Author Archives: jimbouchard

About jimbouchard

Martial arts transformed Jim’s self-perception from former drug abuser and failure to successful entrepreneur and Black Belt. As a speaker and author of Amazon bestseller Think Like a Black Belt, Jim tours nationally presenting his philosophy of Black Belt Mindset for corporate and conference audiences. He's a regular guest on TV and radio programs including FOX News, BBC Worldview and FOX Across America.

SPECIAL UPDATE: Could restricting who owns guns actually preserve 2nd Amendment rights?

The biggest push from gun control advocates comes in the form of comprehensive background checks.

Gun rights advocates say universal background checks would be ineffective and might represent the first step toward registration and complete disarmament.

Captain Mark Kelly, a gun owner and according to his words, a supporter of 2nd Amendment rights, is one of the advocates of tightening background checks. His wife, Gabrielle Giffords, is the Congresswoman shot in a mass murder spree. In this interview, Kelly says this is not really a 2nd Amendment issue.

Capt Mark Kelly

Well- is it?

Nearly 75% of NRA members say they’d support universal background checks.

Could restricting who owns firearms actually preserve the right of law abiding people to keep and bear arms?

Should this be a 2nd Amendment issue at all and if so- why do gun control advocates avoid the 2nd Amendment debate?

What are your thoughts?


If I pose a threat to you- then you should work passionately to disarm me!

Revolver

I’m absolutely sick to my stomach over the vilification and denigration of those of us who defend our God given right to self defense.

First I found myself under attack at, of all place, my local chamber board meeting! Next- a dear friend sent a link to post written by an associate of his that directly challenges the character and intentions of those of us who defend the right to bear arms.

Jordan Chariton writes in Hypervocal.com:

“I’ve found it maddening as gun rights advocates wrap themselves around ‘protecting the Second Amendment’ instead of protecting our kids. Although the NRA and a lot of Republicans would like you to think differently, every last word and amendment from both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is not hard and fast.”  Read more at http://bit.ly/XtYCCv

He goes on to cite several examples of the Constitution being usurped- though I’m not sure if he’s making his argument or mine.

I am extremely grateful Chariton makes this a Constitutional issue. Sadly, this is the component missing from most debates on gun regulations. I’ll return to that point, but first…

“The NRA and its followers continue citing “the right to protect themselves” from home intruders, and out of some loonier mouths “government coming to their doors and taking their guns.” The truth is, the NRA does not care about the safety of our children or the safety of a family trying to protect themselves from intruders. If they did, they would adjust their position based on the overwhelming pattern of what is killing people in America.”

Jordan, to your first point:

Home invasion is one of the few areas of crime that continues to rise despite an overall decline in both violent crimes and violence involving firearms. In my debate with a colleague at my chamber meeting, she also opined that those of use who own handguns to defend our homes should be evaluated to assess our mental well-being.

From “The Women’s Self-Defense Institute:”

“According to American Police Beat, the average response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes. Atlanta has the worst response time with 11 to 12 minutes and Nashville comes in at a lightning speed of 9 minutes.”

The average criminal spends about 10 minutes in your home. For people living in rural areas, response times can expand to as much as an hour leaving a family undefended for nearly 50 minutes- unless they defend themselves.

I can assure you, Jordan, that if you lived next door to me and I knew you were being assaulted by a violent criminal intent on doing you or your family harm, you would not have to wait 10 or more minutes for the police to arrive. I would gladly risk my life to come to your defense.

As to the accusation that “the NRA does not care about the safety of our children,” and it’s clear from Chariton’s narrative that this unfeeling attitude is shared by the rest of us gun totting radicals, well Jordan, you’re just plain wrong.

The NRA promotes and teaches responsible gun ownership and safety. I can tell you from personal experience that NRA instructors are adamant in their classes about furthering this mission.

Contrast that with the hypocritical outcry from actors and celebrities who “demand a plan” while continuing to profit by producing ever more violent movies, programs and games that continue to glamorize extreme violence and vengeance and turn outlaws into cult action heroes.

