Let All The Poisons That Lurk In The Mud Hatch Out

This St. Louis couple neatly summarizes what's wrong with America.

We have new poster children for what’s wrong with the United States: these two married attorneys holding guns, including an assault weapon, outside their mansion, while peaceful protesters walk by. Both are angry about something, even though they seem to have pretty good lives, and the crowd threatening their mansion while demonstrating on behalf of people whose lives aren’t nearly so good. Not only was the incident itself horrifying, but so too was the contrast in police response, or apparent lack thereof, compared to what would happen if the couple were not white, attorneys, or rich.

The number of huge defects in our country that have been exposed during the last few months is staggering. Structural racism, a dilapidated health care system, political tribalism, hostility to science, casual corruption, political cowardice, people living vulnerably from paycheck to paycheck, anger addiction…That’s only part of the list.

It’s hard to digest. Whether you recognized all these problems already, or you’re new to understanding some of them, the first half of 2020 sits in your guts like a jagged stone. We should recognize the trauma that we’re facing collectively, even if individually someone might not have contracted COVID-19, or lost a job, or had someone close to them suffer these immediate forms of damage. We’re seeing daily how awful we are, summarized as neatly as the diagrams that show the startling and unnecessary differences in the coronavirus infection curves for the United States and Europe.

But we need this trauma, if it gets us to face our problems squarely and motivates us to fix some of them. My biggest concern is that it’s too much, and it will be difficult to determine where to begin. Overwhelmed people often give up on solving their problems. That’s where real leadership is crucial.

Postscript: If you don’t recognize the quote in the title, it’s from the classic BBC series I, Claudius. The phrase is shorthand for Claudius’ intent to expose everything that is noxious about Rome, including his own family. Here’s a link to a short clip. If you’ve never seen I, Claudius, I strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible.

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Kingdaddy
About Kingdaddy
Kingdaddy is returning to political blogging after a long hiatus. For several years, he wrote about national security affairs at his blog, Arms and Influence, under the same pseudonym. He currently lives in Colorado, where he is still awestruck at all the natural beauty here. He has a Ph.D in political science that is oddly useful in his day job.

Comments

  1. Zachriel says:

    If you’ve never seen I, Claudius, I strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible.

    Brilliant story, script, and acting; especially Siân Phillips as Livia, Brian Blessed as Augustus, and Derek Jacobi as Clau-Clau-Claudius.

    However, letting the poisons hatch out did not solve the problem of Roman depravity and corruption.

    9
  2. Teve says:

    I drove through st. Louis in 2016 and at least the parts i saw looked like a burned-out hellsccape.

    2
  3. de stijl says:

    I loved I, Claudius.

    PBS Sunday night I believe. 8 pm central.

    One of my strongest memories is of my dear father mocking me because I wanted to watch some fag British bullshit.

    It is fair to say that I, Claudius shaped me profoundly. I am going to be this person I can imagine; I refuse to be that.

    3
  4. de stijl says:

    @Zachriel:

    Whenever I saw Derek Jacobi later in life in other films it was always a jolt.

    1
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    The number of huge defects in our country that have been exposed during the last few months is staggering. Structural racism, a dilapidated health care system, political tribalism, hostility to science, casual corruption, political cowardice, people living vulnerably from paycheck to paycheck, anger addiction…That’s only part of the list.

    Individual racism, primitive religion, misogyny, historical ignorance, a decrepit electoral system, media as organs of the government, the inability to reason, an obsolete Constitution, addiction to celebrity, an obsession with guns, a collapse of the national narrative and self-image.

    The list goes on and on. But at base it’s stupidity, greed and cruelty.

    Have Americans always been stupid, greedy and cruel? Ask a Native American, Black American, Hispanic American or Gay American and the answer is likely to be a quick, ‘yes.’ Increasingly white Americans are losing their blinders, too.

    Interesting times.

    13
  6. de stijl says:

    The manifested privilege of that couple is just so astonishing.

    They assume that they are immune from any consequence.

