Christmas Eve thuggery

Candlelight vigil held August 10 at Raj Khalsa Gurdwara after the Oak Creek Wisconsin Sikh community was attacked by a gunman, killing six.

He was wearing camo pants and combat boots, a vest and camo cap with a big American flag patch. With narrowed eyes, he was watching the Leesburg Target exit, a well-worn Glock strapped to his hip. I always felt safe at that Leesburg shopping center, but not this time. It was the way he moved. Everyone else was flowing out through those exit doors. I thought he’d be right behind me, that he’d walk outside. He didn’t. He was casing the joint, looking for trouble.

Is this the future? Are we going to have vigilante thugs policing our public spaces, ever ready to “stand their ground?” I hope not. As I passed him, I wanted to say: “Hey dude, no offense, but you don’t make me feel very safe.” I stopped myself. It was the look on his face. Grim, he looked right past me: A white guy with a picture frame; not a threat. He was looking for something else. His expression reminded me of people I see in the SPLC Intelligence Report.

As people celebrate Christmas, remember that the birth of the baby Jesus lead to the “slaughter of the innocents.” We don’t need more centurions, we need more saviors. If I have one Christmas prayer, it’s that we, as a nation, understand the difference between the two.

I don’t say this naively, as a so-called “liberal” fantasy, but as a statement of faith. “People are basically good. Love conquers all.” I understand that we live in a real world. There is a real God out there, and he isn’t a one-sided God of miracles and bliss. He’s also a God of suffering and blood. But let’s leave the suffering to Him. We don’t have to unleash our fear on our brothers and sisters. We mustn’t condone thuggery.

Let the Light shine.

Merry Christmas!

47 thoughts on “Christmas Eve thuggery

  1. Epluribusunum

    How is it satire? PD saw the guy, described the guy, offered his reaction to seeing the guy, hoped it wasn’t something he’s going to be seeing more of, very straightforward. I’m sorry you find that upsetting, but there’s nothing wrong with this post. You don’t like that PD perceived this person as a “vigilante thug.” That’s a thought crime to you. You also didn’t see the person yourself. No one else commenting here did, in fact, so no one else commenting here has any basis on which to form any opinion about him and what he looked like (except for your dislike of PD and assumption that anything he says must be wrong, that is). And I didn’t see him either – the only opinion I’m expressing is that PD has the right to share what he saw and what he thinks about it. Sorry you disagree with that.

    The word “thug,” since you wish to discuss it, is used quite liberally on the type of blogs that the two of you frequent, often next to the word “union.” It is not generally used to refer to an actual person the speaker has observed, but whether it is or not I doubt very much that either of you have ever objected. And I doubt very much that either of you object to the use of the word in this entirely fabricated fantasy penned by your mentor, because it’s just “hyperbole” written to separate the foolish from their money, am I right?

    But late one night while sorting through pro-family petitions from supporters like you a thug crept in through a door, threw a blanket over my head and pummeled me with a rock.

    Thankfully, one of my volunteers heard when I yelled for help. I thank God when he came running into the room, this goon was startled and ran off. I wasn’t seriously hurt.

  2. Pariahdog Post author

    Thanks JB. Please write a post for TooConservative urging the VA House and Senate to rescind the anti-gay so-called “marriage” amendment. That would get the ball rolling and maybe even generate additional blog traffic. I bet you’d even get some press coverage.

    p.s. If you see Supervisor Delgaudio, wish him a Happy Birthday for me.

  3. Barbara Munsey

    PD, yes, “thug” has been consistent, but it remains subjective. The “scary other”, IOW. So it IS okay to call names and make accusations based on someone’s appearance, or what you think they are/do? I mean, when YOU do it? Good to know.

    Ah, it’s satire now, and not a real very scary thing? Yes, that’s a usual in the standard playbook, and so is just not getting it, i.e. “stil eluding”.

    No one has threatened violence PD, but nice try, along with the idea that the evil NRA national lobby has “silenced” you–that wouldn’t appear to be so, no more than I am silenced.

