Detroit Porch Killer Just or Unjust Sentence ?

harleysportster
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Detroit Porch Killer Just or Unjust Sentence ?

 In this particular case, the defendant claims to have heard sounds outside, proceeded to the door while armed and shot the woman who came at him in the dark. (At least, that was what CNN showed in the clips of his testimony). Now, the victim was allegedly intoxicated and apparently seeking assistance for a car crash that had happened before. 

Now while gun control people were claiming this latest verdict directly raises the issues of gun ownership and this was not self defense, other people have reported that the second degree murder charge was an unjust sentence. 

I know this and not meaning to sound racial, but a white guy in Detroit jail, convicted of murdering a 19 year old African-American woman, is bound to find himself in quite a bit of trouble. 

I personally believe the man was frightened and might have acted hastily, but I do not think he deserved this sentence :

 

www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28699129

 

Detroit porch killer Theodore Wafer guilty of murder

 

A Detroit-area man has been found guilty of second-degree murder for killing an unarmed black woman who banged on his door at night last year.

Jurors rejected Theodore Wafer's claim that he acted in self-defence when he fired a shotgun through his screen door at Renisha McBride, 19, in November.

Mr Wafer, 55, faces up to life in prison, but it is likely his actual sentence will be much shorter.

Ms McBride, who was drunk, had crashed her car nearby some hours before.

The case has raised the issue of the use of guns in self-defence in America, analysts say.

'Horrific' crime

Mr Wafer told jurors he fired after being awaked in the early hours of 2 November by loud banging on his door, because he was afraid and did not want to be a victim in his own home, in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

"I wasn't going to cower in my house," he testified on Monday.

But prosecutors said he should have called the police.

In his closing remarks on Wednesday, prosecutor Patrick Muscat said it was likely that Ms McBride was looking for help after crashing her car nearby.

"What he did had to be immediately necessary and it wasn't. It was reckless. It was negligent. I don't know how to describe it. It was horrific," he said.

As well as being convicted of second-degree murder, Mr Wafer has also been found guilty of manslaughter.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Beyond Saving
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 I have no problem with him

 I have no problem with him going to jail. If you feel like your life is threatened, you shouldn't open the door. Not only is it bad from a standpoint of justifying the shooting, but it is really bad tactics as well. When you are being assaulted, the best tactic is to sit back and wait for the threat to break in your door, at which point you have a clear and easy shot, while your attacker is at a major disadvantage coming into an unknown room from a predictable location. You have a right to own a gun, you don't have a right to be reckless with it and even from his own version of events, this guy was really reckless. I don't see this as a gun rights issue anymore than the woman driving drunk and crashing is a car rights issue.  

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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I don't see it personally

I don't personally see it as a gun control issue either or a political issue. Although some commenters on the news have made it as such. 

I am not excusing his reckless behavior or his stupidity, but am wondering if the final verdict should have been a life sentence ? (Although the article stated that he would probably be released sooner)

Granted, such statements as "I was not going to cower in my own home" do reek of rather ridiculous behavior. 

For instance, I own a pistol and if I thought I had heard noises outside I would  have first called the police. But any person who has taken gun classes (or has simple common sense) should know that you do not fire in the dark at a perpetrator that you can not see.

I think the fact that he did not call 911, chose to take the situation into his own hands, had a lot to do with it. 

The fact that the victim was intoxicated is really beside the point to me. 

Of course, to me there is a difference in a loud banging on a door and someone breaking the glass and actually coming in. 

I understand what he meant by the possibilities of other people being outside and the screen door being damaged (as he testified according to a Reuters article) but the statement of : "It was them or me" does not personally hold water with me as he was not backed into a corner and literally under attack. 

Of course, I do not know of the man's history and whether or not previous break ins might have lead to this decision. Either way, it was reckless and ridiculous. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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 I don't support life

 I don't support life sentences for anyone who isn't at high risk to commit another murder, that includes the majority of people convicted of first degree murder. We really need to overhaul our prison system and sentencing practices to make our legal system sane. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote: I

Beyond Saving wrote:

 I don't support life sentences for anyone who isn't at high risk to commit another murder, that includes the majority of people convicted of first degree murder. We really need to overhaul our prison system and sentencing practices to make our legal system sane. 

