VA governor defends Charlottesville response: Militia members had ‘better’ guns than police blares the Business Inser headline. BI’s firearms-related coverage is usually neutral-ish. Not this time . . .
Reading that, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe — himself a resolute anti-gunner — was claiming that the Charlottesville po-po were unable to police the rally because the militia members had better guns than the police (and wonder what guns he was talking about).
Nope! The whole quote reads as follows:
“You saw the militia walking down the street, you would have thought they were an army … I was just talking to the State Police upstairs; [the militia members] had better equipment than our State Police had,” McAuliffe said. “And yet not a shot was fired, zero property damage.”
So Governor McAuliffe was saying the presence of a well-armed militia did not lead to the violence. An idea that Business Insider writer Harrison Jacobs couldn’t leave as-is, or without comment.
McAuliffe’s response that law enforcement’s handling of the violence was successful because there were no bullets fired and “zero property damage” would appear to ignore that dozens were left injured and a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when an apparent white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd.
McAuliffe, for his part, suggested that Heyer’s death couldn’t have been prevented.
“You can’t stop some crazy guy who came here from Ohio and used his car as a weapon. He is a terrorist,” he said.
True that. And while the Charlottesville police and their out-of-town colleagues could have intervened when the melees broke out, it’s also true that any such intervention could have made the situation much worse.
Judgement call, really. And unlike the judgement call Business Insider made with its half-true headline, you could argue that the cops did the right thing in order to preserve public safety.