Friday, October 17, 2014

Florida Jerk Gets Life in Prison

From ABC News:

A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a teenager in an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Michael Dunn, the Florida concealed carrier who shot and killed Jordan Davis at a gas station, is going to jail for the rest of his life.


Dunn had words with Davis and his friends about their music and somehow felt compelled to draw his (legally carried) handgun and shoot Davis to death.  Dunn and his girlfriend left the scene and did not report the shooting to police.

Asshole (Dunn, just to be clear) got what he deserved.  At least.

Dunn fucked up in so many ways it's hard to count them.

If you are carrying, you cannot afford to instigate a conflict.  Not even a little one.  Heinlein's quote about an armed society being a polite society is prescriptive, not descriptive.  He fled the scene (and not, apparently, because it wasn't a safe place).  He didn't call the police (which any rational person would do if they'd been threatened with a shotgun, as he claimed he was).  He fucking went back to his hotel and ordered a pizza.


When I was training at Gunsite for a week, I put my gun on in the morning at the hotel and wore it until I get back at night.  Largely to get used to the equipment and weight -- adding a couple of pounds of pistol and ammunition to opposite sides of the belt is not comfortable*.  That 30 minute drive first think in the morning and last thing at night was one of the most uncomfortable hours of my life each day.  I was constantly aware that I was carrying.  I found myself at the gas station or Walgreen's worrying about placing my right side to a barrier so that no one could grab for the pistol.  Yes, apparently wearing a firearm makes you paranoid!  :-)

*Clint Smith, who runs Thunder Ranch in Oregon, says carrying "is not meant to be comfortable -- it's meant to be comforting"

Seriously, by the end of the week it was beginning to normalize in terms of that sort of random fear.  But the sense of awe did not go away.  The sense of responsibility and requirement that I "maintain an even strain" did not leave me.  I drove more cautiously.  I responded more kindly to offensive driving.

And I never, ever, not once considered starting a fight, even a verbal one, with anybody*.

Because I was carrying a gun.

*Not that I'm terribly belligerent in general, but my wife will tell you that I have my moments.

That 5 hours of experience driving to and from class at Gunsite looms large in considering whether or not to carry.  And in how I think about other people considering whether or not they should carry.  My favorite thought about it comes from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer:
... and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes ...
If Michael Dunn had thought "reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God" before he decided to carry that handgun, we'd all be better off.  And Jordan Davis would still be alive.