I agree with that completely. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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I couldn't agree more with

I couldn't agree more with Beyonds view here. What kind of bloody idiot sacrifices a clear tactical advantage? Opening the door is beyond stupid. If his life really had been in danger he would have lost it right there. Door opens a crack and anyone outside knows exactly where he is, and fills him with bullets. A holy rain of fire if he'd gotten actually gotten a shot off.

Best thing he could have done is grab a seat facing the door, NOT in direct line of fire from outside, aimed the shotgun and called the cops. By opening the door he showed he was pissed off and in a highly aggressive mood. I can sympathise with that, as anyone who ever woke me up can attest to. But being pissed off at getting woken up doesn't give you the right to kill the person who woke you.

As far as the sentencing goes, the way the system works in the US basically justifies anything up to execution. I think it relies far too much on punitive measures rather than on rehabilitation and education. This guy should spend a few weeks/months learning about gun safety and personal safety, and maybe get some counselling on anger and possibly even be assessed by a doctor working with sleep disorders. And, of course, he should be liable to suit from the victims estate and/or family. Locking him up for the rest of his life won't do anything more than cost the taxpayers more money.

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 I was taught in combat

 I was taught in combat shoot to kill. In areas of self defense, shoot to maim.

I'm not sure life was the right result.


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Vastet wrote:I couldn't

Vastet wrote:
I couldn't agree more with Beyonds view here. What kind of bloody idiot sacrifices a clear tactical advantage? Opening the door is beyond stupid. If his life really had been in danger he would have lost it right there. Door opens a crack and anyone outside knows exactly where he is, and fills him with bullets. A holy rain of fire if he'd gotten actually gotten a shot off. Best thing he could have done is grab a seat facing the door, NOT in direct line of fire from outside, aimed the shotgun and called the cops. By opening the door he showed he was pissed off and in a highly aggressive mood. I can sympathise with that, as anyone who ever woke me up can attest to. But being pissed off at getting woken up doesn't give you the right to kill the person who woke you. As far as the sentencing goes, the way the system works in the US basically justifies anything up to execution. I think it relies far too much on punitive measures rather than on rehabilitation and education. This guy should spend a few weeks/months learning about gun safety and personal safety, and maybe get some counselling on anger and possibly even be assessed by a doctor working with sleep disorders. And, of course, he should be liable to suit from the victims estate and/or family. Locking him up for the rest of his life won't do anything more than cost the taxpayers more money.

I agree completely with the above and how the system should merit out punishment.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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i agree with everything said

i agree with everything said so far. i grew up in a home full of guns. my dad is a hunter and card-carrying n.r.a. member. i was taught that absolutely every shot fired from a gun is a momentous decision, except perhaps in the controlled environment of a gun range, and should be carefully considered. where threats from other humans are involved, regardless of your intentions, you should be prepared for your shot to kill that person. you should be willing and able to handle the consequences of that, and of course, it should be the absolute last resort. a gun is not a flyswatter and should not be reached for unless you are prepared for death to occur, and the difficulties, legal and moral, that will inevitably follow. even if you were 100% justified, you're still going to go through expensive and time-consuming legal processes, and you're still going to feel like shit about shooting another human being.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
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digitalbeachbum wrote: In

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 In areas of self defense, shoot to maim.

 

 

                                                                                "STOP MOVING AROUND, I ONLY WANT TO ... WOUND YOU !!!"

 

                                                                        

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 In areas of self defense, shoot to maim.

 

 

                                                                                "STOP MOVING AROUND, I ONLY WANT TO ... WOUND YOU !!!"

 

                                                                        

 

I think it is really stupid to shoot to wound. If you can shoot to wound, the situation is not serious enough to warrant shooting at all. If I have to pull the trigger, you are dead, because I believe that if you are anything less than random nerves firing-you intend to kill me. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

                                                                                "STOP MOVING AROUND, I ONLY WANT TO ... WOUND YOU !!!"

