I’ve long joked that politics is a blood sport. Those who run for office essentially put themselves out there for the wolves to tear apart.
But political violence is something we tend to talk more about than experience. Sure, we have dipsticks that make death threats, but few actually follow through. That’s a very good thing, of course.
Unfortunately, though, it does happen. Take recent events in North Dakota:
A community is mourning the loss of an 18-year-old man from Grace City, North Dakota, as investigators look into what led up to a deadly crash. Foster County Deputies were called to a hit-and-run that happened in an alleyway near Johnston Street and Jones Avenue in McHenry, ND.
Court documents say at 2:35 Sunday morning, 41-year-old Shannon Brandt called 911 to report that he had hit a pedestrian because he was threatening him. Brandt told State Radio that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group and that he was afraid they were “coming to get him.” The pedestrian has been identified in a GoFundMe page as 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.
The problem, however, is that Brandt left the scene. Then he called 9-1-1 and returned, only to leave again. Leaving the scene in and of itself is a crime, but it’s also indicative of a guilty conscience.
In other words, it’s unlikely that there was any threat to him.
Brandt has been charged in Ellingson’s death–vehicular homicide and DUI.
However, Ellingson reportedly called his mother twice just before he was killed, with him claiming in the second call that someone was after him. That’s not a simple DUI accident resulting in a fatality. Not in my book, anyway.
In fact, even Brandt’s comments make it clear this wasn’t just some DUI accident.
It’s also clear that whatever happened was politically motivated.
Now, in fairness, it’s possible that Ellingson said some stuff and maybe issued some kind of threat himself. I haven’t seen any evidence of that just now, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
However, self-defense only comes into play when someone is actively trying to harm you. Threats without the means or opportunity are meaningless when it comes to self-defense. They are terroristic threats and prosecutable, but you don’t get to shoot someone because they talked smack.
So I don’t see any way this isn’t flat-out murder based on what we’ve seen.
What’s more, it’s likely a political murder. Ellingson was seemingly killed because he espoused the wrong opinions. The whole “Republican extremist group” thing is telling because Brandt didn’t say what group. He just ascribed extremist views to Ellingson and expected that to be enough.
Well, it’s not.
For al the left’s talk about how dangerous the right is and how everyone not voting Democrat is basically a domestic terrorist, we’re seeing an awful lot of extremism from the left.
Now, they don’t have a lock on it, but between a guy in Minnesota threatening a member of Congress and Brandt (allegedly) killing someone he disagreed with, it’s hard to accept that it’s Republicans that are the violent ones.
Sure, they might take guns to protest things that have nothing to do with the Second Amendment, but they didn’t point them at anyone or issue any threats. Any fear anyone felt was a machination of their own mind rather than actual threats.
This, though? This is real.
It’s also a reminder to carry everywhere you possibly can because people like this want people like you and me dead.