There Are Many Ethics Villains In This Story, But The Boys Put In Handcuffs Aren’t Among Them.

In July of 2019, 10-year-old Gavin Carpenter and a friend were playing outside with toy weapons near a Fort Carson, Colorado intersection, acting out a favorite video game scenario. One of the weapons was an an orange Nerf bow that apparently didn’t work.  Gavin had a toy gun with an orange tip. It was also broken. The boys might as well have been using their fingers, or sticks.

As part of the game, they pretended to shoot at passing cars. One driver stopped, and was furious, shouting at the boys, who ran  to a grandparents’ house. The man called the police.  The County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested both Gavin and his friend. They were  handcuffed and taken to the Colorado Springs Police Department for mugshots and fingerprinting.

For pretending to shoot at cars with obvious toys that couldn’t shoot anything. And they were ten.

Gavin was finally released into his parent custody at10:30 p.m. They  hired an attorney to help get the charge expunged from Gavin’s record, but the District Attorney was intent on prosecuting.  The boys were moved into a diversion program requiring community service,writing an essay, and other hoops to jump through. 216 days later, what was charged as Felony Menacing was finally expunged from their records

Now the rogues gallery inhabiting this revolting episode:

1. Whoever the mega-jerk was who called the police. He could have, and should have, simply told the boys not too pretend to shoot at cars because there are a lot of silly, hysterical, easily triggered people on the road.

2. The police. Sheriff Andy Taylor (from “The Andy Griffith Show”) would have given the boys a stern talking to, and that would have been plenty. Handcuffing and processing the kids is child abuse. It was excessive, unnecessary and stupid. The police involved should be put on administrative leave.

3. The District Attorney. Things must be real slow around Colorado Springs. The arrest and trauma it involved was more punishment than these kids deserved. What an officious, irresponsible bully!

4. Finally, the weenie parents. “Both mom and dad agreed this was a learning lesson not only for Gavin but for them as well,” the news article says. “The kids don’t understand the way the world thinks right now,” Gavin’s mom Stephanie said. “So, they don’t know what we know…they are kids.”

And you and your spouse are cowardly, lazy, submissive adults.

The reason the world thinks like that—hysterically, irrationally—is in part because those who are obligated to get in these officious fools’ faces and tell them to cut it out behave like these parents, and passively capitulate to injustice. This isn’t the time to “pay the two dollars.” This is an intolerable abuse of the law and power.  The parents should have gone to the news media, to legislators, to children’s advocates, to the governor, and in addition, sued everyone in sight. A parent cannot and must not knuckle under to mistreatment of their children by the government.

More from the article:

Gavin’s dad has decided since this was all a bit traumatic on Gavin, he is planning some ideas where both of the boys arrested can do some events with police and deputies to help overcome their fears. “Were trying to establish now for the boys a few events to help build trust in law enforcement because it was shattered. We want them to not be scared and show that law enforcement is their friends, and they need to show them the proper respect,” Chris said.

Oh, gee, Dad, why don’t you have the boys lick their boots while they’re at it? The boy’s trust was shattered because the police shattered it with indefensible abuse of their authority. Police who act like that are not the boys’ friends, and until those officers are rebuked and disciplined,  the law enforcement in that community doesn’t deserve respect.

Just fear.

52 thoughts on “There Are Many Ethics Villains In This Story, But The Boys Put In Handcuffs Aren’t Among Them.

  1. Are there a lot of historical people on the road today? Washington? Lincoln? Sorry Jack, couldn’t resist.

  2. I found this article which also has a revealing video.

    It seems to me that it does not matter at all that the kids, or anyone else, says that they were only toys and could fire anything (a toy by definition cannot fire anything). What matters, and the only thing that matters, is what a person driving by who has what looks like a shotgun pointed at them might think. Any person with what looks like a shotgun pointed at them, anywhere, under any circumstances, does not have to justify or defend their genuine fearful reaction.

    The man was in the right in that circumstance to stop, to complain, and follow the kids to their house. The kids were also in the wrong for running away, despite their ages. He was also quite right to bring his complaint to the parents (as one sees in the video). Since it seems as though the parents, at the door, did not act properly and appropriately, they contributed to the escalation because in the absence of a conciliatory effort by the parents he informed them he would call the police. They could have avoided that by handling the situation properly.