                                                                          

 

I think it is really stupid to shoot to wound. If you can shoot to wound, the situation is not serious enough to warrant shooting at all. If I have to pull the trigger, you are dead, because I believe that if you are anything less than random nerves firing-you intend to kill me. 

I disagree, but to each is there own.


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Personally it would depend

Personally it would depend on the situation. If I'm in immediate danger, I'd go for the kill. No point taking chances.
But if I have a bit of time and space to work with I'd try for a disabling before a kill.

Basically, if in the Cantina in Star Wars, I'd shoot first like Han, headshot. But if someone's hunting me and doesn't know exactly where I am, I'll go for a leg. Unless there's more than one of them, in which case only the last of them would get that consideration.

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Not to mention that if the

Not to mention that if the perp recovers, s/he will likely start collecting disability from the state.

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zarathustra wrote:Not to

zarathustra wrote:

Not to mention that if the perp recovers, s/he will likely start collecting disability from the state.

Interesting.


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digitalbeachbum wrote: I

Beyond Saving wrote:

 

I think it is really stupid to shoot to wound. If you can shoot to wound, the situation is not serious enough to warrant shooting at all. If I have to pull the trigger, you are dead, because I believe that if you are anything less than random nerves firing-you intend to kill me. 

digitalbeachbum wrote:
I disagree, but to each is there own.

 

  Having some limited knowledge of your philosophical POV I think I understood your intent, which on the surface is commendable, but probably next to impossible in an actual self-defence scenario.  When I took my CHL class we were told the objective for firing our weapon was simply to stop the attack.  Death of the perp was not the objective, but simply a possibility.

 

 

 

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 A wounded person can still

 A wounded person can still shoot back, especially if you were aiming to wound which means the wound is likely in a leg/arm/belly. It is really hard for me to imagine a self defense situation where I need to shoot someone who is unarmed. And very likely, if you shoot someone who is unarmed, you are going to jail. The Zimmerman case for example (his version of the story), is probably one of the rare instances where you might consider shooting an unarmed person, but at that point the question of where to shoot is moot. If they are at any distance at all and unarmed, you don't need to shoot and doing so, is most likely going to be seen as criminal by the courts. 

Not to mention the sheer difficulty of shooting to kill. I consider myself a well above average marksman, I go to the range at least three days a week, but in a chaotic self defense situation, I'm going center mass. If you have time to sit there and aim, you don't have justifiable cause to shoot. If a miss does less than put you in lethal danger, again, you don't have justifiable cause to shoot. In most states, it is illegal to fire a warning shot, the reason for that is the law emphasizes firing a gun as a last resort, not when you feel just a little threatened. And that is why this dumbass deserves his conviction, because he fired his gun when he just felt threatened and was clearly not in imminent danger.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote: A

Beyond Saving wrote:

 A wounded person can still shoot back.. 

 

   Which brings to mind the infamous 1986 FBI Miami Shoot Out with fugitives Matix and Platt, where Platt had taken multiple hits from FBI 9mm rounds to his arms and chest cavity and buckshot wounds to his feet and continued to deliver acurate and deadly return fire.

 

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
  Not to mention the sheer difficulty of shooting to kill. I consider myself a well above average marksman, I go to the range at least three days a week, but in a chaotic self defense situation, I'm going center mass. If you have time to sit there and aim, you don't have justifiable cause to shoot.

     According to Wikipedia the entire exchange of gunfire lasted less than 5 minutes with 145 rounds being fired.  I'm absolutely certain that both sides were not aiming to wound yet look at the incredible difficulty it took 14 trained FBI agents ( with two FBI fatalities ) to stop just 2 equally well trained ( US military ) fugitives.

 

         

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 In areas of self defense, shoot to maim.

 

 

                                                                                "STOP MOVING AROUND, I ONLY WANT TO ... WOUND YOU !!!"