    And she really needs to get some training. Do not casually point a weapon at someone. JFC what is wrong with you?

    The utter gall of those two.

    The pink polo just nails the vibe entirely.

    It is a tableau of UMC white resentment.

    Come tomorrow those folks will be unemployed. They will be sorry, so very sorry on a facebook vid.

    You chose to be a super hyper aggro dick. It is all on you.

    15
  7. Kingdaddy says:

    @Zachriel: As I was writing this post, I did remember, in that episode, he didn’t succeed. It would take thousands of years for his testimonial to emerge. Too late for Rome, obviously.

    3
  8. Kingdaddy says:

    @de stijl: Same with John Hurt.

    5
  9. de stijl says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    I really like that you did a bit of give and take in the comments in the weeks before you debuted as a front pager.

    Is this your first post?

    1
  10. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Sorry no. I missed your Tulsa piece.

    Still, very glad to have you here.

    2
  11. CSK says:

    Here’s how The Conservative Treehouse is presenting this incident: “Domestic Terrorism–Missouri Couple Defends Their Home from Rampaging Mob Who Broke through Perimeter Gate on Private Property…”

    2
  12. de stijl says:

    The reason that people were walking past that couples home is that they were marching towards the mayor’s residence.

    The mayor who doxxed her own constituents. Name and address live. Because they advocated that not all community service interactions be performed by relatively untrained police.

    Chuck D makes more sense everyday.

    11
  13. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    Come tomorrow those folks will be unemployed. They will be sorry, so very sorry on a facebook vid.

    I believe they own their own law firm, so unless clients back out, they will face zero consequences on that front.

    7
  14. gVOR08 says:

    Structural racism, a dilapidated health care system, political tribalism, hostility to science, casual corruption, political cowardice, people living vulnerably from paycheck to paycheck, anger addiction…That’s only part of the list.

    What part of that list wasn’t obvious to anyone willing to see? With any kind of luck, this moment means we get rid of Trump. But otherwise I’m hard put to see major, lasting change coming out of this. Face it, Republicanism is deeply entrenched. We have a pandemic with a failed response, an economy in collapse, massive protests over fascist policing and it’s taken all of that to have at best a fair chance of voting out the Idiot.

    4
  15. steve says:

    Looks like she is pointing gun at someone and has her finger inside the trigger guard on the trigger. A real no no unless you plan to shoot someone.

    Steve

    6
  16. Moosebreath says:

    @de stijl:

    I really was part of the following conversation when Star Trek Next Generation began:

    Who is Patrick Stewart? Never heard of him.
    He was Sejanus in I, Claudius.
    Oh, he’s OK, then.

    4
  17. Moosebreath says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    “Same with John Hurt.”

    He was the only person in both I, Claudius and the Harry Potter movies (where he was wasted as the wandmaker, Ollivander).

    2
  18. gVOR08 says:

    @steve: Here’s a modest proposal. The NRA claims to be big on gun safety. They teach gun safety classes. Lets incorporate their own rules into law. You point a gun at anyone, you go to jail. The lady has a finger touching the trigger, jail. The cops spot check weapons at the militia cosplay protests, you have a round chambered, jail. You’re carrying a gun while alcohol or drug impaired, jail. Your kid or other unauthorized person gets ahold of your gun, prison time. Hey, those are their rules.

    14
  19. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Depends on the type of the firm. If the clients have any public facing, they will disassociate by tomorrow.

    That is a very bad image.

    2
  20. R.Dave says:

    @CSK: Here’s how The Conservative Treehouse is presenting this incident: “Domestic Terrorism–Missouri Couple Defends Their Home from Rampaging Mob Who Broke through Perimeter Gate on Private Property…”

    From a legal perspective, I’m curious whether that would even get this couple out of what appears to be unlawful use of a weapon under subdivision (4) of this MO statute: link:

    1. A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons, except as otherwise provided by sections 571.101 to 571.121, if he or she knowingly:
    …(4) Exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner;

    There’s an exception for people “engaged in a lawful act of defense pursuant to section 563.031“, which appears to be limited to “use of force in defense of persons”. The defense of property statute is 563.041. No idea whether brandishing is considered “use of force”, but I struggle to see how they could argue a defense of person was necessary here.

