pull the gun/fake gun from your pants, yeah you’re gonna get shot.

          Then the police and the system is wrong. He was likely taking it out to give it to them or toss it away. Children have a lesser sense of reasoning and understanding than adults. They lack life experience, and they don’t understand what we understand here on this blog. Kids get scared (especially when strangers come up and shout orders at you) and sometimes do things of which they don’t understand the repercussions. Asserting that a child should follow a police order or die if another action is taken is not a reasonable approach.

        • “No not that one. That was the caller from the John Crawford Walmart shooting 2 months ago. Since the photo shown is Tamir Rice, from the recent Cleveland park shooting, that’s the incident I’m discussing.”

          Fair enough, but my point still stands. What the 911 caller said he WAS doing at some point is largely irrelevant to the use of deadly force decision made by a cop arriving on the scene some time later.

          Do we trust 911 callers to deliver accurate information (and keep in mind, anti-gunners are on record saying they will lie like this to get OC-ers shot by police), intentionally or unintentionally?

          In other words, are you really comfortable offloading most/all threat assessment from the cops themselves to the 911 caller?

          Sorry; not trying to pick nits, but it sounded from your tone that the 911 caller’s comments (in either / any case) is justification for the cops shooting someone. That’s not how I was trained; we were taught that ability, opportunity and jeopardy had to exist at time time of pulling the trigger for deadly force to be justified. What the 911 caller saw (or thinks he saw, or lies about what he sees, etc) before arrival does not meet that standard.

          All the 911 caller’s info means is setting up a certain degree of caution by the responding officers. “Guy with a gun pointing it at people” means approach the scene in Condition Red – on high alert. It does not mean justified killing on the basis of ‘old, second hand info’ alone.

          Said another way, the cop’s justification for deadly force is, except for very specific exceptions, no different than that for the rest of us: imminent threat of severe injury or death of self or another, and that key word is imminent, not something that happened 10 minutes ago when someone called 911.

        • Said another way, the cop’s justification for deadly force is, except for very specific exceptions, no different than that for the rest of us: imminent threat of severe injury or death of self or another, and that key word is imminent, not something that happened 10 minutes ago when someone called 911.

          Police respond to reported threat of a person menacing with a handgun. Police attempt to detain suspect. Police order suspect to raise his hands. Suspect disregards that order, and instead lifts his shirt and reaches for a handgun in his waistband.

          You’re the police officer. What is your reasonable response?

        • Lets back up a bit. The gun was in his waistband under his shirt? Why not walk up to the kid and ask him some questions? Cops too often rush in with guns drawn where no shots have been fired and no one has been assaulted.
          Remember the guy open carrying in the State Park and the cop pointed a rifle at his head? Who was the threat then? Could the OCer have killed the cops for actually pointing a real AR15 at him? Shooting a cop in self defense is just self defense. Things have got to change.

        • “Well turned out to be a toy so nothing illegal took place.”
          If the 911 call is accurate, then multiple counts of Aggravated Assault took place.

        • “Asserting that a child should follow a police order or die if another action is taken is not a reasonable approach.”

          That’s not what I’m saying, but it’s also not what happened. He didn’t just fail to follow an order (raise hands) he put his hands on a gun (or object indistinguishable from a gun) and started to draw it.

          Asserting that a police officer – or any person – should wait until a gun is actually fired in their direction, or wait long enough for a person behaving that way to do so, before using force in self defense is unreasonable. A gun shaped object was being drawn. Whether this was an accident or not, the time for patience ends when someone pulls out a gun, or an object indistinguishable from a gun.

        • Asserting that a police officer – or any person – should wait until a gun is actually fired in their direction, or wait long enough for a person behaving that way to do so, before using force in self defense is unreasonable.

          Then you’re a kid shooter and justify the performance of such. Go shoot some kids playing with toy guns and feel justified about it because you simply didn’t have the courage to approach a kid and the risk wasn’t worth it. Tactics are god – lets get worshiping.

          Kids are kids. Following directions, orders, commands, or whatever you want to call it is still a concept undergoing learning, one especially not easily controlled under stressful situations (such as being yelled at by strangers in uniforms).

        • Then you’re a kid shooter and justify the performance of such. Go shoot some kids…

          Perhaps you should go to the MDA facebook page, where such appeal to emotion would find solace.

        • “You’re the police officer. What is your reasonable response?”

          I’m not talking about that, or this particular case in specific.

          I was addressing the assertion that what the 911 caller said was relevant to the decision making process at all.

          What you are talking about bolsters my point: the threat assessment is properly done by the responding cop, not by what the bad guy was doing 10 minutes prior.

          I’m not arguing the merits of this particular shooting one way or another; I’m only saying that what the 911 caller says is happening must be taken with a very heavy grain of salt and in no circumstance I can imagine is itself justification for deadly force.

        • I’m not arguing the merits of this particular shooting one way or another…

          But I am.

          At some point, one tires of incessant navel-gazing. Each incident should be evaluated on its own merits, without always having to paint it into the context of some broader discussion.

          Based on the facts as-known, the LEO in this circumstance properly responded to their reasonable assessment of a threat.

        • “Perhaps you should go to the MDA facebook page, where such appeal to emotion would find solace.”

          Sure Chip – because tactics rule over morals. If you think it was justified, you’re in the same boat as John.

        • “At some point, one tires of incessant navel-gazing.”

          I was responding to a very specific comment made by another commenter:

          “So you were there, which is why you’re contradicting the 911 caller? The one who said “It’s probably fake, but he’s scarin’ the s*** out of everyone”, and “He’s pullin’ it in an out of his pants and pointing it at people” and ” I don’t know if it’s real or not.” “

          I think the role of the 911 caller in this stuff merits discussion – in this case and others like it – especially in light of recent claims by anti-gun folks that have said they will purposefully lie in 911 calls to specifically get law abiding citizens killed by police.

          One could argue that that has happened (Crawford case).

          Call it navel gazing if you wish; I think it’s important for our side to not go too far over the fence and accept the assumption that the 911 caller is “Right” in every case.

          Whatever the 911 caller asserted in this case (and all others) is immaterial to the use of deadly force assessment by the man on the scene. That’s his call, and his call alone. I’m not faulting that decision in this case, but that’s not the point I was responding to.

          I am faulting the assumption that just because the 911 caller claims the decedent was scaring people that it was, in fact, happening.

  2. You are right the anti-gun crowd are murderers and do not want the world to know. Typical lying of the administration and the “gooberized” society they manipulate!

    • +1 and I would add that it is the same culture that we see burning down Ferguson which has produced 12 year olds that commit violent crimes.

      When I was a kid I had almost as big an “arsenal” as I do today. I had a Thompson, and M-14, Winchester ’73 and a muzzleloading Davey Crockett Kentucky Long Rifle. I had mulitple pistols ranging from snubbies to Colt SAA cap guns. We used to run around the neighborhood playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and being GIs taking on Japs and Krauts. Nobody thought that was odd.

  3. Yep. I vividly remember playing ‘guns’, cowboys and indians (another no-no now), army, and cops and robbers in various parks in southern california when I was a young child (late 60s, early 70s) and no one batted an eye, gave us harsh looks, or tried to tell our parents that playing with our toy guns was bad.

    Thankfully I haven’t lived there since I was 10, but even in the SW red state that I live in now, my boys get evil looks from neighbors for playing in the yard with nerf guns.

  4. It’s a bigger problem than just the anti’s and guns. There is a climate in “post 911” Amurika of feeding and rewarding fear. Every piece of trash is an IED. Anybody who owns a van is a pedophile. Every dog is a “pitbull”. Every warrant is a license to suit up and kill anything that moves.

    The nation is filled to the brim with paranoid morons and the state is rewarding this paranoia at every turn with accolades and “better safe than sorry” nonsense even when “safe” results in more death and damage than “sorry” ever would have.

    There’s a deep-rooted fear of the boogeyman and that boogeyman takes whatever shape it the fearing fool needs it to take to justify the fools fear.

    • The government prefers it that way. It justifies the narrative that you need them more than ever. Great job security.

    • One of my big pet peeves can be summarized as “if it has LEDs, it’s a bomb. ”
      Not because that’s the experience from war zones, or previous terrorist attacks, or because hand grenades or land mines or mining charges have them, but because Hollywood convention uses blinking lights and 7-segment displays to signal to audiences that something is a bomb.

    • Well in all fairness, this has been going on far longer than 911. I remember commenting in the 1980’s about this topic and used some of the exact language you use here.

      And then in the 90’s, for example, we started talking a LOT about how empty FEMA is, and the ‘theater’ associated with that ilk. Mid 90’s saw a lot of big budget Hollywood movies that sold the meme “FEMA = Savior” to such a degree it became nauseating.

      What is truly different post-911 is the Internet and degree of communication both sides have to “connect” with others of their mind.

  5. I remember running around with realistic-looking toy M16’s and 1911’s when I was growing up in Queens. No police cars, no ESU snipers, no national news coverage, no expulsion from the school that was a block away. In the same area now, I would bet on a similar fate for any kid that emmulated the actions of this young boy. For the children of course.

    • Yeah, when I was a kid I had several realistic toy guns including a fairly realistic M14. Heck, I even ran around with real German and American Helmets and some military looking articles of clothing. The neighbor hood kids all ran around with WWII and early Cold War type toy guns and hand grenades. So…why were the cops not gunning us down?

      • Tom, especially ironic is that violent crime levels were higher back then, and risk of injury or death for police officers also higher (partly due to crime levels, partly due to worse equipment… I don’t think ballistic vests were standard issue back then?).

  6. I agree with the central point here, but I think that the anti’s influence and evolving societal norms weigh-in at a fraction of the effect that the systemic protection from culpability, provided by the law, police unions, and thin blue line fraternity, do for officers involved in shootings.