    Should the man have done something different? Should he not have reacted as he did? Was he wrong to have been scared when someone pointed a shotgun-like real weapon-like toy at him? Was he wrong to call the police? I can’t blame him. And given all the random shootings I would have to say he is completely within his rights.

    I imagine that the police have strict protocols in such a situation. Would they have the freedom not to take the event seriously? Do they have that right?

    What seems overdone is the arrest and the handcuffing. It does not seem wrong that they would have taken him to the station. But could they have violated protocol by simply driving him to the station? Could they have asked the parents to drive him? That would seem to have been the solution.

    Despite the fact that all that happened after the police were brought in was likely unnecessary and overdone, I cannot find fault with the parent for:

    Gavin’s dad has decided since this was all a bit traumatic on Gavin, he is planning some ideas where both of the boys arrested can do some events with police and deputies to help overcome their fears. “Were trying to establish now for the boys a few events to help build trust in law enforcement because it was shattered. We want them to not be scared and show that law enforcement is their friends, and they need to show them the proper respect,” Chris said.

    What if, as with the kid in the park years back with the toy gun who got shot by police, what if his own son had been shot? It could have happened. There could have arisen a situation where that happened. But it didn’t. He has every reason to feel lucky that things turned out as they did.

    • 1. The kid in Cleveland did NOT have a toy gun with the orange tip. Kids are told that the orange tip is essentail, and that it signals that the thing is a toy. If people ignore that, It’s not their fault.
      2. First clue: the kids were 10. (Tamir Rice was an adult-sized 12)
      3. Second clue: there have been no incidents in US history of little boys shooting shotguns at cars.
      3. Third clue: the Nerf bow is obviously a toy, from any distance. “Hey, let’s shoot at cars! You bring your Nerf bow, and I’ll bring a shotgun!”
      4. Fourth clue: that doesn’t look like a shot gun, or any real gun.

      It’s still a dumb thing to do, because it could distract a driver. When I was around the same age, a friend and I pretended that the cars on Pleasant Street were invading flying saucers, and we shot at them with his air rifle and my Burp gun. Some of the drivers waved at us! But my father, when I described the game, told me why it was a dangerous thing to do, and we never did it again. How hard is that?

      • 1) The orange tip thing really has no bearing here. It might have been dusk-time. A driver would likely not be able to distinguish an orange color nor would anyone, fearing a gun pointed at them, immediately have their fear alleviated even had they distinguished an orange tip.

        2) It also is not the responsibility, nor should anyone assume it is the responsibility, for a startled driver to assess the age of the one pointing the weapon at them. How could they? When they notice the person and the aimed gun their first reaction is *mortal terror* (no less than that). Therefore: they cannot realistically be demanded to make some age assessment. Fear overrides slow reason, doesn’t it?

        3) This also does not seem relevant to me. The man was genuinely scared, and genuinely angered. He is completely within his right. It does not matter if no children have been involved in mass shooting. All that matters is what it seemed like at that moment.

        4) It most definitely looks exactly like a shot gun. The video shows the toy. And the one having it pointed at him must in that moment necessarily see it as a viable weapon.

        It is more than a dumb thing to do: it is highly illegal. I admit to being somewhat surprised by your reaction against what the police did in spirit. I agree with you that they went way over the line of what was needed. Your position is always that the law, in the most strict sense, is what must be observed.

        It is absolutely illegal to aim a toy weapon at anyone, at anytime, ever. I am only basing this adamant recitation on the fact that it resulted in a Class 5 felony in Colorado. So, it must be illegal. If it was not illegal, why did he get charged with a Class 5 felony?

        • Were you joking in your last paragraph?
          If it is absolutely illegal to aim a toy weapon at anyone, at anytime, ever….. then what’s the purpose of Nerf guns? Shooting squirrels? I have done that and the squirrels do not flinch when hit with Nerf darts. Perhaps you mean as long as the aiming of the gun is unwelcome, like #metoo harassment stuff.

