Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Defending Against Killer Kids

"The first thing I thought is,  I would've shot 'em."
That's one of my good friends, talking to me the other day about the news that a pair of preteen gangsters last week walked up on a woman in the Detroit suburb of Harper Woods, flashed a handgun and carjacked her.
“It's sad, that's the worst part. It's just a little boy walked up to me in the neighborhood where I grew up in and tells me to give up my car to him. And I'm like, ‘Are you kidding?' and he opened up his shirt and showed me the gun,” Johnston said.
The boy said he was going to kill her if she didn't give her the keys, Johnston said.
My friend is not sharing his thoughts about this incident to be callous or tough. There's definitely more than a hint of sadness as he utters the words, slowly, almost as if in amazement at himself.
But he lives three blocks from the scene of the crime and knows it just as easily could've been him or his wife or his older daughter getting attacked. And like a lot of law-abiding men who grew up in the city's toughest neighborhoods, he packs not only a legally registered gun but an iron-clad determination to make it home to his family every day...
"I would've shot 'em...That's the first thing I thought when I saw that."
That's a dad at my son's football practice, a good man, a church pastor, a devoted father and husband, hard worker. And like my buddy who lives near Harper Woods, he too packs and is deadly serious about his willingness to protect himself.
Over the years, he says, he has had visions of any number of threats running through his head. Never once did those fears come wearing a child's face. He shakes his head as he hears himself speak. But his mind is made up.

"Yeah, I would've, too."

That's me, responding to both remarks. And while I can only guess at the sentiments of others, I know for certain how I feel as I say this: hurt, saddened, slightly ashamed. But ultimately, unable to honestly come up with any other answer.

Sweet moses on a pogo. An aggressive "child" is absolutely capable of killing you without blinking an eye, and to say that the mere thought of defending yourself against such an animal brings "shame" is a pretty damned good example of how certain cities and states grow their men.
Or don't.

This is not rocket science. If threatened, it is incumbent upon every man to defend home and hearth from attackers. Regardless of their age. If the kid can be controlled without resorting to deadly force, then have at it. If not, then shoot to kill.

Save the shame for Oprah.

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