The Paranoid States of America

Man, I’ve gotta reassess things.  It’s becoming apparent that, if I’m involved in a car accident with no other witnesses around, I’m sitting in or as close to the car as possible until somebody comes looking for me.  Things are getting a bit too dangerous in the Paranoid States of America.

Dearborn Heights — Police sent a request to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday asking for charges to be filed against a resident accused in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Detroit woman Saturday in a case of suspected self-defense gone bad.

Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old Detroit woman, was shot in the head with a shotgun by a resident of a home in the 16000 block of Outer Drive near Warren Avenue early Saturday morning after she is believed to have sought help at the home.

The family of McBride said she went for help after a car accident around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Her cellphone battery had died, her family said.

This case has quite a few similarities to that of Jonathan Ferrell who was shot and killed on September 14th in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He was also involved in a car accident and was shot and killed by a police officer who responded to reports of an attempted break-in.

I know the media portrays us Black people as sometimes vicious thugs, but can you at least wait a second or two to see if it’s really the thug knocking on your door?  These two people were someone’s child.  Would you not want someone to help your child if they were involved in an accident that late at night?

I guess this is another life lesson I have to remember to teach my daughters.  It’s not like I don’t already have enough to burden them with.

[Update:  11/07/2013  9:45pm EST]

From the Detroit Free Press:

Early today, Dearborn Heights police disputed early statements by the family that McBride was shot in the back of the head as she turned to leave the porch. Police said the homeowner told investigators his shotgun accidentally discharged, hitting Renisha McBride in the face as she stood on his porch.

“This man’s claiming – believed the girl was breaking into the home. And he’s also saying the gun discharged accidentally,” Lt. James Serwatowski, chief detective, said.

“This girl was not shot in the back of the head while leaving the porch,” Serwatowski said “I don’t know where the family is getting this. She was shot in the front of the face, near the mouth.”

You don’t accidentally discharge a gun without first having to put your finger on the trigger.  In my rather extensive firearm training history, there have been three primary rules that I have been taught when handling firearms.

  1. Treat every gun you handle as though it is loaded and chambered.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  3. Do not point the gun at anything you do not wish to destroy.

If nothing else, this story goes to show that there needs to be some serious consideration of training requirements for gun owners.  Even if it is not mandatory, I don’t understand how someone could desire to own something that’s potentially deadly for themselves and their family and not have a desire to be trained how to properly handle and take care of it.  Given how Guns and Ammo fired their editor for the backlash they received after he wrote an editorial that supported firearm safety regulations, I seriously doubt we will ever see the day when safety in handling firearms will ever get discussed sensibly in this country.  That’s too bad as we have far too many senseless deaths due to firearms here.



7 thoughts on “The Paranoid States of America

  1. A good many years ago. a young friend of mine was walking home one night when someone hit her over the head, stuffed her in the trunk of a car, drove her to a remote area, beat and raped her and left her for dead. When she came to, she saw a light at a house in the distance. It took her a long time, but she finally managed to crawl to the house and bang on the door for help. When the residents saw her on their porch, naked and bloody, they were too afraid to open the door, but they did call the police. She’s white, so no one shot her, but I couldn’t put myself in the shoes of the residents of that house and understand how they could be so afraid of a naked, bloody young woman that they wouldn’t open the door.

    I would say that residents should at least do as those folks did and call the police, but that’s what got the young man in North Carolina killed. I’m at a loss as to what you can tell your daughters other than to carry a cellphone at all times and keep a spare battery and/or a car charger with them. You and your wife should do the same. Take care of yourselves.


    • “You and your wife should do the same. Take care of yourselves.”

      That’s just what I don’t understand. My family has been on North American soil since at least the 1790s. We’ve served this country proudly, even when some in this country didn’t give a sh*t about us. My wife and I have worked hard to get to where we are in life, so I don’t understand why I should have to act any differently than any other middle class American.

      My skin color should not matter at all, but I do understand where you’re coming from with your advice. At one point when I was younger, I didn’t want to have kids to avoid bringing up another person to have to be stigmatized just because of who they are. I guess I wouldn’t have the girls if God didn’t think I could successfully raise them. Thanks for the advice. 🙂


      • You and your wife shouldn’t have to do anything different from what anyone else does. I ask you to take care of yourselves not because you ought to, but because I hope you will nevertheless. We live in the world as it is, and you seem like a really nice guy with a really nice family.

        Emily Yoffe wrote a piece for Slate advising young women to be careful about drinking — careful about how drunk they get, careful about the people they’re with, careful about circumstances. So many rapes and murders start with a young woman at a bar or a party. It’s good, common sense advice. She caught 20 kinds of hell from people pointing out that there’s nobody giving that advice to young men; why should women have to act differently? My young friend who was attacked was walking a few blocks home through a quiet neighborhood, a walk no man in his 20s would have hesitated to make. Unfortunately, as much as I hate that women have to protect themselves more than men, we live in a world where they do.


    • You tell me… There’s one about a guy that shot and killed two people that had just robbed a store. Based on what I read, the robbers pointed a gun at the shooter. THAT would slide towards the justified side of the argument. Shooting someone just for knocking at your door makes me think you’re a scared little beeyotch. That, or the story being told is a lie to cover the truth.


  2. Pingback: Update on the Renisha McBride case | The Mind of Brosephus

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