    Hopefully, these idiots are looking at some hefty fines and at least a little jail time unless some other exculpating facts appear. If that is the right statute, and they are found guilty under it, it looks like it’s a Class E felony punishable by up to $10k in fines and 4 years in jail.

    All that said, this is just based on some quick Googling, and I’m not in any way, shape or form a criminal lawyer, let alone a MO criminal lawyer, so this could all be massively off base.

    4
  21. Michael Cain says:

    From a purely legal standpoint, it is all private property: roads, sidewalks, areas around the mansions. All of it is fenced and clearly, permanently posted “Private property, no trespassing.” (At least on Google’s street view.) Missouri’s castle doctrine laws strongly favor the property owner, allowing them to initiate aggression against an intruder. Surely there were sane people among the protesters who could have said out loud, “Private property, private security, Missouri castle law… perhaps we should walk the extra couple of blocks rather than cut across these people’s property.”

    The mansion people are still idiots, though. A phone call to 911 from that address would have police there in a small number of minutes.

    3
  22. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I really have nothing against guns.
    What I DO have a problem with is idiots like this having guns.
    This is your well-regulated militia? These are the people who are going to take on the US Army in Trumps coming Civil War?
    You do not point guns at people. Ever. Certainly not with your finger inside the trigger guard.
    (Unless you actually plan to shoot someone, of course.)
    Guns are designed for one thing. Killing.
    The fact that two boneheads, like this, can get their hands on killing machines dumbfounds me.
    They should be made the poster children of Gun Control efforts.

    9
  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    When I lived in StL, I was casually acquainted with Mayor Krewson and these actions aren’t indicative of the politician that I knew then, frankly it appears that she has lost all sense of proportion.

    Hopefully OzarkHillbilly will chime in as he knows better than I how tough a city StL is to manage. Racial politics is a zero-sum game, it is a week mayor system with power shared with the city treasurer and council president. Each ward is a little fiefdom and the council seats, congressional and legislative seats frequently passing father to son (usually the case).

    In the 25 or so years that I paid attention to StL, there have been 4 mayors, 3 of which can be considered failures with Krewson part of that list. She probably needs to go, but I’m pessimistic about improvement.

    1
  24. R.Dave says:

    @Michael Cain: Maybe, but assuming that’s the case, was it their property? From what I saw, the protesters were on the sidewalks and street, which I doubt the homeowners themselves directly own. More likely, there’s some HOA that owns the common areas like that. Also, castle doctrines usually only apply to a dwelling, not to all property.

    4
  25. Jen says:

    @Teve: Some parts of St. Louis are awful. Others, such as the area in which this couple has their home, are flat-out gorgeous.

    The area surrounding Forest Park has many remarkable homes. Forest Park was the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, and outside of Ladue, the area surrounding the park has some of the most expensive real estate in the region.

    Edit to add: @R.Dave–I believe that neighborhood is gated and truly private.

  26. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher: @de stijl:

    If karma is true, in about two years Chad and Karen will need to downsize so their housing matches their income.

    I hope their new neighbors are welcoming.

    1
  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Cain:
    My understanding is that it is a gated community, but that this property is on the edge of that community, and the protesters were in fact on a public way.
    I could be wrong, but that’s what I read.

    1
  28. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    According to SFGate.com, the couple did call the police, who said the protesters were guilty of trespassing and “assault by intimidation.” The couple said they told the group they were trespassing, and that the protesters responded with “obscenities.” Again, according to the couple, the protesters broke the gate.

    4
  29. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @gVOR08:

    Here’s a modest proposal. The NRA claims to be big on gun safety. They teach gun safety classes. Lets incorporate their own rules into law. You point a gun at anyone, you go to jail. The lady has a finger touching the trigger, jail. The cops spot check weapons at the militia cosplay protests, you have a round chambered, jail. You’re carrying a gun while alcohol or drug impaired, jail. Your kid or other unauthorized person gets ahold of your gun, prison time. Hey, those are their rules.

