As we mentioned earlier, Mike Fitzgerald took it upon himself to try and defend Stockton police in the shooting death of Melecio Arquines. You know, the guy who was shot by police in his south Stockton home while trying to protect his house from a perceived threat. Yeah, this should be good. Let's FJM this bitch.
"...it is possible to credit Stockton police for immediately releasing Hernandez's name. Some past regimes circled the wagons and treated public scrutiny as hostile."
Credit Stockton police for what? Only partially stonewalling the media as opposed to completely doing so? Pete Smith can't tell us if Hernandez even identified himself as an officer, let alone whether or not he ordered him to drop his weapon. We don't know that bare bones, basic information, but we know his name! SPD is like an open book!
"It is also possible to credit the victim's brother, Reginael Arquines, who reserved judgment. Until the facts are in, 'I won't point any fingers,' he said."
Yeah, that was pretty classy. Kind of unlike the rest of this column.
"It is not possible, however, to agree wholeheartedly with Reginael Arquines when he said his brother needed a 9 mm pistol because 'he lived in south Stockton.'"
Umm, what part of Stockton do you think he's talking about? Has Fitzy ever gone further south than Paragary's? Go ahead, give it a shot one day. Walk south of the crosstown and tell me what you think. It's like it's a completely different city. South Stockton is underserved by the city and underpatrolled by the cops. It's where most of the shit goes down. You read your own paper don't you? Your own section? Check out the crime report sometime, those guys do a bang up job. Now note where most of the 911 breifs occur. It ain't Spanos Park, that's for fucking sure.
"Given that, is a gun worth the risk? Consider what good a 9 mm would do anyone who finds an unarmed gangster in his yard."
This should be fun. Like role-playing, right? (Waves gun menacingly at gangster) Hey! You! Get the fuck off my lawn! (Gangster runs off) hey, that went pretty smoothly. Since I somehow psychically knew he didn't have a gun, it didn't even raise my blood pressure. Crisis averted. Thanks gun!
"According to Penal Code 197, that person could not use lethal force unless the gangster tried to kill him or do him 'some great bodily injury' or broke into his home to commit a felony."
Well yeah, no shit. I didn't use lethal force. I waved it around menacingly. You know, like a crotchety old man angrily shaking his fist at the kids who just won't stop fucking with his lawn. If that guy had a gun instead of a fist, nobody would fuck with his lawn. Shit, I didn't even turn the safety off.
"Nor could he have used the gun to detain the gangster."
Who said I wanted to detain the little fucker? I just want him out of my yard. Go bug the neighbors. Those assholes were partying until 4 am. On a fucking Tuesday. Some of us work you know. The least they could have done was invite me. Plus what does detaining him accomplish? He gets an opportunity to remember where I live while I call the cops to send him to an overcrowded prison that he'll immediately be released from so he can come back with his friends who actually have guns? No thank you. Only a dumb old, white, asshole would even consider that.
"If the gangster turned and ran, he would be no threat. Lethal force would be unwarranted."
I know, I just fucking said that. Two paragraphs ago.
"To avoid attack, Melecio Arquines simply could have remained inside."
So if you hear a commotion that sounds like a struggle in your backyard, just ignore it and go back to sleep? No wonder Fitzy thinks Stockton's safe. Whenever he sees or hears trouble he just closes his eyes and wishes it away! You know, like a pussy.
"However, he could have emerged to find an armed gangster about to shoot a cop and saved the day. That is the sort of outcome of gun violence Americans seem to expect."
Ummm, no? I just expected to scare him off remember? Crotchety old man? Fist shake? Safety on? That whole deal? Plus, a cop? Those fuckers never come to south Stockton. And who dreams of saving them anyways? Can't I save some big tittied hooker with a heart of gold and a purse full of pot instead?
"Or he could have found himself in the middle of a firefight without wearing team colors. Judge for yourself whether a gun would have made him safer in that case."
Or he could have walked out and found a huge, interracial orgy in his backyard. These are all hypothetical situations. Can't we cut to the point? You know, the guy who got shot.
"I have not mentioned the laser sight on Arquines' handgun. Police will not say if it was activated."
But hey, we know the cop's name! SPD is an open book!
"Obviously, if Arquines painted a cop with a laser sight, the officer could reasonably believe his life - or the life of a fellow officer - could be over in the blink of an eye."
Are you kidding? More hypotheticals? What was the point of this whole thing? Sometimes bad things happen when guns are involved? No shit Sherlock.
Look, there's one thing I think we can all agree on here. This debacle was massssssssivly avoidable. While Fitzy apparently wants you to believe that south Stockton isn't dangerous. Officer Hernandez thought it was dangerous enough to have his firearm drawn while chasing an unarmed subject. Why? To protect himself. That's his right. The same right that Melecio Arquines had.
Reginael Arquines has it right. His brother lived in an unsafe area and he had the right to protect himself. As did Hernandez. But instead of waving his gun menacingly, he shot a man through a screen door. Melecio Arquines had every right to step up to his door with a gun, because apparently they can't even count on the cops to keep you safe in south Stockton. But no, really. Protecting your family while living in south Stockton isn't enough of a reason to own a gun.