I'[ve been reading two different stories about the same event in the Washington Post and the New York Times. The stories seem to agree somewhat but what a difference! This is going to be a long post so bear with me.
Apparently a group of young men in their souped up cars had an argument with another young man. So they decided to go to his home and challenge him to fight. Great! Like he’s an idiot. Like it’s gonna be a fair fight? Right. So they get there and are shouting insults and challenges to the young man. They are coming up the driveway to the front door. So what happens? Dad gets his gun and goes out to run them off. (This may or may not have been smart on Dad’s part (see below) but … WHAT WERE THESE KIDS THINKING? THAT THEY COULD TERRORIZE THIS FAMILY WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES? These kids are lucky Dad didn’t just hole up and start shooting under the belief that he and his family were in imminent danger from this small mob.)
It’s not clear what happened next because the witnesses’ stories differ and so do the newspaper articles description of events. But 1 kid lunged for Dad’s weapon/slapped the weapon away and got killed when the weapon went off. It’s not clear if the shooting was accidental or deliberate. I think this happened on Dad’s property, in the driveway, because the NY Times article indicates that the prosecutors said that’s what happened. (BTW: if you have a long-distance weapon like a shotgun or pistol, why are you in arms-length distance from your target? If you do that you give up your advantage. Remember what I’ve said so many times before about how firearms are NOT a magic wand, even though TV makes them seem that way.)
The next thing that happened is that Dad is prosecuted for voluntary manslaughter in the 2nd degree. Now I don’t know exactly how NY defines this crime, but, in essence, Dad is being prosecuted (and was convicted) for protecting his family instead of calling the cops and waiting for them to show up and shoo theses little cherubs away. If the little cherubs stuck around to be shoo’d.
What would you have done? One thing I wouldn’t do is go outside. Both legally & for personal security reasons I would not go out–I would make them come to me. I would also call the cops. But thank God I live in Virginia where you can protect yourself against a mob of cherubs in my driveway shouting and screaming threats against my family.
O, one more thing: Would it change your mind if you knew Dad was black and the little cherub he shot was white? Dad swears up and down that they were using the “N” word in the threats too. Does it matter? Would it affect his fear level and state of mind?