 

                                                                        

 

I think it is really stupid to shoot to wound. If you can shoot to wound, the situation is not serious enough to warrant shooting at all. If I have to pull the trigger, you are dead, because I believe that if you are anything less than random nerves firing-you intend to kill me. 

If ifs and butts were candy and nuts. Anyone can claim to say what they would want to do in any given emergancy situation, but until you are actually in it, you really cannot say for sure. Life is not a script and often the outcomes are completely different than what we want to happen.

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Brian37 wrote:If ifs and

Brian37 wrote:

If ifs and butts were candy and nuts. Anyone can claim to say what they would want to do in any given emergancy situation, but until you are actually in it, you really cannot say for sure. Life is not a script and often the outcomes are completely different than what we want to happen.

It is called preparedness. You run potential scenarios through your head at a time when there is no stress and you can think clearly what the best action is. Then, you practice the ideal response to that scenario. That way, when the scenario happens and seconds are the difference between life and death, you don't have to think about what to do, you just do it. You plan for the worst and hope for the best so that you are prepared to face the worse. Waiting to develop a plan until the disaster occurs is how many people die. You are not going to be thinking clearly, logically and rationally when you are faced with a disaster situation. The person who walks into a new building and notes the locations of emergency exits, is far more likely to survive than the idiot who bumbles around and starts searching for the exit when a fire, mass shooter, or whatever other disaster calls for immediate exit. 

Planning for potential problems and planning your response to them helps you deal with challenges. Especially since those responses are also useful for a variety of unexpected problems. If my entire business went belly up because my bank failed and it turns out a business partner embezzled all my money and then my house burned down all on the same day- I have an idea of what I would do and the steps to take to get back on my feet. That is how many people are able to deal with the unknown and become "leaders". Most of what you plan for will never happen, and that is okay. Not planning ahead because you figure you can't be 100% certain of the outcome and just doing whatever you come up with in the moment is how you end up being a long term unemployed dishwasher. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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ProzacDeathWish wrote:Beyond

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

I think it is really stupid to shoot to wound. If you can shoot to wound, the situation is not serious enough to warrant shooting at all. If I have to pull the trigger, you are dead, because I believe that if you are anything less than random nerves firing-you intend to kill me. 

digitalbeachbum wrote:
I disagree, but to each is there own.

Having some limited knowledge of your philosophical POV I think I understood your intent, which on the surface is commendable, but probably next to impossible in an actual self-defence scenario.  When I took my CHL class we were told the objective for firing our weapon was simply to stop the attack.  Death of the perp was not the objective, but simply a possibility. 

When I was in the Corps there was this hand to hand instructor who told us a story about when he got picked up in a bar. The girl took him home and they proceeded to fuck. The next thing he knows there is another Marine who comes home and finds them together. The 1st Marine realizes that it is time to go and grabs his shit and doesn't even bother getting dressed. He's headed for the door and said he'd bother getting dressed a few blocks away from the house.

The 2nd Marine meets him at the door with a gun and tells him he is going to shoot his balls off. The girl is laughing and saying that the 2nd Marine deserved this because he cheated on her, blah blah. This is enough to cause the 2nd Marine to be distracted and the 1st Marine wrestles the gun away, then points the gun at the 2nd Marine. The 2nd Marine charges and the 1st Marine shoots him in the leg.

Now I'm not sure the entire story was true. It most likely was bullshit or a story passed from generation to generation of Marines. However his point was true. If you don't need to kill then don't do it.

I'm sure in another situation it could end up differently, every one is going to have their own solution, even if it isn't the best ending.


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Beyond Saving wrote:It is

Beyond Saving wrote:

It is called preparedness. You run potential scenarios through your head at a time when there is no stress and you can think clearly what the best action is. Then, you practice the ideal response to that scenario. That way, when the scenario happens and seconds are the difference between life and death, you don't have to think about what to do, you just do it. You plan for the worst and hope for the best so that you are prepared to face the worse. Waiting to develop a plan until the disaster occurs is how many people die. You are not going to be thinking clearly, logically and rationally when you are faced with a disaster situation. The person who walks into a new building and notes the locations of emergency exits, is far more likely to survive than the idiot who bumbles around and starts searching for the exit when a fire, mass shooter, or whatever other disaster calls for immediate exit. 

