Stand Your Ground, On Twitter And In Your Car

 

Law professor, blogging icon, and all-around nice guy Glenn Reynolds was suspended from Twitter last night, apparently for this tweet (the original is still deleted):

Glenn Reynolds Suspended from Twitter

Some context here: If you watch the linked video or other video from that night, you’ll see that the looters and rioters peaceful protesters were stopping cars and looting the contents of trucks on the freeway. This went beyond what we’ve seen before in such situations, and there was (and is) a very real threat that the riots would start to pull the passengers out of the vehicles, out, Reginald Denny-style.

Instapundit was booted from Twitter for suggesting that people facing such violence should power through it, and I agree with him. While I am not a lawyer like he is, it’s generally assumed you can use lethal force to defend yourself if you are in fear for your life or grievous bodily harm, in or outside of your domicile, and you pretty much have no “duty to retreat” when you in are in your domicile.

(You’re in your home. Where else would you go? If it’s your home, you’re allowed to defend it, and defend the lives of those with you.)

But when your life is in peril while you’re in your car, you can use deadly force to keep yourself from dying at the hands of a mob. Protestors waving flags and shouting? No problem, carry on. Protestors climbing on your car? Scary, but not life-threatening. Protestors screaming and trying to open your car doors? Different matter altogether.

Imagine the same thing happening in your home, with someone banging on the door and saying they and their friends are going to kill you: Would you consider using lethal force if necessary? Most people would say “Yes,” and that was exactly what the people on that Charlotte freeway were facing last night.

As I see it, Glenn Reynolds was right to advocate that people who are unintentionally caught in such violence use the means at their disposal to leave the area and go to a place of safety. To suggest anything else would be turning innocent people into victims.

Update: Reynolds is back on Twitter.

There are 35 comments.

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  1. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I suspect we could find many instances of *actual* advocation of illegal behavior and outright violence by Leftists on twitter, without any action by the company to shut them down.

    How far can a public company go in running its business in ways that promote the personal political beliefs of its senior executives, before it can be found in violation of its fiduciary obligations to its shareholders?

    It is really time for some litigation to be brought on this topic.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Tricky.

    The words “Run Them Down” can pretty easily be interpreted as promoting offensive force rather than defensive force.

    It’s hard enough to craft a clear message when you have 140 characters to work with. Reynolds’ decision to only use 13 may have been foolish.

    Freedom of speech is a right, but there’s no right to a Twitter account. The lack of impartiality when Twitter enforces it’s own rules does not change that fact.

    Then again, I don’t use Twitter.

    • #2
  3. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I thought about this alot when this happened in the early days of OWS and the anti-war movement. I remember watching a video of protesters blocking traffic and surrounding cars yelling at the drivers, then were incensed that the people they are threatening act threatened and flee.

    I reached the following conclusion:

    If am surrounded and I am being prevented from leaving, then I have been kidnapped and can attempt my escape with all necessary due force. To include running over my captors. I would gladly take it to trial too.

    You know who didn’t get drug from their car and beaten? The guy with the gun.

    • #3
  4. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Misthiocracy:Freedom of speech is a right, but there’s no right to a Twitter account. The lack of impartiality when Twitter enforces it’s own rules does not change that fact.

    There is no right to a Twitter account, but Twitter shareholders DO have a right to expect Twitter management to run the business in a way that is consistent with their (the shareholders’) best interest. At some point, heavy-handed political bias is surely incons0istent with this.

    If an appliance maker decided to sell refrigerators only to people who are members of a particular political party–and they were a public company–then they would most likely face shareholder litigation.

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    David Foster: At some point, heavy-handed political bias is surely incons0istent with this.

    Only time will tell.

    • #5
  6. Randal H Member
    Randal H
    @RandalH

    If someone is blocking the road and attacking people in other vehicles, there’s no question I would run them over to avoid that fate. Well, I guess the only question is whether to stop and come to the aid of other innocent motorists, which I would consider if I were carrying my firearm (which I most certainly would be doing while travelling at night in a place like Charlotte).

    It looks like the issue has escalated into an investigation by the University of Tennessee.

    • #6
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Misthiocracy:Tricky.

    The words “Run Them Down” can pretty easily be interpreted as promoting offensive force rather than defensive force.

    It’s hard enough to craft a clear message when you have 140 characters to work with. Reynolds’ decision to only use 13 may have been foolish.

    Freedom of speech is a right, but there’s no right to a Twitter account. The lack of impartiality when Twitter enforces it’s own rules does not change that fact.

    Then again, I don’t use Twitter.

    I don’t think we can just say this anymore. The Left uses non governmental ways to destroy people for their free speech. That is wrong. Twitter and Facebook are near monopolies. There are anti-trust laws. If EHarmony can be forced to cater to Gays, Twitter and Facebook can be forced to accept conservative speech.

    • #7
  8. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    David Foster:

    Misthiocracy:Freedom of speech is a right, but there’s no right to a Twitter account. The lack of impartiality when Twitter enforces it’s own rules does not change that fact.

