When the police and prosecutors talk with you in relation to allegations of criminal activity, you have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer to keep you from saying something stupid or even just inadvertent that can end up putting you in jail.
And it doesn’t even have to be anything you say to the cops.
A few years ago, during the “Black LIves Matter” protest at Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct, a fellow with a carry permit, Alan Scarsella, shot and wounded someone from a group of protesters that was chasing him. His fear of immediate death and great bodily harm was real; he attempted to retreat, running a whole block before firing back; he used the force needed to end the threat (the chase stopped cold when he fired).
But on the way to the protest, he and his idiot friends made some videos, including some statements (which may or may not have been quotes) that the county prosecutor managed to get before the jury as racist provocations that, in the end, negated Scarsella’s attempt to prove that he wasn’t the aggressor in the jury’s eyes. He got convicted and sentenced to seven years.
So if you’re a good guy or gal with a gun who, heaven forfend, winds up shooting someone in self-defense, everything you say can and will be used against you – even things you say long before the episode in question, unrelated to the shooting.
I thought about that when the media started covering this story – a Saint Paul homeowner shot a suspected car thief.
And what picture did the Strib, and then every single gun-grabber group, run with?
From the Strib, with emphasis added:
A 36-year-old man with a gun was with the suspect when police arrived, and he identified himself to officers as the homeowner, police said. He cooperated with the investigation and was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of aggravated assault.
The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Police found the man who had been shot in the side yard of the house after hearing gunfire, said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
A sign in the window of the house read, “No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!” The sign punctuates the message with drawings of bullet holes.
The guy – guys, really – are innocent until proven guilty. And Berg’s 18th Law is still in full effect.
But will the police and county attorney – who both cordially detest the law-abiding gun owner and dislike the notion of the Good Guy With A Gun, use this sign as evidence to logroll a jury, if necessary, into believing that the homeowner, whatever the actual situation, was looking for a chance to use his right to keep and bear arms on someone who “had it coming”?
Why embroider it?
If you are a gun owner who is concerned about self-defense, it is imperative that you stop writing on social media, putting stickers on your car, or posting your house with signs talking about what you intend to do to alleged criminals with your firearms.
It’s the same thing I wrote back when I did own guns. I’d never buy another, of course. Guns terrify me.