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I saw another one of these teen girl fights on my Facebook feed this morning. It was disgusting. Very, very violent. At least six kids recorded the incident on their cell phones, which went on for at least three minutes. Anyone with the slightest hint of morality would have intervened at the start, separating the combatants without resorting to firearms. That said, they were girls. What would you do if you saw man-sized teenage boys beating the bejesus out of each other? Same thing, I’d imagine. Until and unless that didn’t work. And what if one participant was defenseless being beaten to death? Hard to say. But one thing’s for sure . . .

Viridiana Alvarez was not looking at that situation. She made the wrong choice.

A mother pulled a gun on a female student after the student got into a fight with her daughter, according to the Pasadena Independent School District.

PISD said the two students were fighting at a park across the street from Pasadena High School Tuesday when Viridiana Alvarez took out a gun. Pasadena ISD police broke up the fight before anyone was seriously injured.

Hours after the fight, cellphone video and pictures surfaced of the altercation that appeared to show Alvarez pointing a gun at the teen’s head. Alvarez was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

According to click2houston.com, Ms. Alvarez explained her actions thus:

During her first appearance in court Alvarez, 33, told the judge that she wasn’t planning to shoot the girl with the pistol, only “scare her.” Alvarez’s family told KPRC2 that the gun was not loaded.

Oh, so that’s alright then? No. No it isn’t. While I disagree with members of our Armed Intelligentsia who say you should only clear leather if you intend to shoot, I get their point. You?

66 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Viridiana Alvarez

  1. Irresponsible for not having a loaded gun! Why in the world would someone carry 3 pounds of useless steel? I bet she knew something was going to go down with her daughter and came as back-up. Worthless back-up…

    Sounds to me like she might be an accessory to assault, too!

  2. For some reason, links to individual posts work, but not to the main site. Is that just me? I did not see a post on social media about it.

  3. Unfortunately every 14 yo wants to post a video on youtube that goes viral instead of breaking up the fight. As far as the gun, she clearly didn’t pay attention in her ccw class. Haha.

    • Some things never change.
      When a fight occurs across the street from school grounds, there are two kinds of people present: 1) people who want to fight, and 2) people who want to see a fight. Now we have 3) people who want to videotape a fight. But it’s the same group of people. Generally not your honor roll crowd.

    • I didn’t see any references as to her possessing a CHL. Did I miss something?
      I can imagine if she head one it would have been loudly proclaimed in the article.

    • “As far as the gun, she clearly didn’t pay attention in her ccw class.”

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that. When the mom drew her hand gun, the other girl was sitting on top of her daughter raining down repeated blows with closed fists. At that point the girl on top can no longer claim that she is defending herself — she is a criminal attacker. Second of all, even a teenage girl can cause serious bodily harm in that position. All it would take is one serious blow to the daughter’s throat to be life threatening or one blow to the eye to cause permanent blindness. In my book permanent blindness is serious bodily injury.

      Is it reasonable to believe that the daughter was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm? With a decent size teenage girl on top of her daughter delivering repeated blows, I think it is quite possibly reasonable. If this goes to trial, I’ll bet they get a hung jury.

      • I’m glad you said this. I agree. Had that young girl getting beaten had a gun herself, she would have been justified at that point in shooting her attacker. George Zimmerman did, and he got off, rightly in my view. So, is gun use justified to prevent a deadly beating of another person? Often yes. Is it dumb to wave an unloaded gun, often yes. But if that is all you had, and it was your daughter getting the crap kicked out of her, I can’t blame a Mom too severely under those circumstances.

        • Ummm.. no.

          If two people willingly go into a fist fight with each other, I don’t think either is justified in pulling a gun midway through the fight. You can’t claim self defense if you /choose/ to get into a physical altercation with another person.

    • Your point is well taken. But this kind of thing is why, in addition to my EDC, I carry a small pepper spray kubaton. Gives you options. Not that I would have pulled the kubaton either in this particular case.

  4. If it’s determined that momma had a permit to carry the gat, then this becomes one more anecdote for Shannon and company to use.

    What are the odds?

  5. So she admitted in court that she is guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. She brought the unloaded gun with the intent to make someone fear for their life. That is retty much the definition of assault with a deadly weapon.
    Using said weapon to beat someone would then be battery.

    • Dude, she was using the gun to stop a life threatening assault on her daughter! That’s not a bad reason to assault someone.

    • Well if it were confirmed that the gun was not loaded, then if I were a jury member I would dismiss any accusation of “a deadly weapon”, a gun without bullets is a boat anchor, no more, no less.

      And I don’t think making someone fear for their life is any part of “assault with a deadly weapon”. It’s closer to trying to kill someone than trying to scare them.