    You have a nice week too, if that is something possible in this terrible world. (and that’s neither ironic nor satiric, but lightly sarcastic)

  4. Epluribusunum

    Greta said:

    You are both hypocrites. What you are saying is that PD doesn’t have a right to describe soemthing he saw, and that you didn’t see, the way he wants to describe it.

    You have them pegged exactly, and they are absolutely unable to grasp the irony of this. This whole business of me and/or PD supposedly “telling people what to think,” of them being “required” by us to agree with “OPINIONS–not documented objective FACT” or to say certain things in a certain way, is a meme that Barbara repeats over and over about me, and it’s based simply on this: I don’t bow down to her moral relativism. I assert that there are behaviors that cannot morally be defended, end of story. It’s as simple as that, and she doesn’t like that I say it. You can see another example of the phenomenon in the comments here. And just look what happened when the FACT presented in that instance was objectively documented. :: sound of crickets ::

    What’s odd about it – and I agree that her reaction to this and other examples is completely out of proportion – is that nobody is stopping her in any way from expressing her own views. She is perfectly free to disagree with me, she is free to make her argument that such-and-such behavior is morally defensible if that’s what she thinks is true, and she is just as free to ignore me completely. But instead of doing any of those things, she keeps insisting that I am somehow unfairly “demanding” something of her by simply expressing myself the way I choose, as if I hold some mysterious power over her that forces her to respond. And PD is getting the same treatment here. If anyone has any insight into this behavior I’d love to hear it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people take things as personally as these two do.

  5. Pariahdog Post author


    The use of “thug” has been consistent throughout. I thought you knew Morton Blackwell’s “laws of political policy.” Take up your barking dog issues with him. Have a good week.

  6. Barbara Munsey

    Then how do you know for a fact that he was a “thug”, PD? Namecalling is a-ok if you do it, Yes.

    he committed no crime. wow.

    “You expected him…”. Did you communicate that to him, and inform him that he has responsibilities to you as a result?

    “You can’t kick every barking dog…”? You’re giving it a hell of a go! rotfl–and is that how you see the situation? The person was a dog to be kicked? I’ve had the impression for some time that you don’t like people, but I thought you did like animals.

    If EPU is, as he said, a “white guy with a gun”, should people be concerned about how responsibly he secures it?

  7. Barbara Munsey

    read back, Greta–what you are projecting onto Joe and I is exactly what EPU and PD are claiming–that ONLY PD is right, and in assuming that the person was dangerous.

    No one has expressed a dislike of anyone here, but I can personally attest to disliking the idea that one must wholeheartedly agree with OPINIONS–not documented objective FACT–expressed by either gent, or one is evil, morally deficient, and a host of other things that are also not opinions, but somehow fact simply because of who uttered them.

    And a corollary of that omniscient worldview is that one MUST take note if one disagrees, and register it (also in order to come in for the attendant chastisement that that necessarily brings forth), because silence condones. In fact, silence is often “deafening”, which “proves” that the absence of any addressal of the uniformly negative pronouncements is proof positive of all the negatives applied.

    until he reports what he imagines he sees, and can report on the results of that, it’s just more political hysteric opinion.

  8. Pariahdog Post author

    Other people asked why I didn’t call the sheriff. The answer is that open carry is legal in VA. The thug committed no crime. Also, I expected him to follow me out the door because he was moving in that direction. After I left the store, I had no incentive to go back in.

    Another aspect is what we refer to as “the cycle of silence.” After the Newtown massacre, the gun lobby and their apologists went to great lengths to normalize the “safety” of having a “goods guy” with a gun, everywhere. That propaganda, combined with the open carry law, doesn’t leave ordinary people with much breathing room to speak out. We are silenced by the gun culture created by the gun lobby and gun proponents in the VA legislature. As Morton Blackwell says, “you can’t kick every barking dog you encounter.”

