The Legalities of Shooting People

I’m writing this blog post because I’ve seen a lot of really ignorant comments from a lot of otherwise intelligent folks about some recent shootings. It is really easy to be swayed by knee jerk emotion, but luckily we live in America, where we have a justice system based on evidence and the rule of law. I’m not going to get into the Brown shooting too much because I wasn’t on the grand jury and haven’t read the evidence presented in that particular case, but I’m going to explain how use of force laws work so I don’t have to keep repeating myself.

This will vary state by state, but these are the fundamentals for most places in the US. There are some legal differences between police and regular folks shooting people, but basically the rules are similar. I’m not an attorney in your state, and this is not meant as legal advice for your state. Again, this isn’t meant as legal advice, rather as a primer to get people to not be so damned ignorant about the fundamentals of how the law works.

And the law usually does work.

I’m going to keep this simple. Before I became a novelist, I was a Utah Concealed Weapons instructor for many years. I’m condensing a few hours of lecture and discussion into one article.  Again, this will vary state by state.

First off we must understand some terms.

Lethal Force is exercising an action against someone which may potentially take their life. If you shoot somebody and they don’t die, you still exercised Lethal Force. If you shoot somebody in the leg or arm, legally that is still Lethal Force, and contrary to the movies, you can still die if get shot in the arm or the leg (but we train to shoot for center of mass, more on why later).

Serious Bodily Harm (often called Grievous Bodily Harm) is any injury that is potentially life altering or life threatening. Rape is serious bodily harm. A beating is serious bodily harm. Anything that may render you unconscious is serious bodily harm.

Reasonable Man – I will often refer to this. The question isn’t whether the shooter perceives themselves to be justified, but whether a “reasonable man” would perceive you to be justified. Contrary to popular opinion, you can’t just say “he was coming right at me!” and be justified in shooting somebody. The evidence will be examined and the question will be if you made the assumptions a reasonable man would make, and acted in a manner which seems reasonable based on that evidence. This is where the jury comes in, because they are a group of reasonable people who are going to look at your actions and your situation and make a call.  Basically, do your actions make sense to them? Would they believe similar things in the same situation?

To be legally justified in using lethal force against somebody you need to meet the following criteria.

  1. They have the Ability to cause you serious bodily harm.
  2. They have the Opportunity to cause you serious bodily harm.
  3. They are acting in a manner which suggests they are an Immediate Threat of serious bodily harm.

If your encounter fits these three criteria, then you are usually legally justified in using lethal force.

Let’s break each one down a bit.

Ability just means that they have the power to hurt you. A gun or a knife can obviously cause serious bodily harm. However, a person does not need a weapon to seriously hurt you. Any blow to the head sufficient to render you unconscious or cause internal bleeding is sufficient to kill you.

Opportunity means that they can reach you with their ability. A hundred yards away with a gun, they can still hit you, so they have the opportunity. A hundred yards away with a knife, pipe, or chain, and they aren’t a danger to you. However, thirty feet away with a contact weapon is easily within range to cause most people serious bodily harm before they are capable of using a firearm to neutralize the threat. I’ll talk more about distances later.

Immediacy (often called Jeopardy) means that they are acting in a manner that suggests they intend to cause serious bodily harm right now. Somebody can have the ability and opportunity, but if a reasonable person wouldn’t believe that they are acting like a threat, then they aren’t one.

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Now let’s break this down in more depth.

Under Ability you will see self-defense experts refer to Disparity of Force, this is where there is such a physical disparity between two individuals that Ability is assumed. I’m 6’5, 300, and I’ve rendered people unconscious with my bare hands. If I’m unarmed, but I am attacking an average sized person, and they shoot me, then a reasonable person could assume that there was a disparity of force, and they were justified in shooting me. Usually when a man attacks a woman, or a fit strong young person attacks a frail old person, then disparity of force is assumed.

However, you don’t have to be bigger or stronger (it only helps convince the reasonable people you are justified). Regardless of size, if you knock someone down and are sitting on them and raining blows on their head, then you are demonstrating the ability to cause them serious bodily harm. A small woman could brain a big strong man over the head with a rock and proceed to beat them, thus demonstrating ability.

