Does anyone on either side in Ferguson now dispute that Michael Brown went for Darren Wilson’s gun while Wilson was sitting in his car? That seems to be … an important fact in explaining whether Wilson reasonably feared for his life and yet it’s invariably overlooked by the “hands up, don’t shoot” crowd. None of the eyewitnesses had a good enough look at the first few moments of the confrontation, when Wilson was still in the driver’s seat and Brown was outside his door window, to say what happened. But the forensic evidence supports Wilson: Brown had a gunshot wound on his hand suggesting that it was within six to nine inches of Wilson’s pistol when it went off. Some of Brown’s blood was found inside the car. There’s no obvious explanation for why Wilson would be firing into Brown’s hand, at close range within the confines of a driver’s compartment, unless he was desperate to get Brown’s hand away from that gun. Which, if you believe Wilson, he was. How do you launch a “hands up” movement to protest police brutality from an incident when the victim’s hands were not only down but apparently being used to try to seize a deadly weapon?
Anyway. Ferguson was baptized as a “teachable moment” months ago; no amount of evidence can rescind that benediction. It’ll be used forever as a Larger Truth, whatever the smaller truth may be. I figure we’re only a week or so away from the surreal spectacle of Nancy Pelosi, the consummate limousine liberal, doing the “hands up” gesture too just to reassure a lefty base that’s grouchy about Obama’s equivocation on the subject that their well-heeled party leaders are still in tune with the disenfranchised ‘n stuff.