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    “Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 5: Dunn Testifies, Defense Rests

    “Loud Music” Murder Trial Day 5: Dunn Testifies, Defense Rests

    Dunn testifies, defense rests, secures self-defense jurisdiction, closing tomorrow

    NOTE: LIVE COVERAGE: “Loud Music” Murder Trial, VERDICT WATCH

    Today the Dunn trial managed to wrap up all of the evidence to be presented to the jury, including a bit of rebuttal evidence once the defense had rested.  All the criminal charges–first degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and firing into an occupied vehicle–are moving forward, as is the legal defense of self-defense.

    Notable today was the testimony of the defendant, Michael Dunn.  On direct he recounted the events leading up to, during, and following his shooting of of Jordan Davis, as was necessary if he hoped to get a self-defense jury instruction.  He was unshaken by the ~ 3 hours of cross-examination of Assistant State Attorney John guy.

    In my opinion, however, he came across as cool, aloof, and lacking in empathy.  This would normally be a small matter, except that the sole evidence of self-defense comes from his own testimony, and his credibility is already seriously damaged by his flight from the scene and his failure to contact police be he was arrested by them.

    Closing arguments are scheduled for 10AM tomorrow morning, with perhaps some final argument ironing out the jury instructions beforehand.  We’ll be live here at Legal Insurrection whatever time court starts up and the video feed is live.

    OK, let’s get to the events of the day:

    Daubert Hearing: Abussa, “Acute Stress Response” Expert

    (Mr. Abussa, expert on "acute stress response".)

    (Mr. Abussa, expert on “acute stress response”.)

    The morning began with the defense proffer of an “expert” in “acute stress response,” a Mr. Abussa, who would have testified to the physiology underlying Michael Dunn’s failure to call police in the aftermath of his shooting of Jordan Davis.

    In order to determine the qualification and relevance of the expert, the court conducted a Daubert hearing before the trial proper began this morning. In fact, the expert appears to be primarily a family and marriage counselor, and unlikely to contribute any insight that the jury would not be able to glean from the evidence for themselves.   In particular, Healey noted that Bussa had never before been an expert at trial, had no publications in the area, no peer review, and had never even spoken with Dunn.  As a result, Healey decided to deny the defense request to have their proffered expert testify.

    (Judge Russel Healey denies rejects "expert" Abussa.)

    (Judge Russel Healey denies rejects “expert” Abussa.)

    I was surprised at this ruling, not because I think it was wrong on the merits but because it will surely be grounds for appeal in an area of Florida law that is relatively immature (Florida only recently transitioned from the older Frye hearings to the newer Daubert hearings).  I had expected that Healey would play it safe and let Mr. Abussa testify.

    Michael Dunn, Defendant

    (Defendant Michael Dunn, being sworn to testify.)

    (Defendant Michael Dunn, being sworn to testify.)

    Immediately following the denial on Abussa, the defense called the defendant, Michael Dunn, to the stand.  This was necessary if for no other reason than to secure a self-defense jury instruction, as to this point there was literally no facts in evidence to support a self-defense charge. It also provided an opportunity for the jury to hear Dunn’s story from his own mouth.

    The downside, of course, was that it also made Mr. Dunn subject to cross examination, a typically destructive process for almost any defendant.

    Before being sworn in Dunn was given a long laundry list of cautions and rights by Judge Healey, but clearly nothing was going to stand between Dunn and the witness stand.

    Direct Examination by Defense Counsel Strolla

    (Defense Counsel Cory Strolla.)

    (Defense Counsel Cory Strolla.)

    It naturally fell to defense counsel Cory Strolla to conduct direct examination of his own client.

    Much as he had with other defense witnesses, Strolla walked Dunn through the course of the day up to the shooting emphasizing the happy occasion of the wedding, the upbeat mood of Dunn, the relative paucity of alcohol consumed, the role of the puppy in the events that would unfold.  Not sure whether it was coincidence, but several times when the puppy arose in his testimony Dunn became clearly emotional, even teary.

    (Defendant Michael Dunn.)

    (Defendant Michael Dunn testifying.)

    Events then moved up to the gas station, which Dunn indicated he’d picked simply because it was on the route back to their hotel.  He pulled into the open spot closest to the door, and fatefully next to the red Durango SUV.  Rhonda Rouer left the vehicle to enter the minimart for the purpose of purchasing some wine and chips.

    At some point after Rouer left the car, Dunn said, he heard and felt extremely loud thumping bass rap music coming from the SUV next to him.  Although his windows were up, he testified that his rear view mirror was shaking, and because of a child-hood ear injury the volume of the music was causing pain in his left ear.  He says he didn’t simply pull into a different spot because the other open spots were considerably further away and because the loud bass had not begun until after he’d already pulled in to his chosen spot.

    (Note that in her testimony Rouer had testified that before she left the car Dunn had commented, “I hate that thug music,” and she had replied, “I know you do.”  There was some dispute on cross whether Dunn had made inconsitent statements regarding whether the music was already playing when he pulled into the spot, or started after.  To my ear it sounded as if the parties were conflating “music” and “thumping bass.”  It seems likely that rap music was playing at some not unreasonable volume when Dunn pulled in, then the sub-woofer cabinet in the rear of the SUV was turned up when Rouer was in the store.)

