Eggs vs bullets: Michael Dunn, Willie Noble, and teens being teens

I’m trying to wrap my brain around Willie Noble’s killing of Adrian Broadway in the wee hours of Saturday morning in Little Rock, Arkansas. Seems she and six friends drove to Noble’s house and proceeded to cover his car in eggs, toilet paper, mayonnaise, and other debris. Nobles response was to run out with gun blazing, firing into the fleeing car and killing 15-year-old Adrian, who was in the front seat.

Willie Noble, like Adrian, is African-American. He “was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of a terroristic act and five counts of aggravated assault.”

This comes on the heels of Michael Dunn being convicted on Saturday in Jacksonville, FL of three counts of attempted second-degree murder and another charge in the killing in 2012 of Jordan Davis, who was in a car with three friends and a loud stereo. Dunn, who is white, confronted the four African-American teens about the loud music. The argument quickly escalated as Dunn pulled his legally concealed weapon from his glove compartment and fired three shots into the the teen’s SUV. Dunn and his girlfriend then went to their bed and breakfast and ordered a pizza.

The jury deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge of Davis and the judge declared a mistrial. Dunn claimed to have seen Davis with a shotgun (no weapon was recovered by police).

Noble, the African-American, could possibly be convicted of terrorism and Dunn, the Caucasian, has yet to be convicted in the death of his victim.

But getting beyond that for a minute: teens are getting shot for teenage behavior.

I am not defending egging a car. I have never engaged in that particular act. Full disclosure: I was in a car with two female friends in high school and a car with two men tailed us for several miles (yes–we tried to lose them and even drove to the police station, but we were afraid to get out of the car) so we finally went to one of our houses, ran inside and grabbed the first things we could think of to throw at the car, which happened to be eggs. The car left as we ran back out.

But toilet paper? Seriously? I was a world-class TPer. We used 40 rolls on the county extension agent’s house after the 4-H banquet. We used green and white so he would know who did it. He caught us and invited us in for hot chocolate and donuts. We offered to clean it up, but he wanted his little kids to see it in the morning.

A group of my parents friends threw a great annual party to celebrate a local high school football rivalry. Whoever had the party got “rolled” (TPed). The night before the game when I was in college, I heard pounding in the front yard–the supporters of the rival team were decorating my parents’ house, because it was our turn to hold the party. I flipped on the porch light and they all froze. “Hey! You want to TP the bedroom?” The results were amazing: the bed was wrapped in TP and red and black crepe paper. A couple of years later, my mom and I drove to the party site and returned the favor (that was my last TP outing).

But loud music, eggs, and toilet paper now constitute threats that deserve to be met by lethal force?

I am so glad I grew up when the consequences were not so severe.

Crossposted on Scholars and Rogues: http://wp.me/p4854-n7q

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