        • Funny, none of the other drivers freaked out.
          It he thought they had real guns, why did he stop and get out of the car?
          I’m pretty sure everyone can tell a 10-year-old from an adult.
          It’s NOT “highly illegal”: there was no mens rea or intent to harm

          • That is not a good argument either. You do not know what the other drivers thought or felt.

            I would speculate that when he first saw the weapon pointed at him he reacted in fear, as any person likely would.

            But then he saw the children running away and he realized that they were playing. But, as a responsible adult, and as any adult should be responsible, he followed them in order to explain that what they were doing was wrong and dangerous. He went to their home. He made his case in some anger. He was not received well. He opted to call the police.

            That is what a responsible adult should do and must do.

            A child playing irresponsibly with a look-alike weapon could get killed. A responsible adult should take action to be sure that such an event does not repeat.

            Everything in this situation was fine up to the point that the police overreacted. They should have reacted, but they should have modified their reaction.

                  • So, your whole argument now hinges on whether the weapon did or did not look like a real gun? Good. Because at about the 1/3 point in that video I posted a shotgun like weapon is shown. I assume that is the actual toy used. It definitely looks real enough to me. As it would to anyone. A wooden stock, a black barrel.

                    Any person, even one experienced with weapons, driving in their car and thinking of others things, if suddenly they saw someone in a rifleman stance aiming a gun at them would have no way to distinguish it as a toy.

                    When a gun is pointed straight at you you only notice the stance of the shooter, and only see the barrel of the gun, and any person would react to it as a genuine threat. If you genuinely believe they should be able to notice a bit of orange stuck in the tip, and distinguish it is a toy, you are asking far too much.

                  • I guess you endorse the “finger gun” punishments too.

                    Thoroughly incorrect. There is no relationship between using fingers as a *gun* in an aggressive gesture and brandishing a look-alike gun in traffic.

                    Though I do not recommend anyone brandishing their *finger gun* if there are nervous police around, or if it is semi-dark.

                    So even to use a finger-gun in an ambiguous situation is badly advised.

          • It’s NOT “highly illegal”: there was no mens rea or intent to harm.

            I assume in a country or rational laws that if I walked into downtown traffic with a non-powder gun (pellet or bb) or a toy look-alike gun, that I would 1) beyond doubt scare people to death and 2) get charged with a serious offense, and 3) get justifiably shot.

            I said I based my statement on the fact that the kid was charged with a Class 5 felony. I do not know any more about the charge. Could it have been for brandishing a non-powder or toy gun in public, and in traffic? It would seem to me that doing such a thing could, technically, greatly endanger the people who might react.

            If there was no sufficient cause for the charge in Colorado, the charge should have been dropped. If the charge was not dropped there was likely a reason why.

    • It is sad that today, people wouldn’t immediately assume the kids were playing with toy guns. That is why toy guns are less realistic these days. Toy guns look like toys for a reason now. However, kids (and adults) want stuff that looks more like the real thing. This has led to the sale of BB guns that are very good replicas of specific guns. The revolvers have revolving cylinders and are loaded by inserting a BB into a realistic looking .38 special cartridge and loading that into the cylinder. From what I read, that is what Tamir Rice had.

      Something like this Glock.

      or this Smith and Wesson 327 (notice the cartridges in the cylinder)

      • I could imagine yelling at the kids, and then informing the police that there were kids shooting Nerf darts into traffic. Shooting darts into traffic is dangerous enough for police to informally follow up and/or have a few patrol through the area.

        That the Nerf gun was broken is not something necessarily apparent from the road (nor should strange men be stopping to look closely at children’s toys).

        The police and prosecutor’s actions, once informed, are clearly excessive and abusive.The parent’s face an ethical dilemma. Given the extreme treatment by the police, or at least the prosecutor, do they follow what was likely their attorney’s advice to cooperate and make the charges go away, or do they publicly speak out and risk the prosecutor doubling down?

  3. Apparently, Sheriff Andy has been replaced by Sheriff Barney. Or perhaps even Sheriff Otis, because it almost takes an alcoholic stupor to justify actions like this by the police.

  4. I watched the video, curious about what sort of sniveling poltroon would be so frightened of two little boys that he would call the police. The video showed the man angrily complaining at the family’s front door, which didn’t seem consistent with the cowardly impression the story had given me at first. The man’s not a coward: He’s an indignant, self-righteous moron. The driver was so alarmed that someone might be shooting at his car that he went to confront them? Obviously, he could tell that they weren’t a real threat. His call to the police was a waste of police time and resources.