The profile of mass murderers almost universally includes a fascination with violent entertainment, particularly action movies and first-person shooter games. While the jury is still out on whether this type of entertainment can cause violence in and of itself, there is little disagreement that violent entertainment has a direct negative affect on an already unstable mind- particularly if that mind is still young and impressionable.

The fact is that NRA members are not your problem. In fact, the NRA and other 2nd Amendment advocates do in fact support several reasonable measures that would have a meaningful impact on keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals and those with mental illness. These proposals include universal background checks, background checks on gun shop owners and a minimum federal standard for concealed weapons permitting.

I speak for many who feel as I do when I say I care deeply about the safety of children- and those who are unable or choose not to defend themselves. This is why I own and carry firearms.

This is also why I volunteer to work with incarcerated youths. Our system has not failed- many parents have. For whatever reasons, we have tens of thousands of young people who grow up without positive parental guidance and influence. They grow up isolated, without discipline and without a sense of personal responsibility. They blame others for their conditions and circumstances and justify their crimes and violence on that basis.

I can tell you from listening to these kids that if they want to hurt you- the choice of weapon is unimportant. I can tell you that if they want what’s in your medicine cabinet, you are nothing more than an object in their way.

If you want the current decline in violent crime to continue. If you want to prevent violence as much as possible- reach out to these kids and give them a positive influence in their lives.

Chariton also says:

“Adhering to every last misinterpreted provision of a 225-year-old document written by slave owners is far less important than protecting our children from death by bazooka gun.”

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Yes, Jordan, the founders made compromises in their time. Let’s avoid the juxtaposed contextual difficulties of the argument and stick with the facts.

Constitution and Declaration of Independence on Grungy Betsy Ross FlagThe founders crafted a document and a system of law that would protect freedom and liberty- from the abuse of a tyrannical central authority. Yes- slavery would continue for some time, but many of those who drafted the Constitution were avowed abolitionists. That’s why although they compromised on the enforcement issue to preserve the newborn United States, they would not compromise on the language.

Read the letters of Franklin, Jefferson and Madison and you’ll find the entire context of these compromises. You’ll also find that what they understood above all was that by creating, for the first time in human history, a government that would give the law the pre-eminent position over any individual leader or a compact of ruling elite, that any inequities would be resolved by the people over time.

It was their hope that these inequities could be resolved without bloodshed; through reason and through continued self-governance.

Their greatest fear was that this experiment would not last. They feared that the People would not participate fully in self-governance, that individual rights would be threatened by strong central authority and that, as Jefferson articulated, another revolution may be necessary in the future.

And to that end, the 2nd Amendment was crafted.

You cannot defend life and liberty without arms. This is not a utopian world. As long as there are criminals and tyrants there will be a need for self-defense.

If you support the Constitutional defense of life and liberty, you cannot separate the Constitutional protection of the right of self-defense.

You rightly and accurately quote the Constitution when you wrote:

“…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Remember- the Constitution was written to restrict the actions of government, not to subvert the inalienable rights of the People.

No- the slaves were not freed as soon as they scribed “all Men are created equal.” But the foundation and justification for emancipation was set.

No- the 1st Amendment does not protect your actions when you yell “fire” in a crowded theater. That’s because while certain rights are inalienable, meaning they are natural rights and not granted by any human authority, no right is unlimited. You abdicate any right- even unalienable rights, when your actions infringe on the rights of others.

The 2nd Amendment stand is crucial precisely because many people think, as Jordan seems to indicate, that the Constitution is vestigial. We will agree on the point that this “225-year-old document written by slave owners” has been and continues to be widely misinterpreted. On second thought, I’d argue that the Constitution has been purposely re-interpreted to serve specific political interests throughout history.

Misinterpretation and abuse are no reasons to disregard the Constitution. This should awaken our passion to preserve it- and to return to it’s original intent and value which is, above all, to assure individual freedom and liberty.

Our framers understood the that the greatest threat to individual freedom comes from two major aggressors:

  1. A tyrannical central authority
  2. The mob

Contrary to popular believe, we do not live or govern by majority rule. No majority can deprive you of your fundamental rights at the ballot box. The onerous process of amending the Constitution is a safeguard against any confederation of citizens, majority or minority, from denying any individual right- especially in the heat of a highly charged emotional debate.

