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Shaashana Hough (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)

“Mervin Brewer, 61, was picking up his wife outside of the Sears at Arrowhead Towne Center when he saw 33-year-old Shaashana Hough [above] allegedly pointing a gun at an unarmed security guard.” Allegedly. Interesting. “Brewer, believing his wife and others were in danger, opened fire, firing four rounds . . . Hough and her alleged accomplice, 35-year-old Michael Hough, fled the area on a motorcycle.” The rounds didn’t hit anyone. The perps were apprehended. And now . . . “Glendale police said Wednesday that it had recommended charging Brewer with unlawful discharge of a firearm. The charge will be reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.” Who was it that said no good deed goes unpunished? Before you go to the aid of innocent life think long and hard (and fast) before bringing your gun to bear. Because somedays the bear chases you.

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    • Sarcasm –

      Sarcasm is “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt.”[1][2] Sarcasm may employ ambivalence,[3] although sarcasm is not necessarily ironic.[4] “The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflections”.[5] The sarcastic content of a statement will be dependent upon the context in which it appears.[6]

      Origin of the term[edit]The word comes from the Greek σαρκασμός (sarkasmos) which is taken from the word σαρκάζειν meaning “to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer”.[1]

      It is first recorded in English in 1579, in an annotation to The Shepheardes Calender by Edmund Spenser:

      Tom piper, an ironicall Sarcasmus, spoken in derision of these rude wits, whych …[1]

      However, the word sarcastic, meaning “Characterized by or involving sarcasm; given to the use of sarcasm; bitterly cutting or caustic”, doesn’t appear until 1695.[1]

      Usage[edit]In its entry on irony, describes sarcasm thus:

      In sarcasm, ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. It may be used in an indirect manner, and have the form of irony, as in “What a fine musician you turned out to be!,” “It’s like you’re a whole different person now…,” and “Oh… Well then thanks for all the first aid over the years!” or it may be used in the form of a direct statement, “You couldn’t play one piece correctly if you had two assistants.” The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflection …[7]

      Distinguishing sarcasm from banter, and referring to the use of irony in sarcasm, Bousfield writes [8] that sarcasm is:

      The use of strategies which, on the surface appear to be appropriate to the situation, but are meant to be taken as meaning the opposite in terms of face management. That is, the utterance which appears, on the surface, to maintain or enhance the face of the recipient actually attacks and damages the face of the recipient. … sarcasm is an insincere form of politeness which is used to offend one’s interlocutor.

      John Haiman writes: “There is an extremely close connection between sarcasm and irony, and literary theorists in particular often treat sarcasm as simply the crudest and least interesting form of irony.” Also, he adds:

      First, situations may be ironic, but only people can be sarcastic. Second, people may be unintentionally ironic, but sarcasm requires intention. What is essential to sarcasm is that it is overt irony intentionally used by the speaker as a form of verbal aggression.[9]

      While, Henry Watson Fowler writes:

      Sarcasm does not necessarily involve irony. But irony, or the use of expressions conveying different things according as they are interpreted, is so often made the vehicle of sarcasm … The essence of sarcasm is the intention of giving pain by (ironical or other) bitter words.[10]

      Understanding[edit]Understanding the subtlety of this usage requires second-order interpretation of the speaker’s or writer’s intentions; different parts of the brain must work together to understand sarcasm. This sophisticated understanding can be lacking in some people with certain forms of brain damage, dementia and autism (although not always),[11] and this perception has been located by MRI in the right parahippocampal gyrus.[12][13] Research has shown that people with damage in the prefrontal cortex have difficulty understanding non-verbal aspects of language like tone, Richard Delmonico, a neuropsychologist at the University of California, Davis, told an interviewer.[14] Such research could help doctors distinguish between different types of neurodegenerative diseases, such as frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to David Salmon, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego.[14]

      In William Brant’s Critique of Sarcastic Reason, sarcasm is hypothesized to develop as a cognitive and emotional tool that adolescents use in order to test the borders of politeness and truth in conversation. Sarcasm recognition and expression both require the development of understanding forms of language, especially if sarcasm occurs without a cue or signal (e.g., a sarcastic tone or rolling the eyes). Sarcasm is argued to be more sophisticated than lying because lying is expressed as early as the age of three, but sarcastic expressions take place much later during development (Brant, 2012). According to Brant (2012, 145-6), sarcasm is

      (a) form of expression of language often including the assertion of a statement that is disbelieved by the expresser (e.g., where the sentential meaning is disbelieved by the expresser), although the intended meaning is different from the sentence meaning. The recognition of sarcasm without the accompaniment of a cue develops around the beginning of adolescence or later. Sarcasm involves the expression of an insulting remark that requires the interpreter to understand the negative emotional connotation of the expresser within the context of the situation at hand. Irony, contrarily, does not include derision, unless it is sarcastic irony. The problems with these definitions and the reason why this dissertation does not thoroughly investigate the distinction between irony and sarcasm involves the ideas that: (1) people can pretend to be insulted when they are not or pretend not to be insulted when they are seriously offended; (2) an individual may feel ridiculed directly after the comment and then find it humorous or neutral thereafter; and (3) the individual may not feel insulted until years after the comment was expressed and considered.