  7. That is coincidental that I was thinking the same thing less than a hour ago. Not only is there no National outrage over the Crawford death and this Rice kid, presumably because they were holding some sort of gun, but the protests seem to come only when “unarmed” blacks are killed. This is an epidemic of “citizens should be unarmed for safety” mentality and when that doesn’t guarantee that safety, the brainwashed masses get irate.
    I have avoided arguing with those masses here at work but my plan, when I can no longer bite my tongue, is to first ask “do you own or carry a gun for self defense?”. When they say no, I will explain that we cannot have a rational discussion on the Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin case because they lack the knowledge required to make an unbiased decision of right vs. wrong when it comes to use of lethal force for self defense.
    The sad irony in all of this is that the same people angry at the police are the same ones who vote for civilian disarmament. That is where I will go with my argument and avoid the race issue entirely. I truly believe this has more to do with pro 2A vs. anti 2A and race is just used as a match to light the fuse.

    • Race baiting and class warfare seem to be the two constants in most socialist progressive statists’ rhetoric.

      Divide and conquer.

    • I’ll add this: If a mob tries to block my vehicle and give me the Reginald Denny treatment, they will have made a fatal error. I just hope the helicopter broadcasts the scene live to show every man woman and child in the world why we should all be armed for such events.
      Dear God help us fix this country!

      • Then they did it on their own accord. I am talking about the liberal anti gun movement that includes the media. They won’t touch a story where the dead guy had a gun. Think about it. If you have a gun, they think you should die.

  8. When I was in a catholic elementry school in the southwest, first day of school after Cristmas was the most fun ever. At recess, the boys were running around the playground shooting each other with cap guns, the girls were playing with Barbee dolls. Whichever nun drew the shortstraw to supervise the children did not bat an eye at the WWII being reenacted in playground. Now I realize the Sisters had an expression that indicated they wished they were teaching at an all girls school. Playing with dolls was not near as loud & rowdy as as playing war games. Still no one ever called the police or even a parent n due to “guns” on campus.

  9. How about the caller? An adult man sees a boy playing with a gun in a playground, supposedly pointing it at people. Are any of those “targets” afraid for their life or the lives of their kids? If not (presumably because they can tell it’s a toy), why call it in? To be a hero? Congratulations, now you’re just a heel and accessory to a senseless death.

    I’m aware there are “kids” running around with real guns and zero moral sensibility, but if I see a kid in my neighborhood waving a realistic looking gun around, I’m going up to him and let him know what a bad idea that is — even take the gun away from him if needed. We’re grown-ups, dammit.

    • If I was that kid and you tried to take my toy gun from me, I would tell you to go F yourself.
      How are you any different than the anti gun nuts that want us all to be scared of an inanimate object?
      The perception is wrong and you are wrong for falling for it.

      • If I see a kid — especially a black boy — pointing a realistic gun at strangers, and he doesn’t listen to reason, then I reserve the right to temporarily take his gun. Yes, he’d tell me to F off. His mom might, too. But he would live.

        My kids have realistic toy guns, BB guns and .22s, and they know better than to point them at strangers. If I tell them to knock something off, and they don’t stand down, then I become a gun-grabber.

        Adults have the authority and responsibility to address dangerous behavior among kids. No kid or adult should get shot for having a legally-owned gun, real or fake. But the reality is if you go to the playground with one, some jerk will call the cops. The perception is wrong, but I am far from “falling from it,” as you claim. I am more concerned about a child’s life, thank you. You can correct this perception another time.

        • If you are willing to go up to a kid and take away his realistic looking gun for not behaving, then you just made my point that he should not have been shot. Given the choice, I agree with your approach. Why are cops not able to do what you just said you would?

        • Rok. Are you white? Have you really thought thru your plan to disarm a black kid on a public play ground for his own safety?

          I have a feeling he and his mom and several other folks will have more than just angry words for you.

          Film at 11.

        • Doesn’t sound like his mom was there. If she was, she would have stepped up when the cops approached, and unless they mistook this poor kid for a dog, he would be alive today. If a guardian is present, I’ll let them handle it, just as I don’t want some hoplophobe fussing at my kids for playing with toy guns under my supervision.

          I also made the point that if there were others around, no one else seemed to be afraid for their life, so it might have been clear to everyone but the caller that it was a toy and this kid was horsing around. Assuming, though, that I see a kid of any race playing with fire, I will say something.

          To your question, I am not black, but I am an adult, and I proceed under the ever-fading assumption that kids defer to grown-ups. The more grown-ups cede the field to kids in the name of “freedom” or non-confrontation, the worse bad neighborhoods get. In my experience, a lot of moms of kids I talk to (and they’re always single moms) are hanging on by their fingernails and are grateful that someone cares enough to say something.

  10. When I was in Catholic HS (class of 1975) we had a guy bring in his father’s WW2 trophy Luger. He’d seized it from a Waffen SS Sturmbannfuhrer and it was in the original plastic sealed bag. He let Jim open it in class and show how the toggle worked and the trigger pull and so forth. He was doing a report on the advanced quality of German weapons that American G.I.s faced in the Euro theater. Today the school would be on lockdown. Another guy in American history brought in a Long Land Pattern Brown Bess (no flint installed) and demonstrated the Redcoat musket drill that allowed them 5 shots a minute and explained why for open field warfare the musket was superior to a crafted longrifle. The world was much saner then.

  11. this is getting way more attention that it deserves, pertaining to the circumstance, still no less tragic. this very scenario is WHY they had to put orange safety tips on to begin with. The issue here was a rookie cop scared from all the Micheal Brown BULLSHIT and a kid with parents who didn’t bother explaining things to their child and/or a child who did not listen to his parents. The End.

