Sunday, November 23, 2014

Different Worlds

As I type this Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner has just been laid to rest, not far from my home.  By all accounts he was a good man, a man most of us would have been happy to know.

Sunday morning, Nov 16 2014, around 2:00 he was at Papa Don’s Pub with his future wife (whose family owns the bar) and a buddy, another off-duty officer.  Justin was previously at an athletic fund raiser at another location.
I don’t have all the facts, only what I can pull from the newspaper and news sites, but at some point Kenan Ivery created sufficient trouble that he was asked by the bar to leave.  He did, but only long enough to retrieve a gun and return to the bar brandishing it.  

At this point unarmed and off-duty Winebrenner felt he had to get involved.  Ivery discharged his gun killing Justin and wounding four other people.  Unfortunately, Ivery was later taken alive hiding in a nearby railyard. 

That’s the stripped down fact picture.

I was stuck in traffic the following Monday and tuned in the local talk radio station hoping to find out the cause and extent of the traffic snarl. Predictably the topic was Justin Winebrenner.  The caller just couldn’t believe anyone would just walk into a bar and open fire.  I understand his problem.  He’s ignorant, never having to deal with the dark side of society.

Surely, the caller explained, there must be some reason, some connection between the two men, some fact that would act as a compass and guide him to some kind of understanding.  The caller couldn’t find any reason that made sense.

I’ve talked to men who worked the county jail.   Typically the prisoners are people waiting for trial, or serving short sentences.  The jailers walk around unarmed with the exception of a radio with a panic button. 

I couldn’t help but wonder if this wasn’t dangerous.  It was explained to me that most prisoners believe that good behavior in jail while waiting for their trial would benefit then at sentencing.  But I’ll never forget what one officer of them told me:

“There isn’t a person in here that wouldn’t shank me if they thought it would be to their advantage.”

If you’re a civilian with or without a CCW permit you need to realize most criminals operate with a total different mindset then you and your buddies.  They will do whatever they think will benefit them that instant without any real thought to future events.  

I had an instructor tell the class about a mob man, a contract killer, who thought TV police dramas were a hoot.  
“See, you cops have to worry about where your rounds go, I don’t.  I’m just going to empty the gun and hope I hit something I want to hit.”

That sounds like Ivery, doesn’t it.  I can’t find how many total shots were fired.  We know he hit 5 people.  It doesn’t sound like he had an escape plan.  Google maps showed the railyard was two doors down.
I can hypothesize why he returned with the gun and why he decided to shoot Officer Winebrenner and why Officer Winebrenner was unarmed but that’s all meaningless for this blog.

Here’s what I get out of this tragic event.

There are few safe places where you can be in condition white.  So don't be in condition white! 

Criminals will act for reasons that make sense only to them so you must always be prepared.  You should never think “Nobody would hide behind a car and just empty their gun at people walking to another car!”  You should be thinking “If someone hid behind a car and just emptied their gun at me or other people what would I do?”

Alcohol and guns never mix, so make the decision to be sober and armed. 

People will do bad things, create horrible acts and awful outcomes to solve problems that they created for themselves.  So your thinking should never be “nobody would ever do that...” but rather “if someone does that…” 

Lets go to different world.

Ferguson, Missouri
We’re still waiting for the grand jury to announce their ruling on the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson.
Papers report gun sales are increasing and people with their own agendas are arriving in town almost hourly.  It sounds like a IED with a slow burning fuse.

Read Chris Hernandez’s blog.  He’s one of my favorite bloggers, I mean outside of myself.  I like him because he appears to be open-minded and honest about his opinion.  He’s done a spectacular job on Ferguson.

I followed his link to Tumblr and I was horrified by the results. 

Clearly massive, organized rallies have been organized in states across the nation.  These events are outcome independent of what the Ferguson grand jury does.

I believe in the right to peaceful protest.  And these rallies maybe organized as peaceful, but any organizer who did not account for violence is naïve at best and dup at worse.  I do find it interesting that Tumblr doesn’t list the person who created the site.

I expect violence in any case.  We’ve seen mobs loot and burn because their team won or lost the big game.   After all this time, with people stoking the fires of indignant morality, helped by the mainstream media who constantly remind us about the power keg in Ferguson, don’t you think there won’t be a spark which will be fanned into a flame by the rhetoric?

And it isn’t just going to be in Ferguson.  Passions are inflamed and rallies already planned, maybe in your backyard.

Remember the truck driver Reginald Denny who was pulled out his truck during the 1992 LA riot sparked by Rodney King.

The poor man was just trying to make a living , had nothing to do with Rodney but was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As I remember it, he slowed down as not to run the rioters over which enabled them to pull him from the cab.  

I wish I could give you guidelines.  My thoughts run to:  the members of the mob share the lawlessness of the few, or if you’re right to shoot someone, you’re right to run them over.  

I wish I could impart how to do this with car, truck or van by flashing it’s headlights and sounding the horn while slowing accelerating until you’re clear.  

I wish I could tell you that you can only defend property with lethal force if the property is occupied by innocents.  In any case remember who calls the police, typically victims and innocents.  Get somewhere safe and make the call.

You want to carry a gun?  Are you expecting the zombie horde and are a survivalist?   You should know this shit.  You should know what reasonable force is and how to determine when it is justified. 

I never expected to see this kind of organized, potential violence in America.  Just because your town isn’t on the Tumblr list doesn’t mean the knuckleheads aren’t stopping by.
Keep your wits about you and your tools close at hand.

PS:  25 Nov 15

Grand Jury announce Monday night......

Nothing says I demand social justice like looting a liqueur store!

Looks like they could have uses a few Korean store owners and a couple 12 gauges! 


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