    Someone else reads Jim Wright, I see. Pity his ideas on guns never seem to gain any traction. I see them as a way around the current pointless and toxic arguments about gun control that get repeated over and over.

    4
  30. Kingdaddy says:

    At one point, a barefoot Patricia, whose law firm bio says she is a member of the Missouri Bar Association ethical review panel, crosses the lawn and stumbles briefly while she has her gun aimed at protesters. It’s not clear if the guns were loaded.

    Here’s the link. Apologies in advance for the column banner ads.

    4
  31. Pylon says:

    @Michael Cain: Missouri’s castle law refers to dwellings and motor vehicle (if you are inside) and still require an actual threat. Cases in other castle jurisdictions have declined to extend it to “common areas” on private property such as lobbies, hallways, parking lots, etc. In other words, I can’t scare off people cutting thru my condo parking lot by using a gun.

    5
  32. Scott F. says:

    @R.Dave:
    Of course, the legal implications of their actions is moot, since they were not arrested. Apparently, brandishing a lethal weapon at peaceful protesters is not the clear case for an extrajudicial execution that falling asleep drunk in your car or trying to pass a counterfeit $20 is.

    11
  33. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    What Krewson did was not systemic failure, that was pretty close to inciting violence. On purpose.

    Don’t really care about the why, the what she did was frightening. Get out of town, change your name really bad decision terrible judgement.

    More than bad judgement, but wink thisclose wink to openly inciting violence on folks who advocate for a policy you disagree with.

    If not explicitly criminal, it should be.

    Mayor has to go. That is shockingly irresponsible and dangerous behavior.

    5
  34. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Because of my previous life… I can take one look at the way he’s holding his little AR and know…that he aint about that gun play. He’d shit his pants and get shot.

    I hate to say it but people need to be prepared that it may come down to few skirmishes for people to understand this is not what they want. There are hundreds of thousands of Vets around and a significant number of Black veterans…including yourself truly who aren’t going to screw around with any threats to life, limb, or property while following the law or exercising Constitutional rights. This is same dynamic that drove changes in the 60s..Black WWII/Korean War vets.

    11
  35. de stijl says:

    @Scott F.:

    Selling unregulated loosies on the boardwalk is subject to a death sentence immediately rendered there by the LEOs via chokehold.

    I am so pissed off.

    I wish that Defund The Police was not the headline message.

    We do not need uniformed gun carrying cops doing traffic citations and minor accidents.

    We do not need aggressive escaltion in most 911 calls. In a sane world, we drive the drunk sleepy guy home.

    De-escalation and conflict resolution.

    Most police interactions do not require armed cops. We could actually put some behavior behind Protect and Serve.

    Many cities here are doing it. It is the norm in Europe

    3
  36. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    The headline should be Restructure How We Police.

    I’m a wonk. I suck at headlines.

    We over-police some communities and under-serve them simultaneously. Is that optimal?

    Restructuring how resources are allocated with a mind towards de-escalation and holistic service is not a catchy headline.

    1
  37. Scott F. says:

    Reforming the roles & responsibilities for police is work that must be done. The hard work of achieving equal treatment under the law is also required. You can’t have one without the other. I’m of a divided mind as to which effort must come first or even whether the changes are inextricably linked and must happen simultaneously.

  38. Michael Cain says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    My understanding is that it is a gated community, but that this property is on the edge of that community, and the protesters were in fact on a public way. I could be wrong, but that’s what I read.

    Looking at Google Maps, yes this property is one of the first once you’re inside the community. There’s a stone wall between the property and the nearest public sidewalk, looks to be six feet tall or so. The nearby entrance to the community has two pedestrian gates and one vehicular gate. From Google’s street view you can see that each gate is clearly marked one of, “Private street, access limited to residents”, “Private street, no trespassing”, or “Private street, no outlet”. No way to reach the property without going over the wall or through the marked gates.

