Those Who Live In Fear Will Always Harm Others Around Them

I live about halfway along a very long country road that stretches for four or five miles. I also live at the top of a huge incline past a country store. People are always pulling up into my driveway to stop and turn around. Or it’s just to recheck their directions to see if they haven’t gone too far. I share a dirt road driveway with my neighbor, who owns an L-shaped property adjacent to mine. So, it’s common to see someone pull up to drive around to the back where he used to raise hogs and have a fence for horses before his health got bad as he is being treated with cancer.

My neighbor across the street has many acres where he raises cattle and trains horses. He has a huge dirt/gravel area where in front of his house where people are always pulling in to get the horses that are graduating from Bovine University. But because of this huge area, people are often turning around. It happens. In the 17-plus years, we’ve never pulled out our firearms and began blasting at some motorists.

Kids today will never understand the frustration of living in a world where there is no GPS on your phone. No matter how much you might think Google Maps sucks, imagine having to rely on second-hand directions that usually involve turning left where a building burnt down two years before your birth. My ex and I were on our way to a friend’s wedding where we got lost in B.F.E. Alabama. We could only find a handful of people in a podunk town to approach. The first were two black guys whose direction was turn right where there are two liqour stores. I then found a plainsclothes cop whose direction was also turn right where are two liquor stores.

So apparently, turn right at two liquor stores is the geographic center of this town. Later, we got lost in Macon, Ga. looking for the airport because Yahoo Maps gave us the wrong directions. Even the fire department couldn’t tell us where the freaking airport was. But now, while Google Maps and Morgan Freeman on Waze can tell us mostly where to go, we often make mistakes when we’re out in new locations.

On April 13, Ralph Yarl was shot when he went to the wrong house on the wrong street in Kansas City, Mo. It was a common mistake anyone could make. Yarl, only 16, different have his phone and went to a house in the 1100 block NE 115th Terrace mistaking it for a house in the 1100 block of NE 115th Street and was shot by Andrew Lester, 84, twice with a .32 caliber firearm. Authorities initially questioned Lester but released him as Yarl was in the hospital fighting for his life. Lester is white while Yarl is black.

Yarl went to the wrong house in the wrong street a block away. He was going to pick up a sibling. After four days, Lester was finally arrested after the shooting made people wonder why he wasn’t initially arrested. At the same time, people had to portray Yarl as a good kid involved in band at his school at Staley High School.

But why? What does it matter that Yarl is involved in any student activities at all? Lester saw a black teen at his door and felt the need to shoot him, twice. All Yarl did was ring the doorbell. And Lester allegedly shot him through the glass door. Yarl didn’t step one inch inside Lester’s house. So, I don’t want to hear any “Castle Doctrine” defense.

Luckily, Yarl is expected to survive being shot in the head and has been released from the hospital as of this posting as Lester has been charged with armed criminal action and first-degree assault, which is the equivalent of attempted murder. The prosecution has also said there is a “racial component” to the shooting and Lester faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

That alone should make people’s blood boil, but it wasn’t the only shooting by a crotchety old man of the week. On April 15, just two days after the KCMO shooting, Kaylin Gillis, 20, was fatally shot as she was the passenger in a car that turned around in a driveway in Washington County, N.Y. Her boyfriend was the reported driver and they were looking for a friend’s house when they pulled into the driveway of the wrong house. Hey, it happens.

Another vehicle had also pulled and they realized it was the wrong house. So they were backing out of the driveway when the homeowner, Kevin D. Monahan, fired twice at the vehicle Gillis was in with a 20-gauge shotgun. Again, the shooter fired twice at a vehicle that was leaving the property. After authorities were notified, Monahan had an hour-standoff with law enforcement before he surrendered.

Monahan, 64, has been charged with second-degree murder. Reportedly, even though he had no priors, neighbors and others describe Monahan as hostile and confrontational. This “Get off my lawn” mentality seems to be all too common with anyone over the age of 60. I fail to see how the “Castle Doctrine” defense will come into play here as well as the young people were leaving the property.

