These Are Not Black Days

Shoot first, ask questions later.

Prov. Assume that everyone you encounter is hostile to you.; Take action, even though you do not know enough to be sure if it is the right action. If the foreman saw that one of the workers was working slowly, he didn’t stop to find out if the worker was sick or unhappy; he just fired him. He believed in shooting first and asking questions later.
See also: ask, later, question, shoot
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

The tragic and wrongful shooting of the police in Dallas is a direct response to the repeated shootings through fear of black men who may or may not have been a threat on the basis of the “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” policy the US police forces are trained in. The shootings of the police are wrong, but the reaction is understandable as if them men in Baton Rouge and elsewhere were white, they would not have been shot. SFAQL must stop as a police policy in America.

Baton Rouge aftermath
Baton Rouge aftermath

Dead men cant talk: hero’s through fear
Shoot who they fear, asking questions later
Of the dead who cannot talk, being shot…

Shot by scared hero’s who did not know should they be afraid…

So they shot, to be safe, those who looked to them to be safe
From being shot, but being black, were shot, so those could feel safe
Who were charged with keeping safe those they shot…

Its not a black day, its a bad day to be black, its a white day
If you are white, you wont be shot, no matter how dodgy you look.

It will be a black day when it is as safe to be black and stopped by the police as it is to be white
Or as dangerous to be white and stopped by the police as it is to be black.

BatonRouge and Dallas seen through Irish Eyes

Garda ERU - Irish Police Commando at the Abbeylara shooting
Garda ERU – Irish Police Commando at the Abbeylara shooting
It was a black day in Ireland when John Carthy was shot.

He was white, with a gun, and a released hostage, firing at police. He was shot dead by police, who asked questions later.
If he was black, the same would have happened.

The problem was not the police, it was their training.

They had just returned from the US and applied “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” policy to the first unfortunate case.

Seeing it as a black day, the policy was abandoned, and the preceding policy revived.

A while before, Gareth Isenberger had a hostage, was a distressed armed male. He was talked out off the standoff, got treatment and went through the justice system. When the police pulled an unofficial strike, a paramilitary pulled a bank van robbery, and in the shootout one was killed. In the aftermath of that, the ERU – Irish police commando / SWAT were retrained. They learned SFAQL, leading to the Abbeylara tragedy.

American police say they are afraid. Lets leave politics to one side, and lets see Irish history for what it is. Right or wrong, Irish police dealt with ten armed paramilitaries in a 30 year sectarian and ethnic conflict unarmed, bar its specialist units. There was never a SFAQL policy,and where dangerous, were backed up by armed detectives and the army.

Its time America moved to this model.

Traffic cops do not need guns. Criminals always will have guns, delay, back off, report, call in specialist back up, deal with the situation. It works in Ireland.


* Abbeylara shooting on Wilipedia

* Irish Independent article in aftermath

* Isenberger incident in Cavan

Have your say...


%d bloggers like this: