Bringing a Gun to a Snowball Fight

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One of the basic principles governing the use of firearms is this: Never pull a gun unless you are prepared to shoot to kill.

That being the case, one must wonder what was going through the mind of Washington, D.C. Police Detective Baylor when he brandished a gun and threatened to arrest people who had pelted his maroon Hummer with snowballs during a street protest in the imperial Capital City.

“You’re goin’ to jail, and you’re goin’ to jail, and you’re goin’ to jail,” Baylor can be heard yelling in a video clip as he gestures at various protesters. Shortly thereafter another police officer showed up, his un-holstered gun held at his side, in reaction to a 911 call made before Baylor had been identified as a plainclothes detective.

Ironically, the officer had pulled his gun because the call had reported that there was an armed maniac loose among the revelers, which was true — a maniac in the employ of the police. Fortunately, the uniformed officer chose to de-escalate the situation, a choice that is becoming tragically uncommon for police officers.

This was a farce that could easily have turned tragic. It’s worth remembering that a long time ago, a group of imperial policemen angered by taunts and snowballs killed five people in the streets of Boston — and the troops who carried out that massacre represented a government that for all of its plentiful faults was much less corrupt and tyrannical than the one under which we suffer today.

12:47 am on December 20, 2009
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