I had not heard the story of the Florida man (or is it another case of #FloridaMan?) who died in Queens recently after being punched in the head. At least not until his alleged assailant was identified as an assistant basketball coach at my school, Wake Forest University.
Somehow in response to drunken Florida Man banging on cars and causing a disturbance, a local resident confronted Florida Man and got punched in the face for his efforts.
Thereafter, the Wake Forest coach approached Florida Man and punched him, “causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the pavement.” He died thereafter in the hospital.
The coach, who may have had (and may still have) a case for self-defense or defense of another, was seen on surveillance video walking away from the scene, rather than calling the police as someone with a legitimate self-defense case might do.
But the big reason I stopped on my way out of the office to comment on this story today is not the Wake Forest angle, or the self-defense angle, but the fact that the coach was “UNARMED” and yet still killed Florida Man.
As I have discussed before — and as is frequently heard in armed self-defense training — someone being “unarmed” and someone not having the ability to kill or maim you are not at all the same thing. Someone whose only weapons are part(s) of their body can most definitely kill you.
Which is not to deny that a “force continuum” exists, but I never like to read about “unarmed” people as it that means they are not dangerous, up to and including lethally.
(Additional editorial aside: Is anyone surprised there was alcohol involved in this event? How many fewer problems would we have in society if it weren’t for alcohol? If it could save just one life to rid our society of this harmful force, wouldn’t it be worth it?)