Cul-de-sac Commandos and Chipotle Warriors
Oh what a week…
In St. Louis a personal injury attorney and his wife became internet sensations by guarding their extremely nice home from protesters using an AR-15 and a .380 (interesting choice of weapons).
Then, to raise the ante, we had an armed confrontation take place in a suburb of Detroit between a woman, her husband, and a mother and a daughter.
So… let’s take a look at both and see what conclusions (if any) we can draw:
Saving Private Property, starring The McClosekys
If you have not seen the videos or the internet memes regarding this couple, you owe yourself a few minutes of indulgence. The humor of the American gun community is on full display with these two. They have generally become inadvertent heroes in a “tongue-in-cheek” sort of way.
Mr. McCloskey and his wife were clearly eating dinner in their estate… And, boy, do I mean estate! When I first saw the video, I mistakenly assumed they were guarding a museum or courthouse. Apparently the amount of Zillow searches on property in St. Louis has surged following people seeing the McCloskeys’ home and seriously considering moving… but, I digress…
They were eating dinner when a group of protesters entered their neighborhood for the purposes of demonstrating on the mayor’s lawn (evidently, they are neighbors). This particular neighborhood is a private community, meaning that the homeowners each “own” the access ways and roads between the homes.
As such, the protesters were trespassing.
They were also making noises suggesting that destruction and violence were on the agenda.
Not sure what was going on, Mr. and Ms. McCloskey looked out the window, saw the mob outside the gates of Versailles, and decided not to suffer the same fate as Louis and Marie.
Clad in his peach-colored polo shirt and tan chinos (sans shoes), Mr. McCloskey grabbed his Colt AR-15. Ms. McCloskey, adorned in her striped shirt and capris, grabbed her trusty .380. Together, the young lovers left their home to meet the mob on the veranda of Tara.
Mr. McCloskey kept his carbine… somewhat oddly… under his arm with the muzzle oriented parallel to the ground pointing to his right. Ms. McCloskey kept her left hand on her hip, her strong arm bent at a forty five degree angle, her finger on the trigger, and the .380 lazily pointed at the direction of the mob. (Tsk tsk tsk, Ms. McCloskey… please remember rule number two and rule number three, my dear.)
Together, against the world, the McCloskeys strongly advised the mob amassing in front of them that they had, in fact, chosen the wrong house.
Apparently, the presence of their hardware had the intended effect. The mob moved on.
The District Attorney was aghast! Aghast, I tell you!
How dare this privileged couple have the temerity to use firearms to quell a peaceful protest!
(Mind you, the fact that they were trespassing on private property, had made utterances about burning homes down, and were, in fact, approaching the McCloskeys’ on their own direct property should have no influence on your analysis.)
Clearly, Ms. McCloskey might have some legal issues. Her waving the firearm and pointing it randomly in the direction of the mob may be seen as some degree of not only escalation, but also assault. Then again… we don’t know exactly what the McCloskeys heard coming from the mob… perhaps her actions, given the circumstances, were entirely reasonable.
I am not expecting this case to go to trial. Remember… everything is adjudicated through the lens of a political construct. The last thing the DA wants is to make the McCloskeys martyrs… and all of the social upheaval that can result from that.
Notwithstanding their internet fame, I suspect that this will quietly go away.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
Ignorance is Bliss!, starring the entire ensemble cast of “Mama Drama”
On Thursday I received a video email from my law partner.
CPT Expert: “Please view and give me your thoughts”… signed MAJ Curious.
I clicked on the link and had the unique experience of watching a YouTube video “produced” in a suburb of Detroit.
The video is being filmed by a teenage girl. She is 15 years old and the daughter of Ms. Takelia Hill. Ms. Hill is engaged in a directed “conversation” with Ms. Jillian Wuestenberg. Evidently, Ms. Wuestenberg and her husband had entered a Chipotle and, in the process, “bumped” Ms. Hill’s teenage daughter.
Ms. Hill The Younger immediately responded to the egregious attack on her personal space by exclaiming to Ms. Wuestenberg, “Excuse you!”
Apparently, Ms. Wuestenberg chose discretion as the better part of valor, and ignored the insolent rebuke.
Silence, however, was not sufficient.
Ms. Hill the Elder and Ms. Hill the Younger went into full action against Ms. Wuestenberg. Ms. Hill the Younger began videotaping, as her mother dressed down Ms. Wuestenberg.
Clearly, Ms. Hill the Elder articulated, the only reason that Ms. Wuesternberg did not afford her daughter the most sincerest of apologies for the “assault” was that she was… yep… a racist.
Both Mr. Wuestenberg and Ms. Wuestenberg decided that perhaps this was not the dining experience they had intended and chose to leave.
Ms. Hill was to have none of that.
She blocked Ms. Wuestenberg from entering her vehicle and continued to unleash her tirade. Ms. Wuestenberg did not respond. She repeatedly asked Ms. Hill the Elder to move so she could get into her vehicle. Eventually, she was able to maneuver around Ms. Hill the Elder and gain access to the minivan.
Mr. Wuestenberg then decided to engage. (Hey… better late than never!)
Also wearing a pastel-colored polo shirt… (What is up with that?!?… Is that really going to be the next evolution of tacit-cool? God, I hope not.) Mr. Wuesternberg knocks it out of the park with the exclamation, “Who the F@#K do you think you are?”
Ah… the witty retort.
Clearly having devastated them into stunned silence, Mr. Wuestenberg went back to the driver’s door and entered his vehicle.
Feeling that the adventure had concluded, Ms. Hill the Younger turns back towards the Chipotle as we see the minivan backing up out of the parking space.
Ms. Hill the Elder was not finished though… she still had more “work” to do.
Ms. Hill the Elder ran behind the reversing minivan for reasons that remain unclear. Was she trying to block them from leaving (false imprisonment)? Was she trying to stage an “accident” (fraud)? Regardless of her reasons, she smacked the rear window of the minivan as it moved backwards, a sound that is audibly heard in the recording.
This is where Ms. Wuestenberg decided she has had enough.
She exits the vehicle, draws her gun and orders (loudly) Ms. Hill the Elder to move the F@#K away!
Ms. Hill the Elder seems unfazed by the introduction of a firearm into the discussion. Both Ms. Wuestenberg and Ms. Hill the Elder call on unnamed bystanders to call the police.
Ms. Wuestenberg sidesteps away from the vehicle (clearing space) while maintaining a traditional weaver stance. Once she has mitigated the perceived threat, and the minivan has reversed, she enters the passenger door and the two drive away.
The DA has decided to file charges of assault against both Ms. Wuestenberg and Mr. Wuestenberg (both concealed-carry permit holders).
I am very curious to see how this plays out.
I think the DA is going to have a very difficult time with this one. The question is going to turn on whether Ms. Wuestenberg was in fear for her life at the time she exited the vehicle.
Perhaps she was. The social context of what is happening in our world right now cannot be eliminated from the analysis. More to the point, Ms. Wuestenberg was able to exhibit a calm demeanor during the initial encounter (though we now know she was armed). She did not draw her gun until she believed that their ability to exit the area had been prevented.
Again… the DA must think long and hard on this one before moving forward. While the Wuestenbergs have not achieved the level of fame at this point that the McCloskeys have, a conviction of these two could result in more violence, not less.