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Standing My Ground

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Angel with a Shotgun - The Cab (mp3)
Overkill - Jump, Little Children (mp3)

You walk past my car. It’s dusk, right about the time when people are up to no good.

You keep looking at the houses, with their lights on, with the innocent people living peacefully inside. They don’t deserve your glances; they deserve to be left alone.

I’m sitting in my car because I keep this neighborhood safe. I protect it from people like you. It’s my job, except I don’t get paid for it. I do it because I’m dedicated, because I value safety, because these people deserve a guardian.

Oh yeah, and I keep a gun handy. Just in case. Damn straight.

So when you kept scouting our houses and talking on your cell phone, what was I supposed to think? That you were just talking to your girlfriend? Fuck no. It’s perfectly reasonable for me to assume you were calling your gangter pals and telling them the addresses and descriptions of the homes you thought best-suited for a late-night smash-and-grab.

You’re black, right? Since when do black kids with hoods walk through my neighborhood without some kind of nefarious motive? I sit out here all the time on the lookout, and I don’t ever see black kids.

So I call 911, like a good citizen. But I’ve got that gun in my lap, and I’m stroking it like a beloved housecat. It wants to be warm. This is the moment I’ve trained for. This is why I’m sitting in my car night after night.

The emergency operator tells me the cops are coming, but you and I both know that’s a load of shit. Even Flava Flav knows 911 is a Joke. “Call a cab ‘cause a cab’ll come quicker,” Flav says, and he’s right. By the time a cop arrives, your joker ass is back in the hood with your hooded brothers. Next thing we know, you’re back with numbers, and you’re causing chaos in my neighborhood.

Now you’re checking me out. You’re walking through our neighborhood -- our collective backyard, our collective property -- and looking at me like I’m the suspicious one. How dare you, you little piece of shit. I’m just sitting in my car, motherfucker. What you gonna do about it? I’m ready for your gangsta ass.

Shit. You’re walking away. One more bad guy about to get away. I can see the headlines now, and the story is the same as always: “We coulda stopped these crimes, but everyone ignored the Neighborhood Watch guy’s warnings. If the cops had arrived post-haste, this criminal would have been arrested. Instead, lives and property have been lost because good men did nothing.”

That’s not gonna be my story.

So hell yeah, I get out of my car. You’re not getting out of my sights. No one’s getting away with anything tonight. Justice will be served, motherfucker.

The 911 operator tells me not to pursue. Yeah thanks. Your lawyers make you tell me that stuff? So that you’re protected? Don’t worry. I won’t sue the city if something bad happens. I’ve got a gun, and I’m not scared of a punk. But thanks for the warning. Hope you feel better, sitting there behind your terminal.

You keep looking back at me, punk. Yeah that’s right motherfucker, I’m on your ass. You’re not getting away with jack shit tonight. I’m gonna have you up against a wall and waiting patiently for the cops when they show up in God knows how long.

Your pace picks up. You know I know, and you’re scared. I patiently maintain my distance, but my heartbeat is kicking in like a bitch. I’m so nervous and excited that I’m licking the beads of sweat from my upper lip, and the salt tastes like blood.

Suddenly you cut into a backyard. Fuck yeah it’s on now. I’ve got you panicked. This is it.

When I come around the corner, you’re waiting. I hear you saying something on the phone before you hang it up. Something about how you’re not gonna run. That’s right. Don’t run, you little shit. You’re not getting away anyway, so might as well get what’s coming to ya.

“Why you following me?” your dumb ass asks. Yeah, nice try. Don’t turn this shit on me. I’m the good guy. And I’m not afraid of your black ass.

The words escalate. You come at me. You know the only way you’re avoiding prison is to attack me. I yell “HELP!” But I know I’ve got my help right here with me.

Scuffle. Gun. Shot. Dead bad guy. Hero stands.

Thank God for the Florida law that protects the heroes, the Pale Riders of the Florida sage. I stood my ground. I protected myself. He got what he deserved.

Sure, all you smart people with your perfect hindsight, go ahead and judge me. Question why I got out of the car and followed him after being told not to. Question why I carry a gun when Neighborhood Watch instructs against it. Question why I suspected evil from a squeaky-clean 17-year-old boy holding Skittles and a soda. Question whatever the hell you like. Easy for you. But I’ve got the law and the NRA on my side. I’ll sleep well tonight, and I'll be armed.

Black boy shoulda kept running. Or better yet, he shoulda stayed the fuck out of my neighborhood. Then he’d still be alive, and I wouldn’t have to stay in hiding from all these lefty softies in the media who think I'm the bad guy.

It’s all his fault.

Author’s Note: The above is fiction. Anyone under the impression that the author sympathizes with the shooter in this story needs to reread it or wake up.

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