    (SUV Sub-woofers..)

    (SUV Sub-woofers..)

    Dunn said he asked the SUV, “Can you turn that music down, please,” and in fact the music was turned very much down.  When he looked to his left to make this request he noticed the tinted front passenger window of the SUV was up. Dunn testified that he then lowered his window and said, thank you.  In turning to do this, he noticed that the window in the rear passenger door of the SUV was coming down.

    Soon, he says, he started hearing “fuck this,” and “fuck that” communications from the rear seat of the SUV, the position where Jordan Davis was seated.  At the same time, the music volume increased again, albeit not as high as when he’d first requested it be turned down.  At that point, he said, he wasn’t going to ask for more favors.  Nevertheless, the communications from the SUV continued to escalate in intensity, and he now heard “something-something cracker.”  Because the speaker had a higher pitched voice, he was able to hear it over the sound of the loud bass.

    Then, he testified, he heard the speaker say, “I should kill that motherfucker.”

    Dunn says he was flabbergasted, thinking he must not have heard right.  Growing concerned, he began to listen more carefully, and heard, “I should fucking kill that motherfucker,” now being screamed.  Looking at the rear passenger window he says he saw two faces–these would have been Jordan Davis, sitting immediately behind that door, and Leland Brunson, seated behind the driver’s seat.

    Dunn went on to say that he asked them, “Are you talking to me?” as in inquiry.  He said, they were talking about killing that motherfucker, I want to know if I was that motherfucker. Also, he added, to make clear I had said thank you.

    Asked by Strolla, “Did they escalate, or did you?” Dunn replied, “They did.”

    Dunn then sad he saw the person immediate behind the rear door (Davis) lean forward as if retrieving something from the floor of the SUV. When he straightened he banged something hard against the interior of the rear door, and Dunn said he could observe 4″ of shotgun barrel above the lower edge of the window frame.

    At that point Dunn testified Davis said, “Yeah, I’m going to fucking kill you, he’s showing me a gun and he’s threatening me.’  But still, he says, he didn’t yet reach for his pistol in the glove box of his car.  Not yet reacting, Dunn said he was still processing what was going on.

    At that point, he went on, he saw that rear door of the SUV crack open, and heard Davis say, “You’re dead bitch.” He still didn’t go for his gun, saying that he was in fear for his life but was not at the point where he was ready to deploy deadly force.  He was, he says, just wondering to himself where all this hostility came from.

    Then the door opened further, and Dunn saw a young man get out, his head clearing the window frame, and saying “This shit’s going down now.”  At that point, Dunn says, he can’t see the shotgun barrel in the window any more, and doesn’t know where it is.   It was then that Dunn decided the deadly threat to his life was imminent.

    Saying, “You’re not gonna kill me, you son of a bitch,” Dunn leaned forward and popped open his glove box. He leaned forward again and retrieved his holstered firearm.  He stripped it of its holster, cycled the action to load a round into the chamber from the fully-loaded 15-round magazine, grasped the gun in both hands, pointed it at the rear door of the SUV, and fired three times. (although he says he did not at the time know how many times he fired).

    Asked by Strolla why he kept the gun without a round in the chamber, Dunn said it was for safety reasons. In case one of his children came upon the pistol, it would not fire until it had been cycled.

    Describing his tunnel vision, he said everything faded into the background and he just focused on the target, the door, and pulling the trigger. He didn’t aim, he said, but rather pointed the gun, and pulled the trigger rapidly because he was fighting for his life.

    Dunn said the three hits on the front passenger door, the ones that did not penetrate the passenger compartment, occurred by accident in that he hadn’t registered that the SUV had begun moving backwards. (Had it not, presumably, and Dunn is telling the truth, those three rounds would also have hit the rear passenger door)

    Dunn also testified that the rear passenger door was open when he fired at it, such that the dowels in the front passenger door would be parallel to those in the rear passenger door.  He believes Jordan Davis may have been diving back into the car after seeing Dunn raise his pistol to cycle it, when the rounds penetrated the door and Davis.

    (Trajectory dowels in SUV.)

    (Trajectory dowels in SUV.)

     (I feel obliged to note that his narrative of the second burst of shots “accidentally” hitting the front passenger door would be more credible if there wasn’t such a distinct pause between the first and second bursts of rounds.   The number and tempo of the gunshots can be heard here:  “Loud Music” Murder Trial: Sequence of Gun Shots.)

    As the SUV backed out of its spot, it turned so that it formed a “T” with his vehicle.  At that point, Dunn said, a person armed with a shotgun would have been aiming at the back of his head. In addition, the shotgun would have been aligned with the front door of the store, the door from which his fiance Rhonda Rouer would soon emerge. Now, he said, he was protecting not just himself, but also Rouer.

