There was an episode last Friday on Mississippi River Parkway. Four youths – in masks, one of them waving a gun – jumped a couple of people out for a walk along the river.
One of the citizens – a carry permit holder, and by all visible signs a good guy with a gun – returned fire, mortally wounding one of the attackers. Then, according to the story, he did exactly what permit holders are told to do if they, heaven forbid, have to defend themselves; called the cops when he determined he and his companion were safe; then, he administered first aid until the cops arrived.
We don’t, of course, know all the details; if it turns out the shooting was so justified that the Ramco Attorney never tries to bring charges, it’s entirely likely we really won’t. As of today, the police haven’t referred the shooter to the Ramco Attorney, which is a good sign.
But the interesitng part is the coverage the two local dailies gave it.
In the Pioneer Press? Pretty much just the facts.
In the Strib – whose coverage of the last notable self-defense shooting, behind a Cub on East Lake in Minneapolis in 2010, was maudlin and disgraceful – there was a brief nod toward social-justice-warriorism in the early edition, focusing on the deceased robber’s mother’s reaction, as if some editor was hoping to latch onto another Trayvon Martin publicity bonanza. However, by the beginning of this week the narrative had settled down to a sober look at teen gangs in Saint Paul – which may be one of the more unreported issues in the city.
The takeaway? Some shooters are doing the end-zone happy dance. I’m not; a family lost a son. A self-defense shooting is the second worst possible outcome.
But never forget that the worst possible outcome is the intended victim dying. The intended victim is alive today. And the only useful outcome from this would be for every criminal – whether a wannabee gang thug or a creep looking for some unearned cash – to realize that there are 199,999 more of us as of last Thursday who can do exactly the same thing.
And especially for every kid playing at being a gangster, waving a gun around to intimidate people, to know that this state is crawling with people with the motivation and the ability to end them. Cold.
And the odds are getting worse every day. Criminals are mostly rarely bright people – but they have the same sense of self-preservation the rest of us do.
Let’s hope the message gets out.