      Cultural perspectives on sarcasm vary widely with more than a few cultures and linguistic groups finding it offensive to varying degrees. Thomas Carlyle despised it: “Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it”.[15] Fyodor Dostoyevsky, on the other hand, recognized in it a cry of pain: Sarcasm, he said, was “usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”[16] RFC 1855, a collection of guidelines for Internet communications, includes a warning to be especially careful with it as it “may not travel well.” A professional translator has advised that international business executives “should generally avoid sarcasm in intercultural business conversations and written communications” because of the difficulties in translating sarcasm.[17]

      Vocal indication[edit]In English, sarcasm is often telegraphed with kinesic/prosodic cues[18] by speaking more slowly and with a lower pitch. Similarly, Dutch uses a lowered pitch; sometimes to such an extent that the expression is reduced to a mere mumble. But other research shows that there are many ways that real speakers signal sarcastic intentions. One study found that in Cantonese, sarcasm is indicated by raising the fundamental frequency of one’s voice.[19]

      Punctuation[edit]Main article: Irony punctuation
      Though in the English language there is no standard accepted method to denote irony or sarcasm in written conversation, several forms of punctuation have been proposed. Among the oldest and frequently attested are the percontation point—furthered by Henry Denham in the 1580s—and the irony mark—furthered by Alcanter de Brahm in the 19th century. Both of these marks were represented visually by a ⸮ backwards question mark (unicode U+2E2E). A more recent example is the snark mark. Each of these punctuation marks are primarily used to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level. A bracketed exclamation point or question mark as well as scare quotes are also sometimes used to express irony or sarcasm.[20]

      In certain Ethiopic languages, sarcasm and unreal phrases are indicated at the end of a sentence with a sarcasm mark called temherte slaq, a character that looks like an inverted exclamation point ¡.[21]

      Identifying sarcasm[edit]A French company has developed an analytics tool that claims to have up to 80% accuracy in identifying sarcastic comments posted online.[22]

  1. “allegedly”? I’m confused. the article explicitly states that they have video footage of the woman pulling out a gun.

  2. This is why the pithy saying ” a good shoot is a good shoot” doesn’t apply to armed non uniform civilians.If you drop a bad guy in a zip code patrolled by or governed under gun hating leftists, expect problems.

    Unfortunately, even pro rights states have pockets of socialist zones in them.

      • I’ve met Joe and he is a fantastic prick with an over sized ego. He’s also a nut job and he does have a bit of a small problem with abuse of power at times. No hero of Liberty in my book, but that’s what I expect from a Masshole.

        • If a quick Wikipedia search can be trusted, he hasn’t been in Mass. for 64 years….at what point does one stop being a Masshole?

    • It didn’t help that he shot up bystanders cars- with them in them, according to the article I read. It seems they had 911 calls over that, as well as the robbery

  3. Chances are that they will say that because his life was not directly threatened.. he can be charged. It sucks but that would be in step with the current laws and not an abuse of power.

  4. The unlawful discharge of a firearm statute specifically exempts use of deadly force under ARS Title 13 Chapter 4 Justification statutes. I don’t see a conviction happening here. This includes defense of third parties.

    If they feel his actions were not reasonable and immediately necessary, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, or endangerment charges would have made more sense. The fact he wasn’t charged with any of those is defects saying he was acting under the justification statutes.

    • I recently read somewhere that officials will file the most grievous charge available, even if they know it won’t stick, because they can then downgrade it to whatever will stick. If they underfile, they can’t up charge if more evidence comes to light which would support a higher charge.

      Not sure if that’s true or not, but it sort of makes sense.

      (Not commenting on the ethical implications).

    • Well, it doesn’t specify the range, and he didn’t hit nothing. One of the comments at the article bleats about how an “uninvolved mother could have been fatally struck in the head.” Presumably someone found a bullet hole in the window or headrest of her SUV. The comment goes on to say “By wonderful chance, the young mother and her children hadn’t yet finished watching a Disney movie in a theatre packed with families when his deadly bullet struck her vehicle.”