I am armed. I am trained in the use of firearms and tactics. I accept full personal responsibility for my own safety and defense. I commit myself to the protection of others. I take my responsibilities as an armed citizen very seriously.

If I pose a threat to you then you should work passionately to disarm me and others like me.

If you choose to do so, the burden is yours. Yes, Jordan, “every last word and amendment from both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution” is supposed to be “hard and fast.” That’s what protects from the rule of the mob or the whim of the tyrant.

If you want to disarm American citizens, your only option is to amend the Constitution- not to use Congress as a weapon to infringe my natural right to defend myself as I see fit.

Of course, that’s a tougher fight!

_______________________

Want to see what happens when you adopt a total gun ban? It can’t happen here, right? Watch this…


Your president thinks you’re STUPID

Forget faith. Forget the religious argument. There is a much bigger problem and here it is:

Your president thinks you’re stupid.

That’s right. President Obama’s “Contraception Compromise” shows clearly and without a doubt that he thinks the American people are absolutely stupid.

Here are the basic facts:

  • President Obama declares that employers with a religious objection will not have to provide insurance benefits for contraception and birth control
  • Instead, insurance companies will be mandated to provide these services free of charge and…
  • …People working for religious groups with the exemption will get the coverage anyway

For Christ’s sake! There is no question that Obama thinks we’re stupid; the question now is exactly HOW stupid he thinks we are!

First of all, whether you consider yourself a religious person or not you should be afraid, very afraid of what is going on here. Never has there been a more overt declaration by the federal government that imposes governmental control over a private industry. By what authority does the president or anyone in government mandate that a private insurance company must provide a service without compensation?

Of course, you ARE stupid if you think the insurers will not pass this expense along. Of course in this version of the New World Order, everyone will share in this expense. I’m guessing that there has already been a wink and handshake deal that provides for some kind of “Equality in Coverage Fee” that will cover the extra expense.

Having children is a CHOICE. Since the beginning of this battle, advocates of birth control, particularly abortion, has been “freedom of CHOICE.” It’s a woman’s choice as to whether or not to have a child or carry a child to full term.

Well then, how do you justify stripping away someone else’s freedom to exercise their own moral conscience?

Here is the flip side argument made by the Los Angeles Times: 

“It seems wrong to require employers to provide coverage they find morally reprehensible, but equally wrong to let them make moral decisions for employees.”

By what twisted logic is any refusal to pay for optional insurance benefits somehow construed as the imposition of a moral decision? That’s like saying that unless I pick up the tab for your lunch, I’m stripping away your civil rights!

Having children is an individual choice. Whether you agree or not, aborting a pregnancy has been defended as an individual choice. How can you make this argument and at the same time say that it’s anyone else’s responsibility to pick up the tab for your individual choices?

How is an employer somehow morally obligated to pay for your birth control? How is not paying for birth control somehow making moral decisions for employees?

If employers were allowed to impose a company policy that states that you cannot have children, that argument might hold up. No — you’re free to have children or even abort them; it should be your responsibility to pay for those decisions.

I’ll be blunt: If the choice of whether or not to have a child is your individual right; then it’s also your individual responsibility to support that decision, morally and materially.

We’re not talking here about depriving anyone of fundamental human rights. You can’t, for example, make a logical argument that supports slavery. The argument here is not whether to take a fundamental right away from someone, it’s whether or not we’re going to manufacture and subsidize a new privilege.

Ironically I was about to review the new movie, “Atlas Shrugged.” In my review I was going to say that while thought provoking and in some places amazingly prophetic, overall it’s a bit melodramatic and over the top.

After the double-speak our president is attempting to pull off this week, I’m not so sure…

This is a fundamental individual rights argument masked in a religious rights argument. The issue here is not the rights of religious organizations, this is the most egregious attack on the rights of individual freedom and conscious ever attempted by our federal government.


You Want to Occupy? Pay Up!

You Want to Occupy? Pay Up!

Never has America’s 1st Amendment rights been so radically distorted.  Occupy Wherever protesters continue their protests across the country and around the world citing the U.S. Constitution and our right to “freedom of speech.”

Your 1st Amendment rights do not give you license to impose yourself or your views on others. This right was codified by the American framers specifically to assure that citizens were not prevented from participating in political discussion or criticism of the government. It does not grant the right to assemble or speak wherever and whenever you want to, especially if your actions are denying other citizens their fundamental rights to live and work peacefully.

Fundamentally, the 1st Amendment grants you the right to assemble and air your gripes with the federal government or more specifically, it simply prevents congress from enacting any law that would prevent you from doing so.

When you have a gripe with the government, you have the right to speak your mind. You also have the obligation to pay for any associated expenses. In other words, you can criticize the government, but it’s not the government’s obligation to pay the bill for your protest.

Cities with already strained budgets have picked up most of the cost to the tune of over $13 million and counting in the States. Let’s look at the tab so far…

  • Los Angeles: Over $1 million
  • Oakland: $2.4 million
  • Portland, Oregon: $1 million
  • Boston: $2 million
  • New York: $7 million

Even the small city of Eugene, Oregon reports over $100,000 in extra expenses directly attributed to the Occupy encampment there. Most of the expense is police and fire overtime and now sanitation and clean-up expenses.

When these figures started to come to light there was an immediate comparison to the costs of Tea Party protests. There was one highly examined incident where Representative Michelle Bachman used government funds to pay some expenses for a Tea Party rally to the tune of about $14,000. While I’d argue that she should have found other means of funding, it turns out this expense was ruled legal, ethical and appropriate. That is a rule that should be scrutinized.

The similarities end there. Nearly all Tea Party rallies obtained permits, paid fees for their assembly and as cited in numerous reports, left the scene cleaner than they found it. In Richmond, Virginia Tea Partiers are now demanding a refund of nearly $10,000 in fees they paid the city for their rallies. They contend that the City of Richmond has given a pass to Occupy which has been camping for free without permits throughout their demonstration.

I don’t want to get into the tit for tat petulance over which group did this and didn’t do that. If the core belief of OWS is sincerely to end government/corporate corruption and reduce government control over personal life, I frankly don’t understand why they condemn the Tea Party; the two should be natural allies. Of course, if that was the original intent of OWS, this intent has long been overshadowed by those who seem to thing even greater state control and redistribution of wealth is the solution rather than grass roots participation in the democratic process.

The important thing is to understand why it’s appropriate to charge reasonable fees for public demonstrations and why no group should expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab.

City, county, state and federal funds are assets owned by the people – all the people in that particular jurisdiction. You have the right to speak your mind, but you have no right to speak for everyone. There are those, despite the proclamations of OWS, who do not agree with you. We do not allow public funds to be used to support a particular point of view because it’s not the obligation of those who disagree with you to pay for your expression of your personal opinions.

If you want to blow your horn, you pay the band!

The arrogance of the OWS movement is apparent in this petulant expectation that they can do whatever they want, wherever they want and expect others to pick up the tab. At least they’re consistent in their theme; after all they are demanding free college tuition, free housing and free credit among other things.

OWS claims to represent the “99%” and purports to be the voice of the working man. Among their demands is a job for every able person. I’m wondering if anyone associated with OWS has considered how many municipal employees could be added to the payrolls for $13 million.

To be fair, the Occupiers in Eugene have given this some thought. According to the Register Guard:

…Occupy Eugene participants say the city’s cost is just one side of the story, and that the encampment in Washington-Jefferson Park benefits Eugene.

The more than 100 tents and canvas and tarp-covered structures provide a place for homeless people, which gets them off the streets and cuts crime, the activists say.

“There are a lot of people who are here who are homeless,” said Silver Mogart, an organizer.

“Because of the camp, “They don’t have to use city facilities, the Egan Warming Centers or the Eugene Mission.”

“We have cooled down a lot of crime in downtown,” he said.

Not so much.