  9. Greta

    That’s BS Barbara. You and Joe are just angry that another blogger you obviously don’t like described what he saw and how he felt about it. The fact is, Joe wasn’t there and he can’t describe something he didn’t witness. Joe even thought this post was about him or someone he knows, go read his paranoid comments. Why else would he accuse PD of “spying on people.” When that accusation didn’t pan out then you accused him of making it up as sheer fantasy.

    You are both hypocrites. What you are saying is that PD doesn’t have a right to describe soemthing he saw, and that you didn’t see, the way he wants to describe it. You think you have a right to criticize what he said in his post, but that he doesn’t have the same right to criticize what Joe said in his. You claim that PD wishes to control what other people write, but what is all this about if it isn’t you wishing to control what he writes and how he acts in a situation? It’s you claiming he only has a right to write about something the way _you_ want, and then only if he did what _you_ say he should do. Hypocrites.

  10. Barbara Munsey

    Greta, Jow is as entitled to say that the person MAY have been doing nothing wrong, as PD is to say how terrible it all was, and he would have taken a picture (to prove what?) if the guy hadn’t looked so whatever.

    The fact remains Joe admits he knows nothing of the guy’s circumstances or behaviors, and leaves the door open to a variety of possibilities, PD declares one and only one result–fearful danger–and does NOTHING to address it, whereby either an illegal act would have been brought to the attention of the proper authority and possible danger averted, or PD would have learned something beyond his own projections, and EPU declares the openminded one wrong, chastising him, and PD right, even though he did NOTHING about the terrtible threat automatically given credence, even by taking EPU’s own suggested option of notifying the manager.

    Double standard, political noise.

    Next time maybe don’t just fret, don’t just TAKE A PICTURE if it’s “safe”, report it and let it be actually determined whether there’s something there or not.

  11. Greta

    Did you get all the mad out of you yet, Joe? Your (and Barbaras too) reaction to this post is way, way out of proportion. You don’t have anything to say that isn’t just a personal attack on PD. I saw your nasty angry comments at Too Conservative, and you sound like you thought he was talking about you, “spying on people.” Do you stand outside stores with a gun, because you take it very personally.

    Since it wasn’t about you, you weren’t there and you didn’t see the man yourself, I can ask the same question you did. Who are _you_ to assume the man you didn’t see was “a good guy” and what standing do _you_ have to question what somebody else saw and described? Get over yourself, you need anger management.

  12. Barbara Munsey

    It looks like I was on the right track about what was “peculiar” about your post Joe. I just didn’t say it right, but I never do.

  13. Joe Budzinski

    Exactly, Barbara. The basic point remains that this was an ill-advised blog post that reveals much less about its subject than about its author, who was likely the only thug at that store. This is not a critique, but a fact, and the sooner the writer accepts that fact, the sooner he will begin to understand himself.

    He needs less camera time, and more mirror time. I say this not to judge but as one who needed to come to the same realization. We can’t get a handle on evil in the world until we understand it in ourselves, and Pariahdog’s ghost chasing blog post here is like an “Exhibit A” for that simple truth.

    While such bullying tactics as judging and wishing to control what others wear, how they act at stores, right down to their facial expressions (and in this blog’s author’s case, what they write) – whether they open-carry their gun, of course – might make Liz feel safer … Well, Liz is a fine person and if she wants a phalanx of bullies to shield her from the world’s diversity, then it’s her right to have that wish.

    But such blind self-righteousness is unhealthy for society and it’s unhealthy for Pariahdog.

  14. Barbara Munsey

    EPU, your many words and what-ifs notwithstanding, if you can admit “Indeed, he may have been within his legal rights, and for all we know, may be a responsible gun owner and perfectly reasonable, well-intentioned guy”–IOW, that you have absolutely no idea what the rules are, whether he was following them, who he is, or what his “intentions” were–then who on earth do you or PD think YOU are to assume he’s bad?

