The shooting of Andy Lopez for the “crime” of carrying an airsoft toy gun in California is interesting for several reasons. One, the shooter is an acquaintance whom I know through the Firing Line forum and regard favorably, largely thanks to his pro-RKBA stance on gun rights. The confluence of ability, opportunity and jeopardy will be decided by the court, but that being California, I have little doubt that they would side with police. While the airsoft rifle did look very much like a real AK47, the kid carrying it wasn’t threatening anyone and so the court would likely center the investigation on whether or not he had acted aggressively.
Everything that he ever did or wrote is getting pulled up for examination. That’s important to know for those who grandstand on the internet — even things a person wrote years ago and no longer believes would still be publicized as relevant.
One side note is that carrying a real gun would have made the kid safer than carrying an airsoft — at least he would have been able to return fire when ambushed! Even more useful would have been carrying the rifle in a case to avoid scaring the skittish locals into calling police. I’d like to think that shooting at people just walking around with rifles — airsoft or real — isn’t the regular approach in normal American states (crazy places like CA, NY or NJ don’t count). Either way, I have long been working on an article talking about reasonable conduct while armed, should try to finish and post it soon.