Texas takes another step into the abyss

Daniel Perry was an uber driver who ran a red light, drove into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters, and when one of them approached his car carrying an AK-47 (which, stupid and dangerous as it is, is legal in Texas), opened fire with a handgun and killed him. He was found guilty of murder in a jury trial.

In Texas. After he threatened to kill someone online.

Perry’s defense team argued that he acted in self-defense, but prosecutors contended that Perry instigated what happened. They highlighted a series of social media posts and Facebook messages in which Perry made statements that they said indicated his state of mind, such as he might “kill a few people on my way to work. They are rioting outside my apartment complex.”

A friend responded, “Can you legally do so?” Perry replied, “If they attack me or try to pull me out of my car then yes.”

Guess what? The governor wants to free him immediately.

Abbott wants an army of undisciplined thugs who will murder people he doesn’t like. It’s the authoritarian mindset.

“It’s what happens in Uganda or El Salvador,” said Cofer, a former prosecutor. “Total abrogation of the rule of law. And what’s even worse is that Abbott knows better. He was a smart Texas Supreme Court Justice. He knows this is legally wrong. Profoundly wrong. Pure politics.”

But it works! I know I would never consider living in Texas. I won’t even visit the state anymore. Abbott is doing a great job of driving anyone who would oppose him away.


  1. says

    I suspect some jerk out there will say (or has already said) it’s the guy’s fault for carrying a Communist AK-47 instead of a patriotic AR-15 or whatever.

    I say it goes to show that a “good guy with a gun” isn’t the panacea gun fondlers think it is. It just means a murderer can plead “stand your ground” and get away with it.

  2. raven says

    Daniel Perry is a terrorist.
    “…define terrorism as “the use or threat of serious violence” to advance some kind of “cause”.”

    A terrorist and a convicted murderer.
    And, if Governor Abbott gets his way, likely to be released from prison in the near future with a pardon.

    Which makes Abbott a supporter and enabler of…right wingnut terrorism as well.

  3. raven says

    It just means a murderer can plead “stand your ground” and get away with it.

    This works a lot of the time. Ask Trayvon Martin in Florida how that worked.

    Jury can’t reach verdict, UW shooting case ends in mistrial

    Seattle PI https://www.seattlepi.com › local › crime › article › Ju…

    Aug 13, 2019 — Elizabeth Hokoana was charged with first-degree assault for shooting activist Joshua Dukes at an inaguration protest in 2016 and Marc was …

    Something similar happened at a Milo Yiannopoulos hate festival in Seattle in 2016. Hokoana and her husband went there to provoke Antifa demonstrators and then shoot them. One unarmed peaceful protester went up to them to talk and they shot him in the stomach and he almost died.

    The jury deadlocked on assault charges and they walked free.

    It also worked for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Kenosha, Wisconsin multiple murderer.

  4. wzrd1 says

    raven, there’s one tiny difference. “He was found guilty of murder in a jury trial.”
    Instead, we’re seeing a governor, who was formerly a state supreme court justice, undermine all rule of law and court, politicizing premeditated murder as some mythical stand your ground anarchy. He’s now undermined the faith and trust of a jury who arrived at a verdict, the entirety of the courts and hence, all authority of his very own government.

    Which further convinces me that Sam Clemens quote @1 is something I wholeheartedly agree with.
    I’ve been looking for work, saw a nice posting in Texas, I deleted it. I do civilized, developed countries or developing countries, not self-destructing ones. And Texas is essentially being its own country, overriding the laws of its neighbors, hostile takeovers, rule of law rejected, soon the US government will likely withdraw forces from there out of concern for their safety.

  5. says

    Abbot and DeSantis are trying to out-asshole each other. I expect Abbot will announce his candidacy for president any time now…

  6. says

    The guy with the AK was responding to a clear and present threat from someone who had already deliberately run his car into a crowd. So he was “standing his ground” AT LEAST as much as the guy who had started the whole thing by plowing into a crowd. Which just shows how utterly cynical and fraudulent the whole “stand your ground” concept really is.

  7. raven says


    The prosecution contended that there was not evidence that Foster had pointed his weapon, and other eyewitnesses contradicted this account by the defense.
    The prosecution also focused on the fact that Foster’s weapon was recovered with its safety on and no bullets in the chamber, so it would not have made sense for him to point his weapon.[8]

    The guy with the AK-47 wasn’t pointing his weapon at Perry.