    Just because YOU may think he’s a bad guy for standing there, perhaps within his legal rights which you admnit you do not even know what they may be in the specific situation, simply because he was open carrying, doesn’t make him a bda guy on PD’s projections and prejudices alone.

    I’ve seen nothing in the press that shows any situation remotely connected to this. It is sheer histrionic fantasy, which regardless of your opinions on the ability to “intimidate” PD, his body of work here and elsewhere suggests someone who spends every waking moment being offended, threatened, disturbed, angered, harassed and yes frightened, which is either gross oversensitivity, gross self-absorption, or as Joe also suggested, someone who needs to get out more, or someone who has made it their mission to project that, for the purposes of activism.

    Which kind of fits with the histrionics, but the complete lack of responsibility in actually reporting it to someone who could have (maybe) done something about it at the time, if it was so amazingly bloody godawful otherworldly SCARY.

    Joe ADMITTED he didn’t know what the guy was up to, and you chastise him for thinking that he might have been harmless and law-abiding? Brave unflappable PD is terrified by a “dangerous” “thug” and does NOTHING substantive or effective, but writes about it for political purposes?

    A mirror may indeed be in order.

  15. Epluribusunum

    Indeed, he may have been within his legal rights, and for all we know, may be a responsible gun owner and perfectly reasonable, well-intentioned guy. However, you are missing the point of the post you and Joe have tried so hard to ridicule, a point I believe is perfectly clear to any rational person: It’s not anyone’s place to say, about a random guy openly displaying a firearm and monitoring the exit to a public place, well, he’s just exercising his right to open-carry, he’s not doing anything wrong, who do you think you are to not assume he’s one of the “good guys with a gun.”

    The point is, everybody with a gun thinks they’re one of the good guys with a gun. The New Black Panther guy, although he didn’t have a gun, thought he was the good guy (no matter how he may have looked to someone profiling him); he was protecting his peoples’ right to vote. The guy who murdered several people at the Unitarian Church in Tennessee thought he was the good guy, he was ridding the world of liberals and feminists. All terrorists think they’re the good guys. The terrorists who murdered Barnett Slepian and George Tiller thought they were the good guys because they were acting in the name of God, just as other terrorists think they’re acting in the name of Allah. George Zimmerman thought he was a good guy, fighting crime. The little shit who shot his ex-girlfriend in the face while she was holding their child not too long ago no doubt thought he was justified, and a “good guy” too. That’s one of the possible things the guy in Leesburg was doing btw, stalking a woman he believed “deserved” punishment. Joe named several harmless explanations of varying plausibility, but you both seem incredulous at the thought that a man with a gun could possibly have the intention of harming someone. He could have been, as you say, just innocently waiting for someone. Or he could be someone like the woman who shoved an innocent bystander in front of a train last week because she didn’t like his perceived nationality, looking for a reason to pick a fight. There’s no way of knowing what this guy had in mind, but what I do know is that pariahdog found his demeanor so menacing that he didn’t think it was wise to risk inciting him by either saying something or taking a photo. And pariahdog is not generally intimidated by other people.

    Notice that I said “demeanor.” This is not because he was a white guy with a gun. Hello, I’m a white guy with a gun. A gun is a tool. Just about everybody where I live has guns. This was about the way this man was behaving, the way he presented himself. Just because he may think he’s a good guy with a gun doesn’t make him one.

    None of this is to endorse moral relativism, as if there aren’t bad guys and good guys, but when literally no one thinks they are the bad guy, I don’t think we want to just leave that determination up to individual self-judgment. This is a nation of laws, and we engage professionals to do our law enforcement – and although they are not always the good guys, at least there is a system of accountability when they are not. Members of the public who think, however sincerely, that they are “helping” by providing an armed presence in some public place are vigilantes.

  16. Barbara Munsey

    EPU, if all he was doing was open-carrying, and it was not a posted “gun free zone”, he may not have needed anyone’s permission (beyond that of existing law), as he may have been within his legal rights to simply stand there wearing a holster containing a properly-permitted legal pistol.

