On the heels of another kid getting shot by police for having a replica firearm, I figured it was time to revisit this.

“Who is that guy over there?”
“What is he doing?”
“Should we call the police?”


As it happens, nobody pictured above is breaking the law at the time of the picture. Why do you suppose a group of people is petrified of one of these situations, and perfectly fine with the other? Why do you suppose its different groups of people saying the same things about different pictures? Why would someone vigorously defend one and condemn the other?

Obviously, the circumstances are wildly different for each scene. The motivations are wildly different. The outcomes are wildly different. But the reaction? What are we afraid of?

We can debate the wisdom (or lack thereof) of any of the folks above, we can debate their motivations, we can debate how they choose to exercise those motivations.

But for folks across the political spectrum, we seem to share an ability to react to irrational fear, maybe we are not that different after all.

What do we do about it?

How about this picture?