    He was also a responsible gun carrier (well considering it might not be a good idea to carry a semi-automatic rifle around in public) and had the safety on and no bullet in the chamber.

    None of which got him any where in the end.

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    Ya see*, the guy was carrying an AK-47. Carrying a gun makes him an immediate threat, and therefore it’s OK to kill him. Meanwhile, the driver was also carrying a gun, so if he was concerned about immediate threat of firearms, his most straightforward option would have been to shoot himself.

    This was George W. Bush’s ‘tell’ when he was lying.

  9. Doc Bill says

    It’s actually worse. Hot Wheels doesn’t have the authori-TAY to pardon the convicted murderer on his own. Greg Bonaparte Abbott can only act on the recommendation of the Pardons and Paroles Board. So, he’s “demanding” that the P&PB expedite a pardon request for the convicted murderer. I guess asking the Board rather than bypassing the board is Authoritarianism Lite.

    A real man, like Meatball Ron DeathSantis would just release the dude back into the wild. Probably give him a new AK as a homecoming present, too.

  10. drivenb4u says

    Some of us still live here and fight the good fight. Like they used to say on The Atheist Experience, you need to be where you want to effect change. Please reconsider visiting.

  11. Paul K says

    I plan — at least for now — to go to Texas next year for the total eclipse in April. But I wish there was a better place (the likelihood of being clouded out gets higher as you go east and north along the path of totality).

    Even twenty years ago, when my wife and I traveled through west Texas on several trips, we got pulled over more than twice by local cops for no good reason except to harass us. I imagine it was our out of state license plates. The worst was when one cop told me to get out of the van, then pulled me to the back and grilled me, after showing me that one of the two lights above our license plate was out. He made it clear that, if I didn’t answer his questions, he could arrest me and take me to jail. ‘Where are you going? Why? How long do you plan to stay there?’ He scoffed more than once, like I was making things up. The back of our minivan was full of astronomy equipment (which he insisted on checking over, though he didn’t actually demand I open it up). But when I explined to him that we were on our way to the Texas Star Party, he didn’t want to believe that that could actually be a thing. ‘Why would anyone want to do that?’

    Then, he came back to the front of the van with me, and quizzed my wife with the same questions, comparing our stories to check for inconsistencies. All of this, he said, because one of the two lights above our license plate was out. My wife was able to answer all of his questions easily enough, but only because she could hear everything I had said to him. She preferred not knowing our itinerary, and left it up to me to plan our nefarious trips to look at birds and the nighttime sky.

    And the thing is, it was sooooo clear that this cop was having a great time trying to make us feel afraid and intimidated. But I never was, even though my wife was eight months pregnant at the time. I was too enraged. Still, I answered meekly because this asshole had all the power, both of his position, and with the gun at his side, which he kept his hand on the whole time.

    We avoid Texas, which is a shame because there are good things there, too.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    If wossname the justice department guy meant business he would prosecute for violating the civil rights of the victim, like they did in the sixties.

    If goddamn Lyndon Johnson could throw his weight around, so can Biden. But the latter is a post-Reagan Democrat so forget it.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    The Awful One broke a lot of taboos.
    Everyone waited for consequences that never happened.

    Once you realise the sheriff is out of town, those who only followed the rules for fear of punushments will do as they please, especially if they are in a position of power.

    “The strong do what they want,
    and the weak endure what they must”.

  14. wzrd1 says

    @15, well, “the weak endure what they must” until 1799 in France. Alas, after a decade of chaotic mess your former example.
    Unfortunately, some refuse to learn from history.

  15. silvrhalide says

    @14 I take it you mean this

    Predictably, Mitch McConnell is offering “thoughts and prayers”.
    “Elaine and I are devastated by the news coming out of Louisville this morning,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (R) said, referring to his wife. “ … We send our prayers to the victims, their families, and the city of Louisville as we await more information.”

    Gosh, if only there was something more someone could do! If only there was a legislative body that could make laws for the entire nation, laws that would prevent angry entitled white dudes (mostly) from getting guns or keeping guns and shooting up a mall or a school! /s

    If “con” is an antonym for “pro”, then Congress is an antonym for progress.

  16. silvrhalide says

    I stand corrected!
    There is at least one person in a legislative body who is willing to put gun control legislation above career and financial compensation.

