Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life Outside the People's Republic

Well, it happened again. Boston Mayor Tom Menino's worst nightmare has come true - this time, in Louisiana.

Meet Perry Stephens, a licensed gun owner who was in the right place at the right time. When he heard a police officer calling for help after being overpowered by his assailant, Mr. Stephens drew his handgun and shot and killed the man after he refused to back off, possibly saving the officer's life.

From The Advocate (LA):

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sherrif's (sic) Office announced Monday that the gunshot that left one man dead after an altercation with a Baton Rouge Police Department officer was fired by a bystander trying to help.

"Trying to help"? Interesting slant there. Keep reading.

Officer Brian Harrison pulled 24-year-old George Temple over after he cut off a funeral procession. After Harrison pulled Temple over and wrote him a ticket, the two began to fight. Temple got the best of the officer and was on top of him, and Harrison called for help.

Perry Stephens came to Harrison's aid and shot and killed Temple.

Thank goodness our mayor and police commissioner, courageous people of principle, indeed, won't stand for any of that uncivilized behavior. Why we can't have citizens roaming the streets of our town with the ability to save police officers' lives now, can we? How barbaric!

Not surprisingly, Mumbles and O'Toole are not alone in their adherence to such an indefensible philosophy. It is also shared by the local chapter of the NAACP down in Baton Rouge.

"We are outraged in the African-American community that a traffic violation could escalate to the killing of a young businessman," Kwame Asante, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Tuesday.

Any outrage, Kwame, toward the "young businessman" who punched a police officer in the face, and thenwrestledd him to the ground over a traffic violation? I'm guessing not. To take a stand against that kind of behavior would carry with it the crazy implication that responsible people, living in a free society, are expected to be held accountable for their actions. And that sure makes it hard to blame all our hardships on global warming and Dick Cheney's top-secret ties to Halliburton, doesn't it? And, where's the fun in that?

Among other things, Asante said, people want to know what led to the fight between Temple and Harrison, and why Stephens wasn'’t arrested for shooting Temple five times with a .45-caliber handgun.

Um...maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the fact that Mr. Temple was in the process of physically assaulting a police officer at the time of the shooting.

Of course, the relatives of the deceased are carrying on, as can be predicted, about what a squeaky clean individual he was, and how he didn't have a violent or angry bone in his body. I guess that all depends on your definition of squeaky.

Phares said that investigators found a handgun in Temple'’s car, but that it did not play a part in the altercation.


According to court records, Temple was on probation for simple battery and simple damage to property at the time of his death.

A case against him also was pending involving counts of simple battery, simple trespassing and simple criminal damage to property, according to records at the Clerk of Court'’s office.

He was on probation? With a handgun in his car?

I don't know Louisiana firearms law, but that sounds like a no-no to me.

Now, compare The Advocate's version of this story to the one published recently by the Boston Globe:

Big surprise there.

Not one word of this incident to be found anywhere in the pages of the Boston Globe. Did they simply miss this one? Did they just feel it wasn't local enough to warrant coverage? Am I over-reacting when I accuse the Globe of refusing to publish stories that run contrary to their political viewpoint on the subject of gun control and gun rights?

I don't think so.

A disgruntled postal employee opens fire in a post office - in California? Run with it!

A kid brings a gun to a daycare center, and shoots a playmate in the arm - in Maryland? Why, that's front page news!

A high school shooting - in Minnesota? STOP THE PRESSES!

An armed citizen coming to the aid of a fallen police officer - in Louisiana? You guessed it.

So, remember kids, guns can only be used for eeeevil.

And, damn it, the good people of the national media, who know what's best for you, are going to remind you of that "fact" at every opportunity.