What always gets us into trouble is ignoring human nature. Socialism will work this time because we’re scientific socialists, much smarter than all socialists that came before us. This gun control bill will work because people planning mass murder will actually obeythisone. The normal Americans leftists plan to harass will simply stand meekly by, too afraid of being called names by Leftists to avoid being spat upon and beaten.
I write about normal Americans, people who hate no one, who may not like the results of a given election, but would never think to harass anyone in a restaurant or theater. They think “activists” staging screaming “protests” at people’s homes raised by wolves. They figure anyone wearing a mask while “protesting” is up to no good. They are people that accept American constitutionalism, and work for a living, provide for their families and contribute to their communities. Most of all, they’re people that simply want to be left alone, and expect others to do the same.
Unfortunately, post November 8, 2016, the Democrat Party has swerved dramatically to the far, far left, and any expectation of civility is a thing of the past. Even Congresswomen are advocating leftist mob rule:
Virtually all news outlets are omitting video of Waters asserting “God is on our side.” That’s not a comforting assertion. People believing that tend to have no restraint, no limits on what they are willing to do to those they think enemies of God.
This will be a relatively brief article (take a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor, gentle readers). I plan to address the legal and tactical issues I’ll raise in more detail soon. But for the moment, let us review the recent incident involving Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Fox News reports:
Bondi said that while waiting in the ticket line to see ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ – a documentary about Mr. Rogers – a woman approached her and claimed Bondi was responsible ‘for ripping babies out of the arms of mothers.’
‘They were trying to create a fight,’ Bondi said on ‘Fox & Friends,’ explaining that the hecklers were right in her face and trying to goad her boyfriend into responding physically.
Take the link are watch Bondi’s interview, where she explains that on at least three occasions, three large men circled her, blocked her way, and were screaming obscenities at her mere inches from her face. One spat on her, and they tried to provoke a fight. Bondi had a state trooper bodyguard with her, and he intervened on several occasions. Bondi did not explain why the men, and several women, weren’t arrested. I’ll explain why they should have been arrested momentarily.
The primary issue is assault and battery. Most people know the term, but don’t know the elements. Keep in mind, gentle readers, I am not an attorney. You must, wherever you live, be aware of the elements of the crimes I’ll mention as they may be different in small or large ways, but virtually all are similar, in many cases identical, to what I’ll explain. And for a lengthier exposition of the issues, go here.
Leftist thugs are going to run into normal Americans that will not take their behavior kindly or meekly. There are some things those normal Americans need to know.
Assault: think of assault as an intentional attempt, using force or violence, to injure or harm another. One might also consider it to be attempted battery. The important issue is that oneneed not be touchedto be a victim of assault.
What does this mean? If someone starts to yell at you, but keeps their distance, that’s not normally considered an assault. But if they rush up, inches from your face, scream obscenities, spit on you, and try to provoke a fight, particularly if they do it several times, that’s assault. And assault is particularly obvious when the attacker tries to provoke violence, or a normal person would believe they were in danger.
Battery: That’s normally considered the intentional, offensive touching of another without their permission. While intent to cause harm generally exists in battery crimes, it’s not generally required. If someone angrily pushes you, that’s battery. If someone accidentally bumps you in a crowd, it’s not. Generally, no specific injury must be inflicted. If someone pushes you, though you suffered no injury, that’s battery. If they punch you in the face, causing bruising and swelling, that’s battery too. If they cause serious injuries, that will likely up the charge to aggravated assault, which is usually a felony. Assault and battery are generally misdemeanors.
Assaults and batteries can also be pursued as torts, civil suits for damages. However, attorneys won’t usually take such suits unless someone was actually injured.
Let’s review Bondi’s case. She and her boyfriend were doing nothing provocative, only trying to see a movie. Several people screamed at her and harassed her. At that point, they may well have been liable for arrest for disturbing the peace, but we’ll move on. When three large men confronted the small Bondi, essentially surrounding her, getting “in her face,” and screaming–actually screaming–obscenities at her, they were clearly guilty of assault. Any reasonable person would believe they were in imminent danger of being attacked. This is particularly true because of the disparity in force involved when three large men are threatening a small woman.