In addition to municipal expenditures on OWS demonstrations what about the direct costs to other citizens? Across the country OWS protesters squat in restaurants disrupting business, use private restrooms without permission and without patronizing the establishment, they throw their garbage and human waste in private dumpsters and they prevent other citizens from using the parks and public spaces we all pay for.

New York, Boston and Oakland now report that several small businesses have been severely affected and may close due to the Occupiers. That’s how they represent the 99%? By closing them down?

Individual freedom is the foundation of American liberty. The 1st Amendment is one of the most important safeguards protecting that liberty. However, with individual freedom comes responsibility and the obligation to be respectful of the rights of others.

Occupiers seem to want the freedom without the responsibility.

You’ve got something to say; say it. Just don’t expect me to pay for your privilege.


Tax the Rich! Pay for Jobs!

Senator Harry Reid is at it again. While they continually deny the charge of inciting class warfare, Democrats in the U.S. Congress create new ways to tax “the man” and increase the social unrest between the haves and the want mores.

From FOX News:

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., outlined plans for a 5 percent surcharge in a closed-door meeting with the rank and file, according to participants…”  (Read more: http://fxn.ws/oh1E4k)

This 5% surcharge would be imposed on “millionaires.” This is how Reid and his band of Merry Men plan to take from the rich and give to the poor (and not so poor) and pay for the American Jobs Act. The Jobs Act proposes to:

  • Create incentives for small businesses to hire and grow from now into 2012.
  • Make investments that would prevent layoffs of as many as 280,000 teachers, provide opportunities for long-term unemployed veterans, and put Americans to work rebuilding roads, railways, bridges, and schools in need of repair.
  • Implement the most sweeping reforms to the unemployment insurance system in 40 years to help those without jobs transition to the workplace.
  • Expand the payroll tax cut, cutting workers payroll taxes in half next year. This provision will provide a tax cut of $1,500 to the typical family.
Now look at that list carefully and think about Reid’s proposal. In effect, he’s proposing to tax what he sees as the richest Americans; you know, those people who own the businesses that hire all the employees he wants to put back to work.
So — he’ll tax the rich to incentivize them to hire people without jobs. Now I’m no genius, but if he just left them alone wouldn’t it be likely that they’d spend some of their money creating new jobs? In fact, the most sensible solution is a reduction in the corporate income tax rate which would free up more resources for hiring.
Of course nothing is going to stimulate job creation unless and until the feds stop meddling. From Monty Guild and Tony Manaher at Guild Investment Managment (http://guildinvestment.com):
“In conversation after conversation with CEOs, we are hearing a similar litany of frustration. They want to expand business, hire more employees, and procure more equipment. All such undertakings would obviously help the economy.  However, but they are afraid to follow through because of three major uncertainties…”
The uncertainties they identify are:
  • Uncertainty about the gridlock in Washington
  • Uncertainty about government regulation
  • Uncertainty about erratic stock markets
Smart business people hold fast in times of uncertainty. They’re not being greedy; they’re being prudent. They’re doing what we should all be doing: Banking our cash and hanging on until this volatility settles down.
The American Jobs Act does create jobs, but these are not self-sustaining long-term jobs. They’re saving many jobs that should be lost including those of civil servants and teachers that are being laid-off by communities that simply can’t afford them. Frankly, most of those jobs could be saved simply by rolling back the idiotic retirement deals too many communities made with their public employees.
Of course, saving public employee jobs is good politics!
If you take from the rich to give to the poor you are not growing the economy; you’re simply moving the chips around until the next hand is played. You’re expanding the entitlement mentality that is so pervasive today and you’re crippling an entire generation with public assistance. Fears that America is becoming the next Greece only sound ridiculous as long as we still have a majority of people working in the private sector; a balance that this and related legislation now threatens.
Ultimately, it’s not the government’s job to create jobs. It’s the government’s job to make sure we treat one another fairly in business by enforcing the law of the land. Of course, it’s foolish to cling to that expectation when one our corrupt government hires corrupt firms under their own indictments to investigate and audit other corrupt government agencies and beneficiaries to make sure there is no corruption, waste and misuse.
That I’ll save for another day.