A person doesn’t need to even demonstrate that he’s got the ability, he just needs to act in a manner that would suggest to a reasonable person that he did. If you tell somebody, “Give me your purse or I’ll shoot you,” but you don’t show them your gun, a reasonable person would assume that you wouldn’t make that threat if you didn’t have the ability. You don’t need to wait to see the muzzle flash to confirm their gun is real. That’s suicidal.

On the distance someone can reasonably be a threat with just a contact weapon, you’d be surprised. It is easy to underestimate how much distance a human being can cover in a very short period of time. During my classes I used a series of role playing scenarios to demonstrate various issues and test the shoot/no shoot decision making process. While playing an aggressor I routinely covered in excess of twenty feet and caused serious bodily harm before most students could even draw their gun, let alone aim.

Gun people have all heard of the Tueller drill, which demonstrated that the average person could cover about 21 feet before the average police officer could draw and fire a shot (and as we’ll see later, one shot doesn’t often mean much, assuming it hits something vital). That’s average. Basically, without going into a whole lot of detail, the reasonable people are usually stunned to learn how much distance can be covered to provide opportunity.

The last one is the most complicated. Say a man with a gun has Ability and Opportunity, but if he is just minding his own business with the gun in the holster, slung, or being carried in a non-threatening manner then he’s not acting as an immediate threat. But if he is acting like he is going to use it or waving it around, now he is acting like an immediate threat.  Again, it all comes down to how a reasonable person would perceive it.

This is why it is silly when anti-gun people start ranting about how they’re justified in harming people who are openly carrying firearms on their person. Nope. #3, unless they’re acting in a manner that suggests they’re an immediate threat, then they’re fine. Otherwise it would be legally justifiable to shoot everybody like me that shops at the Xtra Large Casual Male outlet because of disparity of force. You can’t just have Ability or Opportunity, they must be acting in a manner which a reasonable person would take to be a threat.

You’ve got to have all three.

In most states these rules apply to yourself or a third person being the potential recipient of serious bodily harm, however I believe there are still some states where it is only for you, and not a bystander. Some states suck.

You’ll hear people talking (usually ignorantly) about Castle Doctrine or Duty to Retreat. Some states require you to try and flee before exercising Lethal Force, and it allows the prosecution to question your inability to flee. Some states require you to flee your own home. Most states don’t have that.

Not that escaping or avoiding isn’t a great idea if given the opportunity, but it sucks to have a prosecutor second guessing your running ability.

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Violent encounters are a triangle. There are three aspects to every violent encounter, the legal side (the decisions that keep you out of jail), the tactical side (the decisions that keep you alive), and the moral side (the decisions that let you sleep at night). These don’t always all match up neatly. There are times when you can be totally legally justified but tactically stupid.

Say somebody breaks into your house. Before you’ve even seen them you can make some assumptions, they came into your house while you are home, they probably wouldn’t do that if they didn’t have the ability, now they’ve certainly got the opportunity, and their presence is an immediate threat. So you’re legally justified, however you still need to identify the target before firing to make sure that it is actually a threat, and not some mistaken identity shooting, your drunk teenager, or the neighbors autistic kid.

I worked primarily with regular folks, and a little with the police. Their triangle is different. There are situations where a permit holder might be legally justified in getting involved, but tactically they are probably going to get killed, so their best bet is to run away. In fact, in most scenarios avoidance is the best answer, and in the vast majority of real life violent encounters involving a permit holder, no shots are fired, because simply producing the gun is enough to deter the attacker.

One thing the permit holders I taught needed to get through their heads was that they weren’t cops. Their permit was simply a license to carry a concealed firearm in order to defend themselves from violence. Luckily the vast majority of permit holders get that.

