The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Plea For Civility

I would like to take a stab at analyzing the case of Michael Dunn, the killer of a black teenager in Jacksonville, FL. It is a story with which you may be familiar (it was, after all, a case the news media was intensely interested in for at least its ability to draw attention and so it was seemingly everywhere).

Let me recap the case as best I can:

Michael Dunn stopped at a convenience store in Jacksonville with his girlfriend to pick up some things on their way to their hotel after attending his (Dunn's) son's wedding. He pulled up next to a car with three teens in it (a fourth teen had gone into the store), loud music was playing in the car. Loud enough to be heard well away from the car. According to one report:

"Both Thompson and Brunson (two teens who were in the car with the victim) testified that the music playing in the Durango was loud enough that the car shook with the bass."

I am fairly sure you've experienced similar situations. I know I have. But this incident turned deadly for one of the teens. It wasn't just the music volume that triggered the shooting, it was more. And there are some things I would like to know that I cannot find reported anywhere. Was the window (where the victim, Jordan Davis, was sitting in the back seat) down or up, for example? Why is that important? Because the teens who testified said there was an exchange of angry words between Dunn and Davis just before the shots rang out. That implies the window was down.

In any case, the exchange of angry words was over the volume of the music. Dunn complained, Tevin Thompson (one of the passengers in the teens' car) turned it down. But Thompson turned it back up  when Davis said something to the effect (as testified to by Thompson) of, "F**k that, n*****r, turn it back up." And Thompson did.

Dunn claimed in his defense that he saw the barrel of a gun* and that is when he reached over, got his handgun (a semi-automatic) from the glove compartment, cocked it by pulling the slide back and releasing it, and began firing.

No one should lose his life over loud music. But (and here's where I am speculating) why did Davis feel he had to respond by having the music turned back up? Why couldn't he let it slide and leave it turned down? Perhaps he felt "dissed" and, perhaps, so did Dunn when the music volume went back up.

Neither treated the other with any respect at all.Each antagonized the other, each thought (apparently) he was the more important person. Shots ring out, a young man dies.

All because two people couldn't be civil. 

* I suspect, but do not know, that what Dunn saw was part of a pipe. Why do I say that? Because I carried one in my car as a teen... one end wrapped with friction tape for gripping securely, the other bare. A pipe could easily be mistaken for a gun barrel. Speculating again; Davis could have picked up the pipe to imply a threat to Dunn. 


Tom Sightings said...

Hard to judge because we really don't know what happened. But your plea for civility is exactly the lesson that should be learned.

Douglas said...

Tom, even if one is on the jury or sits in the courtroom every day of the trial, one does not know what happened, especially what the participants were thinking.

Douglas said...

I had other questions (not in the post): Did the target appear to be the teen who died? (where were all, or most, of the shots aimed?) Did the victim's car try to get him to a hospital? (or, where did they go after leaving the scene?). I don't know if these are important to the case or just my own curiosity.