      Two points: Don’t you love how that person tugs at your heartstrings by describing her as a mother, instead of just a woman, and adds the completely irrelevant details of “Disney movie” and “a theatre packed with families?” If the bullet hit her car in her parking lot, how are the other families in the theatre relevant in any rational universe?

      Whether it’s true or not I don’t know, but it’s still a reminder that Rule #4 is important.

      • Saw that comment. Don’t you love how the “what if’s” from anti’s are always (only) against the armed citizen and never against the people instigating the actual criminal act?

      • If the hole in the SUV would have been fired by the NYPD the reporter would have just passed over it as “collateral damage, get over it.”

      • I don’t know about the car bullet and any Disney movies, but … according to this report from KPHO:

        “A woman who was outside Arrowhead Towne Center when it happened that day told 911 dispatchers, ‘I am not injured but the bullet went right by my head.'”

        I absolutely understand that the guy was defending both his wife and the security guard, and is justified in doing so, but it also sounds like he may not have even considered what was beyond his target. Rule #4 is indeed extremely important.

        • @ Chris: “A hiss means it’s close, a snap means….. (bullet snaps by) NOW they’re shooting at us!”

        • “…right by my head” could also mean “Somewhere in the parking lot. Is this going to be on the news tonight?” depending on who you ask and who’s doing the asking.

    • Just curious…have you ever fired your weapon in real situation – one with all its attendant stress and where at least the possibility exists of opponent shooting back?

  5. With all the names being thrown around I have yet to see that of the cop/chief/attorney who is making this moronic charge against Brewer.

  6. Just because there wouldn’t be a media fuss if a LEO did the same thing and hit a bystander while missing the subject, doesn’t mean it should be okay for a non-LEO to be equally sloppy.

    In the same situation, I would use my gun only to cover my own retreat, and then call 911. Nevermind your-target-and-what’s-beyond-it, how do you know which of those people are the real bad guy?

    • Mr Brewer stated he shot in defense of his wife exiting the store and the store security guard. For me it would be hard to make a definitive statement as to my reaction, but this serves nicely as an example of possible situations and outcomes.

  7. You have to be very certain you understand the situation before injecting your self and your weapon into a violence confrontation, make sure you understand the whole situation.

    Let’s say that you see a random man shooting another random, unarmed man… You draw your weapon and engage to safe the unarmed man’s life and maybe you feel good about it at the time.

    However, what if I told you the unarmed raped and killed the shooter’s teenage daughter, but got off on a technicality and some good lawyering, would you still feel like you were in righteous shooting?

    I’m not advocating people going around seeking their own form of vengeance, but I certainly would not have intervened knowing the whole situation.

    The right thing and the righteous thing are not always the same, make sure you have all the inform before clearing leather.

    • Couldnt agree more \m/ , I use a similiar instance of a woman shooting a man to explain it to my wife and others when the conversation topic comes up.

      • Justifiable homicide is still homicide, gotta make sure you’re doing the righteous thing before you skin your smoke wagon.

    • All the information? Impossible. And yes stopping a man from committing murder is the right thing to do. For many reasons including maintaining order and possibly saving the “righteous” assailant from 25-life or death for premeditated homicide.

  8. This happened in my neck of the woods and has been getting constant coverage. The OFWG (really) in this situation excercised really, really bad judgement in this case. You should be able to find the video on the internet. It shows this guy wildly spraying gunfire, while the shoplifting perps are fleeing on a motorcycle. The shooter said, in initial reports last week, that “they picked the wrong marine to mess with!”
    The perps never “messed with” this guy, who was sitting in his truck while his wife went shopping. Glendale police found (so far) two bullet holes in cars in the parking lot. The cars were more than 50 yards apart, and more than 50 yards from where the fleeing perps were. Witness at the next store over testified that they heard one of his bullets zing right between them. I’ve literally seen blind people shoot better than this (see Jimmy Kimmel show).

    This “marine” made people of the gun look really, really bad. There is no way to overstate how bad his judgement was (the actual facts and layout of what happened), and how horrible his shooting is.

    Here in Arizona we encourage people to carry. We cringe when stupid people start shooting.

    • I’ve looked all over for video that “shows this guy wildly spraying gunfire” without success. I saw a video of the motorcycle fleeing, but it doesn’t show any shots fired, just him standing next to his truck after the fact, and you can’t really see much anyway because the friggin’ news channel has their lower-third across most of the “action.” (Thanks a lot for that, jackasses. I really hate when they say “you can see that…” and I think, “No, I can’t, because your gd logo is in the way.”)