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Cops on the other hand are expected to respond to violent people and apprehend them. As a result police have what is known as the Use of Force Pyramid.  That means that they are to respond with the lowest amount of force necessary to stop any given situation. That is why they are expected to use tasers or pepper spray before they use physical force or guns. Their goal is to stop the situation, and they’ll try to respond with one level more force than the person they’re trying to stop. However, and this is a BIG damned however, just like the rules for regular people above, if they are in immediate danger of serious bodily harm, then they are justified in using lethal force.

Tasers and pepper spray are not magic. Most people’s understanding of these tools comes from TV and TV isn’t reality. Tasers don’t knock you unconscious. They stream electricity through your body which causes your muscles to lock up for a moment, and if the circuit ends (the tiny wires break or the barbs fall out) then you are back to normal and it is game on. (and I’m talking about air tasers, the little stun guns or “drive tasers” are useless toys. They feel like being pinched with a red hot pair of pliers, which sucks, but if you’re tough enough you can play tag with the damned things). Pepper spray hurts and makes it hard to see and breathe, but you can build up a resistance to it (ask anybody in prison) and it can also bounce back on the user. In reality these tools work sometimes and sometimes they don’t. You’ll note that when you see cops dealing with actual violent types and they use the less lethal tools, there is usually cop #2 standing there with a real gun in case Plan A doesn’t work.

Then there is going hands on, “pain compliance techniques” (arm bars, wrist locks, and wrestling until you say enough of this crap and let them put the cuffs on) but like anything in life that requires physical force one human being to another, these things are dangerous too, and bad things might happen. Bones break, arteries are cut off, people get hurt, sometimes they die.

But the cops are going to try to respond to their subject a level above what the subject is using, until they surrender or comply. Which means that if they think you are going to lethal force, they are going to go to lethal force, and the time it takes to switch gears is measured in fractions of a second.

When a cop shoots somebody, depending on the state, it now goes before whatever they use for Reasonable People.

If you try to wrestle away a cop’s gun, that demonstrates Ability, Opportunity, and Immediacy, because right after you get ahold of that firearm, the reasonable assumption is going to be that you’re intending to use it. If you fight a cop, and he thinks you’re going to lethal force, he’s going to repeatedly place bullets into your center of mass until you quit.

Everybody who carries a gun, whether they be police or not, are trained to shoot for the middle of the largest available target, which is normally the center of mass, and to do so repeatedly until the threat stops. Contrary to the movies, pistols aren’t death rays. A pistol bullet simply pokes a hole. Usually when somebody is stopped by being shot it is A. Psychological (as in holy crap! I’m shot! That hurt! I surrender), but if they keep going it is until B. Physiological (as in a drop in blood pressure sufficient for them to cease hostilities) If that hole poked is in a vital organ, then the attacker will stop faster. If it isn’t in a vital organ, they will stop slower. Pistols do not pick people up, nor do they throw people back. Pistol bullets are usually insufficiently powerful to break significant bones.

Shooting people who are actively trying to harm you while under pressure is actually very hard, which is why people often miss. This is why you aim for the biggest available target and continue shooting until they stop doing whatever it is that caused you to shoot them in the first place.

You’ll hear ignorant people say “why didn’t you just shoot them in the arm/leg?” That is foolishness. Legally and tactically, they’re both still lethal force. Only if they bleed to death in a minute because you severed their femoral artery, they’re not any less dead, only they had one more minute to continue trying to murder you. Basically limb hits are difficult to pull off with the added bonus of being terribly unreliable stoppers.

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In a fatal shooting you’ll often hear someone say “there was only one side to the story told.” That is false.

In the aftermath of any shooting, whether it is police or the general public, there is going to be an investigation. There will be evidence gathered. There will be witnesses. There will be an autopsy. There is always multiple sides to any shooting, even if it is just the autopsy results.

Contrary to the media narrative, most police officers don’t want to shoot anyone, regardless of their skin color. Those of us who carry guns don’t want to shoot anybody. One big reason is that because after we had to make that awful shoot/no-shoot decision in a terrifying fraction of a second, then hundreds of people are going to spend thousands of man hours gathering evidence, then they are going to argue about our actions, analyze our every move, guess at our thoughts, and debate whether we were reasonable or not, all from the comfort of an air conditioned room, and if they get hungry, they’ll order pizza. When all is said and done, these people will have a million times longer to decide if what you did in those seconds was justified or not. No pressure.