    From my perspective, both sides were being assholes. The protestors were cutting through the rich people’s property rather than walking around and were ill-behaved when they were called on it. The rich people grossly overreacted by waving guns.

    2
  39. de stijl says:

    @Scott F.:

    The current path is not working.

    Optimizing available resources to address community needs is a lot less catchy than Defund The Police.

    No one should nominate me for messaging guy. I totally suck at it.

    2
  40. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Thanks for pointing this out, Jim. Amateurs keep thinking a firearm is a magic wand. Some of the photo angles seemed to have him ready to shoot her accidentally, and her ready to shoot him accidentally. Good thing the protestors weren’t armed — or if they were, they had much better instructors and fire control, eh?

    4
  41. An Interested Party says:

    Some of the photo angles seemed to have him ready to shoot her accidentally, and her ready to shoot him accidentally.

    Oh yeah, that would of been a tragedy…people like that need to be exposed to scenes like this and then we’ll see how much they’re really for gun rights…

  42. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @flat earth luddite: I was not a shooter by specialty but I did at one time work with some retired SpecOps guys who invited me to shoot recreationally with them. It was eye opening.

    Shooting is a discipline unto itself. It is levels beyond shooting at targets on a range. The techniques are designed to optimize acquiring a target using innate pointing instincts, firing, and moving. A stationary shooter is eventually a dead shooter unless you have overmatch… which this guy didn’t. Nor could he have acquired targets in succession with any speed with the way he handled his little toy. It takes training and mental repetition away from the range to reproduce the techniques under stress.

    3
  43. Matt says:

    @de stijl:

    And she really needs to get some training. Do not casually point a weapon at someone. JFC what is wrong with you?

    Not to mention the complete lack of trigger discipline while casually pointing a gun at people. There’s a whole lot to critique in one picture..

    @gVOR08: I WISH they’d start enforcing that stuff as some of what you mentioned is already very much against the law in the vast majority of this country.

    1
  44. Monala says:
  45. An Interested Party says:

    @Monala: Good grief, she’s a repulsive person…

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: I LIKE IT!!!! 😀

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: There is a gated community in my little town of Longview, WA population ~32,000. The gates in that community are closed to the public 24/7 with instructions posted on who delivery drivers should contact to make deliveries.

    How did protesters get past the gates? At all? Color me skeptical.

    ETA: @CSK: Color me less skeptical now. ETA: But for the 35 years I lived in Seattle, the Broadmoor District was also a gated community, whose gates were seldom locked, even at the height of the 60’s protests.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott F.: Well, at least not for white people. I’m fairly confident that certain members of the wealthier class named… say… O’Neil, Bryant [edit: oops], or Kapernick would probably have been politely (I hope) advised that the road they were on led to a destination to which they did not want to go and they should GTF off the lawn and back inside where they belong.

  49. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    All of the gated communities in StL city and the first ring suburbs have at least one open entrance for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Most have some gated streets that are never open except by arrangement with the HOA. Typically the pedestrian access is open though you may need to open a gate. The exception are the neighborhoods that are north of Forest Park and the CWE streets that intersect Kingshighway*.

    *Made famous in Chevy Chases movie Vacation, when the family car breaks down in front of the then abandoned Chase Park Plaza.

    1
  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Indeed. Flat Earth and I used to go shooting sometimes in a past life. I was not good at handguns. The stories he might tell are hilarious (at first) and then (sometimes) frightening. Most(?) of the time, I couldn’t even scare the target, let alone hit it.

    Shotgun and clay birds was a different thing. Handguns? Don’t want me to even think I need to get one– REALLY bad idea.

    1
  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I lived in STL and environs until around 2002 and my oldest still lives there. If that’s all you saw… Let me take you on a tour.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Some parts of St. Louis are awful. Others, such as the area in which this couple has their home, are flat-out gorgeous.

    No, there are no awful parts of STL. There are parts where more awful people live, and trust me on this, Portland and Westmoreland are awful rich fucks central. I spent more than a little time working in that neighborhood and only once was it for a human being.