But, wait, there’s more…unfortunately

On April 18, two cheerleaders in the Austin, Texas area were shot after one of them accidentally got into the wrong vehicle in the parking lot of a supermarket in the Austin suburb of Elgin. Pedro Tello Rodriguez Jr., 25, is accused of shooting at the teenagers when Heather Roth got into the wrong vehicle she thought was hers to see Rodriguez there in the passenger seat. She went to her actual vehicle and Rodriguez followed her. Roth said she was trying to apologize when Rodriguez allegedly fired at her and the other two people in the vehicle. Peyton Washington was struck by a bullet and airlifted to a hospital where she is reportedly in ICU. Roth was struck by a bullet too but was treated at the scene and released.

Two more young people shot by people who are taught to live in fear at all times. And as I was writing this post, I came across a news story out of North Carolina where a young girl and her father were shot. What happened? Neighbors of a Gaston County, N.C. neighborhood report that all that happened was a basketball rolled into the yard of Robert Louis Stingletary, who came out of his house and allegedly shot at Kinsley Hildebrand, 6, her mother, Ashley, and her father.

Ashley has said they had nothing to do with the basketball game. They were just grilling outside. Ashley’s husband has reportedly been shot in the back. Her daughter had bullet fragments hit her in the cheek which were removed. A bullet reportedly grazed Ashley’s elbow. As of this posting, Singletary is the subject of a manhunt.

Marjorie Taylor Greene was talking about how crime ridden New York City, but journalist Ed Krassenstein pointed out on Twitter that while the rate rate in NYC is 24.5 percent, it’s actually 23.5 percent in my hometown of Calhoun, Ga. on a per capita basis. He was using stats from NeighborhoodScout, but I can believe it that Calhoun and its surrounding areas is high on crime. Maybe it’s not murder but there is a constant meth problem that I and others who grew up there are surprised by.

Years ago, law enforcement cracked down on a doctor’s office that was writing prescription for painkillers for anyone who had the right money to do the talking. Since the business was located not far from an exit off of Interstate 75, it had vehicles from all over the country swamping the parking lot. I went to school with four people that killed five people in the last 20 years. All were committed within MTG’s NW Georgia district. Then in 2004, there was a man, Jerry William Jones, who killed four people in the neighboring community of Ranger, Ga.

It’s not a paradise of southern hospitality by any means. I have so much to say about the area that I could make several more posts about it. But that’s not what this post is about. MTG, like many Republicans, has told people they need to arm themselves. Prior to her being elected to Congress, she harassed David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla. mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. What’s ironic was MTG was doing to Hogg and the people with him the exact same thing she claims people need firearms for. She was harassing them in a threatening manner. Imagine if one of them actually pulled a gun on her how she would’ve screamed loudly that she is a victim and felt threatened herself.

Conservatives, who have accepted bribes in the form of campaign money and lobbying dollars from the National Rifle Association, have told Americans for decades they need to stockpile guns. This is coming the 30th anniversary of the end of the Branch Davidian compound outside of Waco, Texas, which started because the government felt David Koresh and his followers were stockpiling too many illegal weapons.

The NRA and conservatives have told people they have to live in fear at all times. More importantly, they have told people that black people and anyone non-white and non-Christian is a threat. The problem is while state legislatures push to appease the NRA to get money, laws are being passed where anyone with a non-felony convicted record can carry a firearm anywhere they wish to go.

This means the rest of us are constantly seen as a threat to them. Any podunk bumpkiss redneck who wears camoflauge all the time can see any other person as a threat. Why? Because they have a gun and they are in charge. I’ve often said and the Uvalde school shooting proves this, that a lot of people wouldn’t know what to do during an actual firefight because they haven’t had proper training or even experience. And if you’re in Wal-Mart, Target or wherever there is an active shooter, how the hell can you tell one person with a gun as the good guy or the bad guy?

My ex now lives with her daughter on a street that shares the same similar names as the KCMO incident. Our grandsons live there and they’re multi-race. My fear is that someone will show up looking for someone who lives at the residence ending in Street, while their residence ends in Place, and jump to conclusions. Why? Because we’ve been taught that anyone non-white in a residence is there to cause problems.