Each state is different, but if there is any question as to the justification of the shooting, there is usually some form of grand jury, and if there is sufficient question or evidence of wrong doing, then the shooter will be indicted.

Now, an argument can be made as to how shootings—especially those committed by law enforcement officers who are expected to exercise a higher standard of care—should be investigated. However, no matter how the shooting is investigated, it should be done through our constitutional protections and our agreed upon legal system. No one should ever be convicted through the court of public opinion or the media.

In ten years of studying violent encounters and learning everything I could about every shooting I could, I never once found a newspaper article that got all the facts right. Usually they weren’t even close. In that same time period I offered free training in Use of Force to reporters or detractors, and never once had any of them take me up on it.

You may believe that grand juries are too soft on police involved shootings. That may be a valid argument. You may believe that prosecutors are too lenient on police officers because they both work for the government and there is an existing relationship between the prosecutors and the police. That may be a valid argument. Burning down Little Ceasers isn’t the answer.

There are stupid cops, and there are cops who make mistakes. As representatives of an extremely powerful state, they should be held to a higher standard. Just because somebody works for the government doesn’t make them infallible, and if they screw up and kill somebody for a stupid reason, they should have the book thrown at them, but damn if it doesn’t help to know what actually happened before you form up your angry lynch mob!

Violent encounters are complex, and the only thing they have in common is that they all suck. Going into any investigation with preconceived notions is foolish. Making decisions as to right or wrong before you’ve seen any of the evidence is asinine. If you are a nationally elected official, like say for example the President of the United States, who repeatedly feels the need to chime in on local crime issues before you know any facts, you are partly to blame for the resulting unrest, and should probably go have a Beer Summit.

You can’t complain about the bias in our justice system against some groups, and how the state unfairly prosecutes some more than others, and then immediately demand doing away with the burden of proof, so the state can more freely prosecute. Blacks are prosecuted more and sentenced more harshly, so your solution is to remove more of the restraints on the state’s prosecutorial powers, and you think that’ll make things better? You want people to be prosecuted based on feelings rather than evidence, and you think that’ll help? The burden of proof exists as a protection for the people from the state. We have a system for a reason. Angry mob rule based on an emotional fact-free version of events isn’t the answer.

So my request is this, at least learn how stuff works before forming a super strong opinion on it.

If you are going to Christmas shop on Amazon, my links are like a tip jar.

I’ve got an Amazon affiliates account set up. What that means is that whenever you enter Amazon through any of the book links on either side of this blog page, anything you then purchase on Amazon from there I get an advertising referral bonus. The prices don’t change for you, but for me it is like a convenient little tip jar.

So if you are going to shop on Amazon anyway, consider entering through one of my links.

Now if you Christmas shopping is already done, and you got your presents by looting your local Walgreens, I can’t really help you. Because nothing says Stick It To The Man like burning down a Taco Bell.

Great Review of Shattered Shields

Great review of the anthology. They really liked my story.

http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/shattered-shields-edited-by-bryan-thomas-schmidt-and-jennifer-brozek-book-review/

Ancestry’s DNA database is absolutely fascinating

Because I’m a history nerd, I did the Ancestry.com DNA test a year ago. My results were that I was:

34% Southern European

21% Eastern European

17% Finnish/Volga/Ural

13% British Isles

8% Scandanavian

7% Central European

As you can see some of those are really broad groups that encompass a whole lot of area. At the time Ancestry said that as they did more work, analysis, and added more people to the database they would be able to become more and more accurate, and would be able to break down genetic populations with increasing accuracy.

They just sent me the tightened up results, where each of those above categories has been broken down into smaller sub groups. This is absolutely fascinating stuff.

Africa 3%

  • Africa North 3%

Europe 96%

  • Europe East 27%
  • Iberian Peninsula 20%
  • Great Britain 18%
  • Europe West 16%
  • Ireland 8%
  • Finland/Northwest Russia 3%
  • Italy/Greece 2%
  • Scandinavia 1%
  • European Jewish 1%

West Asia< 1%

  • Trace Regions< 1%

    Edit to add, the trace group here is Middle East. Didn’t open that up before cutting and pasting.

So in a year their database went from differentiating 6 population groups to 11. At this rate in a few years they’ll be able to tell you which valley your ancestors came from.

As a retired number cruncher, I’m curious what happened with their British Isles/Scandinavia numbers from the last time around to this time. Apparently my Vikings were actually Irishmen all along. :)

The biggest change was the very broad southern European breaking up into smaller categories, mostly Iberian can now be separated from western European. So actual Iberian, I’m only 20%. Which is funny, since culturally that’s the one that won, what with my last name and how I grew up. (Yeah, we never talked about mom’s family, because she was an Okie!, which is funny since she’d never been to Oklahoma in her life, but if you weren’t Portuguese or Mexican in the San Joaquin Valley, you were considered an Okie).

The North African makes sense. Even on the last go around the note on the Iberians was that they were usually around 10% North African, but they didn’t have a clear break down of that yet.

The 1% European Jewish is interesting, since as far as we can tell that’s from the same branch of the family tree as the big Europe East, so they were genetically Polish but practicing Jews. Fascinating stuff.

I’ll be really curious to see what these results look like in a few years.

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Sort of related, but my wife has started researching my family history. It is a Mormon thing, and hers is already done about as far back as can reasonably be achieved. She’s not had much luck on my dad’s side yet finding people, but surprisingly has on my mom’s. She’s discovered that one of my mom’s ancestors was named Lafayette Best, and I’m sorry, that’s like a really cool name, and I’m also descended from some Baldwins from Mississippi. I can only hope that means I’m related to Adam and not Alec. :)

A really cool writing/music project, Foreshadows.

http://foreshadows.net/

I met Jeff LaSala the first time I book toured through New York City. During that trip he gave me a copy of a project that he edited. I say project instead of the usual book, because Foreshadows is a sci-fi anthology that includes a soundtrack.

The idea behind Foreshadows is really creative. They enlisted a whole bunch of musicians, who recorded songs. (That CD has been part of my personal writing soundtrack playlist ever since. On its own it is a really good album.) But then they had a bunch of authors listen to the songs, and then each picked their favorite to write a short story using that particular one as a theme/soundtrack. It makes for a really neat effect.

Check it out. It is a very creative and cool project. If you play the videos there, all of the songs are from the soundtrack.

I’m a fan of using music while I write, and also picking out certain songs to serve as themes for certain characters. I’ve just never seen anybody compose new music specifically to inspire stories before.

MHN made the FINALS for the GoodReads best of 2014. Anybody can go vote.

https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-horror-books-2014

Monster Hunter Nemesis is still in it!

For some reason they stuck MHN in horror. Okay, whatever. I’m cool with that. It keeps me from having to go head to head against Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson. Frankenstein vs. demons, yeah, okay, we’ll run with it. Horror it is!

However, I’m up against Anne Rice (the one who pretty much created a genre), Jonathan Maberry (one of the best authors alive), Scott Sigler (hey, we’ve been in anthologies together!), Dean Koontz (been reading him since I was 12), John Connolly, James Rollins (I think both of those guys plays poker with Castle), M.R. Carey (who wrote Constantine and Hellblazer), Jennifer MacMahon (I actually don’t know her, but multiple NYT bestsellers),

Yeah, so this is pretty much in the bag.

Provided you guys go vote and spread the word of course, because I’m probably the only author uncouth enough to actually ask his fans directly. :)

Why I don’t like Social Justice Warriors

After my post about the Social Justice Warrior’s cannibal feeding frenzy, http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/11/10/sjw-cannibal-feeding-frenzy/ I’ve had a few people ask me why I bother writing about these people. That’s a good question. The short answer is that I can’t tolerate bullies.  The long answer is complicated.

I read Sarah’s post this morning, http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/11/14/table-settings-at-the-cannibal-feast/  She is also talking about the SJW blogger getting caught being a total asshole scumbag jerk face, but to the SJWs the problem wasn’t that she was doing these horrible things, it was that she was doing these horrible things to the wrong people. Because when these horrible things are done to people like me or Sarah, then they are double plus good.

But one of her commenters said something that really struck me, and I want to quote it here.

Synova – Some of the comments by people who had been subject to the full treatment just made me want to cry. I didn’t think it was funny because the guilty parties and enablers aren’t the ones who are hurt. Yes, we can scoff at Scalzi when he makes a rational counter-argument and is made, ultimately, to retract and abase himself and agree in public and start proselytizing in public that no… you really can’t trust your own brain and if something seems wrong to you or you feel like defending yourself it is simply proof that you’re guilty.

But there were people who reported rather severe PTSD type reactions to even sitting down at a keyboard to write because they were so terrified of offending… again. Because *rationally* they’d done nothing wrong the first time, but they were forced to an irrational acceptance of their guilt. So now they’ve “accepted their privilege” and “checked it” and confessed and repented (they could come to the Dark Side and be welcomed, but they don’t know that, and have been taught that the Dark Side is evil, and that’s why shunning is so very evil within closed communities… being exiled is a horrific punishment) but since they had NO IDEA how they could have done something wrong in the first place, they also have no idea how to avoid it the next time.

Imagine doing this to a child.

 

The kid is walking through a room doing nothing much and suddenly POW… and then you tell the kid… well that was YOUR fault. You screwed up. You stepped on that spot on the floor.

 

So the kid looks at the spot and it looks like every other spot. But the kid is told that, no, the fact that she can’t even SEE the spot is what the problem is. You can’t SEE the spot… that’s why it is YOUR fault. Also, a good child will try to learn. You’re a good child, aren’t you?

 

So the kid says, yes… it was my fault. I could not SEE the spot. Not seeing the spot makes this my fault.

Afterward, it’s still impossible to see the spots, and walking across the room becomes fraught with danger. Sitting down at the keyboard gives this very “good” person the shakes and panic attacks… where are the spots? She still can’t see the spots but she MUST agree and believe that those spots exist.

 

I have a LOT of sympathy for those who were hurt, just like I have sympathy for any abused person.

Bingo. My problem is that I like stepping on their spots.

The issue with the Social Justice Warrior contingent isn’t just that they’ve got their causes, it is that they take those causes and use them to brow beat not only their opposition, but also the innocent bystanders, the undecided, and newcomers.

They’ve gotten away with it too, because they had cultural allies in high places, like academia, publishing, film, and the media. If you enter one of those industries they try to frighten you into staying within their arbitrary and capricious lines. If you color outside their lines, their punishments are slander, threats, rumor, lies, harassment, and whatever career damage they can come up with.

You know, all the stuff Requires Hate did to the wrong people. The threats, harassment, and slander weren’t special or unique. My side is used to them. Hell, according to the SJWs I’m a racist, sexist, homophobic, wife beating, rape apologist. None of those things are true, but it doesn’t matter to the SJWs. I’m a foe, and thus must be shunned. They stick as much stuff like that out there as possible in order to build a narrative about their targets. It is pervasive. The uninformed read those things and believe them.

Requires Hate only became controversial for getting caught using those tactics on people who’d obeyed and tried to color in their lines. That was a violation of the SJW’s social contract of not eating their own until they stray from proper goodthink.

The SJWs say they stand for equality. Only they don’t. That’s a smoke screen. They are champions of diversity, provided that everyone is diverse in exactly the same approved manner. At their core they are petty, vengeful, tyrannical thought police, who simply can’t abide someone sinning. They’re an unholy cross between puritans and communists, with a heavy dose of Zanax, and severe self-esteem issues.

Social Justice Warriors are control freaks. Nothing more. Their bizarre antics have given true feminists a bad name. Their mad accusations of racism against anything and everything causes real racism to get lost in the background noise. By accusing well meaning, good intentioned individuals of horrible crimes, they legitimize and empower the real criminals.