    • The issue here is that cops do all kinds of shit justifying it by the need to stay safe.

      Consider this case. What is the likelihood of a 12 year old openly carrying a real weapon vs carrying a toy gun? I’d wager it’s several orders of magnitude more likely to be the latter. Yet the cop assumed the former.

      Now consider the consequences in two scenarios. First, the cop assumes that a toy gun is real, wrongly, and shoots to kill, as he did. Result: an innocent kid shot dead. Second, the cop assumes that a real gun is a toy, wrongly, and is shot and killed. Result: a cop who signed up to be in a dangerous occupation is killed. Note also that the former is much more likely to happen that the latter, but even if the probabilities were equal, which outcome is preferable?

      The whole purpose of police is to make life safer for the rest of us. When cops start shooting law-abiding citizens on a slim chance that they might be in danger, and then justify it as self-defense, they make life less safe for citizens.

      • First, the cop assumes that a toy gun is real, wrongly, and shoots to kill, as he did. Result: an innocent kid shot dead. Second, the cop assumes that a real gun is a toy, wrongly, and is shot and killed. Result: a cop who signed up to be in a dangerous occupation is killed. Note also that the former is much more likely to happen that the latter, but even if the probabilities were equal, which outcome is preferable?

        I am slowly realizing that some people’s anti-cop bigotry is so strong, that common sense is almost completely disregarded in an attempt to portray every LEO action as wrongful.

        • I don’t want cops to die. I don’t want cops to kill innocent kids or pets either. But if I have a choice, I’ll take the wrongful death of a cop over the wrongful death of a kid, pet, man or woman at the hands of the cop any day.

        • But if I have a choice, I’ll take the wrongful death of a cop over the wrongful death of a kid, pet, man or woman at the hands of the cop any day.

          This is absolutely a false dichotomy, and the life of one person is not worth more than the life of another.

          If the facts-at-hand are accurate, Rice was not “innocent”, and his death was not “wrongful”. He presented a threat that met the standard of reasonableness that justified the use of deadly force in self-defense.

          This idea that police officers should have to hold themselves to extra-legal standards of reasonableness before using deadly force in self-defense is so much bovine excrement.

        • I agree especially since we have no police force at all and lawlessness to makes the Ferguson riots seem tame if police were not allowed the same self defense rights that we have.

        • At the risk of Monday morning quarterbacking, it doesn’t always have to be one dies or the other; cop, kid, adult, or dog.

          These coppers were going to *investigate* a gun related call. Without immediate deadly harm occurring, they have time to stand off with cover and maintain separation, assess the situation, communicate and defuse ambiguity that might exist both for the suspect, themselves and others in the immediate vicinity before deciding how to proceed. Instead it appears one or both coppers exposed themselves and given their training and at least in part the ‘all guns are evil’ anti-gun mindset being relentlessly marketed, they acted assuming the worst case scenario.

          A shoot first mentality seems to have gotten the upper hand at least in part as a result of all the unrelenting anti-gun rhetoric being presented on a daily basis by big media and the anti-gun propagandists.

        • These coppers were going to *investigate* a gun related call. Without immediate deadly harm occurring, they have time to stand off with cover and maintain separation, assess the situation, communicate and defuse ambiguity that might exist both for the suspect, themselves and others in the immediate vicinity before deciding how to proceed.

          The LEO attempted to investigate the situation. The first step was ensuring no threat existed, by ordering the subject to raise his hands. (Am I in some alternate universe where this is no longer a lawful or appropriate order?)

          Had the suspect merely complied, the LEO would have found out within a matter of seconds, once they disarmed him, that the weapon was merely an AirSoft pistol. Instead, the suspect disregarded that order, and escalated the situation by pulling up his shirt and reaching for his weapon.

          Instead it appears one or both coppers exposed themselves and given their training and at least in part the ‘all guns are evil’ anti-gun mindset being relentlessly marketed, they acted assuming the worst case scenario.

          No, it was the suspect, not the LEO, who escalated the situation.

          Why are LEO expected to be mind-readers? What would any reasonable person, LEO or non-LEO, reasonably believe someone intends to do when raising a shirt and reaching for a weapon?

        • My common sense tells me that I shouldn’t fear a cop because he may interpret some completely innocent thing that I do as a threat to his life, shoot me, and then get away with it because he’s a cop. Yet that is the reality of the situation. Police officers respond with lethal force at the slightest provocation because “but they got home safely”. And they are not held to the same standards as other citizens, not at all. Where I would probably be on trial where I would have to prove that I acted in self defense, an officer gets, what, paid suspension while the investigation (by other cops) is ongoing, which is going to clear him 99% of the time.

          The modus operandi that you describe as “common sense” for cops basically turns them into bombs that explode at the slightest provocation, and require everyone else to be extremely sensitive around them to not do anything that could possibly ever be seen as threatening, if you squint really hard. That’s ridiculous, and has nothing to do with common sense.

