Thug culture claimed another victim recently, when 16-year-old Lavauntai Broadbent and three other young violent offenders attempted to rob a couple out enjoying a nice evening in a St. Paul, Minnesota park. One of the the two victims was a concealed carrier who reacted to the sight of Broadbent’s (illegally possessed) gun by drawing his licensed concealed weapon and firing in lawful self-defense.
Four juvenile males approached the adults Friday night and one, wearing a mask and gloves, pulled a handgun and tried to rob the adults, police said. One of the victims has a permit to carry a handgun, pulled his own weapon and shot the suspect, they told police. The teenage suspect from West St. Paul died at the scene near a World War I monument at Summit Avenue and Mississippi River Boulevard. Lavauntai Broadbent, who was to start 11th grade at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights in the fall, had already been on the radar of police. Broadbent pleaded guilty to a gang-related gross misdemeanor charge in May, though he denied he was a gang member, saying he’d only hung out with them, according to a juvenile petition.Broadbent’s family regarded him as sweet and funny, but said he had also become “messed up with the wrong crowd,” according to Shawn Distad, a family friend whom Broadbent called “Auntie.” “He did silly stuff, but nothing to hurt anybody and that’s what’s really confusing about this, if it is true, that he did go to rob somebody,” Distad said Monday. “That’s not his character. He was a loving kid.”
The concealed carrier immediately attempted to provide first aid to Broadbent. Broadbent’s “every man for himself” criminal friends ran off, but were subsequently arrested. One thing that seems to come up consistently in the stories we post of Guns Saving Lives is that the friends and family members of young violent offenders almost universally refuse to admit—even to themselves—is that the violent offender is a violent offender. How many times have we heard from the friends and relatives of dead and injured armed robbers that “he was a good boy,” and that his violent crimes were “out of character,” even though theses young criminals almost always have prior arrests?
It’s so predictable that journalists have developed a rote formula for telling the stories of their deaths: summarize the crime that got the young offender killed, mention his prior arrests, and then interview family and friends who claim that the special young snowflake was on his way to do great things, if it wasn’t for that infamous “wrong crowd” of which he was, somehow, never actually a part. Uh-huh.
It’s past time that we be blunt. What we’ve taken to calling “thug culture” thrives because the lifestyle is warmly, publicly accepted, especially in some minority communities. Pathetically, “thug life” and “gangsta” culture is not just popularized, but is celebrated in music and in Hollywood. Even the President of the United States warmly interacts violent former drug dealers. Sadly, we have a President that all but encourages violent thug culture behavior, who has continually attacked law enforcement, and who has publicly supported violent criminals from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown, both of whom were lawfully shot and killed committing violent felonies. Instead of looking inward to solve the thug culture problem, an Obama-inspired (and Marxist and socialist supported) “Black Lives Matter” movement has been created that attacks law enforcement for daring to combat this violent thug culture.
The end result is that law enforcement has been all but driven from some communities, which has led to an increase in violent behavior by the thug culture people of all races should be working to eradicate. Then the same people who vilify the police cry out in anger that the very criminal culture they are encouraging has turned on them. It would be comical, if innocent people weren’t being caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately, this thug culture will persist as long as it is celebrated, defended, and even denied. Until real leaders step forward to stop this behavior, we’ll continue to see good guys with guns like this concealed carrier in St. Paul being forced into a situation where they must shoot these violent young men in order to protect their own lives, and the lives of other law-abiding citizens.
It’s a shame that things have to be this way, but you cannot help those who do not wish to be helped, and who consistently attack those who would help them. All law-abiding citizens can do in such an environment is to arm themselves, get trained, and when they encounter a violent criminal like Lavauntai Broadbent, remember three important words. “Front sight. Press.”