    During my years in STL I lived in good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods, in all white neighborhoods and all black neighborhoods. You’d be surprised how often they don’t correlate like most expect them to.

    1
  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Again, according to the couple, the protesters broke the gate.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… gasp…. wheeze…. Last I saw, you can walk right around that gate.

    2
  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    On the more serious side, it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve lived in STL, so my recollections about any particular locations are a little… foggy. That said, my oldest son currently lives in Benton Park (a place most suburbanites would find “scary” but isn’t at all) and I go up to see him… I’ll say a dozen times or more a year. We go here, we go there, STL is still STL. Some neighborhoods are better than they used to to be, some are a little worse, but NO, ZERO, ZIP, NADA neighborhoods are as bad as I remember some of the places I used to live being.

    Yes there are some bad neighborhoods. Really bad neighborhoods. But I don’t remember any body ever getting shot for shitting in a vacant lot up there, which come to think about it, somebody got shot for shitting on a gravel bar a year or 2 ago just a couple miles away from where I live now.

    You tell me where the dangerous places are.

    1
  55. de stijl says:

    @Monala:

    That same schtick worked for Reagan.

    Apparently, there is an asterisk in the 2A that says “for white people only”.

    A penumbra, if you will.

    1
  56. Northerner says:

    @de stijl:

    The book is also excellent — I preferred it to the TV series, though that might be because I read it and its sequel “Claudius the God” before watching it.

  57. Northerner says:

    @CSK:

    The protesters were on the sidewalks and roads. Aren’t those public property? If so, how could they be trespassing?

  58. CSK says:

    @Northerner:
    I suppose because technically it was a private road with private sidewalks; it was marked “private.”

  59. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Oh Boy! Easements and covenants and equitable restrictions oh my! (Rubs hands gleefully together). Since I am NOT a lawyer of the state involved, the only thing I can say is the following:
    1. It’s gonna depend on state law, both statute and common law.
    2. Also whatever agreements have been signed between the municipality and the HOA, if any.
    3. I suspect that private roads and sidewalks within the gated area allow access to other inhabitants of the gated area, but NOT to people from outside. Hence other inhabitants of the gated area have an easement to use the roads and the sidewalks, but not the marchers. Hence the marchers would be technically trespassing (if I understand the sequence and location of events correctly and my law is correct.)
    4. Someone grab whoever organised this march and point out that they cut the efficiency of their protest 99% by doing the dick move of going through private property and not around it.

    P.S. Some commentators here seem to be confused about roads and private property. Just because a road on to private property doesn’t have a barrier between it and a public road doesn’t mean that there is tacit permission for outsiders to use the private road. It’s still trespassing.

    1
  60. grumpy realist says:

    I haven’t talked about the gun-pointing, because that’s a different issue. Here’s a good article over at The Bulwark that goes through the issues. As the man says, trespassing doesn’t give you free license to carry out crimes in return.

    I doubt that they’ll be held to anything, but I do hope they get a nasty letter from the local gun-rights group on their gun-handling techniques and how unprofessionally they’ve acted.

  61. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Someone said that the couple could invoke the Castle Doctrine, but I think that under that the intruders have to have invaded your actual home, not just your private sidewalk.

    1
  62. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: Again, it depends on how the Castle doctrine is interpreted in the state involved, but yeah, as far as I remember you need an invasion of a dwelling or a closely defined area around it. (Invasion of a separate standing garage won’t do it, for example.) Private sidewalk would be at the most simple trespass, ditto for private road.

    (And no, saying that you were “in fear” of the marchers just by itself without any evidence ain’t gonna help you. Remember that necessary requirement: “reasonable”, lady. Just because a lot of police officers have been getting away with the excuse of I-thought-he-had-a-gun doesn’t mean YOU will.)

  63. Northerner says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Interesting, thanks. I guess it never occurred to me that a through-street (my impression is that it is continuous with and connects two public roads) could be private — I’ve always thought of private roads as being roads leading from a public road to some private establishment (home or business, or most commonly, farm).

