Tuesday, September 29, 2020

L'enfer c'est les autres

 Back when I was maintaining the S.W.A.T. Magazine Facebook page, every time I posted a link to a self-defense incident from Texas, I'd cringe a little inwardly, because the news story would inevitably reference that the matter was being referred to a grand jury.

Common Taters would then erupt in outrage..."A grand jury?!? What kind of communism is this? It was clearly self-defense!"...because people, some of whom were licensed gun owners in the state of Texas, seem stunningly ignorant of the fact that all homicides in Texas go before a grand jury.

The latest example of this phenomenon on social media has been triggered by an AP headline:

Texas grand jury: No action against killer of church shooter

This has led to the usual painstaking attempts at explaining, which are as frustrating as trying to push a rope uphill because the whole internet has a JD from the Law & Order University Richard Anthony Wolf School of Law and doesn't want to hear what it doesn't want to hear.

Hence you get conversations like the following:

"Why was he even charged?!?" 
He wasn't charged. 
"But why was the case even brought before a grand jury!" 
Texas requires all homicides to be brought before a grand jury. 
"But think how much he had to pay to defend himself!" 
Nothing. You aren't represented before a grand jury. 
"Why did it take nine months? It should have taken nine minutes!" 
If you'd take two seconds to type 'Tarrant County grand jury' into Google like I just did, you would see that Tarrant County grand juries, of which two are empaneled at any time, hear 14,000+ cases a year. They meet three days per week. And that's not taking into account disruptions caused by the Time of the 'Rona.
I hate the internet.
And then, after this entire exchange, you get to do it again, because people don't read through threads and instead just charge to the blinking cursor in the comment box at the bottom to upchuck their typo-laden misspelled spleen, usually complaining about something that's been addressed half a dozen times upthread.