The Gun Battle Continues

The State of Maine recently enacted legislation that assures employees with a state issued concealed weapons permit to carry weapons on their employer’s private property. Previously, the owner of a private property could set restrictions on firearms carry.

Was this bill a victory and model for advocates of 2nd Amendment rights or a slap in the face to the rights of private property owners? Did the state, intending to assure the rights of one group of individuals actually deprive another group of individuals of their rights?

Here is my comment from a discussion thread debating this issue:

Note the items we’re debating right now as reasonable people. Now imagine what’s going to happen the first time this law is challenged. The legislature has set us up for a court battle that will likely go on for years.

(Name omitted), I absolutely consider you a reasonable man and a friend, and I respect you without question. On this point we are at absolute opposite ends of the spectrum.

I won’t cite the numerous cases where firearms restrictions and outright prohibition have led to higher levels of crime; I’ve got to keep this short today. Neither will I cite the several instances where national governments have used weapons restrictions to abuse their people and deprive them of liberty.

I will say this: It is my opinion, one which is shared by many, that the 2nd Amendment assures my right to protect myself and others in any manner I see fit as long as my actions are lawful and righteous. I do agree with (name omitted) that an employer, or any owner of private property should have the right to set the rules regarding firearms on personal property at their discretion. My right to carry a firearm does not trump your right to have a firearm-free policy on your own property. In this we are in total agreement; if an employer has a firearm restriction on private property I am free to choose employment at an organization that allows me to carry.

Until and unless the Constitution is amended, I have the right to keep and bear arms; for my own protection and for the protection of others. If the American people want this right restricted or eliminated, they are free to do so through the process of the Constitutional amendment. This is exactly the type of check the founders designed to keep a motivated or powerful minority from restricting the rights of the majority. Our government was designed to protect the right of the individual, not the minority; a point too often confused and abused today.

The right to bear arms, however contentious, is still but one example of where people are fighting to protect individual rights. I don’t want to stray, but there are other even more egregious attempts to strip us of our rights. The worst abuses today exist in the expansion of eminent domain and in my opinion, the recent attempt to compel us as individuals to make a purchase against our will; that being the Affordable Care Act.

I fear we are rapidly losing individual freedoms and liberty. Worse, we’re abdicating our freedoms just as we abdicate personal responsibility whether it be for our personal protection, our health or our ability to move about and trade without government restriction and interference. The intention of creating law for the “general welfare” have so far exceeded the original meaning and intent of that phrase that a reasonable argument could be made that the vision of a restricted federal authority envisioned by the founders is all but lost already.

Rather than restriction, the solution is to restore the values of respect and personal responsibility. These are not values that can be legislated; these must be upheld, shared and protected by us as individuals and as a community. When these values are lost, the vacuum created assures the desire, if not the need, by concerned and well intended minorities to legislate restrictions on the majority; even when the problem intended to be addressed is not created by or perpetrated on a majority scale.

As to what happens in Maine, this legislation solves nothing. It will simply create a baseline for future disputes. I wish I could remember who said this:

“The main function of any legislation is to create unintended consequences.”

What are your thoughts on this issue? Will other states follow Maine’s example? In the attempt to protect one right did the state restrict another?


What would you have done? The Chrissy Lee Polis attack…

WARNING- The following video is extremely disturbing. Frankly, this video should never have been shot; the person holding the camera should have dropped the damn camera and helped this girl…

What is wrong with us?

Two unarmed teenage girls terrorize a third young woman, apparently because she is trans-gendered, and beat her into a seizure while at least four or more bystanders watch it all happen. To his credit, a manger helps to some degree, but he had several other options that would have ended this situation long before the victim was critically injured.

The only real hero in this scenario is an elderly woman, obviously not an athlete, who had the courage to intervene and in no uncertain terms told the attackers to stop and get out.

Let’s focus on what should have happened…

In my humble opinion, both the attackers should have been physically removed from the restaurant. I know most companies, and I’m sure McDonald’s is no exception, have “observe and report” rules to keep employees safe. In this case, two or three employees could have easily removed the teenage girls from the scene or “gently” guided them out the door.