The most interesting part of last week’s big expose of Requires Hate was the comments from various left wing or moderate authors living in fear of being slandered or having their careers destroyed. All I can say to them is welcome to the party, buddy. Now do you understand why thought police are so dangerous? You can’t cheer when they go after those you disagree with, and then act surprised when the pack of vicious attack dogs you’ve fed, raised, and nurtured eventually turn on you. Attacking is what they are programmed to do. One day you will make a wrong move, or a move they at least perceive to be wrong, and then you’re going to get bitten.

Of course, once people like me and Sarah commented on this, the SJW Harpy Brigade took to Twitter to complain how horrible it was “White Men” feel they get a say in the matter… Let that bigotry soak in for a moment. Sure, this is our industry, and it affects our livelihood and our friends, but no opinion for you, because of skin color.

SJWs stifle artistic creativity. When artists, authors, designers, and creators are afraid of crossing the invisible lines, art suffers. What some of you haven’t realized yet however is that the lines just aren’t invisible, they move based upon how much the SJWs like you. Basically, if you are on their shun list, no matter what you do, you will give offense and cause outrage. And if you are one of them, you have a dispensation to sin freely.

If the SJWs decide you are an enemy anything you do is automatically sexist, racist, homophobic, or something, and they will tell thousands of complete strangers all about it. Regular nice people don’t like being accused of horrible, vile things, so usually they fall back in line. Of course, actually reading the books or knowing anything about the author is unnecessary before slandering them, which is how come to them I’m a white guy with white privilege who writes about manly white men doing white things for white people.

For those who end up on the shun list, if you have a minority character you are guilty of “tokenism” or worse, “cultural appropriation” which is a totally asinine concept, especially in a nation based upon cultural appropriating every winning idea and strategy in the history of the world. My children are Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Jew, Mormons, descended from conquistadors, Vikings, cowboys, pioneers, and prophets, and we had Indian food for dinner last night before watching a Japanese TV show while I glued together pieces of a Spanish war game. My ancestors introduced the chili pepper to Thailand and my wife’s ancestors were legal to shoot on sight in Missouri. Who the hell do you think you are to tell an American not to culturally appropriate stuff?

However, if you are a SJW approved writer you can write tweets that are so blatantly, absurdly bigoted and racist that if you do a find and replace of White Man for Jew it would read like a Heinrich Himmler speech.

The SJW’s campaign of suppression is insidious and far reaching. They don’t just come after you after you’ve created, they scare you before you start.

Back when I mocked the foolish demands of End Binary Gender lady on Tor.com http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/28/ending-binary-gender-in-fiction-or-how-to-murder-your-writing-career/ and then defended myself from the White Knights who rode up to defend the poor damsel in distress from my Big Evil Swarthy Menace http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/29/5687/ I heard from a whole bunch of authors, ranging from just beginning to superstars, but mostly political moderates or liberals, thanking me for talking about this. These authors are frightened of writing about certain things or writing about them in the wrong way. Basically, they were trying to be good kids, and they didn’t know where the spots were. And these authors couldn’t comment themselves because they knew that would draw the SJW attack dogs.

Interesting side note, it was fun to hear from a bunch of liberal authors how End Binary Gender lady wasn’t such an innocent damsel in distress, and how she was actually an attack dog bully who’d harassed people at conventions. Fast forward a year and we see her implicated as one of Requires Hate’s minions. Fantastic.

This stuff is pervasive. It is everywhere. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. I got involved in the End Binary Gender nonsense because I actually like encouraging writers, especially new ones. SJWs like scaring writers. They’ll lecture you on forbidden topics and forbidden words, because the most important thing in the creative process is that the author walk on egg shells, worried that he might inadvertently sin.

Some of my fans follow various SJWs on Twitter and send me links to the most ridiculous quotes. An award winning SJW author recently tweeted about how she wasn’t going to play the videogame Destiny because it used Dark versus Light. Then there were a whole mess of comments which basically said You Go Girl! That’s Racist Colonialist talk!