  64. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Maybe they’re going to argue–in fact, I think they have–that they were “standing their ground.” Missouri has a stand your ground law, but you have to be in imminent fear of your life. I suppose they could say they felt they were.

    1
  65. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Missouri has one of the most expansive CD/SYG statutes in existence. It covers any property you own, real or personal, and anywhere you legitimately have a right to be. Further, an intruder invokes the presumption that he / she intends to do harm simply by virtue of having intruded, and there is no duty to retreat anywhere – internal OR external to the home.

    The short version is that I could use force against you in Missouri simply for walking in my lawn. These folks won’t be charged with anything IMO.

    1
  66. Pylon says:

    @HarvardLaw92: The statute I saw still refers to a dwelling, residence or vehicle (if you’re in the vehicle). And of course the fear of serious injury still is required.

    And there’s still the fact that, even if it’s a private road, it’s not their private road. It’s HOA common property as best i can see. Analogous to a condo parking lot, apartment hallway or my community swimming pool.

  67. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pylon:

    Read § 563.041 and § 563.031 together.

    Specifically:
    .031

    2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony; (You can use deadly force to protect the person)

    (2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person;  or (You can use deadly force to protect a dwelling, residence, or vehicle)

    (3) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual, or is occupied by an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property, claiming a justification of using protective force under this section. (You can use deadly force to protect any other privately owned / leased property) The addition of this subsection extended the doctrine beyond its prior limits of the immediately preceding sections to encompass any and all owned / leased property.

    .041

    1. A person may, subject to the limitations of subsection 2, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he or she reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission by such person of stealing, property damage or tampering in any degree. (I can use physical force against you even if I just reasonably believe you intend to steal or cause property damage. You don’t actually have to be doing it at the time)

    2. A person may use deadly force under circumstances described in subsection 1 only when such use of deadly force is authorized under other sections of this chapter. (I reasonably believed that you intended to cause property damage, because you already had committed property damage in gaining access, and I reasonably believed that you intended to cause harm to me / my wife as well)

    As I understood the structure of this area, there is no HOA. It’s akin to a private estate within the city where the common areas are jointly and directly owned and shared by the property owners themselves. We could extend that further to say that Missouri law imposes no duty to retreat from any place someone has a legal right to be at (the homeowners obviously do have a right to be there, while the trespassers obviously do not – hence the stone walls, iron gates, and clear signage denying entry to all but residents and their authorized guests). No way these folks get charged with anything IMO.

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  68. Pylon says:

    Common areas jointly owned have been found not to qualify for the castle doctrine. Likewise other people’s private property has not been found to qualify for self defence.

    In this case, I don’t think deadly force (or threat of) qualifies because there’s no reasonable threat. There was no breaking of the gate, it turns out, and even if there was, you still need to qualify under sub 1, which requires an imminent physical threat (it’s actually referring all the way back to .o41.

    There’s no law which allows deadly force to protect property damage.

  69. Pylon says:
  70. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pylon:

    Right. The section I referred to didn’t become active law until 2017. Case law hasn’t really caught up. Ultimately it’s up to the judiciary to sort it out, but I don’t see anything sticking in the unlikely event they’re even charged to begin with. The standard being employed for justification here is just entirely too broad to make prosecution viable.

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  71. Pylon says:

    @HarvardLaw92: @HarvardLaw92: I also don’t see a charge sticking but mainly it’s because of class privilege and the knowledge of the court of the effect of a felony on their career.

    Interesting development, it’s not the first time they’ve pointed a gun in relation to the property. They’ve had an ongoing dispute over it with the neighborhood who holds the deed to that little portion of the property. The couple claims to own it by virtue of adverse possession! That “private property” sign keeps getting moved by one side or the other.

    https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/tony-messenger/messenger-this-wasn-t-the-first-time-the-mccloskeys-pulled-a-gun-to-protect-property/article_fc2a31b1-5f7b-55d5-83e3-8b3ca1211c7c.html