    He opened his car door, moved a few feet from his car, kneeled, and re-engaged the SUV with a third and final burst of rounds. By this time the SUV was actually driving away from him, and his round struck the right rear of the SUV.  He thought he’d fired only once, he said, but knew now from the evidence that he’d fired three times.

    Dunn described these shots as intended to “keep their heads down” so that they could not fire blindly back at Dunn and Rouer. Given the nature of a shotgun pattern, he knew, it was possible they could both be killed with a single shot fired from the shotgun.

    By that time Rouer emerged form the store, and Dunn urged her into the car.  Both of them, he said, were in shock, and it was this shock that would drive their admittedly illogical behavior over night and into the morning, until his arrest by Deputies at his home.

    Rouer, he explained, was all but frozen in shock, and he wasn’t much better off himself.  He had just had his life threatened, and had been forced to shoot at someone. They were afraid the “armed” men in the SUV would return, and perhaps bring friends. They fled the gas station for safety.

    Dunn says he tried to explain to Rouer what had happened while she was in the store, but she was hysterical. He tried to explain to her that the men he’d fired at had been armed, that they’d threatened him. He says he doesn’t even remember the rid to the hotel.

    Back at the hotel they looked out the windows down at traffic, and it seemed like every vehicle was a red SUV.  He was waiting, he said, in fear that the men he’d shot at would come back at them in retaliation.

    (It is noteworthy that Rouer had testified she was waiting not for the SUV, but for the police to come and arrest them. Also, one who is afraid of an armed group attack might be inclined to request police assistance to secure their safety from attack.)

    Strolla then got into the matters of Dunn and Rouer having a drink, ordering pizza, walking their dog, and so forth.  All of this was done in a state of shock, Dunn explained.  There was no joy in it.  In particular at that point they had no idea that anyone had been killed.  Furthermore, by Dunn’s way of thinking he hadn’t done anything wrong.  Self-defense was lawful, and he had acted in self-defense, therefore he had acted lawfully.

    The next morning, after only two hours’ sleep, he awoke and learned for the first time that Jordan Davis had been killed.  He says he was immediately physically ill in the bathroom. Rhonda also saw the news on the television, and was almost mute with panic.

    He realized now, he said, that he would have to report the matter to the police.  But why not the police nearer his home, 2.5 hours drive away, rather than here in Jacksonville. After all, even though Jordan Davis had died, it was in his mind still lawful self-defense. Lawful self-defense doesn’t become unlawful murder just because you delay reporting it a few hours, he reasoned, so what’s the rush?

    They made the drive back to his and Rouer’s home, at which point her cell phone range.  It displayed a Jacksonville area code, so they assumed it was Dunn’s son back in Jacksonville.  Instead, it was homicide Detective Musser, informing him that he was wanted for for questioning in the events of the previous night

    Dunn informed Musser that he had just been about to walk over to his neighbor, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer, and have that neighbor accompany him to the local police station.  Dunn says Musser informed him that he had about 10 minutes to get that done, and they hung up. Dunn walked over to his neighbor’s residence, when Rouer’s phone rang again.  This time it was local Deputies executing a murder warrant on him, and he was taken into custody.  Dunn says he was surprised at being arrested, as he had been led to believe they merely wanted to questioning, and he had no idea a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

    Detectives Musser and Oliver came in from Jacksonville and interviewed Dunn, who made only one tentative request for counsel, but continued engaging with the officers as they questioned him.  He characterized their questioning as hostile and antagonistic, and explained that this was the cause of some of the misstatements that would later be brought to his attention.

    And that was it for Strolla. 

    Assistant State Attorney on Cross Examination of Dunn

    (Assistant State Attorney John Guy.)

    (Assistant State Attorney John Guy.)

    To my considerable surprise, and displeasure, Assistant State Attorney John Guy was selected to carry out the cross-examination of Dunn.  ASA Guy has never been an outstanding trial lawyer in my experience, leaning far too much on emotion and volume to be effective.  I would have much preferred the dripping contempt of State Attorney Angela Corey (below, standing) or the incisive intellect of Assistant State Attorney Erin Wolfson (below, seated, in off-white).

    (State Attorney Angela Corey and ASA Erin Wolfson.)

    (State Attorney Angela Corey and ASA Erin Wolfson.)

    John Guy’s cross can best be described as small-ball, picking at small factual discrepancies.  Many of these were so minor and inconsequential that I can only assume Guy was pursuing a strategy of trying to so rile up Dunn that the defendant would lash out in anger.

    Issues he touched upon was whether Dunn had told Rouer at the time that he’d been threatened with a gun, Whether it was Dunn who called his Federal LEO neighbor or his neighbor who called him,  whether the SUV’s music had been playing when Dunn pulled into his parking spot or only began playing after he had parked, and whether Jordan Davis was inside or outside of the SUV when Dunn fired his pistol at him.  And, of course, why Dunn had never called 911 despite innumerable opportunities to do so.