    The claim that the toy gun could be mistaken for the real thing also has no particular merit: Look at the size of that thing. It is scaled down from the real thing, such that anyone should be able to tell it isn’t a genuine weapon.

    I am not particularly impartial when it comes to this story, since I once had some hysteric call the police when I was putting away my suit of medieval armor after a practice for the Society for Creative Anachronism in a local park. They saw me from across the parking lot and went speeding away, calling the cops with some wild story that I was “threatening a woman with an axe”. Fortunately, the responding officer didn’t feel the need to cite me after I showed him the rubber and duct tape “weapon” in question.

    • Here you have a fine use of a non-principled argument filled to the brim with underhanded rhetoric.

      In principle the man had every right to have a reaction. There is no doubt of this. You can call him a lout, a rodent, a coward or a three toed troll. That has no bearing. It is a fair assessment that he react. And it is fair for him to be angry.

      It is totally reasonable that he pursue the kids home and attempt to bring the seriousness of the situation to the attention of the parents. I assume good-faith: in some other situation a child brandishing what loops like a weapon could get killed.

      That is the principle operating here: the desire to protect a child.

      You can choose not to pay attention to the principle if you wish to. But I assert a responsible adult must pay attention to the principle.

      All that you say about the look of the weapon does not have bearing here. In traffic, driving along, distracted as one might be, one is not obligated to make complex assessments. And no one can demand or insist that they do.

      Your ‘argument from circumstance’ about your Medieval costume encounter has no bearing here, its just anecdote.

      You were not a child. Here, a child did something that could have resulted in someone getting hurt. And the child could have gotten hurt.

      • After watching this video, it seem obvous that the children needed to be protected from this man. When a man gets out of a car and starts running towards some 10 year-olds (and from his actions, he was probably screaming), they better run. In this video, this man is not acting rationally. He did not go to the door, tell the parents calmly what happened and that he was concerned that someone might do something. He was yelling. He was enraged. This was not a rational discussion. This was not a rational person. I have told children not to point their toy guns at cars before. I just said “Hey guys, don’t point the guns at cars. They might be a crazy person in the car that might come after you.” Seems I was right.

        • That is an inference but not a certain one.

          I infer that had they stopped he would have yelled at them — rightly so — and it would likely have gone no further.

          It is true though, too, that “people are . . . tense” as the doctor says in Joker. I do not doubt that the man was irate. I do doubt whether he was a threat to the children.

          The parents would likely have been able to mollify him had they chosen to.

          In the end it is the parents who seem to have the most reasonable attitude. They turn the whole thing into a positive experience and likely feel relieved that the children were not harmed.

          • Oh, I very much doubt they could have mollified this man. He was high on righteousness. Let’s look at some other examples.

            I could include many others, but you get the idea. People who get this upset about kids with obvious toy guns are not likely to be rational. Trying to reason with irrational people is dangerous.

            • It’s funny but I saw that first one months ago. I went on a public-contronts-police spree on YouTube.

              You have a decent point: there are lunatics out there and they are so unbalanced that anything can happen.

              I’d have to know more about the entire situation, the personality of the man who called the police, before I could finally decide.

      • You’re right that my harsh opinion of the man’s character is not an argument. Similarly, the anecdote about the park was meant to illustrate my bias, rather than present further argumant.

        My argument boils down to one thing: Either he thought those boys were a potential threat and lawbreakers in need of arrest, or he didn’t. The man can’t have it both ways: If he thought the boys posed a significant danger, then confronting them at their house was moronic. If he didn’t think that they posed a threat, then calling the police was a self-indulgent display of temper.

        “Underhanded” rhetoric? While my rhetoric could be fairly criticised on several counts, it was hardly devious or deceptive.

        • I have been reading Richard Weaver’s The Ethics of Rhetoric. I am reading now an article on my favorite (as the left would say) Neo-Nazi Website (Counter-Currents) on the topic. I have decided, like some Marvel Comics character, not only to say evil things but to truly be evil.