  6. I have had friends who work in various youth facilities and they have all mentioned they would rather intervene in a fight between two guys instead of two girls. The girls just get especially vicious and from their POV are more likely to mutually turn on anyone trying to step in. With that in mind I can certainly understand why no one would throw themselves into the mix directly.

    As to the mom drawing on a 14 year old in TX a lot of this depends on who started the fight. If her daughter started it or the two agreed ahead of time this was going to be a fist fight then she or someone on her behalf cannot escalate the force to deadly force (TX Law Ch 9.31(b)(3)(4)). Unless her daughter screamed something akin to “I give up!” and moved to only trying to cover up while the other girl continued to beat on her. (Ch 9.31(b)(4)(1) & (2).

    Assuming that the daughter A. did not start the fight or B. if she did gave up and was only trying to cover her head because she is getting the worst of it in the video and C. that mom is licensed to carry I don’t see this as an IGOTD but rather a mom protecting her progeny. If the daughter started it and was still trying to engage then licensed CHL or not mom was in the wrong for pulling a pistol. Either way legally justified and wise reaction to the situation are two very different things. Even if she was legally able to react as she did it may not have been the wisest reaction.

    • It was across the street from school property. This is where kids go to fight. They weren’t there by accident. Everyone present was a willing participant in the festivities.

      • I agree. Good, bad, or indifferent, this was kids being kids, and it won’t surprise me if Mom is found guilty of a criminal act for insinuating herself and her gun into it.

    • It’s hard to recognize any immediate threat of death or grave bodily injury. It’s possible that one of the girls could scratch the other girl’s eyes out; but I doubt that would have cut the mustard with a jury. Assuming the mother were able-bodied, I don’t see what excuse she would have for threatening with a deadly weapon when a less-forceful alternative would have been to insert herself between the two girls.
      We PotG need to do more outreach on the rules-of-engagement with deadly force.

      • Agreed we do need to do more outreach.

        Keep in mind that the posted video mentions three minutes of cellphone video footage and the entire clip including cuts to the reporters, neighbor, and court room is only 1:47 in length. There is a large amount of footage not seen.

        We don’t know what started the fight. We don’t know what was being said during the fight. As I mentioned above if the girl losing verbalized that she was trying to give up and disengage and was still being attacked then another person can intervene (maybe not with deadly force as was the case here) with force.

        Were there other options open to the mom? On the surface yes. Do we know any underlying medical issues she has where trying to physically enter the fray would have put her at risk? Do we know if her daughter has medical issues where the thrashing she appeared to be taking necessitated her escalating faster than what appears prudent at a glance?

        Education on use of force is really important. Understanding the circumstances around when force is used is equally important. Was the mom unwise pulling a gun on a 14 year old in broad day light at an after school brawl with lots of cellphones recording, almost certainly. Does that make what she did absolutely unjustified under any and all circumstances, no.

    • So if you start a fight the other person is entitled to kill you? Bizarre. If death is imminent and only deadly force can prevent it, it matters not at all who started the fight. Lots we don’t know here.

      • Lots and lots of fights in middle and high school. Damn near daily occurrence. Going on 60 years ago, my brother won the fight, then got his jacket sliced a bit by the switchblade the loser’s girlfriend came at him with. Still nothing reported, no one disabled, happens all the time, carrying a gun up in there is unforgivably stupid.

  7. I’m not sure I see a problem. There was a violent assault in progress. The gun was used to try and stop the assault. In Illinois, she would have a very solid defense of using a weapon to stop a violent felony in progress. In fact, such a use would have granted her immunity from prosecution and civil liability.

    I’d chalk this up as an effective defensive gun use.

    • In Illinois the gun-toting mamma would be in deep sh!t.

      It’s a fist fight between 14-yr-old girls. That doesn’t constitute an imminent, credible threat of death or grave bodily harm. Her defense lawyer would have his work cut out for him.

      • Except that if you read the statute, the standard does not call for an “imminent, credible threat” to anything. It only requires a forcible felony. Assault, which this was a textbook case of, definitely qualifies.

        (720 ILCS 5/Art. 7 heading)
        ARTICLE 7. JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE; EXONERATION

        (720 ILCS 5/7-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 7-1)
        Sec. 7-1. Use of force in defense of person.
        (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.

        Emphasis added for clarity.

        • @DTM119
          See my analysis below. I would even argue that, given the gun was not loaded, (or, at least, the prosecution cannot prove that it was) the first threshold of unlawful use of force applies. An unloaded gun is not “intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm”…

          It’s actually a pretty good multi-stage defense.

          The prosecution needs to prove…
          1. That the gun was loaded as thus “intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm”.
          2. That the use of same was unreasonable given the circumstances.

          I really don’t see the prosecution being able to make this stick under Illinois statute. California? Not sure, not up on their standards.

        • Dug a bit deeper, the actual charge would have been aggravated battery, not simple assault.