    Dunn, however, did not lose his cool in any appreciable way, insisting throughout that he’d acted in necessary self-defense, so in any important sense the cross-examination was substantively ineffective.  There were a couple of small missteps, such as when he volunteered he wouldn’t have referred to the boy’s music as “thug music,” as Rouer had testified, but rather as “rap crap.”  That certainly could have done him no good with the jury. In terms of explaining his irrational behavior in fleeing and not calling 911, he put it off to the stress of the events.

    That’s not to say that Dunn did not bear a cost for having testified, however, because in my opinion he did, although a somewhat subtle one.

    Dunn came across to me as very cool, very aloof, and in important matters almost completely lacking in empathy.  Sure, he teared up when he mentioned his puppy Charlie, and maybe even his fiance Rouer.  But there in the court room he had appeared to have no empathy whatever for the parents of Jordan Davis, both present in the court room.  Whatever the truth of what Jordan Davis might have done or threatened to do to Michael Dunn, his parents and done nothing, and were clearly still in great pain. No matter how necessary it might have been to shoot and kill Jordan Davis in self-defense, that doesn’t make the loss of his parents inconsequential.

    In particular this does not appear to be a case in which Jordan Davis had been effectively abandoned by his family to  the street environment and and left to become a drug-dealing, jewelry stealing, street-fighting, illegal gun possessing criminal.  Indeed, what limited information I have available indicates that Jordan Davis had never before been involved with the law, nor Kevin Thompson nor Leland Brunson.  (The driver of the SUV, Tommy Storns, did have some minor criminal record, but was actually in the store when the confrontation was taking place.)

    Taking this in combination with the fact that Dunn himself had not seen his soon more than 3 times in 15 years, although they all lived in the same state, and it was an unattractive picture.

    Normally, such sentiments should have no great import in a criminal trial.  In this case, however, the only evidence of self-defense whatever comes only from the defendant Michael Dunn, and his credibility is already profoundly damaged due to his flight from the scene and his failure to call police.  Instead, it was the police that had to find and collect him. With his liberty hanging by such a thread, a communication of heartfelt sorrow for the parents of Jordan Davis might have been of considerable value.

    Guy’s cross examination having taken place for 2.5 hours, a lunch break and then additional time thereafter, there seemed little value to have been created for the state.

    After a short bit of re-direct and re-cross, the defense rested its case.

    All Criminal Charges, Self-Defense, To Move Forward

    Upon resting, the defense moved for an acquittal, to which Corey objected, and which Healey denied out of hand.

    Healey determined that all there was a sufficient prima facie case on all five criminal charges–1st degree murder for the killing of Davis, three counts of attempted murder for Brunson, Thompson, and Storns, and firing into an occupied vehicle.

    He also determined that the defense had met its burden of production on self-defense–a certainty once Dunn had mentioned the words self-defense on the witness stand.

    (Defense Counsel Strolla (l.) and State Attorney Corey (r.).)

    (Defense Counsel Strolla (l.) and State Attorney Corey (r.).)

    State Offers Rebuttal Testimony

    Sadly, my video feed failed me for this part of the trial, so I was not able to watch the proceedings live. Fortunately, the Professor was able to do so, and called me with his observations.  (I’m paraphrasing his comments, of course, hastily typed by me as we spoke by phone–any errors should be assumed to be mine.  These are NOT quotes.)

    The first rebuttal witness called by the State was Rhonda Rouer. She testified on two major issues.  First, she denied that Dunn had ever told her about the attack having involved a gun.

    Second, she said the phone call the next morning with their Federal law enforcement neighbor was not made by them when they were home, but rather was made by their friend to them while they were still in the car, and played on speaker, enabling her to hear the full conversation.  In fact, she testified, the discussion solely involved plans for getting together later in the day or that evening, and no mention whatever was made of the previous night’s shooting, the need to contact police or anything similar.

    Strolla’s approach on cross was to essentially suggest that she was sufficiently crazy that her testimony and recollections were all but worthless. He recounted how stressed she had appeared in her first appearance in court, and how much more stressed she had been on that day.  He asked her if it was possible that she didn’t remember everything that was said that day, and she agreed, but hesitantly.  She also conceded that she had had to seek therapy for her stress and was currently taking prescription medications for the same.

    In summary, the Professor felt this testimony was good for the State, and bad for the defense.

    The next rebuttal evidence was the video of Dunn being interviewed by Detectives Musser and Oliver.  In contrast to Rouer’s rebuttal testimony, the Professor felt that this actually worked in the favor of the defense.  The detectives used their professional interrogation skills to try all they could to shake Dunn’s story–but Dunn would not be shaken.

    Furthermore, the great portion of the story then was consistent with his story on the witness stand today.  If anything, it was more credible in the interview room than in the court room.  Dunn was firm that he’d seen a gun barrel, although they told him repeatedly nothing like that had been found, he emphasized the incredible fear and panic the’d felt at having to fight for his life, he insisted even then that Davis had exited the vehicle, the verbal threats and swearing, the shouted cries of “we’re going to kill you, motherfucker,” and so forth.

    The Professor thought this rebuttal evidence was actually favorable to the defense, and not helpful to the State.