          Your-plural support in the coming weeks & months will be appreciated!

          My object now is to argue strictly from principle. I feel that the general approach here to ethics is not from ethical principles but from social contingency and *circumstance* and a derived ethics.

          Your post contained my ‘rhetorical flourishes’ to bolster an argument from contingency or circumstance.

          1) sniveling poltroon
          2) indignant, self-righteous moron.
          3) call to the police was a waste of police time and resource

          My argument boils down to one thing: Either he thought those boys were a potential threat and lawbreakers in need of arrest, or he didn’t. The man can’t have it both ways: If he thought the boys posed a significant danger, then confronting them at their house was moronic. If he didn’t think that they posed a threat, then calling the police was a self-indulgent display of temper.

          I can see a clear alternative. He became scared when someone seemed to point a weapon at him. He reacted with anger, but his anger was justified. He may very well have wished to make a moral point to a) the kids and b) the parents, and he was completely within his right to do so. However, in today’s climate, perhaps one is advised to take no action on one’s own part and just *call the police*? As the possibility of any civil conversation breaks down perhaps that is best?

          You only see a small clip where he shows anger and frustration (and he was swearing: but you are a vulgar people. You swear all the time. And in front of children).

          The boys were not a threat to him, I assume he was clear about that. But he acted at least in principle as a responsible adult. 1) What the kids did might have resulted in an accident or other harm, 2) Harm might have come to the children as a result of what they did.

    • Fascinating. I was once stopped by a cop leaving an event because my sword (steel) was in the gun rack of my pick-up. Had my Winchester been there, I would not have been stopped.

          • Well, aren’t you precious? Here’s the thing, dear: using 7 paragraphs when only one is required is not a show of intelligence but of hubris. You are in love with your own thoughts and the written word. When I do manage to get past your first paragraph (should I bother) I am soon overcome by ennui. Maybe by 2025 you will have learned the meaning of “succinct”. Baruch HaShem.

            • I don’t think that hubris quite gets to the heart of what you want to say. I think that the Greek word for *excess* would be more accurate: ùπερβολή or hyperbolic.

              Over-the-top would be a colloquial way to put it.

              Adj. 1. hyperbolic — enlarged beyond truth or reasonableness; “a hyperbolic style”
              Inflated. Also exaggerated, overstated.

              Hubris (from ancient Greek ὕβρις) describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence, often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance.

              If I had my choice I’d go with haughty.

              [From Middle English haut, from Old French haut, halt, alteration (influenced by Frankish hōh, high) of Latin altus, high; see al- in Indo-European roots.]

              • Nope. I’m always clear about what I want to say; always. Perhaps it’s why I don’t often comment. I always make sure I’m sure. Hyperbole can be dismissed; attributed to a lack of verbal acumen, experience, etc. That’s not you. You? You are all hubris; with every superfluous word. I think you probably have something to say. I’m quite sure I would not agree with any of it; but dang, you sure would be a lot more effectual if you got out of your own way, and your own ego. Haughty? It’s not an admirable quality.

                Get to work.

  5. Alizia, I admire your courage and skill in jousting with Jack and the others. I wish there were more like you. Unfortunately, I joined sometime after they all left the site.
    We all need more exposure to different viewpoints.
    I cannot buy that the angry driver was made fearful, if after he heard no shots fired, and bolted from his car towards the boys. I cannot buy that all persons fears are someone else’s fault. It is not ethical to blame others very often for one’s own mis judgments or apprehensions. One shouldn’t shoulder upon others what they are capable of processing and dealing with themselves.
    The angry driver, perhaps yourself and certainly many others suffer from “hoplophobia”, an unreasonable fear of weapons…(not a real medical term by the way). Like many other disorders, it can be treated over time with the technique of de-sensitization. To know what a real gun looks like and sounds like, you just need to get out to the range more often.

      • The term was first coined by a legendery Marine officer, author, defensive pistol instructor/owner at Gunsite Academy and a master of opinionated linguistics and the 1911 .45 auto. He is considered to be a god by some in law enforcement and pro gun circles. His name is Col. Jeff Cooper, and his writings are straightforward, interesting and unequivacally provocative.
        He often refered to the Sunis by their tribal name, the Wahabis. I’m not sure why that comes to mind. He has faded away, but his works are easily found on Amazon. I need to read him again, lest I lose my way.

