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don’t bring guns to a snowball fight!

December 20, 2009

…not too far from where I used to live in DC…the most awesome snowball fight this year…

But then it goes downhill…

Several thoughts:

1.  Social media is lightning quick and unforgiving. These videos will automatically get, like, 5 million hits in the next 24 hours, and the overreacting detective will likely get suspended for drawing his firearm without cause.  There are now several versions of this snowball fight on http://www.youtube alone.  Gawker.com picked this up too.  Can you imagine all those clunky-glassed,  tech-savvy hipsters uploading this onto the Internet, even as I type?

2. The easy availability of…consumer electronics. Notice how many people showed up with video cameras? And when the altercation goes down, how many people rushed over with them?   Also — really important thought — it’s good to keep a pen and a pad of paper handy at all times, in order to capture important information like a name and badge number when threatened by law enforcement.

3.  How innocent situations can get quickly out of hand. Since the detective in question is, according to the press, a veteran of the force, it can be assumed that he understands the use of proportional force.  Best case scenario, he might have thought he was in danger of some sort (not sure why) and overreacted.  What if someone pelted him with a snowball from behind – would he have reacted differently?  Isn’t this how the Boston Massacre in 1770 more or less touched off? (thanks, wife, for this insight)

4. The foul mouths of some DC residents.  As a rule of thumb, it’s best to “keep it clean” when speaking to adults and law enforcement.

5. Snowball fights are the best part of winter.

As a postscript, it’s 32 degrees here in Cambridge, MA, and nary a snowflake is to be seen in the sky.

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