          (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05) (was 720 ILCS 5/12-4)
          Sec. 12-3.05. Aggravated battery.
          (c) Offense based on location of conduct. A person commits aggravated battery when, in committing a battery, other than by the discharge of a firearm, he or she is or the person battered is on or about a public way, public property, a public place of accommodation or amusement, a sports venue, or a domestic violence shelter.

          (h) Sentence. Unless otherwise provided, aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony.

      • So to continue the discussion…

        1. Was there unlawful use of force involved by the assailant? (Clearly, yes.)
        2. Was the force used by the mother “intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm”? (Maybe, the gun being unloaded is a clear sign in her favor.)
        3. If you say yes to #2, was the force reasonably necessary to prevent a “forcible felony”? (See above note about assault being a textbook definition.)

        It’s not rocket science. Was her action unwise? Possibly. Was it criminal? In Illinois, black letter law, no.

        Can somebody merge my responses? The five minute edit mark makes research and citations difficult.

        • Key words you may have missed: “reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary…”
          Momma will need to convince a jury that she reasonably believed the gun was necessary to stop a fist fight. Since most fist fights between 14-yr-old girls are stopped without guns being drawn, I’d say she would have a tough time.

        • Curtis, given the presumption of innocence in our justice system, the prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that such a belief is unreasonable. If the threat of deadly force is not reasonably necessary to stop an assault, I’m not sure when it would be.

          I would argue that the prosecution, as a matter of law, cannot prove such a belief unreasonable as, clearly, the mother escalated to it after using less forcible methods.

      • I remember one of my first calls in VFD… two teenage kids (12-14) were fighting, one smacked the others head on a landscape timber. Immediate death when the wrought iron post used to hold the timber in place entered the base of the second child’s skull and destroyed the cerebellum and spinal cord.

        The sooner you understand that the “Unarmed” Lie is just that, a LIE, the better off you will be.

      • I’m with you Curtis…There’s the law and there is the reality of the LAW. Deep s##t in Cook county. And I’m not getting involved in a fight with a high likelyhood of gang involvement. Call the PO-leece…

      • Well, it is also an extreme stretch to call it a violent felony, I sure don’t believe that, and I doubt you will find a judge or jury who would believe it, either. As the new guys in school (regularly-we moved a lot), we often had to schedule fights, one before school, one at lunch, and one after school before the busses left. Anyone who can be persuaded that we were participating in 15 violent felonies in a week has a very weak mind. I think she’s in a world of hurt, and that she deserves to be. WTF was she even doing there?

    • Kind of agree. If the 5.0 had rolled up might not they have acted in same manner? Though these days the cops can’t really do that either.

      Seems like intervention is a no win

    • Agreed.
      I am one of those that thinks if the situation is drastic enough for the gun to come out, especially like she had it, then it is drastic enough for the gun to go off. If you don’t plan on shooting then you brought the wrong tool. In this case it looks like a “slugger” would have been more appropriate.

  8. I’d acquit. The mother may not have been healthy enough to physically intervene and they clearly weren’t stopping.

  9. Back in my day cat fights were scheduled spectator events, but back in my day it was also understood that there were limits to how violent the “ladies” would get with each other. Humiliation was usually the goal, not killing or maiming like it seems to be today. And of course a parent would never have been involved.

  10. Even when legally carried, a handgun will not solve all of the problems the street can throw at you.

    It amazes me the number of people who will spend huge amounts of time and money on their carry gun, holster, and handgun training and could not last 30 seconds hand to hand with an untrained person in their weight class.

    Pointing a gun at two adult men intent on melee combat is not a great idea, unless you’ve decided that one of them needs to be shot right then. The mere sight of a handgun is not going to make an adrenaline-flooded, angry and afraid mind come to it’s senses instantly. There is a reason the sympathetic reaction is often called, “fight or flight.” The individual is fighting in response to a threat, if you present as a threat it is safe to assume the “fight” reaction may soon get directed at you.

    And since many street fights involve numerous people you never know who will stop being a bystander and decide they don’t like you getting involved or, threatening their friend. I hope you’ve got more than shooting skills when three people close in on you from three directions (two of them likely being behind you) at the same time.

  11. I witnessed something similar when I was in high school. Two girls were in a fight and one was clearly getting the worse end of it. I walked over, yelled at them to knock it off, and that was that. The right tone of voice can fix a lot of problems. If that didn’t work in this situation, the next step is physically stopping the fight by a means other than threat of lethal force. Yes there’s a risk involved, but that’s still the next step. Only after that has failed would drawing be acceptable.

    All that being said, if this were two teenage boys and their mother, it might be a different story. Let’s face it, boys tend to be a bit more aggressive do a bit more damage if they get in a fight.

    • Depends on the people in question. The mother hardly looked capable of using physical force against an adrenaline charged adolescent. A 200lb man has far more options than a 120lb woman.

