Monday, August 25, 2014

Ferguson Aftermath: NRA Adds Cigars to Deadly Sundries List, Issues Safety Tips for Unarmed Black Youths

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The August 9 fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has revived the national debate on how to deal with African American youth who brandish convenience store items defiantly before authority figures -- Caucasian males with permits to carry firearms. The killing of Brown by police officer Darren Wilson has fueled protests, riots and a renewed focus on the ongoing crisis of race relations in the United States. Because there are at least seven known black households within San Narciso County, the mayor’s office has collaborated with local police and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to issue a list of threatening behaviors and potentially dangerous convenience store purchases to avoid for all unarmed, dark-skinned teenagers. “We strongly urge those in the target demographic to study these tips closely in order to safeguard their well-being during this heightened state of alert,” advised Mayor Manny DiPresso.

Michael Brown Carrying a Deadly Assault Sundry, NRA Claims

The details of Brown’s demise, given the number of conflicting eyewitness reports, remain sketchy, but these facts are clear: Brown was not carrying a conventional weapon, he was walking in the middle of the street (likely a city traffic violation), he was waving his arms wildly in the air after the police officer forcibly grabbed him, and he was shot six times. Upon further investigation, however, detectives discovered that Brown had been in possession of Swisher Sweets cigars, allegedly stolen, at the time Wilson emptied his pistol into the young man’s fleeing body.

The NRA defended Wilson’s actions, citing the cigars as an “assault sundry,” with an established precedent. As in the recent tragedies involving Floridians Trayvon Martin and Chad Oulsen, the NRA has worked closely with state officials to update its growing list of “deadly assault snacks.” On Monday, the list was refreshed to include cigars and renamed “The National Rifle Association Codex of Deadly Assault Sundries.”

The list was first compiled in 2012, when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin in self-defense, believing his life was in danger when the teen menacingly brandished a bag of candies, a dubious looking bottle of iced tea, and a phone. A jury agreed and acquitted Zimmerman in July 2013.

On January 13, retired police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, shot and killed a man in a Florida movie theater after getting into a heated altercation. Reeves confronted 43-year-old Chad Oulsen about sending text messages on his mobile phone during the previews before the main feature. As the argument escalated, Mr. Oulsen allegedly threw popcorn at Reeves, provoking an armed response. Under the state’s exceedingly broad Stand Your Ground law, a person carrying a firearm may gun down, in cold blood, any perceived assailant or ambiguous, trivial threat. Reeves was charged with second-degree murder, although legal experts suspected he would invoke Stand Your Ground to justify killing a man equipped with only popcorn. This July, as anticipated, Reeves was released from prison on bail.

“So once again, we have a suspect acting suspiciously -- walking through a neighborhood in a manner that attracts attention, like Trayvon Martin -- and in possession of potentially threatening items from a convenience store,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president. “You can’t do this in upstanding American communities -- you know, sneaking around with candy or smokes or beverages -- without inviting the consequences. You see a dark figure lurking around with sundries of this nature, you shoot first and ask questions later.”

The imminent risks of Skittles and iced tea, the NRA explained, have been well documented. But cigars pose a new, perhaps more perilous threat. They can be used to ignite bombs or burn down structures where white people congregate.

Safety Precautions for San Narciso County’s Minority Teens

To prevent needless and costly police actions in San Narciso, which could lead to chaotic protests or increased taxes, Mayor Manny DiPresso has imposed a curfew in certain neighborhoods and posted a mandatory list of safety standards with which unarmed African American, Asian, Hispanic or overly tanned teens should comply.

- Avoid convenience stores situated in neighborhoods, street corners, gas stations or near the county’s borders. Make all purchases at well-lit supermarkets or retailers, such as Target or Walmart.
- Obey all traffic and pedestrian transit laws, particularly in areas with a heavy police presence.
- Be sure to identify any object that could be perceived as a weapon to police officers when detained for questioning: this especially includes candy, soft drinks, salty snacks, and tobacco products.
- ALWAYS carry a readily available white flag to indicate surrender when police are near. Waving your arms, stepping away, laying on the ground with your hands over your head or trying to articulate your compliance with words are actions that can easily be construed as aggression by police.
- Avoid wearing clothes that could imply gang affiliation, such as t-shirts, caps, jeans, or athletic shoes.
- Try not to cry out, wince, groan, or call for help during a police-initiated beating. These are all vocalizations that can be interpreted as resistance.
- Explain in clear, concise, enunciated sentences -- with no traces of accents or dialectical inflexions -- that you are a tax-paying member of the community and would prefer not to get shot. Be prepared to provide supporting identification. A list of references is also advised, including teachers, employers, known peers living in the Bennington Vale or Santa Calcentines communities, or public figures willing to vouch for your character.
- Donate at least $20 annually to the San Narciso Disabled Police Veterans fund and have the receipt on your person at all times.

2014. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.