    • Alizia, I admire your courage and skill in jousting with Jack and the others. I wish there were more like you. Unfortunately, I joined sometime after they all left the site.

      Thanks for your kind words, they are appreciated.

      I want to point out that you would be mistaken if you associated me with those various people who defined themselves as Leftists and who do not write here any longer. As Humble Talent — a most remarkable Canadian hyper-liberal — pointed out: when a declared Leftist shows up here it is a day of glee for the denizens because they can jump on that person with the full weight of their body and *punish* them for the horrible things going on in the social sphere.

      My object is to rationally define a position that is ultra-conservative and traditionalist. Everyone writing on this list — to a man (and woman! and even some in-betweens!) — is an absolute and thorough progressive. This I call *American progressivism* and it is largely a mishmash political ideology that was developed in the Postwar. In the 1960s it became infused with a nearly-religious sentimentalism and everyone writing on this Blog, including myself, has been infected by it. Those who write here say they are *conservatives* and this is a really really bad joke. They serve, absolutely, all the progressive categories and have no way to define anything different. They are moved along by the general progressivism and as radical progressivism continues pulling to the extreme they, like an anchor that has not been set properly, are moved right along with it.

      As I have said (no one has bothered to refute it because, I reckon, they can’t) you are centrist progressives made uneasy by the radicals who drive leftism even farther to the most bizarre extremes possible. You desire to apply a *brake* to the extremism evident in the social and political sphere. The *brake* you have and apply is one of *complaint*. A somewhat pathetic whining that is utterly powerless to make any change at all in any sphere, ever.

      I am a racialist, an anti-feminist, a counter-Marxist. I do not believe in equality. At the same time I am against war and certainly America’s wars. I am also opposed, in so many ways, to what I call The Americanopolis. It is a biting little term coined by Pierre Krebs to refer to a side of America Americans are incapable of seeing. It is in this sense the *sum total* of both the positive aspects of Americanism but in today’s dispensation it has been blended with a governmental and social program of bringing America’s perversions to the world. So, here I am adamantly anti-homosexual agenda but also profoundly critical of sexual progressivism of the modern sort. You have become a truly perverse nation in this sense, and this sexual perversion is almost demonic. This level of contamination is a kind of madness in the body-politic and from there it seeps out into everything.

      I do not think that if you mulled over my positions that you could align me with left-progressivism in any way. But some further explanation is needed. I mentioned having read Noam Chomsky’s works. There is not one person on this blog that has ever read him because he is, and with some justification, a figure of Hatred. If this blog had a Orwellian Two-Minute Hate, Chomsky could fill in the rôle of Emmanuel Goldstein.

      However, I employ Chomsky in a kind of backwards way, or I read him backwards: his analysis of power and the coercion of power is very good. And he understands how propaganda and PR have been used in this democratic society managed almost exclusively by big business interests, and for this reason he is useful if one is interested in answering the question What has happened to American and in America? But his program is completely Marxist down to its toes and toe-nails. He is a total egalitarian. And he is a communist or to put it differently his program leads, by necessity, to communism and socialism. I oppose this all and radically so.

      I believe in un-doing American Progressivism which means to decondition and deprogram myself from this *1960s song*. But this is intensely difficult. And if the truth is told everyone of *you-plural*, and possibly even you, will rise up to oppose every rigorous definition required to define this political — and existential — position. You serve the opposition. In this sense you are its slaves. You ally yourselves with progressivism essentially. I am working in the direction of freedom from these imperatives and for this reason free-thought is my object: to be able to make clear, direct, unambiguous statements but to have formulated my reasoning on a firm intellectual base: a base from which the solidity of the ideas can be rationally communicated.

      Now, in my view, Jack framed this particular blog (the kid and his toy) and gave it a particular inflection. The assertion is essentially that there is an anti-gun movement and it is hysterical. He selected this story to illustrate in this sense a sentiment of opposition. The word *sentiment* is crucial. The story could indeed be *bent* to fit into that framing, that narrative, but I suspect (though I cannot know absolutely unless I went to Colorado and interviewed everyone) it does not fit, neatly, into that narrative-picture.

