Kind of an interesting story in Braddock, 4pm, Jan. 26th. It's very much like the Trayvon Martin killing, except that nobody got killed and so both participants are alive to tell their version. It's also informative to read the streams of comments from the different communities.
WTAE reports that Mayor John Fetterman heard gunshots, put his child into the house, came out and saw a suspect, chased the suspect down in his truck, then held the suspect with his shotgun until police arrived. Police determined that the suspect was not the shooter and released him.
Mr. Chris Miyares says he heard the same noises while jogging through Braddock on a very cold day, but then realized it was children setting off bottle rockets. He continued running until he heard a pickup truck behind him honking its horn. He took out his earphones to hear the driver yelling at him, stopped to see what was the matter, and the driver pointed a shotgun at his chest. The police arrived and let him go.
First, I'd like to point out (again) that the normal chain of events breaks down during the times of the week when the senior people are off-duty. I'd like to think that if this happened on a Wednesday morning, we'd have seen some newspaper coverage: eccentric white mayor threatens innocent black jogger with shotgun.
In the aftermath, the mayor is explaining that he never really loaded the shotgun, and he never really pointed it at the jogger. The jogger says it was pointed at his chest.
I try to wonder, what conclusion must Mr. Miyares draw from a Harvard graduate -slash- Mayor chasing him down and threatening his life with a shotgun? If it were me I'd be thinking "Some white people are crazy and dangerous."
So the standoff ended without casualty. I don't think Mr. Fetterman wanted to shoot anybody. He's a social activist, he's a liberally-oriented guy who identifies with his adopted town to a nigh-pathological degree, and he may be one of the few things Braddock has going for it. The people that I know, who know him, think very highly of him. Nobody got killed.
Suppose it ended a little bit differently. Suppose that either:
- Fetterman pulled the trigger out of nerves. What would have been the story that the police, the media, and the mayor told?
- Suppose Miyares pulled out a pistol he was licensed to carry, beat Fetterman to the trigger and killed the Mayor? Would he have acted in self-defense? Would he have survived the arrival of the police? Would he face any charges?
- Suppose Miyares pulled out a pistol he was licensed to carry and they exchanged shots, killing each other? What would have been the Saturday night narrative that the police chose to write about the dead Mayor with the 15104-tattoo and the dead suspect?
It's really interesting to read the Twitter comments on Jasiri X's facebook post, and I can't figure out how to link directly to that specific post.
But let's kick it into meta. When the NRA sells everybody guns, we're going to have a lot more of this, and it's going to expose all the inherent fractures in society.
Because that's what the National Rifle Association wants. It's a gun-selling marketing corporation. They'd like everybody to buy a gun, and maybe a few. Think about it. What does the National Soup Association do? They want to persuade everybody to buy soup.
And so, when anything happens, the NRA's response is: You need to buy more guns. And that's how we get events like this, two apparently decent men with one pointing a shotgun at another, because somebody told him it was a good idea to have a shotgun, and it's a good idea if everybody has a few guns, too.