The NRA and conservatives have been silent on this matter especially since two of them have taken place in very conservative states. Just as they were quick to excuse the murder of Botham Jean by former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger as a mistake as she went to the wrong apartment, they have been silent here. Going to the wrong address when you’re not familiar with it is common. But going to the wrong apartment of yours without recognizing any changes is hard to believe. I’ve often said there was more going on between Guyger and Jean, but not anything serious that way. I feel she went to him to tell him to remain quiet as she worked a double and something happen where she asserted her authority too excessively.

And the incident in Elgin is common. I mean, car manufacturers make more than one model in one color of a vehicle. And it’s very easy to mistake even a similar looking vehicle in a crowded parking lot. My mother got confused by a vehicle similar to ours parked out in the church parking lot and it took her a while to wonder why the keys wouldn’t work. When I lived in Americus, I observed someone trying to open my car with a Fob but it didn’t work. He was red-faced with embarrasment and apologized when I pointed out his error. Hey, it happens. We’re only human.

But this is what happens when we teach people to live in fear and suspect everyone is up to no good. We’re putting targets on people who would never pose a threat. It’s been theorized the handshake was invented so knights could tell each other they aren’t brandishing swords or daggers as it was seen as sinister to use the left hand. Over time, it became a simple of being friendly to people that you have just met or have known all your life.

What does the NRA want us to do know? Show off our firearms? Granted since Covid, it may be a little unhealthy to shake hands, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t be pleasant. Cowboys and people of the Old West, you know when everyone was packing, would tip their hats to women or elderly people as a sign of respect or chivalry. Also, many Old West towns, had restrictions against firearms because towns were seen as marketpalces. It was ok to have a gun, rifle or shotgun, outside having to deal with cattle rustlers, robbers and wild animals. But if you can’t walk down a street or marketplace without living and let living, then what’s the whole point?

Being disabled, I can’t get out some days and have limited abilities when I’m out. I don’t want to live in a world where anyone can pull out a gun and shoot me because they feel threatened by my walking cane. Sadly, some women and children can’t do anything without some creep bothering them or wanting to do worse. You should always be mindful of your surroundings, but this is a dangerous new world that I don’t want to live in.

Maybe the younger people will see differently and make the needed changes. If they live that long enough to make changes without being threatened by older people too set in their ways.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

4 thoughts on “Those Who Live In Fear Will Always Harm Others Around Them

  1. I find it perplexing that, after dwelling on the races of Lester and Yarl, you skipped over the fact that Singletary was black while his victims were white. So I’m struggling to deduce what point you’re trying to make.

    As for living in fear, the biggest growth in gun ownership has been among women, primarily minority, in big cities like Philadelphia, in response to the soaring crime there. Are you claiming they aren’t legitimately fearful and wisely responding to their reality, but rather are irrational, mesmerized by the agitprop of conservatives and the NRA?


    1. When I was working for a local newspaper, we did a story on gun ownership in the Tulsa area and how it rose during the Obama Presidency. You seem to nitpicking something bringing up the same old talking points of conservatives. Why are women buying guns more when laws are being changed that they can be raped and forced to carry a child to term?


      1. Which of my statements is a ‘conservative talking point’? I’m a liberal, and the gun purchase data are factual.

        I’d suppose we’d have to ask them, but it’s not hard to surmise the reason people in cities where crime is soaring are buying guns in record numbers. And it has nothing to do with abortion.

        You still haven’t explained the intent of your selective mention of race.


      2. First things first. I don’t have to explain anything to you. And for a liberal, you definitely sound like a conservative with your Whataboutisms. But I was mentioning that everytime a black youth is shot, they try to point out all his good qualities. It’s irrelevant. All Ralph Yarl did was ring a doorbell. People don’t want doorbells. Don’t get them. Don’t want people knocking on your door, go live in the middle of nowhere. I wasn’t talking about crime rates and people wanting to get more guns. I was talking about people anticipating that everyone is a threat when they’re not.
        As for the North Carolina shooting, I don’t think race played an issue as the man seem to just shoot wildly in the direction. I’m not condoning his actions. But I do believe that if it had been a white teenager or 20-something who knocked on Lester’s door, he wouldn’t have shot him. That’s the issue of racism in this country.


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