    Closing Arguments Set for 10AM Tomorrow

    The court is set top start closing arguments start at 10AM US EST tomorrow, although they will likely be meeting before that time in order to straighten out any remaining issues with jury instructions.  The instructions are going to be VERY long, including not only the nominal charges–murder 1, three counts of attempted murder, and firing into an occupied vehicle–but also Florida’s very extensive self-defense instructions (including, I fear, the statute’s stand-your-ground language, despite it having any more relevance here than it did in Zimmerman).

    In addition, however, each charge will also include every lesser included charge, such as voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and so forth.

    We’ll go live as soon as court goes into session, standing by as early as 8AM, and will tweet out when things have started going, whether it’s the pre-closing discussions or the formal closing arguments.

    Until then!

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


    Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

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    Comments


    On the subject of the bullet trajectories, I don’t believe that the rear passenger door of the red SUV was open at all.
    Remember that it was stated the two vehicles were right side by side when first parked, making the rear door of the SUV just slightly behind Dunn’s front driver door. Therefore making a more straight line trajectory of the first 3 bullets fired into the rear door.

    Dunn paused in his shooting at the same instant that Tommy
    ‘slammed into reverse’ and I would assume he floored the gas pedal having just been shot at. The SUV reversed quickly and the front passenger door would have been further back from Dunn’s shooting position from his driver door than the rear passenger door had been, making the next 3 bullet trajectories into the front door at a sharper angle. Dunn’s theroty that the trajectories ‘should’ have lined up on both doors would only be valid if the SUV had not moved.
    Another point, this type of SUV is quite large and requires stepping out onto the running boards and then stepping to the ground. Dunn’s description of Davis exiting the SUV does not mention this.
    Lastly, Dunn testifies that he is not familiar with the term ‘thug’ therefore he would have never used it. Rhonda states he used the word ‘thug music’, as well the police video of his interview shown in court yesterday recorded him telling the detectives that he was watching from the hotel window waiting for another truck full of ‘thugs’. He says this very clearly in the video.
    I am curious as to why Dunn obtained a concealed weapon permit 5 years ago. Did he have a previous run-in with so called ‘thugs’ therefore making him very nervous and obviously trigger happy for this very unfortunate incident?
    IMHO this man is certainly much more book smart than street smart and reacted way over the top to what was actually happening. I believe he is guilty and my sincere condolences to the parents and friends of Jordan.

    @platypus You and Amy seems to have missed the point. I was merely articulating why some of us are uneasy with the exist state of gun laws in this country. I was putting it in the context of this case and the actions of Dunn. I was not advocating. It was part of a larger point in which I hypothesized that Dunn had his gun out much earlier than he admits. I also think his judgement was impaired; although whether he was legally drunk is impossible to know since he ran. That no witness was willing to say he drank a lot is not surprising. The witnesses were family and the hosts of the wedding might be held liable if he was drunk.

    “Guns (firearms) have provided liberty for more people than kisses and talking has. Probably by a factor of 100.”

    Are you talking about organized armies, militias and revolutions? Certainly you are not talking about individuals. Even in our revolution the militia played a small, albeit significant part. It was organized armies that played the major role. Washington had no faith in the militia.

    So if you strap a gun to you hip because you believe in liberty, you are deluding yourself.

    I’ll bet firearms have also been responsible for more grief and repression by a factor of 100.

    BTW, I concede that private guns have undoubtedly protected many people and foiled many crimes. But our attitude toward guns makes it very easy for bad guys to get them. So the overall good is hard to access.

      I was merely articulating why some of us are uneasy with the exist state of gun laws in this country.

      Child, you don’t understand the exist [sic] state of gun laws in this country.

      You claimed that there is “unrestricted ownership” of guns in this country. There isn’t.

      You claimed that there is “unrestricted access to guns” in this country. There isn’t.

      You claimed that there’s a demand in this country for “the unrestricted ability to carry guns anywhere, anytime by anybody”. There isn’t.

      So hush up and go practice staring down big scary tobacco-wielding strangers on the subway, Mister Karate Kid, and don’t concern yourself with law-abiding CCL holders like l’il ol’ me and and our big scary boomsticks. 😉


         
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        Rational in reply to Amy in FL. | February 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        Wow, you found a typo! You must be brilliant.

        You are a perfect example of what is wrong with the discussion in this country. You have no ability to comprehend what is written. You live on fallacies. Then you react rather than think. You are defensive and hostile. That is just the kind who should not walk around with a boomstick. We will probably read about you one day. In the mean time you should switch to cap pistols. They will do the same job for your fragile psyche and save you and the rest of us a lot of grief,

        Write back after you learn to read.

        BTW, Dunn is going down. Even the majority of the ideologues on this site think he is an a-hole.

          I quoted your own words back at you, and informed you that you were wrong. I’m sorry that this has wounded you so.

          As for Dunn, I agree that there’s no evidence that this was a good shoot. Check my comments here, or on twitter: I’ve never defended his use of force, ever. I’ve been consistently a critic of his actions. I can’t think why you’d assume that assume that someone who supports lawful CCL would automatically support an apparently unlawful shooting any more than you’d assume that anyone who supports citizens being allowed to drive must support those who commit vehicular homicide.