    No matter how he may have looked to someone profiling him.

    This is where someone like Joe could be very helpful–I would bet he has a lot more knowledge on guns and gun law than you, I or PD.

    I’m glad you would have reported it–that seems more productive to me, on a variety of levels: had the individual been doing something illegal, someone in authority would have been brought into the loop, and had the individual been doing nothing illegal, PD would have learned something, and maybe been less scared–or maybe more.

    But the incident (or lack thereof, except in imagination of possibilities) would have been dealt with either at the time, or provided better information for better advocacy, if the person was within his rights, and that is something PD wants changed. I read the other post about how it isn’t worth locking up even one innocent because of what someone mentally ill might do (people do have the right to be crazy, and that’s why so many people functioning at so many levels are out going about their business, or not), and the implied desirable alternative is to penalize millions of innocent, who currently responsibly own legal guns in accordance with their constitutional right to do so.

  17. Epluribusunum

    Barbara, what I would have done is spoken with the manager. Chances are good that the individual did not have permission to do what he appeared to be doing.

  18. Barbara Munsey

    PD, did you report it to the Leesburg police, or Target security? I’m sure there is an opportunity to do so anonymously, so that the “thug” wouldn’t know it was YOU, but was at least under scrutiny by properly-armed authorities? So that everyone would be safe?

  19. Pariahdog Post author

    A.E. Gnat,

    The post isn’t hyperbole. I reported what I observed. If the thug wasn’t really, really scary, I would have snapped a picture. I’m sure there will be other opportunities.

  20. Hillsboro

    If only you had documented this thuggery with a camera!

    Alas, even your most ardent supporters are basically saying “pics or it didn’t happen“.

    Alas, with only your words to paint the picture, we are left to wonder whether the “thug” could have been an MP responding to an incident involving a wayward soldier. Or perhaps the entire incident was a product of a fervent imagination.

    As a citizen-journalist wielding blockquotes like a well-worn Glock, you could have blown the lid off of this blatant shopper intimidation scheme. You could have saved the holiday season for Target, and sent those narrow-eyed hate mongers scurrying back into the darkness.

  21. Barbara Munsey

    Liz, do you feel EPU and PD are acceptable abbreviations to use, because I will happily use them. People often abbreviate me as BM, which is fine with me as they are my initials, even when some (none here) have also noted the happy coincidence of the toilet humor involved.

  22. Liz Miller

    Please do not let this thread devolve into a “gotcha” kind of thing. I thought we were having a discussion here. David (aka Epluribusunum) made a reasonable request to avoid confusion, please take that in the spirit it was asked and comply.

  23. Barbara Munsey

    I will comply–it has been easier to simply address you by name in the variety of places you comment, and the variety of titles you hold within differing groups, and as you have never invoked the handle rule, I have never addressed you by anything other than your name. I have seen that some people abbreviate your title here, which is much longer than your given name, so is an abbreviation such as EPU acceptable, and PD? if so, that is how I’ll address you here.

  24. Epluribusunum

    Nope, that’s not it either. And both responses were guesses, of course.

    Barbara, I’m going to ask that you comply with the request made by another commenter that you address everyone here by the name they post under, whether author or commenter. I think that’s a reasonable request to avoid confusion, especially given that we have a number of new readers. I’ve been very tolerant of your taking the liberty to address us as if you have some special familiarity with us, because as you know I have no interest in concealing my identity. However, you and I both know that if you tried to pull that stunt with anyone at Too Conservative, you would be banned before your fingers left the keyboard. We appreciate your cooperation.

  25. Barbara Munsey

    p.s.–since it isn’t the “only Jonathan has the right to scope people out”, is it the notation that it was Christmas Eve? Is it some segue into christianists and guns? Thank you for telling the me part of whatever a Joe/Barb is that my guess was not correct, but do tell what the answer is eventually, please.