    There is no right to a Twitter account,

    If there is a right to an E Haromney Account, there is a right to a Twitter Account.

    • #8
  9. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Bryan G. Stephens: If EHarmony can be forced to cater to Gays, Twitter and Facebook can be forced to accept conservative speech.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. I hope I never endorse unfairly restricting the rights of Person B simply because somebody else is unfairly restricting the rights of Person A.

    • #9
  10. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    The other alternative is to use Twitter abundantly, flood it with slightly more reasonable memes—e.g. “When your life is in peril while you’re in your car, you can use deadly force to keep yourself from dying at the hands of a mob. ”

    #DriveOn

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Kate Braestrup:The other alternative is to use Twitter abundantly, flood it with slightly more reasonable memes—e.g. “When your life is in peril while you’re in your car, you can use deadly force to keep yourself from dying at the hands of a mob. ”

    #DriveOn

    That adds up to 137 characters. Good job!

    • #11
  12. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    North Carolina’s “Castle Doctrine” (North Carolina General Statute 14-51.2) specifically includes motor vehicles:

    The lawful occupant of a home, motor vehicle, or workplace is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to another if both of the following apply: (1) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a home, motor vehicle, or workplace, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the home, motor vehicle, or workplace. (2) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

    The law also immunizes a person who uses deadly force in such a situation from criminal or civil liability (subject to certain exceptions, most of which involve LEOs).

    So if I were on I-85 that night and were surrounded by rioters, and one tried to enter the car, I’d run them down.

    Would I feel good about it? No.

    • #12
  13. Randal H Member
    Randal H
    @RandalH

    danok1:North Carolina’s “Castle Doctrine” (North Carolina General Statute 14-51.2) specifically includes motor vehicles:

    The lawful occupant of a home, motor vehicle, or workplace is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to another if both of the following apply: (1) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a home, motor vehicle, or workplace, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the home, motor vehicle, or workplace. (2) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

    The law also immunizes a person who uses deadly force in such a situation from criminal or civil liability (subject to certain exceptions, most of which involve LEOs).

    So if I were on I-85 that night and were surrounded by rioters, and one tried to enter the car, I’d run them down.

    Would I feel good about it? No.

    So, Reynolds was suspended by Twitter and is being investigated by UT for advocating following the law in NC. Sounds about right in today’s world.

    • #13
  14. Tim H. Member
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    Shame on the UT Law School dean and (unsurprisingly) on UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek for taking this stand. A lot of us Tennesseeans have been unhappy with Cheek’s administration and all of the social nonsense he has been promoting.

    • #14
  15. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Kate Braestrup:The other alternative is to use Twitter abundantly, flood it with slightly more reasonable memes—e.g. “When your life is in peril while you’re in your car, you can use deadly force to keep yourself from dying at the hands of a mob. ”

    #DriveOn

    Or, stop using Twitter and start using Gab, which was built specifically by Les Deplorables as a replacement. The history of the right is pretty clear: you’ll never “win back” your enemies institutions, because you never owned them. National Review, Fox News, Ricochet, Gab…. you have to build your own stuff or you’ll always be at the mercy of those enemies.

    • #15
  16. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Douglas:

    Kate Braestrup:The other alternative is to use Twitter abundantly, flood it with slightly more reasonable memes—e.g. “When your life is in peril while you’re in your car, you can use deadly force to keep yourself from dying at the hands of a mob. ”

    #DriveOn

    Or, stop using Twitter and start using Gab, which was built specifically by Les Deplorables as a replacement. The history of the right is pretty clear: you’ll never “win back” your enemies institutions, because you never owned them. National Review, Fox News, Ricochet, Gab…. you have to build your own stuff or you’ll always be at the mercy of those enemies.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Abandoning general-purpose social media to communicate exclusively on right-wing social media arguably contributes to the balkanization of America and ends up aiding the professional Left, because it arguably cedes to the Left the power to define “the mainstream”. If they’re perfectly happy to be rid of right-wing users, then you’re arguably playing right into their hands.

    It’s a lot like the Academy. As schools become more progressive, conservatives seek out their own alternatives. This simply allows the mainstream schools to become more and more progressive since the conservative voices are voluntarily abandoning the fight.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    • #16
  17. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    I started following Reynolds today. I’m willing to bet the free advertising generated by Twitter’s suspension has caused others to do what I did.

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Misthiocracy:

    Bryan G. Stephens: If EHarmony can be forced to cater to Gays, Twitter and Facebook can be forced to accept conservative speech.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. I hope I never endorse unfairly restricting the rights of Person B simply because somebody else is unfairly restricting the rights of Person A.

    The right has been established the the government can tell a private company that it cannot limit free speech of its customers. To say two wrongs don’t make a right is to sit back and let the other team win the game. I did not make the rules, I just play in the ball game. And the left has made the rules that the power of the state can be used this way.