          Reading comprehension is fundamental. I’m sorry the “no child left behind” system appears to have failed you. I hope things get better for you.

          As your Mister Miyagi would say, “Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.” Or as my mama would say, bless your heart.


             
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            Rational in reply to Amy in FL. | February 13, 2014 at 10:17 am

            @ AMY If you re-read my original comment, it was an examination of the credibility of Dunn’s testimony.

            I made one comment about thoughts (fears, concerns) of those of us who think laws like those in FL are problematic and overly permissive. I did not advocate. I tried to point out the THINKING (right or wrong) of some people concerned about other people routinely walking around with guns. I would think you might have some interest in their thinking; even if you disagreed with it. We do live in a democracy. You proceeded to jump at that one part and try to tear me a new one. Talk about a knee-jerk reaction!

            I guess I should expect no less on an ideological Board like this.

            BTW, I did notice that you had a nuanced position on Dunn. But I guess any comment that even hints at any kind of gun law gets your dander up.


           
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          Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 6:03 am

          “You have no ability to comprehend what is written. You live on fallacies. Then you react rather than think. You are defensive and hostile.”

          LOL. You’ve just described the way you have come off in pretty much every comment you’ve written on this thread.

          Whether you know it or not, you are displaying the classic Leftist pattern to debate. State your opinion as though there’s no possible reasonable alternative view, be emotional and take other people’s differing viewpoints personally, play tough, insult the others, then play victim and claim other are unintelligent bullies.

          Well done! LOL.


             
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            Rational in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

            Whether you know it or not, you and most members of this Board are displaying the classic right-wing pattern to debate. State your opinion as though there’s no possible reasonable alternative view, be emotional and take other people’s differing viewpoints personally, play tough, insult the others, then play victim and claim other are unintelligent bullies.

            To prove my point, I refer you to the numerous responses to my original comments. It was I who was immediately insulted for not accepting the collective ‘wisdom’ of this far right-wing ideological site.

            I was originally pointed here by someone posting on another site. He claimed I could learn the truth here. I am open-minded enough that I gave it a try. I am still waiting. What I see is a bunch of people reinforcing each other with ideological crap. The Dunn case actually seems to be the exception. But if you look at the other articles and the tenor or the comments, the point of view of people on this Board is clear and one-sided.

            Obviously, you would see any questioning of that as invalid. That is not classically right-wing. It is classically ideological.


             
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            Yukio Ngaby in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 13, 2014 at 11:52 am

            @ the horribly mis-named Rational

            So your response was a cut & paste equating to “I know you are but what am I?” LOL. A Pee Wee Herman strategy? Really?

            And to “prove your point” you’re going to say that everyone here except yourself is wrong and are merely indulging in the reinforcment of ideologies. Heh. Good one. Truly you have proven yourself to be the “sole” open-minded one here. Congrats. You have convinced me. I now believe that guns are indeed evil and have a will of their own.

            And I just love how your idea of being “open-minded” is to begin your case with statements like “That is the crux of what we ‘anti-gun’ nuts think. Had Dunn not had the gun, he would have behaved differently.” and not expect anyone to oppose your TRUTH. LOL.

            “Obviously, you would see any questioning of that as invalid.”

            Ooo, you know all about me. And all about my opinions, and all about my political beliefs, and my character, and my inherent “close-mindedness” etc. How? Because of the damning facts that I’m here and I disagree with you about guns. LOL.

            But… but I thought you were the open-minded “Rational” one and the “victim” to boot. Gosh, it almost seems like you’re projecting the low opinion you have about your opponents right into your own arguments. Weird. Surely you’re above that…


         
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        Yukio Ngaby in reply to Amy in FL. | February 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

        SNAP.


       
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      Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | February 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      “It was organized armies that played the major role. Washington had no faith in the militia.”

      And what do you think that our “Organized Army” was made up of, since we weren’t actually a nation and the only Organized Army was actually the British. Our “Army” was made up of militia’s. You are obviously a believer in revisionist history.

      “But our attitude toward guns makes it very easy for bad guys to get them. So the overall good is hard to access.”

      You are right to a point, but that is also part of the price of freedom. Yes, freedom is messy and sometimes dangerous but I will quote a local radio host here in Little Rock named Dave Elswick he was paraphrasing Tomas Jefferson, I believe, but the quote is; “I will take the messy dangers of freedom over the safe complacency of slavery any day.”

      Also, you have to remember that for every time someone misuses a gun there where about 8 million other gun owners that broke no law what so ever.


         
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        Rational in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

        Are you basing you claims on the history you learned in Elementary School? That is the fairy tale view of history. Hopefully your views on guns are better informed.

        Washington was aghast when he was first appointed General and visited New England. See this source that I looked up for your edification. It is based on a letter Washington wrote deploring the militia. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/washington-blames-militia-for-problems

        The Continental Army was made up of men who enlisted for a defined period of time. They were issued weapons, uniforms and materiel. They used military muskets; not civilian rifles. They were trained by men like Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. They had ranks. They were not a militia. A volunteer is not the same as a militia member.