      If you have a link to the video that actually shows “wildly spraying gunfire,” please provide it.

      • The videos have been repeatedly played on the local news channels here. I haven’t watched it on the internet. The news channels are CBS5, ABC15, KPNX12, FOX10.

        The video shows him waving his pistol around. The fact that his bullets struck buildings and vehicles over approximately 100 yards apart illustrate that he was spraying gunfire.

        Brewer seems to be the poster child that antis use to make a point. His physical appearance/mannerisms, his somewhat incoherent interviews he was giving while still seated in his truck in the parking lot (more bad judgement), his statements that “they messed with the wrong marine” lead people to think he’s off his rocker and gun happy, in a bad way.

  9. I can’t believe they are charging Brewer! I sorry but it must be said. The criminals weren’t BLACK. If they were black I could understand political pressure, but they were all white.

  10. Glendale police have recommended to the county attorney that Brewer be charged with “unlawful discharge of a firearm.” They are doing so because the perps were running away from Brewer, then driving away. Police say there was no imminent threat. However, the fact that one of the perps drew a gun, toy or not, should negate that claim, and I don’t think the county attorney will make those charges. If the CA does, there won’t be a jury in Maricopa County that finds him guilty.

    However, they might find him guilty of “negligent discharge,” based on his shooting and where his bullets ended up all over the place.

  11. So imminent credible danger maybe, yes someone just pointed a seemingly very real gun at his wife but it seems like the distance from which he shot from and that there was not any actual imminent “threat” once they begin to flee.

    Either way, 4 shots no hits, should have kept it in your pants lest you want to look like a retired NYPD officer instead of a devil dog. I cant tell if this guy just wanted to FSU and thought he had an opportunity or what, or maybe he just got that adrenalin going and his brain took the backseat.

    No question Id draw if someone pointed a gun at my wife but shooting into a fucking parking lot as a backstop, SMFH.

    EDIT: I almost forgot, LOOK AT THE MALE PERPS FACE! SO GOOD trololololol

  12. My guns are to protect me and mine. Strangers are on their own. I’m willing to face criminal charges for defending my own life, but not for defending people who probably wouldn’t thank me or send me a pack of chewing gum while I was doing time for saving their asses.

    Brewer may end up on trial for trying to be a good guy, and none of the people he was trying to help will pay a dime for his defense costs, will they?

  13. The only issue I see is that he missed. 4 bullets going stray could of hit anyone. The one added restriction I would be for is making the classes and testing needed to carry a firearm in public much more difficult not to limit the number of those carrying in public but to know those out there that are carrying legal can actually hit their target. The majority of the mandatory classes and testing needed to legally carry are quite easy. Most of it is nonsense IMO, but when it comes time to shoot and qualify that part needs to be set to a higher standard. A newbie to a handgun can pass most carry classes, not a good thing.

  14. As an advocate for gun control. The rules are pretty simple and basic.

    Rule 1. Hit your target with every shot.
    Rule 2 See Rule 1.

    • Impossible. Hit rates in real gunfights hover around 10-20%, even involving trained personnel at close range.

      Never miss sounds like a good sound bite, but it simply is not reality.

      Anyone that thinks just because they can hit a stationary piece of cardboard in controlled circumstances will do just as well in an honest fight for your life is fooling themselves.

      Training helps. Practice helps. But, a healthy dose of honesty and objectivity helps, too.

  15. I live in Glendale and I’m not surprised by this. Arizona maybe a progun state but Glendale police lean more to Left when it comes to firearms in the hands of citizens. An example of this is several years ago before the CWP passed the Glendale police and prosecutor gave a co-worker a real hard time charging him with carrying a concealed weapon. He was pulled over because he was driving a 1975 Monte Carlo. According to stereotypes a Monte Carlo is a gangbanger car. My co-worker was in his 30’s, whiter than white and worked at the nuclear power plant as a RP tech. When he was pulled over he informed the policr officer that he had a pistol under the seat. They charged him with with carrying a concealed weapon even though it was in a holster which is legal. They tried everything to make him plead guilty even to lessoning the charges. They wanted a conviction. Eventually he won but they dragged him through all kinds of personal pain. That is what they are trying to do here. Arizona state law says discharge of a firearm is illegal unless its in self-defense, or defense of another person against an animal attack if a reasonable person would believe deadly physical force against the animal is immediately necessary and reasonable under the circumstances to protect a person from harm.


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