    But, if you plan on not taking Social Security and Medicare, and you refuse the Home Owner’s deduction because they are wrong, more power to you.

    • #18
  19. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Misthiocracy:< devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Abandoning general-purpose social media to communicate exclusively on right-wing social media arguably contributes to the balkanization of America and ends up aiding the professional Left, because it arguably cedes to the Left the power to define “the mainstream”. If they’re perfectly happy to be rid of right-wing users, then you’re arguably playing right into their hands.

    It’s a lot like the Academy. As schools become more progressive, conservatives seek out their own alternatives. This simply allows the mainstream schools to become more and more progressive since the conservative voices are voluntarily abandoning the fight.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Twitter is an exception because mass defection would collapse its value, and sink an already unprofitable company into bankruptcy. Once twitter because liberal pundit press release portal, I doubt it will cease to be a medium for any kind of conversation. Nobody will take it on, because of what Tumblr did to Yahoo. So twitter will die. It will become the butt of jokes:

    • #19
  20. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Andrew Branca, who literally wrote the book on the law of self-defense, weighs in:

    Note that a defender need not necessarily wait until the protestors have turned violent against his particular vehicle. If they have begun threatening or using deadly force against other blockaded vehicles it is reasonable to infer that your own vehicle is likely to be next — you are, after all, legally entitled to defend yourself not just against the danger already occurring to you but also against the danger that is about to occur, that is imminent.

    Take a look at the video above: Would you say that “danger is already occurring”?

    I would.

    • #20
  21. Paul Erickson Inactive
    Paul Erickson
    @PaulErickson

    danok1: So if I were on I-85 that night and were surrounded by rioters, and one tried to enter the car, I’d run them down.

    Logistical problem: the doors through which a rioter might try to enter are on the sides. The car does not go sideways. You’d be running down someone other than the people actually trying to get into your car. You’d be toast in court.

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Show of hands: Who thinks Kevin should have his own podcast on all matters pertaining to firearms, their use, and the political situation in regards to the Second Amendment?

    My hand is up . . .

    • #22
  23. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Guruforhire: Twitter is an exception because mass defection would collapse its value, and sink an already unprofitable company into bankruptcy.

    MySpace, Google Wave, 43 Things, Yahoo 360°, the Interwebz are filled with social media sites that failed because the content on them sucked.

    • #23
  24. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    I would lay on my horn and accelerate to about 10 – 15 miles per hour. 10 MPH is slow enough that anybody but a small child or an elderly person would easily be able to get out of the way, but fast enough that the crowd would certainly part or risk getting run over.

    • #24
  25. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Paul Erickson:

    danok1: So if I were on I-85 that night and were surrounded by rioters, and one tried to enter the car, I’d run them down.

    Logistical problem: the doors through which a rioter might try to enter are on the sides. The car does not go sideways. You’d be running down someone other than the people actually trying to get into your car. You’d be toast in court.

    I would like to see the jury that would convict.

    • #25
  26. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Stad:Show of hands: Who thinks Kevin should have his own podcast on all matters pertaining to firearms, their use, and the political situation in regards to the Second Amendment?

    My hand is up . . .

    @exjon knows someone who can make it happen.

    Threaten to utilize the word “utilize” in every post when “use” would work. That’ll bring him to his knees in a sobbing, whimpering pool of jelly.

    Trust me on this. :D

    • #26
  27. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    I have never understood peoples fascination and obsession with Twitter and I knew about it back in 2008. Twitter is like IM originally you could only message people who used the same software then someone cam up with messaging that worked across mulitple platforms. It would be fairly easy for someone to make a cross platform twitter like feed (heck their might be some already out their but I don’t care because its a medium I think is a bit silly) so when it comes to business strategies this is just plan dumb they are just asking for competition and giving people a reason to go.

    • #27
  28. Dick from Brooklyn Thatcher
    Dick from Brooklyn
    @DickfromBrooklyn

    When will everyone finally abandon Twitter? It’s a cesspool. Somebody build a dammed RSS based alternative.

    • #28
  29. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Paul Erickson:

    danok1: So if I were on I-85 that night and were surrounded by rioters, and one tried to enter the car, I’d run them down.

    Logistical problem: the doors through which a rioter might try to enter are on the sides. The car does not go sideways. You’d be running down someone other than the people actually trying to get into your car. You’d be toast in court.

    That’s why cars have reverse gear.

    • #29
  30. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Brian Clendinen:I have never understood peoples fascination and obsession with Twitter and I knew about it back in 2008. Twitter is like IM originally you could only message people who used the same software then someone cam up with messaging that worked across mulitple platforms. It would be fairly easy for someone to make a cross platform twitter like feed (heck their might be some already out their but I don’t care because its a medium I think is a bit silly) so when it comes to business strategies this is just plan dumb they are just asking for competition and giving people a reason to go.

    Its basically a SIP/SIMPLE client

    • #30

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