        • My common sense tells me that I shouldn’t fear a cop because he may interpret some completely innocent thing that I do as a threat to his life…

          Waving a replica 1911 and pointing it at people is not “some completely innocent thing”.
          Raising one’s shirt and reaching for a replica 1911 in one’s waistband, when being ordered instead to raise one’s hand, is not “some completely innocent thing”.

        • Chump, You are the typical “Scared bully cop”

          Start right off with an ad hominem, for that extra je ne sais quoi. Then follow with an incorrect assumption, applied incorrectly to the facts.

          Epic fail. Well done.

  12. The rampant institutionalized hoplophobia in current society is no accident. It isn’t even properly hoplophobia — it isn’t because of an irrational fear of weapons. It’s quite rational, but not in the way you think.

    First, it’s necessary to understand the fundamental basis of progressive techniques. Please note that the methodology-qua-methodology is not itself bad or evil, it’s only the way that it is being USED that makes it bad.

    Societies have inertia. Once they have become canalized, “set in their way”, on a given social issue, it takes a lot of energy to shift the society out of its “rut” and change how the society will react to that issue. This is usually referred to as the “Overton Window” principle. You need to change the position of the Overton Window so the concept in question changes from “unthinkable” through graduated stages to “policy”. But there are, speaking in gross, two methods for applying that energy effectively.

    One way is the “revolutionary” method, characterized by quickly-implemented change using large amounts of force. It’s a brute-force method, slamming the Overton Window to the desired position by demanding that it do so. A classic example of this method is in any war of revolution, or something as straightforward as the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Society at that time believed one thing to be “unthinkable”, but the courts decided that belief was improper, and demanded that it change, for all practical purposes overnight. The result? Violence. People were angry, and responded with riots and assaults, and the National Guard had to escort black schoolgirls to class, to keep them from being physically assaulted to prevent it.

    The other method is the “evolutionary” method. It is slow, deliberate, and planned. The idea isn’t to slam the window, but to oil it, clean out the tracks in the sash, and slowly apply pressure to slide it a little at a time. By the time it’s over to “policy”, the society thinks the change was ITS OWN IDEA. The same amount of energy is applied, but instead of doing it with a crowbar and a sledgehammer, it’s done with an eyedropper and a feather. This is also sometimes called the “progressive” method, since it is done through slow progress over time.

    The progressive METHOD is not necessarily a bad thing. It avoids sudden, convulsive societal change and the violent, angry reaction it can provoke. Instead, the society is convinced slowly over years, decades, even generations that instead of having one attitude, it should have this OTHER attitude. It seems sneaky, but it has the benefit of usually HARMING NO ONE, at least not by the specific actions creating societal change, nor does it usually result in riots and other violence.

    Liberal progressives use this technique with the long view in mind. They change society’s viewpoint slowly over generations, so by the time the changes have been put in place, the society’s members believe it was either always that way, or that the shift in attitude was their own idea for the good of the people. But the method isn’t the problem. It’s the message. Liberal progressives typically want socialist structures, and push interlocking agendas to achieve that goal. In this particular case, since private ownership of firearms provides a means of resisting the desired social change, the prevailing attitude about guns needs to be shifted so people will no longer WANT to own guns, and will not only reject them, but will actively seek to ban guns in private hands. When the other interlocking changes finally arrive, the idea is for no one to be armed to prevent it. Since it’s done slowly over a long time, the society does not fight back.

    It’s like boiling a frog. Do it fast, and the frog will jump out of the beaker. Do it slowly, and he’ll sit there and slowly become soup. That’s what’s happening with our gun rights. Slowly, bit by bit, the liberal progressives are changing the attitude towards firearm ownership. A clear indication of this is in the so-called “zero tolerance” policies in schools. It isn’t about preventing violence, it’s about operant conditioning on children to make them fear, hate and reject anything resembling a personal weapon and the concomitant rights that accompany them. By the time the children raised under “zero tolerance” get old enough to vote, and to raise children of their own, they’ll be so afraid of anything resembling a weapon, they will vote for candidates that want to take guns away. They’ll teach their children the same thing from birth, so that those children in turn will vote the Second Amendment away out of fear and conditioned revulsion.

    That this is the method in use is obvious. I saw a story the other day that a young child was reduced to tears because her mother questioned how she was pronouncing a word. The child had been conditioned to only accept teaching from her schoolteachers, and that her own mother was unqualified to teach her anything to the contrary. “You’re my mommy, not my teacher,” the child cried. (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/24/the-truly-frightening-thing-a-texas-teacher-allegedly-told-one-mother/)

    This is what’s happened in the case of the Ohio man with the BB gun in the Target store. The people who saw him holding an unboxed BB rifle were SO AFRAID of weapons that they not only called 911, but claimed he was acting in a threatening manner with it, something utterly untrue. Callers said he was “pointing the rifle at children”, and “trying to load it”. I have no doubt that was what they believed was happening, because their fear colored their perceptions. What I’m saying is that the perceptions themselves, through that fear, were deliberately engineered to elicit exactly that response. The result? Not only a man killed for no reason, but the fear seeps out into the rest of the community, and people are MORE likely to call 911 and relate terrified fantasies than tell the truth, and police will be that much more on edge and more likely to ASSUME a violent perpetrator rather than approaching the scene critically, with the intention to determine what’s happening. That fear makes them prejudiced about the nature of the call, and more likely to shoot without just cause.