    NASHVILLE — Local officials voted Monday to reinstate one of the two Black Democratic lawmakers expelled by Republican state lawmakers for leading a gun-control protest on the House floor after a fatal school shooting.
    The vote by the Nashville Metro Council to give Rep. Justin Jones, 27, his job back comes just a few days after Tennessee Republicans expelled Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson of Memphis for leading a gun-control protest from the House floor with a bullhorn. The Shelby County Commission is expected on vote on whether to reappoint Pearson on Wednesday.
    Their expulsions last week were the latest move by Republican state leaders around the country to openly stifle dissent in a majority Republican statehouse. The actions brought once again to the fore the country’s divisions over gun control, race and freedom of speech.

    Over the weekend, both Jones and Pearson were abruptly removed from the legislature’s phone directory and website. But with the council vote Monday night, Jones regained his seat before legislative leaders had time to remove his name from his office door.

  17. microraptor says

    wzrd1 @16: Indeed. Abbot doesn’t realize that destroying the public’s trust in justice being served by the state just means that people will start seeking justice through other means.

  18. wzrd1 says

    microraptor @19, or it’s a feature and not a bug, as when such vengeance crimes increase, he can point to the violence and blather about needing to get tough on crime.
    Governance through generating intentional crime waves.

  19. dangerousbeans says

    Please reconsider visiting.

    No thanks, i don’t feel like being sexually assaulted in your airports. And possibly shot when i go to piss

  20. microraptor says

    wzrd1 @20: He’s still operating under the assumption that the consequences won’t be directed toward him, that he won’t be the one that the mob comes after.

  21. says

    Just want to mention that this guy was driving around with not one but TWO guns in his car. He was working as an Uber driver and carrying two weapons. People who carry multiple firearms are universal red flags. The person who shot up that school in Nashville had two assault rifles and a handgun on them at the shooting, but they purchased SEVEN firearms in less than two years. RED FUCKING FLAG! We need to track gun purchases at the very least. A national gun database is the barest part of “Well Regulated” we can ask for.

  22. donfelipe says

    Not really sure how any of this has to do with “progressive prosecutors” if the man was convicted by a jury. Unless some evidence was withheld or his defense was incompetent, which can be shown on an appeal, I don’t see how pardoning him does anything but reveal the farce of a justice system.

    If it’s legal to open carry in Texas, shooting someone who has a gun cannot possibly be a defense. What would stop someone from going around murdering people who have guns and claiming self defense?

  23. wzrd1 says

    microraptor @22, well, nobody came after Louis XVI, did they? Oh wait, well, some folks enjoy a nice, close shave.

    Ray Ceeya @23, indeed, I had to lug two weapons in the Army. Hated it, but orders were orders. Normally, the only arms I lug around are permanently attached to my shoulders.
    Although, now that I walk with a cane, I do occasionally wish I had a spare arm or two… One can never have too many thumbs to hammer. ;)

    donfelipe @24, it tells those with dark skin and any who would support them to get to the back of the bus again and shut up or else.

    cjcolucci @25, unless we want another Bedford Incident, perhaps we need to have some militants come back. MLK didn’t get much traction until the militants started, then given two choices, negotiation was conducted with the pacifist they were previously happy to just keep trying to kill.
    Unlike some, I do learn from history and do pay attention.

  24. freemage says

    “Additionally, I have already prioritized reigning in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve this goal.”

    Oh, this is a lovely Texas Two-Step (of malice).

    The line is ostensibly assuring his followers that he’ll do everything possible to let them kill people of color and get away with it. And sure, that’ll happen.

    But it’s REALLY about making sure that no one in the state has the inclination to go after him and his cronies. It’s very much a “keep away from me or else” message.

  25. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    If it’s legal to open carry in Texas, shooting someone who has a gun cannot possibly be a defense. What would stop someone from going around murdering people who have guns and claiming self defense?

    Hence the practical absurdity of “stand your ground laws” in particular. They often result in situations where the current “reasonable person” standard applied to these situations results in the conclusion that both parties would be legally justified to shoot each other preemptively in self defense. I think that’s an absurd conclusion, and that’s why I strongly support a duty to retreat if reasonable as part of any legal self defense claim outside of one’s home.

    The situation in the home is different (at least involving an intruder vs two residents of the home) because the clear outcome allows only one person the right to shoot first and so we don’t end up in the absurd conclusion that both people are allowed to shoot first. Regarding self defense in the home (see “castle laws”), I still support at least some lesser duty to retreat before shooting.

    it’s also why I tend to be against legal open carry in populated areas i.e. cities. It’s legal open carry which is a critical ingredient that leads to the absurd legal conclusion that both parties are allowed to shoot first.