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"Your Choice"

by Mike Straw

Those prudent souls who finally apply for an expensive conditional temporary permit to save their own precious lives can expect to be required to demonstrate their prowess with their newly-acquired tool by boldly standing stock-still in plain sight of a dangerous paper target, oblivious to the constant stream of critical data available from the other three-hundred-sixty-four degrees around them.

In spite of your longings and expectations, this little show isn’t about testing the pinnacle of your training, it’s merely about limiting the State’s liability: by providing evidence of your drilling a neat hole in the big, bad paper, you’ll be somewhat at a loss to explain how, under stress, you “accidentally” killed that cute little blonde-haired, blue-eyed toddler when, after all, you soberly swore you were actually aiming at that scary bad guy who surprised you in the middle of the crowded mall, and besides, it was noisy and the light wasn’t that good.

Wanna stay out of prison? Like to stay alive?

Cultivate a “three-hundred-sixty-five-degree” mindset: be able to predict where the illegal assault will come and have a proven defense already in place to deal with it, or as they say in the unconstitutional standing Army, the "seven Ps"- proper prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance.

Your area of responsibility consists of everything within a sphere forty-two feet in diameter.

You should constantly be aware of everyone entering, within, and leaving this sphere, their descriptions, an estimate of their level of training, what illegal weapons they may conceal, their bearing and demeanor, and their positional relation to you.

What happens when you fail to maintain this level of awareness? On December ninth 1981 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, “the city of brotherly love,” confident five-year-veteran mercenary proxy-guardian “police” officer Daniel Faulkner, twenty-five, stopped a light-blue Volkswagen operated by William Cook driving down Thirteenth Street (a one-way street) the wrong way (sounds like probable cause to me) in view of several eyewitnesses.

Cognizant that action always beats reaction and unaware of tomorrow’s winning lottery number, cagey officer Faulkner prudently requested backup. As Cook violently attacked him, his courageous older brother Wesley, a taxi driver of similar temperament who’d adopted the moniker “Mumia (an embalmed body) Abu (a holy man) Jamal (camel),“ wearing a hat and a blue and red-striped jacket, happily took the glaring opportunity to sneak up behind preoccupied officer Faulkner and brutally shoot him in the back, whereupon he fell supine, at which time, beginning from approximately three feet and ending at less than a foot, Wesley viciously emptied his illegal firearm into officer Faulkner’s face. The last thing helpless, wounded officer Faulkner saw, heard, and painfully felt- up close and personal- was the brilliant flash, loud report, and searing impact of Wesley’s five-shot thirty-eight Charter Arms revolver discharging right between his eyes.

True to their glamorized “profession,” his highly-trained and experienced colleagues- who soberly advise you after being assaulted to simply dial the number for “government”-sponsored dial-a-prayer, nine-one-one, and complacently wait- arrived promptly, forty-five seconds after officer Faulkner’s final agonized gasp. If they can’t save even their own, what slim chance do you suppose you have?

A quarter of a century later, the “embalmed body of a holy camel,” fat and happy, although justly sentenced to death by the omnipotent State, has yet to require any embalming.

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