    The methodology is good inasmuch as generally fewer people are hurt while society’s stance is shifted. The method is a tool, and is inherently without alignment either for good or for evil. It is the goal that matters — just as a gun used for lawful self-defense is good, but one used to knock over a liquor store is BAD.

    • THAT was awesome. It’s been my contention that by voting for the lesser of two evils, we can move the Overton Window back from the left bit by bit. When people either don’t vote, or vote for a losing Libertarian candidate, enabling a Democrat to win office, they are inadvertently moving the Overton Window in the wrong direction.

      PotG need to actively dig in their heels and resist the progressives at EVERY turn, no matter how seemingly disconnected from the “gun issue” they appear. Death by a million cuts is a real possibility.

  13. This has nothing to do with antigunners and everything to do with the fact that 12 year old boys with guns kill people. That didn’t happen 50 years ago. If you want to tease apart the reason, be my guest.

    • For every 12 year old with a real gun, how many are there out playing with toy guns?

      A police officer signed up for a job that comes with an inherent risk. He takes that risk so that the rest would be safer. When he instead seeks to minimize the risk to himself at the public’s expense – by assuming the worst in every case, and disregarding the possibility that the “threat” to him is most likely not one, and is most likely an innocent, law-abiding citizen, he shits on his oath of office and on the people.

  14. one of my sisters had the mattel “burp gun” that looked like a thompson with the drum.. i remember a lever action cap gun, too. six guns, wasp guns (loud) and cap bombs. then, pops got me something called “multi pistol 09.” big plastic bullets that sort of hurt. mom was not happy. some of those toys looked like radios and popped out to become guns. and that big air blaster one. and the star trek thing that shot little discs…
    the whole neighborhood would be out shooting each other. an old broom was better than naught. pew! “i got you!” no, you missed!”
    and we’re all normal…

  15. Isn’t this 911 call straight out of the MDA playbook, just like the 911 call that was placed in
    Beavercreek, Ohio by the unapologetic, dishonorable, POS fraudster Ronald Ritchie when he SWATed John Crawford III?

    What do we know about the person who placed the 911 call in Cleveland?

    -bsd

  16. The officers ordered Rice to put his hands up. Police officials said the boy instead grabbed for his fake gun in his waistband.

    Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said: “That’s when the officer fired.”

    Yay! Another cop goes home safely!

    My wife brought this story to my attention yesterday. When I was little, lots of fake guns looked like real guns and didn’t have a colored tip. Nobody cared. But back then cops had bigger sacks than they do now I guess. People have become so estranged and sensitive to guns it is ridiculous. I would have just walked up and talked to him about it. Funny cops with body armor couldn’t do the same.

  17. One article said the orange safety tip was removed. Only AirSoft pastic BB guns that shoot plastic BBs are required to have those. A rifle or pistol that shoots metal BBs or lead pellets do not. Well, except maybe in some paranoid States where ALL of them have to have one. From the picture the article had of the gun it looks like a 1911 type replica BB or pellet gun.

  18. I am in no way “anti-gun.” Quite the opposite.

    If I saw someone engaging in the actions that the 911 callers reported Tamir Rice was engaging in, using the gun that Tamir Rice was holding, I would also call 911.

    I don’t know how you could tell from any meaningful distance that what he held was an AirSoft pistol, and not a real 1911.

    • You use common sense and figure that 99 times out of 100, a twelve year old boy holding a gun means it’s a toy gun?

      I mean, holy fuck, just listen to yourself. You’re basically preaching the same thing as those retards who suspend kids for making “guns” out of bread in school do, just from the other direction.

      • You use common sense and figure that 99 times out of 100, a twelve year old boy holding a gun means it’s a toy gun?

        You’re the responding police officers. How do you know he’s 12? All you know is there are reports of someone waiving and pointing a gun at people.

        I mean, holy fuck, just listen to yourself. You’re basically preaching the same thing as those retards who suspend kids for making “guns” out of bread in school do, just from the other direction.

        That may be true, if you ignore the actual evidence on hand; namely, that the “toy gun” in question is an AirSoft pistol that is utterly indistinguishable from a real 1911-style pistol – and further, that the person disregards your lawful orders, and reaches for that pistol.

        It is utterly asinine to expect the police officers to assume anything other than he was reaching for a real pistol in that situation, and it is absolutely absurd to expect those police officers to wait to see if he’s going to point it at them and pull the trigger before they assess his actions as a legitimate threat.

        At the end of the day, all that needed to happen for everyone to go home safely was for Rice to raise his hands as ordered, and then tell the police that the weapon was just an AirSoft pistol, and let them seize it to confirm.

        He didn’t. He chose to escalate the situation in an overtly threatening manner. That he may not have known any better isn’t the fault of the police officers, who can only make a reasonable assessment of the situation based on their knowledge at hand. Maybe his mother should have told him not to point weapons at people, and to obey lawful orders from police officers.

        • >> You’re the responding police officers. How do you know he’s 12?

          You use your eyes and other natural senses once you’re on the scene.