Now there are plenty of reasons to hate Destiny’s writing (I actually felt bad for Peter Dinklage during some of the nonsensical exposition) but racism isn’t one of them. Somehow to an SJW dark vs. light or black vs. white used as a theme to represent good vs. evil is actually racist and based upon human skin tone… So now aspiring authors are afraid to use this because they don’t want to be racist. Too bad this is like one of the oldest continual themes in human storytelling, dating back to when we figured out fire kept away the things in the dark that wanted to eat us.

In actuality every human culture, from every continent, has some form of good vs. evil myth represented by light vs. dark. Because I write Monster Hunter, I’m a folklore nerd, so within a couple of seconds of reading that I thought of myths from Africa, India, South America, and all over Asia where the good guys were represented by “light” and the bad guys were represented by “dark”. The Bible, the Torah, the Talmud, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, that is a theme is all over religious writings from every corner of the world, from Amaterasu to Zoroastrians, light good, dark scary. Light you can see. Dark you can’t. Duh.

Hell, there’s a Dark Side of the Force for a reason!

But you should totally not use that old and powerful theme that appeals to all of sane humanity in your work, because outrage. Stay in your lines, peasant.

Recently another author tweeted something about oh good, another story where a white man says things, does things, then shoots things. Yeah, that sounds pretty horrible, except it describes stories as diverse as Unforgiven to Blade Runner, or Raiders of the Lost Ark to the Godfather, or Inception to Apocalypse Now. So maybe, just maybe, there is more diversity to storytelling than the skin deep bullshit SJWs fixate on.

Basically, the SJWs want you to be screwed, no matter what. If they can only control criminals, then soon enough they’ll make sure that everything is a crime.

The solution?

For creators, don’t play by their rules. Write what you want. Write about what inspires you. Make up whatever characters you think make for the most interesting story.

When the SJWs come for someone, and you know that they are liars, stand up for the truth. When they form an angry mob, at minimum don’t join in. If you’re like me and not adverse to confrontation, fight back. Tell the truth. When they say something bug nuts crazy, you’re not doing anyone any favors by validating their stupid opinion.

Don’t let them set the terms. When they say you’re something-ist, and you’re clearly not, tell them so. Never accept their lies. When they start explaining how you’re guilty because of invisible privilege, micro aggressions, or original sin, then all the observers will realize just how full of shit they really are.

When they judge someone based upon the color of their skin or their sex, rather than the content of their character or the quality of their ideas, call them on their bigotry.

Don’t let them determine what constitutes an acceptable response. They will show up, insult you, and then demand polite debate. An SJW can malign and insult you all day, but when you respond in kind, they call you rude, aggressive, hateful, and so angry, why you need to be dismissed! This is a one way street. They do it to individuals, groups, and even entire political movements. SJWs will pick the most bat shit crazy person on the opposition’s side and use them as the poster child to tar the whole movement. And if one of those people doesn’t exist, they’ll fabricate one.

When you’ve reached that point, you’ve got nothing to lose. Mock them relentlessly. When you discover that you’re dealing with a Concern Troll, just skip ahead to where you are going to end up inevitably anyway. The onlookers will appreciate your honesty.

SJWs are predictable in their responses. When I inevitably get attacked for this blog post, it’ll be all about how I’m something-ist or something-phobic, and want to keep Group X out of Industry Y. It is all about dismissing their opponent. The truth is optional.

Their predictability makes them vulnerable. Their toolbox is limited. That is why they can’t just condemn Requires Hate’s dirty tricks, because they those same dirty tricks are all they’ve got to cow the opposition into silence.

One thing you need to realize before joining in this fight, the goal isn’t to convince the SJWs. Swaying the decided is a nearly insurmountable task. The real goal is to convince the undecided, and debate is a spectator sport. When one side has nothing but lies, slander, and intimidation, all you need to do is expose them for what they really are.

Above I talked about the eternal human theme of light vs. dark. You’ll note in most of those mentioned religious texts from all over the world light and truth go hand in hand. The darkness hides the truth. SJWs thrive on ignorance, bigotry, hate, and fear. It is time to turn the light on and watch the cockroaches scatter.

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