        Militia could quit. Washington sentenced deserters to be shot or hung. In one instance, Washington pardoned all but one. But he made the pardoned soldiers execute the one. Sound like a militia to you?

        You should read about the battle of Cowpens. Brigadier General Daniel Morgan was warned not to count on the local militia. They tended to run in the face of a real army. He put them in front of the Army troops to force them to face a charge. He allowed them to fire one round and retire.

        BTW, there was a French Army and Navy that was instrumental in the victory. The French fought in many battles in the latter part of the war; including Yorktown. So even by your definition there was more than one army during the Revolutionary War. By the end, the militia was irrelevant.

        It was the same with the VietCong. They were replaced by the North Vietnamese Army.

        What is wrong with revisions? It is only wrong if you rewrite history for ideological reasons. But historians, today, can do a much better job than historians in earlier eras. Using all our modern computers, communications, cataloging and science. Journals can be assembled. Experiments can be run. Old accounts can be compared. Legends can be debunked. I will take revision when it is done by scholars.

        Your comments on democracy are double edged. I don’t own a gun. But I am not a slave. It could be that the majority comes to believe that private ownership of guns needs to be justified. Then what? What if the majority wants restrictions on guns?

        I live in NY. We are pretty much there. But we still have our freedom.

        Those quotes about liberty are abstract. I much prefer reality. We have not used a militia since 1812 and that was a disaster. We do have a National Guard and Reserves. But they have nothing to do with the private ownership of guns.

        BTW, if you think you will take to the woods and fight for ‘freedom’, think again. Eric Rudolph was an accomplished survivalist and he was caught scrounging in a garbage container. Besides, he was trying to infringe my freedom. He wanted to ban abortion and contraception.

        While we are on this freedom kick: What do you think about all the people locked up for non-violent drug offenses. Are you OK with that? Shouldn’t they be able to own guns. The predicate crime is a violation of their liberty. I should have a right to put whatever I wish into my body. Why is it the government’s business? If I get beat on a deal, why shouldn’t I be able to use a gun. I can’t go to the police or the courts.


           
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          Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | February 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

          First of all are you actually siting the history channel? They get more of history wrong than they do right.

          If you take time to actually read the letter, it is full of the complaints I would expect from any lifetime military man about a thrown together militia.

          I would also point out that without the militia’s well we would probably be speaking with British accents still today.

          Also, you are incorrect about the standing army. The Battle of Lexington and Concord was on April 19th, 1775. The Continental congress did not even approve the creation of a standing Army until June 14th, 1775 and appointed Washington commander. An appointment which by the way he tried to turn down.

          Even throughout the war the “Continental Army” could at best be called incomplete and Washington used both “regulars” and the, according to you much hated, militia throughout the war.

          Also, where do you think the “regulars” came from, if not the militia’s.

          Also, if I remember correctly other than logistical support, supplies, powder and ammo, the French didn’t enter the war until 1778.

          So basically your overly wordy response has once again only served to show your willful ignorance. Also, your anti-gun crazy is showing by your implication that all people who own guns want to live in the woods or be in a militia.

          Also, I support your right to choose not to own a gun, our point is don’t screw with our right to choose to own a gun.


             
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            Rational in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 13, 2014 at 10:02 am

            What sources are you citing? Zero.

            So the fact that Washington has some gripes invalidates his complaints about the militia? Anyone who complains is wrong?

            I didn’t say that the militia wasn’t instrumental at Lexington & Concord. They were decisive at Bunker Hill in that the British left Boston Harbor. But had we continued with a militia, we would all be speaking with a British accent.

            Thank you for acknowledging that there was a Continental Army. In prior posts you seemed to gave most of the credit to the militia. I am sure that Washington supplemented with whatever he could. But the bulk of his army was regulars. I am sure he would have used even more regulars if the Continental Congress could have raised money. But they had no ability to tax.

            Did the Continental Army include some who were militia? Probably. So what? They needed to be trained. In WW II the Army did not. I am a sailor. So I guess I am qualified to be in the Navy without intense training.

            I said the French came in later. So what are you disputing? Without them we would certainly still be speaking with British accents.

            So basically your terse response has once again only served to show your willful ignorance. Also, your pro-gun crazy is showing that you will justify gun ownership by any argument regardless of whether it is based on fact. I set them up and you will knock them down – with or without fact or logic.

            We, the growing majority, will screw with your right to choose to own a gun if that comes in conflict with public safety. We have lost the most recent federal battle. But it is sites like this that seem obsessed with Dunn because of the implications.

        You guys mind having your “Washington/militia” debate on a post that’s actually about that subject?

        Not saying it’s not without merit, but this is not the place for it.

        Thanks.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


           
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          Rational in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

          My apologies. I think you are doing a masterful job. I am sorry that I intruded with an irrelevant comment. I hope you see some of my other comments as more on point.