Likely they would have been fired for doing so- it still would have been the right thing to do.

Notice at about 59 seconds into the video that there is an open door on the left side of the frame. The manager and one employee who seems to be offering at least some assistance at that point could have guided the victim through the door and to safety in the kitchen or back office.

Although there is a break in the video timeline, at about 1:05 we see both attackers obviously leaving the restaurant. Lock the doors…problem solved. This would have prevented the worst part of the beating.

Instead, the attack continues…

At 1:25 the only hero on the scene arrives as the girls drag their victim by the hair toward the door- the same door they should have been prevented from re-entering moments before. Ironically, one of the little darlings is heard yelling “you can’t touch me” to the elderly woman who bravely puts herself between the attackers and the victim. Our hero does not look intimidated in the least- contrast her demeanor against those who were watching the entire scene play out.

The camera pans to show at least two employees, young men nearly twice the size of the attackers, who actually look as if they’re backing away from the fray. Even worse, they are heard laughing and possibly encouraging the attack as one of the perpetrators tries to pick up a chair as a weapon. The elderly woman is still putting herself in the middle of the fracas as she tries to separate the victim from the attackers. We again see the manager who now appears to be barring the attackers from dragging the victim out the door.

The older woman is struck by one of the attackers and never backs down a single step.

Now we finally hear some display of compassion from the bystanders as they witness the victim go into a seizure, apparently triggered by the repeated blows to her head. For the first time we hear one of the cowards yell, “call the police.” Fortunately, someone had already done so; no thanks to these guys.

Your brave cameraman gets his close-up as he continues to yell, “she’s having a f@#king seizure, y’all…she needs help now!” Anyone with the most rudimentary first aid training would have known to place a towel or cloth in the victim’s mouth and move objects out of her way until the seizure ran its course. I suppose it’s too much to expect that any of these employees would have been trained in basic first aid, but it’s disgusting that the one felt his primary obligation was to capture the next viral video.

Update: Interview with Chrissy Lee Polis from Baltimore Sun:

As repulsed as I am by his cowardice; I’m grateful we have the video. Too often we hear about these stories but never see them. Don’t look away; have the courage to confront this ugly scene with eyes wide open. This is an ever-increasing reality we simply cannot ignore.

Now let’s focus on what can and should happen in the future:

  • Whether from the outside or as a result of the actions of employees, violence can erupt unexpectedly. Have a clear plan of action and train employees in the proper procedures and protocols. As we’ve pointed out; there were several opportunities to end this situation long before the young woman was seriously injured.
  • Teach courage to our young people. How do two unarmed teenage girls hold at least 5 people at bay while they beat their victim into a seizure?
  • Teach tolerance- and if not tolerance at least restraint. The victim, Chrissy Lee Polis is apparently a trans-gendered person and the fight was ignited when the primary attacker, Teonna Monae Brown was offended that Polis was using the women’s room and apparently talked to her boyfriend.

Ultimately, this attack never should have happened. I’m not saying you’re not entitled to your point of view; the issue of trans-gender is at best little understood. I can understand a woman being offended or even nervous about a person she sees as a male in a women’s restroom- but the solution in this situation would have been leave the restroom, not beat the other person to a pulp.

At the same time, take care that you do not condone an attack on someone because that person is different. What of your unique characteristics would justify violence against you?

I’m all for defending yourself physically if you feel threatened or you’re under attack. Where was the threat in this instance? Teonna Brown and her teen accomplice were wrong- period.

I also teach in my self-defense classes that you have to be very cautious about when and how you get involved in a violent situation. In this case, the attackers’ only advantage was their aggressive posturing. They could have easily been controlled or, as I already pointed out, there were other options available to diffuse the attack.

The manager at least did something to try to help. The older woman that put herself at risk to protect another human being is a hero.

The bystanders who did nothing were criminal accomplices and cowards.

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What can we do about the continuing escalation of bullying and violence in our communities, schools and workplaces? We’ll be talking about REAL solutions to this very real problem on May 10th in Brunswick, Maine:

Register here. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters.