(SCENE: MITCH is driving down Thomas Avenue in Saint Paul, heading for the glamorous part of the street, when his phone rings. He looks; the Caller ID on the screen says “Avery LIBRELLE”).
MITCH: (Sotto voce) Criminy. Not Avery again.
(MITCH picks up the phone): Hello?
LIBRELLE: Mitch? I need you to come down to the courthouse and bail me out of jail.
MITCH: Jail? Huh? What happened?
LIBRELLE: Well, Mitch, I shot a gun. At a person.
MITCH: Huh? You hate guns. You are a gun-control activist. You don’t even own a gun…
LIBRELLE: I know. It was one of yours.
MITCH: Back up. What?
LIBRELLE: It was your gun.
MITCH: (Visiblly confused, pulling his car over to the curb in front of the “Prada On Thomas” boutique) OK, this is getting weird. How did you get a gun from me?
LIBRELLE: I was at your house.
LIBRELLE: I needed some coconut oil, so I used that key that you used to leave hidden outside for your kids.
MITCH: What the…that disappeared years ago.
LIBRELLE: Yeah, but you weren’t using it.
MITCH: Well, not right at that moment, because I was at work.
LIBRELLE: Well, it was for A Better Minnesota. Anyway – we’re getting side-tracked here. I was digging through your pantry when I saw a couple of people cutting through your neighbor’s yard. I hate it when people do that, so I figured I’d send them a message.
MITCH: (Pulled over to the side of the road) You WHAT?
LIBRELLE: I opened your gun safe and took out that little cowboy gun. I figured I’d send a message.
MITCH: Oh, for the love of…my .22 revolver?
LIBRELLE: Whatever. I figure that sending a message would punish them. So I went out on your back stoop and yelled “NEVER WALK THROUGH PEOPLES’ YARDS AGAIN!”, and pointed the gun sort of at them, but not very close, and squeezed the trigger.
MITCH: I…I…I can’t believe this…
LIBRELLE: Either could I. The “Kick”, I think you call it, almost broke my hand.
MITCH: So to warn off someone walking through a back yard…
MITCH: …that was not mine…
MITCH: …you broke into my house, took my gun, and shot at them?
LIBRELLE: Yes. But in my defense, it did look like an unbelievably small gun.
MITCH: Criminy, Avery. Lethal force is one of those things that you only use when the danger to you is immediate and and lethal. And you never point a gun at someone or something you don’t intend to destroy.
LIBRELLE: But they crossed a red line!
MITCH: What red line?
LIBRELLE: The one I was thinking as I watched them cross into your neighbor’s property.
MITCH: Using lethal force is something you can only do if your life is in immediate threat of death or great bodily harm! Not to “send a message”. And if the force you use is “unbelieveably small”, then – any County Attorney will tell you – the threat to you must not have been all that big in the first place. There are other ways to deal with threats aren’t immediately lethal to you.
LIBRELLE: Bla bla bla. Are you going to bail me out for A Better Minnesota or what? Because we need to talk about the public health threat your guns pose to us neighbors.