      • Perhaps, but I only weighed 125 at the time. You don’t need to be Hercules to break up this kind of fight, you just need to be in the mindset of, “This WILL stop now, one way or the other”. Two people trying to kill each other is a whole different ball game, and not something you want to get in the middle of, but that’s clearly not what this was.

        Also, if you watch the video the mother pretty clearly had a weight advantage, if perhaps not a mobility advantage. Another good reason to stay in decent shape.

  12. The problem with expecting other kids to break up a fight is usually the two people agreed to fight. The old “meet me after school in the park.” Once that happens no kid wants to break up the fight the girls (or boys) agreed on and appear different then the group who are enjoying it. Putting a gun into that scenario just escalates things, did the mom even attempt to pull the girls apart before resorting to her gun?

    • This video won’t play for me so I am working off the description but that’s the issue as I understand it. Respond with lethal force when necessary to stop lethal force. Doesn’t sound like things went that far.

  13. Go ahead, get involved!
    Let’s see:
    Al Sharpton owes and has cheated the IRS (that’s us) out of millions. No action by IRS.
    Trayvon’s Mom and Dad set up a non profit but will not release how much they get paid.
    Clinton has raked in over 1.2 billion since he left office (along with Hillary and Chelsea- she must work hard to afford a 10 million + space in NY City, and she’s so young!).
    Global warming is true (if you fake the numbers).
    Obama is a constitutional lawyer.
    Black lives matter (only if shot by a white guy, blacks on blacks get a pass).
    Hillary’s Arab Spring has been wonderful.
    GWB knows there were WMD’s.

    Get involved and anything you do will be twisted (like the guy in Ferguson who said the cop shot the giant in the back- he’s never been charged with lying).
    Pepper spray them and you’ll end up the loser in a long, painful, expensive lawsuit.

    I’ll protect me and mine, the rest are on their own because society doesn’t give a s%^t if you do the right thing.

  14. “What would you do if you saw man-sized teenage boys beating the bejesus out of each other?”

    Since none of the participants are my family, and I know nothing about who started it or the history of the people involved, I would do exactly what the gummint tells me to do: call 911 and let the police handle it.

    Sorry about that if you are on the receiving end of the beating, but I am not going to risk criminal charges or a personal injury lawsuit to solve something that is a symptom of the collapse of morals and standards in our society.

  15. Back in the day, catfights didn’t occur all that often but always drew the most attention. Some hair pulling and scratching was normal, use of fists not so much. Clothes ripping was customary and the fights were seldom ever stopped until one or the other had at least half her clothes ripped off. The one with the most clothes still on was considered the winner, usually the bigger and uglier of the two.
    Momma bear was just protecting her cub. While a wiser course would have been along the lines of say, dragging hers out of the fight, she used a firearm for one of its primary purposes, to cause the perpetrator of a criminal act to cease and desist their actions.
    Far as the charges against her, agree with Mediocrates. Not guilty.

  16. To everyone giving their opinion-this is NOT back in the day. I grew up in the 60’s and early 70’s. We had race riots in high school and even then no one got shot or stabbed. That was then-this is now. It’s much more dangerous and gang infested. No Andy and Opie here…

  17. Here we go again……in my jurisdiction (and those adjacent), and in many othere, the presentation of a firearm in an attempt to deter damage, injury, death is at least misdemeanor brandishing; a chargable offense that will get your guns confiscated for ever. The only justification for presenting a firearm is if you are in direct, imminent threat of serious bodily harm/injury. If the threat is imminent, deterrence is no longer viable; diffusing the situation by showing the firearm is not a valid claim of self-defense. Thus the law demands that if a firearm is unholstered, shots must be fired (someone must die).

    The notion that one can defend oneself by merely displaying a firearm is hopeless delusion. If the gun comes out, there better be a reason, and the reason better be that you thought you or someone you are protecting was going to be killed, requiring deadly force response.

  18. No sympathy for Ms Alvarez. From here body language in the video she wasnt too concerned about the progress of the fight.

    I dont know the local laws, but if I recall correctly there is a general principle that if you started the fight, or had a chance to walk away, then you lose the self-defense justification, unless you walked away and were attacked later.

    These girl fights are all over Youtube- it seems to be a popular thing especially in urban or minority underclass kids culture, and there have been many documented cases where the Mom directly or indirectly instigated the fight.

    I have no clue which kid is which, but even the pic with the gun doesnt lead me to believe the Mom was breaking things up so much as weighing in, to further threaten her daughters co-brawler.

    If its proven this was set up in advance, and the Mom didnt intervene, then it gets even worse.

    There is also the matter of the Federal Gun Free Zone law- which I think is withing 1000′ of school property.

    I’d say she’s “got some splainin’ to do, Lucy”

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