Planning for potential problems and planning your response to them helps you deal with challenges. Especially since those responses are also useful for a variety of unexpected problems. If my entire business went belly up because my bank failed and it turns out a business partner embezzled all my money and then my house burned down all on the same day- I have an idea of what I would do and the steps to take to get back on my feet. That is how many people are able to deal with the unknown and become "leaders". Most of what you plan for will never happen, and that is okay. Not planning ahead because you figure you can't be 100% certain of the outcome and just doing whatever you come up with in the moment is how you end up being a long term unemployed dishwasher. 

I can agree you on being prepared. I run through various scenarios all the time just sitting here typing. I know I can't be perfect and get all the possible scenarios down but I definitely think it is better for me and my family to be ready. It doesn't even need to be an attacker at the door. More often I am thinking, "What if a tornado hit" or "what would happen if the water supply became tained". You'd be surprised how many time the water here has had problems. I've gone out and bought twenty gallons of water has soon as the warning came out before they even finish the report.

I disagree with the "becoming leader" or "dishwasher" bit. I also don't know how you could be a long term, UNEMPLOYED, dishwasher?  Is that a typo or where you thinking about being unemployed from your higher status position of a business owner then being forced to wash dishes?

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote: I can

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I can agree you on being prepared. I run through various scenarios all the time just sitting here typing. I know I can't be perfect and get all the possible scenarios down but I definitely think it is better for me and my family to be ready. It doesn't even need to be an attacker at the door. More often I am thinking, "What if a tornado hit" or "what would happen if the water supply became tained". You'd be surprised how many time the water here has had problems. I've gone out and bought twenty gallons of water has soon as the warning came out before they even finish the report.

For sure. Most of my preparedness actually has to do with much smaller things. Like when selecting a campsite, I prepare for things like high winds, storms, flooding, wildlife intruders etc. It is amazing how many people are completely unprepared for problems that occur on a fairly regular basis. The electric goes out and they don't even know where a flashlight is, let alone what they are going to do about their food if it is out more than a day or two. Yet electric outages happen to probably every homeowner at some point. Snow storms is another big one here in Ohio. They are rare here, but we have a good storm every 3 years or so, it isn't a question of if, it is a question of when, yet every time there are people completely unprepared.

 

Quote:
 

I disagree with the "becoming leader" or "dishwasher" bit. I also don't know how you could be a long term, UNEMPLOYED, dishwasher?  Is that a typo or where you thinking about being unemployed from your higher status position of a business owner then being forced to wash dishes?

By leader I didn't mean like a long term leader. Just the dynamics in a group situation during an emergency, the person who starts acting and starts telling people what to do becomes the de facto leader because usually there isn't anyone else who has bothered thinking about what to do.

I don't know how you be a long term unemployed dishwasher- Brian is one unless he got a job recently. No doubt, it is because before he got fired he didn't think about things like where he was going to work if he got fired, laid off or the restaurant burned down. Unemployment is like that snowstorm in Ohio, it is going to happen to everyone at some point and everyone should think about where they are going to get their next job. The best time to fish for a new job is while you are still working. Once you are unemployed, everything becomes harder. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:Anyone can

Brian37 wrote:

Anyone can claim to say what they would want to do in any given emergancy situation, but until you are actually in it, you really cannot say for sure.

 

  Of course not you imbecile but preparing for an emergency ahead of time ...which even includes preparing for the normal hesitancy to take a life... is still the most logical approach.  No one here has indicated that it would be a trivial matter to actually use deadly force. We aren't sociopaths.

 

 

Brian37 wrote:
Life is not a script and often the outcomes are completely different than what we want to happen.

 

        Life is not a script ?  Really ?   ... is there ever a day that goes by when some human being doesn't violently attack another ?   

Patrick is an edgy edgelord.