  26. Barbara Munsey

    David, as you often clarify when someone enters the ongoing discussion between you and Jonathan here, and mistakenly replies to one of you by name on the remarks made by the other, I am not Joe. I am me. I don’t see that Joe replied with a guess.

    What is a “Joe/Barb”? it looks ominous, so those are REAL scare quotes, btw.

  27. Pingback: How “gun control” got its start – Loudoun Progress

  28. Hillsboro

    He was wearing a keffiyeh. With narrowed eyes, he was watching citizens at 1 Harrison Street in Leesburg, a well-worn Glock strapped to his hip. I always felt safe at the Loudoun County government building, but not this time. It was the way he moved. Everyone else was going about their business. I thought he’d be right behind me, that he’d walk inside for the hearing. He didn’t. He was casing the joint, looking for trouble, actually shoving his camera into people’s faces and intentionally intimidating them.

    I’d go more into his clothing and appearance, but that might come across as horribly bigoted.

    Let the Light shine, indeed.

  29. Barbara Munsey

    I remember that. And I expect they DO get a lot of profiling from people who always seem to see the same thing, no matter what they’re looking at.

    (nice subtle racist accusation along with the profiling, now that I look back–the “thug” was definitely and conclusively observed to NOT be looking for “a white guy” 😀 )

  30. liz

    I thought we were all supposed to be on the look out for suspicious behaviour? “If you see something, say something”, remember that?

    Bravo to Jonathan for keeping an eye on people skulking around the Target who look like they may be looking to hurt others.

  31. Barbara Munsey

    Epluribus: Nope, except that it is on this blog.

    May I guess?

    It has to do with this:
    Joe: “what gives you the standing to slink around in the shadows scoping other people out?”

    in relation to this:
    Jonathan: “With narrowed eyes, he was watching the Leesburg Target exit…He was casing the joint, looking for trouble….Are we going to have vigilante thugs policing our public spaces, ever ready to “stand their ground?” I hope not. As I passed him, I wanted to say: “Hey dude, no offense, but you don’t make me feel very safe.” I stopped myself. It was the look on his face. Grim, he looked right past me: A white guy with a picture frame; not a threat. He was looking for something else.”

    IOW, what right do YOU have Joe, to ask what Jonathan was doing, when he already told you what (you?) were doing.

    Is my guess in the ballpark?

    probably not, because.

    Let me know.

  32. Joe Budzinski

    Ha, yes, “well-worn.” Could mean the guy wore it a lot and knew what he was doing with it, such as would be the case with an ex- or off duty LEO, or a PI, or any person experienced with guns. Who knows what it is intended to imply in this post – but based on the context it is unlikely to be complimentary.

    Gnat, you got me! Are you out spying on people too?

    Epluribus: Nope, except that it is on this blog.

  33. Barbara Munsey

    Joe, what’s a “well-worn” Glock? I don’t know squat about guns, so I’m wondering, was the “thug” sporting a pistol that looked the worse for wear, or was he wearing it well?

  34. A.E. Gnat

    I think it’s fair to say that there may have been a little hyperbole in this post. I also think it’s fair to say that the larger point, which gets a little lost in the hyperbole, was that people standing around with guns don’t necessarily make us feel any safer.

    And besides, Joe. You’re no stranger to hyperbole. After all, you lap up every last drop of Eugene’s hyperbole and propaganda like a little panting puppy dog who hasn’t been fed in months.

  35. Joe Budzinski

    My goodness, for someone with as much free time on their hands as you apparently have, did you ever step outside your bubble of self-absorption long enough to wonder what sorts of things other people might have going on in their lives to make them watch a store exit like that? Like waiting for someone? Like being worried or upset about something going on in their life? Like being in a hurry to get somewhere? And what gives you the standing to slink around in the shadows scoping other people out?

    On Christmas Eve. Seriously.

    My god man, if you want to learn more about the only “thug” at the Leesburg Target that night, take a long, hard look in the mirror. It will be good for you.

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