Interesting perspective. Read and share your thoughts.
I’ve never, ever read anything by Thomas Sowall that I’ve ever thought “Spot on!. He knows what he’s talking about.”, and this column is no exception. And I do read him. Our local paper has carried his column for years. I usually find myself swearing at it.
I agree with some things he says, but those are mostly platitudes. You can’t disagree with a platitude and be rational. The rest just misses the mark. Over all, this column adds nothing to my knowledge or understanding of what went on. It’s like Chinese food. Tastes good going down, but an hour later, you’re still hungry….
S.I., I actually READ the article, and can’t find anything to disagree with. Platitudes? Where? Can you help us out here and point out some SPECIFICS where you think he missed the mark? If you were expecting Sowell’s article to provide further insight as to what’s going on in Ferguson, you are expecting Chinese food at a Starbucks; you went to the wrong place. Instead he’s addressing some key points that keep being tossed around irresponsibly, like how many times the man was shot, and whether or not you should shoot an unarmed man. THOSE observations are spot on, and not being covered by the MSM who focus on making sure we know the victim was a black teen, was unarmed, and the person who shot him was a white cop. That is their focus, that is where THEY make their money.
Platitudes are those things that if you took the opposite side of the statement, you’d look like an idiot. No one disagrees with them. For instance:
“Despite all the people who act as if they know exactly what happened, nevertheless, when the full facts come out, that can change everything.”
“The idea that you can tell who is innocent and who is guilty by the color of their skin is a notion that was tried out for generations, back in the days of the Jim Crow South. ”
How can anyone disagree with that? But then there are the conclusions he reaches after positing his inarguable platitudes, such as :
“But, if Michael Brown was surrendering, as others allege, then there was no reason to fire even one shot. But the number of shots tells us nothing.”
Actually the number of shots, beyond the first, can tell you a lot. For instance, that he was blinded by rage, saw only a threatening black man, and wanted to make sure the big guy was dead. There’s more nuance there than Sowell wants to admit.But this is something reasonable people can disagree with, and I disagree that 6 shots tells nothing, as opposed to one. Sowell states it as if it’s another inarguable statement, but it’s not. He sees it one way, many of us see it another. That’s a horse race. Time and detailed inquiry will tell.
Anyway, that’s just one example. The whole article is the same. Joni asked me to read it and comment. I did. My $.02, nothing more. My $.02 may be colored by my experience with past columns of Sowell, which have always left a bad taste in my mouth. But that’s my problem. You’re free to disagree, as you so ably did.
I am not a trained police officer, but as a former Coast Guard officer who dealt with Law Enforcement I am trained in use of firearms. Standard training is to fire three shots: two to the thoracic region and one for the head. You don’t “shoot to wound” like you see on TV. In the hyperspeed process that most shootings take place in, the officer may have “fired twice” (two three-round volleys) to stop the threat. In a struggle where you have deemed it’s time to pull the trigger, you shoot until the threat is gone. That is why I have issue with states like New York who say “You don’t NEED more than 7 rounds” or California who thinks you don’t “NEED” more than 10. A big target needs more than one shot, and my understanding is this cat was big. Sowell is correct in saying that six shots really doesn’t tell us anything until we interview everyone involved. If there were, like, 21 shots, or anything that showed the officer reloaded and further discharged his weapon, you might have a point about rage. But that’s not what we have here.
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