Both teens acted inexcusably in flag incident
One has to question why the young man who had moved here from a Northern state (Pennsylvania) decided that displaying the Confederate flag on Sarasota’s Main Street was somehow acceptable. I am certain that had he even formulated this thought in his hometown that it would have been considered idiotic, provocative and unacceptably odd. This, along with the confrontational actions of driving and walking through a downtown area, making a public display about anything even remotely perceived as racist or divisive would have been quickly addressed as in poor taste, insensitive and backward by the majority of observers in most Northern cities.
So why is it that time and again people move here from other states and begin displaying such backward, ignorant and inconsiderate behaviors in public? Would they honestly act this way or accept this behavior in their hometowns?
There is little justification for a young man to be carrying a concealed weapon in a public place while hanging out with his friends. Undoubtedly, the possession of the firearm contributed to the confrontation in the first place.
Any other crime involving a cross, a swastika or historically racial symbol would have been handled as a “hate” crime. As this case clearly seems to fit the criteria, why is it not being pursued as a hate crime and the shooter charged accordingly?
There was little justification for the actions of either individual. But to minimize the actions of the shooter because of the ignorant, caustic behavior of the offender only adds fuel to the confrontational behaviors becoming so common in public.