Is Self-Defense Becoming Illegal?

 Authored by Joshua Philipp via The Epoch Times,

If someone you love were threatened, or physically attacked, do you have the right to defend them? And even more so, when police are being defunded and when criminals are being released on the streets, do you have a right to protect yourself?

Do you have to just let things happen?

Must you just watch while innocent people are victimized by criminals?

Well, that’s the question currently on trial in New York.

That’s the case of Jordan Neely.

Now, if you read most news outlets on the left, you’ll hear the 30-year-old black man was a street performer and Michael Jackson impersonator.

You’ll also hear that his friends said he was a sweet kid, and that he later suffered from mental disabilities and became homeless.

If you read news outlets on the right, you’ll hear that he was arrested 42 times between 2013 and 2021.

In 2015, he was convicted of trying to kidnap a 7-year-old girl in Inwood, Queens, and was sentenced to four months in jail. Then, in 2021, he was arrested for punching a 67-year-old woman in the face as she exited a subway train in New York’s East Village, breaking her nose and fracturing her orbital bone.

He pleaded guilty, and while facing 15 months in an alternative-to-incarceration program, he skipped his court date, and had a warrant out for his arrest since February.

Both sides of Neely’s story are true. He was a talented dancer who suffered from mental problems, and had become a criminal menace. The New York justice system repeatedly let him off the hook. Even outside of his arrests, people were posting online about personal experiences of being threatened or attacked by Neely.

And then, on May 1, Neely was allegedly threatening passengers on a New York subway car until a former U.S. Marine intervened; he restrained Neely with a chokehold while two other men helped subdue him. After Neely lost consciousness, the men placed Neely in a recovery position, and yet, Neely died.

Nobody was initially charged. Video of the incident, which was limited to when Neely had already been restrained, was quickly picked up by political actors to play into the country’s race narratives.

Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) of New York wrote on Twitter a couple days later that “Jordan Neely was murdered.” She claimed he was “houseless and crying for food in a time when the city is raising rents and stripping services to militarize itself while many in power demonize the poor.”

She said it was “disgusting” that the man who allegedly killed Neely wasn’t charged.

Others on the far left came forward also to criticize the case as being about race, and to suggest that justice was needed, although, even among Democrats, not everyone was in agreement.

The political attacks sounded like a dog whistle to radical groups in New York. There were no major protests like those that were common with the Black Lives Matter summer riots a few years back, although a few dozen protesters went viral when they jumped on the subway tracks and forced a Q train to slam on its brakes.

It also turned out the protesters weren’t grassroots protesters. They were with an organization called Voices of Community Activists and Leaders, which has funding from billionaires including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg through the FWD.us Education Fund, and radical left billionaire George Soros through his Open Society Foundations.

It also turned out that the radical organization that staged the subway protest had previously teamed up in other protests with the Young Communist League of the Communist Party USA.

The outright communist group also was involved in the Neely protests, and stated in a tweet, “Thank you to all our comrades who answered the call today! We’re just getting started!”

The communist connection to the staged protests brings the whole incident full circle, right back to Ocasio-Cortez being the frontrunner in calling for charges in the case. Justine Medina, a former AOC aide, is a member of the executive committee of the New York State Communist Party, and is co-chair of the New York Young Communist League. That’s the same group that staged the subway protest.

The People’s World website notes, “Justine Medina is a co-chair of the New York Young Communist League. She’s also been involved in Democratic Socialists of America and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaigns for Congress.”

So let’s dig into this...

  • Soros finances the campaigns of radical district attorneys who let criminals off the hook.

  • A criminal is killed by people defending themselves when the city’s justice system fails.

  • A radical Congress member, whose political campaign was notably assisted by a media network with funding from Soros, comes out and calls for arrests.

  • Then, a radical group funded by Soros stages a protest, while being backed by a communist group tied to that same politician, also calling for arrests.

Seems to be a lot of overlap here.

Regardless of the Soros “above and below” strategy at play, former U.S. Marine Daniel Penny was arrested in Neely’s death. He’s now facing a felony charge of second-degree manslaughter, although he holds that he acted in self-defense.

So is this really about crime, then? Is it really about justice? Or is it about something else? Well, it’s not clear. But what we can say is that the narratives aren’t lining up. Many politicians who called for Penny’s arrest were simultaneously criticizing the use of justice. They were noting that young men are being sent to prison, when, in reality, many just need help. Yet, they did this while also calling for Penny to be sent to prison.

Others were more direct. Others suggested this may not be about manslaughter, or about justice, or even about mental health. Instead, they’re saying this is about race.

New York Mayor Eric Adams flip-flopped on that point. He first criticized AOC for claiming that Penny murdered Neely. Then, Adams brought race-based narratives to the case.

For conservatives, it’s not about race. Instead, it’s about whether you’re allowed to defend yourself. The case has become a symbol of what’s wrong with defunding the police, and about whether people are being selectively prosecuted, based not on crime, but on the color of their skin.

When people such as Adams make it about race, other people start wondering if the case would be treated differently if race wasn’t an issue.

That’s partly why people like musician Kid Rock donated $5,000 to Penny’s defense fund, criticized New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and declared that Penny is a hero. It’s why even politicians such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are getting on board to fundraise for Penny.

And it’s also why people are now bringing up the idea of self-defense. Al Sharpton, for example, was stating that if Penny wasn’t charged, it would encourage others to become vigilantes.

This is the point where many cities in the United States find themselves. The common view, at least among conservatives, is this: Police have been made unable to do their jobs, the courts appear to have a swinging door, and violent individuals such as Neely are allowed to attack, harass, and generally menace people.

So, if nobody will protect you, what are your options? Even if you see others being attacked or harassed, should you do anything to help them? Should you allow them to be attacked? Or do you want to risk going to prison simply for stepping up to help?

In 2021, we watched in shock at what took place in the Philadelphia area, when a woman was raped on a train. Passengers did nothing to help her. They listened to her cries, and they allowed it to happen. It raised the question of what we become as a society if people don’t stand up against evil, what happens when good people don’t come forward? And even more so, what will we become when good people aren’t allowed to intervene?

In the natural world, self-defense is written into the DNA of life. Even bugs have the means to defend themselves. Nearly every creature on earth has been given by God a means to defend itself, whether claws, or teeth, or stingers, or other means.

Humans create tools, like swords and guns, to defend ourselves. And this has held true throughout all human history. The right to self-defense is the right to life. And the right to guard life is one the main pillars of law.

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