          I am particularly taken with how Dunn tells a story in which he changes attitude to justify each action in the chain of events.

          For instance: He is not thinking (tunnel vision) when he fires the 2nd burst, but he is thinking tactically and rationally(defending his fiance and himself) by suppressing fire for the 3rd burst. Then he is irrational, again, as he flees. Seems rather convenient.

          I am sure he cycled through a number of emotions. I would have. But his narrative does an uncanny job of explaining away all of the evidence after he has heard the evidence.

          I didn’t think the cross emphasized that enough. But I am going by your reports. I couldn’t watch it.

          Thank you.


     
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    Rational | February 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    @Yukio Ngaby

    Had Dunn not had the gun, he would have behaved differently.

    YEP. Do you really dispute that? Do you want to claim it is irrelevant? Dunn was loose from drink and had a gun. Double Dutch courage.


       
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      Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Would Dunn have behaved differently? Who knows? I know nothing about him other than what has come out during this case.

      You want to blame the gun and booze, to further your anti-gun stance (and possibly a call to reinstate Prohibition, I guess).

      But there’s no shortage of guns nor booze in the U.S. If guns and booze were really all that was needed for Dunn to act the way that he did (or even be partially responsible for his behavior), there would be guys like that blazing away at loud teens non-stop. We would like Liberia during one of their civil wars 24/7.

      But guess what? We don’t. In fact, this incident is so infrequent it makes national– no, make that international news.

      You see I hold Dunn responsible for his own actions. You want to say that guns and booze are at least responsible –“Double Dutch courage”– so you can use it as ammo (ooo, violent metaphor alert!) for your anti-gun views.

      Try again.

      You want to pass laws based on cherry-picked incidents and you smell a potential one here. I would look elsewhere.


         
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        Rational in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        I am not trying to further any agenda. I certainly wouldn’t bother to try that here.

        But you seem very concerned that someone might find my argument compelling.

        We may not be Liberia, but we seem to have enough murders by gun to be concerned. There are few as tragically absurd as this one. Even if it was SD, it is still absurd that someone died over such a random event.

        You don’t want to think about that. So you need to claim I have an agenda. Even if I did, that doesn’t invalidate me unless I distort, fabricate or cherry pick.

        Dunn was, allegedly, in a good mood. Davis had no criminal record. One is dead. The other is destitute and may spend his life in prison. You have an explanation for that?

        I offered a hypothesis that it took booze and a gun. You don’t like that. OK, you tell me what precipitated 2 people who were going about their own business to get into a fight that ended in tragedy. Neither one wanted this. Yet it happened. OK, the booze didn’t matter. Neither did it matter that Dunn had a gun. So what mattered?

          Hey, Rational, read this decision today from the Fed. 9th Circuit.

          May want to have a good friend come sit with you while you read though:

          Peruta v. Gore, Fed. 9th Circuit, states MUST allow carry of firearms outside the home for personal protection for the large majority of typical citizens.

          http://is.gd/sQkaZm

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


           
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          Yukio Ngaby in reply to Rational. | February 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

          “I am not trying to further any agenda.”

          LOL. Sure you are. You wrote:

          “So basically your terse response has once again only served to show your willful ignorance. Also, your pro-gun crazy is showing that you will justify gun ownership by any argument regardless of whether it is based on fact.” and “We, the growing majority, will screw with your right to choose to own a gun”

          Or was that another Rational?

          “But you seem very concerned that someone might find my argument compelling.”

          Really? What is indication is there of that? You seem very fixated on assigning me my feelings. Weird.

          Anti-gun people have been making that argument for years and the popularity of gun control just keeps on dropping. Too bad for your cause.

          “We may not be Liberia, but we seem to have enough murders by gun to be concerned.”

          Statistics show that violent crime has been steadily decreasing in the US for a number of years. Your personal concern is your business, but not a compelling argument.

          As far as absurdity goes, I for one am glad that you are the ultimate arbiter on what is absurd. Do you think it is absurd for people to die by slipping in the shower, drowning in a pool, being struck by a driver while walking home?

          “You don’t want to think about that. So you need to claim I have an agenda.”

          LOL. You’ve already stated you have an agenda. Look above. I’m not going to quote you again.

          “Dunn was, allegedly, in a good mood. Davis had no criminal record. One is dead. The other is destitute and may spend his life in prison. You have an explanation for that?”

          Yeah. Dunn murdered [I believe it’s a murder] a guy. Pretty simple. Dunn’s likely a bad guy– most murderers are.

          “OK, you tell me what precipitated 2 people who were going about their own business to get into a fight that ended in tragedy. Neither one wanted this. Yet it happened. OK, the booze didn’t matter. Neither did it matter that Dunn had a gun. So what mattered?”

          Are you kidding me? The most intelligent and the wisest people throughout history have written volumes on the subject. But you want me to explain all of it in a comment. LOL.

          What mattered? Well the gun didn’t tell Dunn to shoot up an SUV, nor did the gun cause him to do it.

          Dunn is responsible for his own actions. If you want to know why he did it, then ask Dunn.


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