          >> That may be true, if you ignore the actual evidence on hand; namely, that the “toy gun” in question is an AirSoft pistol that is utterly indistinguishable from a real 1911-style pistol

          Once you’ve identified the person wielding it as a 12 year old, the chances are 100 to 1 that it is a toy, so you treat it accordingly.

          >> and further, that the person disregards your lawful orders

          It’s a 12 year old. Have you met any IRL? Disregarding your lawful orders is what they live and breathe.

          >> and reaches for that pistol.

          Which is almost certainly a toy, as we have established earlier.

          >> It is utterly asinine to expect the police officers to assume anything other than he was reaching for a real pistol in that situation,

          No, it is utterly asinine to expect the police officers (or pretty much anyone else) to assume anything other than it’s a boy playing with a toy gun. That’s what boys do! The fact that we’re even having a discussion about this is ridiculous.

          >> it is absolutely absurd to expect those police officers to wait to see if he’s going to point it at them and pull the trigger before they assess his actions as a legitimate threat.

          No, it is absolutely absurd to expect that 12 year old will understand what’s wrong with his toy gun, what “lawful orders” are, and why he should comply with no hesitation and not make any threatening moves. On the other hand, it is absurd for the officers to not try to investigate and assess the threat properly, given the balance of probabilities between it being a kid playing with a toy gun, and it being a gangsta kid with a real gun.

          >> At the end of the day, all that needed to happen for everyone to go home safely was for Rice to raise his hands as ordered, and then tell the police that the weapon was just an AirSoft pistol, and let them seize it to confirm. He didn’t. He chose to escalate the situation in an overtly threatening manner. That he may not have known any better isn’t the fault of the police officers

          Yes, yes it fucking damn is. He’s a 12 year old kid. A 12 YEAR OLD KID, FOR CHRIST SAKE. You can’t treat him as an adult, and you cannot expect him to behave as an adult, and you cannot expect the adult level of responsibility from him. And that’s what any cop dealing with such a kid has to contend with, and yes, it’s THEIR responsibility to handle it properly, even if it carries with it an inherent risk. Because otherwise they just offload the risk to the kid, and that’s what THE POLICE ARE THERE FOR – to carry the burden of risk so that our kids don’t.

          At the end of the day, all that needed to happen for everyone to go home safety was for the officer to assume the risk that is an inherent part of his job, the one that he voluntarily signed for and gave an oath of office, and engage the thinking centers of his brain and his common sense before lining up the sights and pulling the trigger. He didn’t. He chose to escalate the situation in a cowardly and aggressive manner, by choosing the course of action that minimized amount of personal risk for himself, in exchange for the increased (in fact, unacceptably high by any estimation) risk of hurting an innocent. Maybe his trainer in the police academy should have told him that if he’s not willing to accept even that small of a risk, he has no business being a police officer in the first place, and that 12 year old kids do not behave very rationally.

          If you’re a cop, or have anything to do with law enforcement (which it sounds like you are), please resign today and go find some other occupation for which you actually have the cojones. Just be sure to not end up in a really dangerous one, like pizza delivery, because not only the risk of injury far higher there, but they also don’t issue you with a handgun and cover you ass whenever you shoot someone by mistake (i.e. because you’re a coward).

        • You use your eyes and other natural senses once you’re on the scene.

          Really? You can pinpoint the age of someone that well, and that quickly? Furthermore, given that 12 is not an uncommon age for gang involvement, even if you, as the responding officer, properly ascertained his age as 12, how would that help the situation?

          Once you’ve identified the person wielding it as a 12 year old, the chances are 100 to 1 that it is a toy, so you treat it accordingly.

          [citation needed]

          Yes, I’m challenging your assertion that a 12 year old is more likely, at a probability of 99 out of 100, to be menacing people with a toy gun rather than a real gun. Any stats? Any studies? Any demographics of that area? Anything at all? Or just your own wild guess?

          It’s a 12 year old. Have you met any IRL? Disregarding your lawful orders is what they live and breathe.

          So?

          Which is almost certainly a toy, as we have established earlier.

          Your claim remains specious. Further, multiple 911 calls reported that the suspect was waving and pointing a gun at them. They took the threat seriously enough to call 911; therefore, it is reasonable for the police to take the claim equally seriously.

          No, it is utterly asinine to expect the police officers (or pretty much anyone else) to assume anything other than it’s a boy playing with a toy gun. That’s what boys do! The fact that we’re even having a discussion about this is ridiculous.

          I get the feeling that, in your mind, Rice was a little 6-year-old playing with a squirt gun. No. This was a pre-teen, holding a 1911-replica AirSoft pistol, waving it and pointing it at people menacingly enough for multiple people to call 911. They assumed it was a gun. The police were reasonable in also assuming it was a gun.

          No, it is absolutely absurd to expect that 12 year old will understand what’s wrong with his toy gun, what “lawful orders” are, and why he should comply with no hesitation and not make any threatening moves.

          Pardon my language, but: bullshit. Such nonsense needs no response more articulate.

          On the other hand, it is absurd for the officers to not try to investigate and assess the threat properly, given the balance of probabilities between it being a kid playing with a toy gun, and it being a gangsta kid with a real gun.

