Confrontations often provoke a lot of emotions.  In Maryland on June 2, a physically large man became angry at three young teens posting Black Lives Matter fliers.  He went off on them.  Then “Karen” grabbed at least one girl by the wrist to wrest away a stack of fliers and then attacked a male with his bike, striking him and pushing him to the ground.

If you were a bystander, would you have been justified in pulling your gun to stop the attack?

Let’s look at the video first:

If you were an armed bystander and this happened in your community, would you have been justified at any point in pulling your gun and encouraging Mr. Karen to disengage?  Would you have been justified in shooting?

Give yourself a moment to think about it.

Yes, the kids probably didn’t have permission to post the fliers.  But the cycling Karen didn’t have the authority to do anything but maybe snap a photo or two and call the police.  And frankly, if he had simply minded his own business the world would be a better place for it.  Calling the cops over kids posting fliers seems like a gross over-reaction.

What’s your call?  Would you have intervened?  Would you have drawn?

Here’s my interpretation and you’re welcome (encouraged?) to leave yours in comments.

Yes, I’d intervene to the extent I probably would have yelled at the guy to knock it off (from a distance) and to leave those kids alone.  But that’s just me.  I don’t like bullies.  I won’t just let a bully physically attack someone without doing at least something.

Now some may say, “not my circus, not my monkeys.”  That’s fair.  But what if that was your kid or grandchild this guy was attacking?  Would you want a bystander to say “not my circus, not my monkeys” and walk away or would you want them to intercede, even if only minimally against a much, much larger man grabbing your kids/grandkids?

Seeing the guy grabbing the girl’s wrist to wrest those fliers wouldn’t have elicited a response from me other than pulling out my phone to call the police and yelling at him (again?) to leave her alone.  The “stern word” response.

Then, when Mr. Karen turned his attack to the male – who was passively defending the two girls – would I have intervened there?  Not directly.   Again, 911.  And maybe taking a photo or video while keeping a generous reactionary gap (distance) between me and Karen.

The only way my gun would have come out is if Karen decided he wanted to come at me with the bike as an improvised weapon.  And then only because  I’ve got a pair of twin boys about 18 months old.  They would almost certainly be in a stroller with me in this scenario, likely in front of me (as that’s just how strollers work).  If Mr. Karen had decided to approach me and the boys wielding that bike as he did with the teen male, I would probably consider retreat, but more likely, I’d post myself between him and the boys and then draw down if he continued to advance on me in a menacing manner.

Mr. Karen would get a warning or two before I resorted to other proven techniques to “modify” his threatening behavior, particularly if he continued using that bike as an improvised impact weapon.

From a legal standpoint.

Why not intervene with the gun (absent further attack from Karen)?  Despite this guy’s physical attack on these three youths, Karen’s attack doesn’t come even close to rising to a threat of great bodily injury to the young people.  The only way I could see that “great bodily injury threat” articulated successfully would be if the guy repeatedly beat the teen male with the bike on our about the head as the kid was on the ground.  Or if he started kicking the kid in the head.

I have no doubt that some well-meaning folks might have drawn down on Karen the biker, it would have absolutely been the wrong call.  At least in the great majority of America, it would have…  and pretty much most of Illinois.

3 thoughts on “JUSTIFIED TO DRAW/SHOOT? Karen on bike grabs kids, takes Black Lives Matter fliers, attacks teen with bike”
    1. I’ve had a number of people point me towards that story.

      I *strongly* suspect that’s trolling. It might be a legitimate BLM story, and they’re just wanting to terrorize rural residents.

      More likely it’s just an idiot spoofing BLM to do the same.

      Either way, it’s trolling.

      Besides, are these people going to march through rural areas on foot all day / night long? That’s a fair amount of walking between farms.

    2. I’d think they would at least have the brains to have one or more vehicles to move from one place to the next. If they are getting bricks and other objects pre-placed for their riots, they would have prior planning for this as well, if it were true.

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