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About that Austin protest shooting

There was another night of raucous and sometimes-violent protests on Saturday, July 25, 2020; and in Austin, Texas, a motorist shot an armed protester to death. NBC News reports,

“A protester who apparently was armed with a rifle at a demonstration against police violence in the Texas capital was shot and killed after a witness says he approached a vehicle that had driven through the crowd and the driver opened fire. … The vehicle honked, turned onto a street and sped through the protesters before he apparently hit an orange barrier and stopped …. A protester with a rifle approached the vehicle and was shot by the driver …. [who] was detained and was cooperating with police.”

(Read story here.)

From these sketchy facts, it’s hard to say whether the driver will be charged with a crime, or the shooting was justified. My initial reaction to the information above is: The driver drove into a protest area, was armed, and there’s no indication the protester overtly threatened him with the rifle. Adding all that up, it doesn’t look good for the driver.

If we give people a license to shoot other people simply for having a gun, things will get very bloody. Of course you can question the protester’s judgment in approaching an erratic driver with a gun, which is inherently threatening manner. The result — he’s dead — speaks for itself.

But if you judge him, you must also judge the rightwing militias who make a point of carrying weapons to protests, their intent being to intimidate and threaten. If the driver was justified in shooting the protester simply because he was armed, then anyone who shoots these militia people because they’re armed is likewise justified.

I don’t think we want to go there.

(Warning: Video below contains graphic footage and audio.)


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