Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Lives are Governed by the Extremes not the Norms

I am, just like almost every Police Officer I know, a HUGE proponent of the concealed carry laws in 48 of our 50 states.  In most cases Police responses take six to eight minutes and require a phone call to start the response clock.  In that time frame, a lot of very unfortunate things can happen to you that if you would/could defend yourself, you would at least give us a chance to get their before your are permanently deprived of your possessions, your innocence, your sexuality or your life.

But, of course, to give the opposition the factual ammo to attempt to argue that you, as the average citizen, lack the capacity, the ability and the intelligence to protect yourself in a violent encounter and that you should wait till the experts arrive to help you, because the damage you would create attempting to keep yourself from being a victim would vastly outweigh the consequence of you being the victim, there is the extreme example that is used to (wrongly) prove their position (wow Steinbeck like sentence).

Here is that extreme example, that while I believe its uniqueness proves the rule that the vast majority of Americans are defending themselves in a logical, sane and well intentioned way,  the other side is currently pointing to, to have self defense be a governmental only task is the case of Jerome Ersland.  Below is the article from CBS (Link to CBS Story).

(CBS/KWTV/AP) - OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City pharmacist now faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after being found guilty of murder for the death of a 16-year-old who tried to rob his store.

Confronted by two holdup men in May 2009, Ersland pulled out a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. The drugstore's security camera then filmed Ersland as he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded Antwun Parker as he lay on the floor.

The 59-year-old had been hailed as a hero for protecting two fellow employees.

The Ersland jury began deliberations around 1:00 p.m. Thursday and returned with a the guilty verdict around 4:30 p.m.  The verdict stunned the courtroom. Ersland, who many hailed as a hero, sat emotionless as the guilty verdict was read. People sitting behind him were noticeably upset.  Parker's mother and her sisters were inside the courtroom most of the trial, and burst out of the room when the verdict was read. They clung to each other and cried in the hallway in an outpouring of emotion.

Erlsand was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs with deputies surrounding him. The wife of the Reliable Pharmacy owner was seen crying as she left.

She was visibly stunned that the jury chose to find Ersland guilty of murder instead of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Judge Ray Elliott refused to lift the gag order so the prosecution, the defense, and the jury are not allowed to comment on the verdict. But we do know the jury had asked to see the surveillance video of the robbery and shooting one more time before they went up to deliberate.

Ersland will be sentenced July 11, the same day Anthony Morrison and Emanuel Mitchell will be sentenced. Morrison and Mitchell were convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy for planning the robbery at Reliable Pharmacy.

Below is the link raw security camera footage from that day in 2009.

Take a good look at the footage.  This is where he goes from hero, defending himself and two other employees from criminals that have no regard for another's life and becomes a murder.  Watch when he walks back into the store, walks past/over the fallen body of the robber who met real justice, quick, and up close, and does not glance at him or take any action that would suggest he still viewed the fallen robber as a continuing threat.  Yet he goes to the counter, retrieves another firearm, turns and empties it into the robber on the floor.

The simple rule is: if he/she is a continuing threat to your safety or the safety of others you can continue to take appropriate action against him/her.  If they are no longer a threat you have to stop.  He didn't stop.

You have a right to defend yourself.  Americans do not have to wait for governmental intervention to stop from becoming a victim, they can directly stop the victimizer.  The fact that this story is being told through all the nation media outlets and is being used by the side that does not believe you have the ability to help yourself demonstrates the uniqueness of this event.  What you do not hear is the thousand of times that the potential victim, stays potential and not actual.  You don't have long in-depth conversations about why water is wet.

PS:  The DA that charged him, asked the Judge to allow him to carry a handgun into the courtroom for his own protection.

Numbers 14:9
Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

No comments: