October 20, 2021

Self Defense or Murder?

When one of our members posts a video, it is on hold pending approval. Often, moderators will discuss the content of a video to determine if it is relevant to the group. Sometimes videos are offensive or do not align with our standards, in which case they are deleted. The video linked at the end of the article, is one of those videos which the moderators felt needed some commentary. We feel this video would be a great tool to teach our members.

All of us, here, believe in the 2nd amendment, but there are also laws that must be followed in exercising your right to self defense. Knowing your local laws on the Castle Doctrine and/or Stand Your Ground is paramount to keeping yourself out of jail or the cemetery.

The lead up and escalation of this video recorded event covered several Violence Dynamics. In this encounter, a culmination of prior incidents, neighbors argued about trash in the alley of their properties.

Since a few minute video does not explain the whole dynamic of the conflict, I will explain the Violence Dynamics that were breached: Mutual Combat, the Monkey Dance, Status Seeking Show, and Educational Beat Down.

Mutual Combat is a fight in which both parties enter willingly. It is a mutual, intentional, and consensual engagement to a fair fight. It is often a sudden quarrel where people are hot blooded and mutually fight upon equal terms.

These two neighbors argued previously about trash in the alley. This final and fatal incident brought video cameras, weapons, and additional combatants. Both parties were ultimately looking to get into a physical dispute. Unfortunately, it was not on mutual terms and escalated into a monkey dance, Status Seeking Show, and an Educational beat down.

The Monkey Dance or Group Monkey Dance is a hard aggressive stare. A verbal challenge such as… “What you lookin’ at?” Combatants may approach within arm’s length. Signs of increased adrenalin, gross motor arm movements, chest bobbing, and facial flushing are common in the monkey dance. Escalating verbal threats continue as each jockey for dominance. Eventually, contact such as a shove or a poke to ones chest with an index finger triggers back-and-forth contacts which escalates to an overhand punch and the fight is on.

The men all participated in the monkey dance which included chest pounding, threats, and plenty of bravado. Unfortunately, the monkey dance escalated to a Status Seeking Show.

The Status Seeking Show is a very particular type of violence. It is aimed at achieving a very particular social effect. The perpetrator desires to achieve a reputation, a very specific reputation, where they want to be known as “hard” or “crazy.” They want to be seen as ‘too dangerous to mess with.

The father wanted to show his son that he was still strong and powerful enough to take on a much younger and stronger man. The son wanted to show his father that he was just as capable as the father to protect the family. The victim wanted to show his wife that he was a force to be reckoned with and that he wasn’t afraid of either man regardless of them being armed with firearms.

An educational beat down typically occurs when a person wanders into an unfamiliar neighborhood and inadvertently acts in a condescending way or insults someone. Often the beat down occurs in a culture of the underclass that feeds on respect. If you disrespect someone, there will be physical consequences. The violence is the consequence because you screwed up.

Obviously, both parties were disrespectful of each other. Each party was willing to teach the other a lesson and earn the respect from the other.

This was a truly an avoidable tragedy. A man was killed because of some trash in the alley.

This is a scenario that unfolds often and people die every year because they can’t behave. Any argument can escalate into a tragedy within minutes or seconds. Be aware of your surroundings. If you find yourself in an argument, you need to stop and remember, don’t feel like you have to prove something. Remove yourself immediately from a threatening or dangerous environment. No matter how good your reasoning, you will never be able to change the enraged person’s mind. Don’t be a “Shit Magnet,” by going around looking for “Shit” because you will find it, I promise. Stay relaxed and appear harmless. Don’t raise your voice or appear aggressive. And lastly, keep in mind others’ safety while with you.

This incident could have turned horribly had they turned the guns on the wife or other people in the crowd.

Texas law states: The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor: (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used.

This incident, one man demanding the other throw a bed into a dumpster, ended the life of a 37 year old husband. This incident destroyed his family. This incident has destroyed the shooters family as they face murder charges and years in prison. It will cost their families their life savings in lawyer fees and court costs for criminal and civil law suits.

While Stand your ground laws diminish the need to retreat when threatened, you cannot go looking for trouble, then use deadly force when something happens. You must have clean hands of the situation. You cannot provoke someone, shoot them, and then call it a shooting in self defense.



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