When one of the men spat on Bondi’s head, that was battery. Bondi said she wasn’t sure he did it intentionally because he was screaming so loudly and violently at her, he may have just slung spittle at her as a result of his screaming. Were I carrying a badge again, I would have arrested the guy. That’s battery, and the image of three large men surrounding a small woman and treating her that way would not sit well with a jury.
Another element of the assault would be the men trying to provoke Bondi’s boyfriend into a fight. He apparently wanted to take them on, but Bondi prevented him from intervening.
I’ll mention innocence here. That’s a very important element, particularly in a self-defense case. If one tries to provoke a fight or engages in mutual combat, they lose innocence, and both may be liable for arrest. But Bondi and her boyfriend were innocent here. They did everything they could to avoid a confrontation, but were repeatedly confronted and provoked.
One strange element is that the state trooper apparently did nothing but chase the criminals off–at least two or three times. Why he did not arrest them–obviously, calling for backup–remains a mystery, but he surely could have.
Remember that Pam Bondi has no role in making immigration policy–which is the excuse her attackers were using. She does not work in the Trump Administration. She did not know them, and they knew her only because of her public job. In any prosecution, that should have weighed heavily against them.
Please keep in mind gentle readers,that if at all possible, one should always avoid any fight. Even if that means leaving a theater or restaurant, driving blocks out of one’s way, or even appearing to run away. Hollywood has done a great disservice in this. The fights we see on TV and at the movies are not fighting, they’re choreography. They’re planned and practiced, and unless something goes wrong, no one is injured. In reality, fighting is dirty, ugly, and bloody. It usually ends up on the ground, and people die.
Among the many things I found fascinating during my police days is the human body. We are at once amazingly resilient, and terribly fragile. I’ve seen people walk away from car crashes that should have killed them, yet suffer not a scratch. I’ve also seen people reduced to permanent vegetative states by a single blow to the head.
Self-defense: Could Bondi or her boyfriend have defended them selves? Absolutely. Any reasonable person in that situation would have believed they faced an imminent attack. It’s likely they weren’t attacked because of the intervention of the state trooper. The interesting factor here is one does not have to wait until they’ve been battered. They don’t have to allow someone screaming obscenities an inch from their face to throw the first punch before they defend themself. Whether that is wise is an issue I’ll explore in the near future.
The problem is we have no idea what damage that first punch might do. Will it merely give someone a bruise, or rupture their eyeball, badly and permanently damaging their sight? Will it merely hurt, or fracture a skull? Will it begin a fist duel that ends after a few punches, or will the attacker lose it and kill the person he attacked? Is there an enormous disparity of force: three large, hostile men versus an inoffensive woman? This is a particularly dangerous issue where crowds are involved. People will often do things they would not do if they are surrounded by friends or if they think they can remain anonymous, just another masked face in the crowd.
Final Thoughts: It is always best–always–to avoid a fight,but sometimes it’s not possible. Leftist thugs act out because they think they can get away with it. They think no one will resist them, and they won’t be arrested or sued–they’re protected. Some people do it not out of political conviction; they use faux-grievances–Trump!–as excuses to harm others.
If we are to restore some semblance of civility and the rule of law, normal, inoffensive Americans must be prepared to use the criminal law against those that commit crimes against them. They have to be inconvenienced, or they will only commit more and worse crimes. In Bondi’s case, the three men, and arguably some others, were guilty of assault, and at least one, arguably, battery. They were also guilty of disturbing the peace. There may be other Florida laws of which I am not aware that apply, such as making terroristic threats, or something similar. In some cases, stalking may apply. I’m surprised that Bondi, as Florida’s AG, didn’t act on the spot, and that she apparently has not acted since to see those thugs jailed.
It would also be useful for lawyers across America interested in upholding American constitutionalism to band together to provide a willing pool of men and women ready to file civil suits against people that commit political crimes. They could offer their services pro bono–most state bars require some amount of pro bono service–or at a reduced rate. And why not? Why should leftist criminals get away with disrupting the lives of the innocent? Why should they get away with destroying our faith in the rule of law?
That just might help restore normal American’s faith in the legal profession too.