      It is reasonable, especially in Colorado with its various mass-shootings, for people to be scared about the brandishing of weapons in public. It is also reasonable if people are made uncomfortable if kids point toy guns at them. It is reasonable that a man react to having a gun pointed at him while driving in his car. I assume, but I do not know, that he might even for 2 seconds, have thought it possible a real gun was pointed at him. If so, his reaction is 100% justified. We have a nerve-structure that reacts before our mind and consciousness assesses. My entire argument is located right here. Everything else: the man’s reaction, the police action, the charges brought, can be critiqued. My point is one of principle.

      This is not about *fear of weapons* on my part. This is where the ‘narrative’ that Jack established kicks in. His blog tries to demonstrate an instance where irrational fear of guns played out. I do not think that that narrative applies here. And in the end I think that what the parents themselves said about the ordeal they went through, first-hand, reveals what the lesson is and why. I do not see them caving in to irrational forces or ‘licking the boots’ of the police. I see them as being responsible.

    • To understand further what *some of us* are thinking about — that is, on the Dissident Right — one has to have a conceptual view of Our Present. One theorist (Curtis Yarvin) developed the notion of The Cathedral:

      One of Curtis Yarvin’s most important insights and contributions to the Dark Enlightenment was the idea that modern secular progressivism is actually the evolutionary descendant of puritan/Calvinist Christianity. The Cathedral is a Christian sect that very cleverly adopted the camouflage of secularism so as to more easily infect (memefect?) non-Christians and non-religious institutions in addition to actual believers. Only later did it deign to reject all pretenses of overt Christian theology. The biggest advantage of the camouflage was that it could get around that pesky separation of church and state in order to gain control of the coercive power of government and yet still not worry about anyone objecting to the new crypto-theocracy. Some very intricate rhetorical techniques have been developed, such as the motte and bailey, to support the effectiveness of this camouflage. In hindsight, the inclusion of the separation of church and state may have made such an evolution of religious feeling inevitable.

      I have not looked much into Yarvin’s thought (he wrote under the name Mencius Goldbug) but his notion of a Cathedral is very interesting. I came across him in Key Thinkers of the Radical Right edited by Mark Sedhwick (Oxford, 2019) So, my understanding is that to one degree or other we are in this ‘Cathedral’ and we accept its tenets at a metaphysical level. By metaphysical I mean, perhaps, as a fish accepts water as his medium: he just breathes it, he cannot see it nor analyze it.

      To understand ultra-progressives like Humble Talent and Steve Witherspoon (and almost everyone who writes here who deals at any level in ideas) one has to grasp that there are fish-creatures who have never been able to self-reflect and analyze their self at the level I suggest is possible. They spout out their ideas as if they are ipso facto understood to be correct. But they can only spout ideas of that sort that have been received. One receives in this sense a cathedral-perspective and one absorbs it as ‘normalcy’.

      The way that a Christian certainty, if I can call it that, has morphed into the very very strange forms of Postwar Americanism is a subject of interest to me. If you were around when dear Chris was around (California Chris) I would suggest him as a chemically-pure example of the post-Christianism I refer to. He was raised by religious, but then abandoned it. Yet he found a new Progressive Religion into which to channel his *egalitarian certainties*. These become religious-like and are the stuff of transformative social movements. The notion of good and of evil function in them very strongly.

      You have to consider the Postwar egalitarian movement, flowering in the Sixties Radicalism, in this post-religious sense. And it is in this sense that I say *it has us all in its grip*.

      What is really really odd about it is that in it a religious power operates, and yet all its categories (or most) are subversions of formerly-defined ethical and moral positions. It is a movement where the transvaluation of values has occurred. But so much so that the *fish*, as it were, breathes in the water of a new dispensation without the awareness that transvaluation of an extreme sort has occurred. So, in this religious fervor you *celebrate* the corruption and deviance that was formally the object of resistance. You push it forward, you *sell* it: you teach it to your children.

      This all takes place within a Cathedral, if you grasp how this term is used.

    • How many unarmed persons so in fear of a child with a perceived lethal weapon would chase that child down? I don’t buy the guy was as fearful as he suggests.

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