There’s a lot to learn from this surveillance video. For one thing, notice that the man who was shot was perfectly ambulatory after the ballistic insult. More importantly, this video shows that armed self-defense is the ultimate answer to a racist attack. Or an attack on homosexuals. Women. Old people. Muslims. Anyone. All Americans who want to be able to defend themselves against the threat of death or grievous bodily harm should consider exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected gun rights. [Void where prohibited by law?] How they should do it in this situation, well, that’s another matter . .
[Standard disclaimer. This critique should be considered within the context of a single, overarching fact: this was a successful defensive gun use. None of knows exactly what we’d do in any given scenario. But we can learn from the experience of others to gain a better idea of an effective defensive strategy.]
When the two gentlemen at the counter – Jorge Hernandez (striped shirt) and Gerard Williams (white shirt) hear racial epithets hurled in their direction, they ask the waitress for the check so they can leave. That’s a calculated risk – will an attack occur before the waitress can write the check, give them the check, take their money and provide a credit card receipt to sign or the change? Are the bad guys be aware of this timeline? If so, they might use it as a deadline. Literally.
I’ve been in this exact situation. OK, I’m white. And the people insulting and threatening me were calling me a” baby killer” (post-Newtown anger at a gun business guy). I simply said “pay you later,” stood-up and left. If I’d had some cash I might have thrown some on the counter and scarpered. But I didn’t. So I walked away. Never, ever under-estimate the life-saving possibility of leaving a dangerous environment at the first opportunity.
The two men approaching Hernandez and Williams at the counter are attempting to “make nice.” Only they’re not. are they? African-American counter customer Jorge Hernandez (striped shirt) clearly indicates his skepticism by turning sideways to the man (Robert Black) who approaches him. Problem: Black is within bad breath distance, close enough to stab Hernandez in the back or clobber him. Hernandez has no chance whatsoever to launch any kind of counter-attack (so to speak). Game over, potentially.
Hernandez shouldn’t have let Black get that close to him. He should have refused to shake Black’s hand while backing up and/or away, saying something like “That’s OK man, we’re cool.” What, never accept a handshake from a repentant aggressor? Not never. But when men shout insults across a public space, when one of them takes his shirt off to intimidate victims and gird for battle, when it’s three against one, you are deep into it. The chances of the bad guys backing down are somewhere between slim and none – and slim just left town.
Williams makes the same mistake, standing still, danger close to a potential aggressor. Increasing his vulnerability, Williams places his hands in a completely submissive position. His body is wide open to any kind of attack. Williams, too, should have moved away from Black, perhaps putting a table or the counter between him and Black. I can’t emphasize this enough (hence the reason I keep returning to it): distance = life. If you’re standing toe-to-toe with a foe the first person who attacks wins. Is that going to be you? If not, MOVE.
This case is the exception that proves the rule. The first person who attacks (Black) doesn’t win. I’m not sure exactly what happens next. For some reason (political correctness?) the news station edited-out the moment Williams shows Black his gun. I would really like to see where Williams’ gun was positioned, if it was properly holstered, and how Williams drew and presented his firearm. Does he just “show” Black the gun. If so, that’s
dumb as a box of rocks strategically inadvisable. If you draw your gun, make ready to fire. MOVE! And be ready to let loose the dogs of war.
Darn it! Another edit! Did Williams holster his gun? Both hands are gun-free. Where the heck is his heater? In his belt line? Another edit. I can’t tell how the actual gun use part of the program proceeds. Suffice it to say, Dakota Fields races into the restaurant and runs straight at Williams. Williams seems to be holding the gun behind his back. He retreats and shoots Fields. Williams lopes forward keeping his gun by his side – once again unprepared for the possibility of another assault.
Bottom line: Williams won. Fields lost. Result. But armed American should see the video as instructive of an inescapable fact: there are more ways to lose a gunfight (or any other kind of fight) than win. Eliminate the most likely of these – striking distance – and you dramatically increase your odds of survival. That is all. [h/t ShootingTheBull410]