          That’s exactly what they *did* try to do. The reasonable approach was to detain him, take the weapon, and then determine what was going on.

          Yes, yes it fucking damn is. He’s a 12 year old kid. A 12 YEAR OLD KID, FOR CHRIST SAKE. You can’t treat him as an adult, and you cannot expect him to behave as an adult, and you cannot expect the adult level of responsibility from him.

          Then he had no business holding an AirSoft pistol that was in every way indistinguishable from a real firearm.

          And that’s what any cop dealing with such a kid has to contend with, and yes, it’s THEIR responsibility to handle it properly, even if it carries with it an inherent risk. Because otherwise they just offload the risk to the kid, and that’s what THE POLICE ARE THERE FOR – to carry the burden of risk so that our kids don’t.

          Wrong. Police are there to enforce laws. The police duty does not include assuming an elevated risk before they are allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves when a reasonable risk statutorily authorizes them to do so.

          At the end of the day, all that needed to happen for everyone to go home safety was for the officer to assume the risk that is an inherent part of his job, the one that he voluntarily signed for and gave an oath of office, and engage the thinking centers of his brain and his common sense before lining up the sights and pulling the trigger.

          Wrong. So wrong. Police officers don’t have to wait until a weapon is pointed at them and the trigger pulled before defending themselves.

          He chose to escalate the situation in a cowardly and aggressive manner, by choosing the course of action that minimized amount of personal risk for himself, in exchange for the increased (in fact, unacceptably high by any estimation) risk of hurting an innocent.

          Rice was not innocent. He menaced bystanders with what any reasonable person would believe to be a real firearm. He then attempted to reach for and draw that firearm when ordered by police to put his hands up.

          If you’re a cop, or have anything to do with law enforcement (which it sounds like you are)…

          I’m an engineer. Thanks for playing.

          …please resign today and go find some other occupation for which you actually have the cojones. Just be sure to not end up in a really dangerous one…because you’re a coward.

          Ah, yes. It makes perfect sense that someone named “Anonymous” would play the keyboard commando. How typical.

        • “Maybe his mother should have told him not to point weapons at people, and to obey lawful orders from police officers.”

          His Mom’s apparently isn’t a soccer Mom.

          http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/11/lawyer_representing_tamir_rice.html

          And just last month,CPD arrested 38 gang members in his neighborhood, 26 of whom were juveniles.

          http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2014/10/police_arrest_38_members_of_we.html

          I’d bet “kids” with real guns isn’t unheard of in that area.

          The cops acted properly.

    • You would call 911 ! I would approach him as Most adults. And tell him to be careful as I would my own child. But you are too scared to be an adult man.

  19. Last night I read that there is a Ohio lawmaker who will be pushing a new state law that all airsoft and BB guns be required to have a fluorescent orange tip.

    In related news, Home Depot and Lowes have reported an unexpected increase in fluorescent orange paint sales.

    derp

    – bsd

  20. WHat amazes is how many people are so comfortable to the notion that someone, somehow deserves to be shot by police officer for “not following commands” Read the officer’s statements, they fully admit the boy was not physically or verbally threatening them or anyone else. They ordered him to put his hands up, he didn’t so they murdered him. Yes, murder because that is what you or I would be charged with if we shot a 12 year old boy holding a BB gun.

    I am sickened by people who think its ok to shoot people, in this case a boy because “he didn’t listen” That’s what it comes down to and that’s whats so disturbing. somehow, if we don’t submit to the police state we have it coming. How is it “trainined” police can’t asses a threat or a real gun from 10 feet? Why is it that officer’s lives are more important than ours?

    THis is part of a bigger problem. On one hand the column is spot on, the total demonization of all guns. THe other issue is the total lack of accountability for policeofficers involved in violence. Reward behaivor and you will get more of it. THis poor 12 yar old has reaped what has been sown.

    • WHat amazes is how many people are so comfortable to the notion that someone, somehow deserves to be shot by police officer for “not following commands”

      You clearly have reading issues. Where has anyone said that he was shot for not following commands?

    • Since the kid was clearly not a threat it was not legal to use lethal force. I retract any support due to this critical information.

  21. From the Daily Mail 23 NOV
    “However, Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba described the incident as ‘very, very tragic’, saying that the child did not threaten the officer verbally or physically.

    When an officer gives a command, we expect it to be followed,’ Mr Tomba said”

    He was shot because he didn’t listen, not because he was a threat. This is by the cops own admission.

    Clearly, my reading is fine.

    • If one of these cops orders a woman to have sex with him will she be shot for refusing to follow orders? How many more people will be summarily executed before these particular cops are stopped.

    • Ex hoc, ergo propter hoc.

      He was not shot for not following orders. He was shot because, instead of obeying that (lawful) order, he yanked up his sweatshirt and reached for a gun in his waistband.

  22. Interesting how the “he reached for his waistband” came out days after the field supervisor admitted he was no threat. Very convenient

    It’s very unsettling how comfortable you are with the murder of a 12 year old by supposedly trained police officers. Did he pull out a gun and point it at them? They showed up and escalated the situation. Again, if a lawfull gun owner had done the exact same thing he would be in jail on murder charges. The police get a free pass to shoot at will because of “officer safety”

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