Reflections on the film ‘Unforgiven’

Reflections on Unforgiven

by Mustang

The titled film is one of my favorites.  In the latter part of the film, the nearly-blind dimwit who read too many dime novels laments the fact that he assassinated someone while he was taking a bowel movement but then adds that the fellow probably “had it coming.”  Clint Eastwood’s character responds, “Hell, kid, we all have it coming.” 


Ashli Babbitt, whose parents didn’t know how to spell Ashley, was a 35-year old former airman who, from every account, was never a member of any organized “extremist” groups.  I’ve placed the word extremist in quotations because the definition of that word (apparently) depends on one’s particular political point of view.  Ashli and her husband owned a pool business in California.

sayhername ashli babbit - Twitter Search

Ashli Babbitt

Ashli flew to Washington DC on 5 January to participate in the “Stop the Steal” rally on 6 January.  One of the hundreds of people who pushed their way into the US Capitol.  There are videos of Ashli standing behind others, grasping poles to attempt to breach a barricaded set of doors leading to the Speaker’s Lobby.  It was behind the lobby where several members of Congress were sheltering and, we could assume, were peeing themselves.  When Ashli attempted to climb through a broken window, the first to do so (it is claimed), a police officer fired a single shot, struck her in the shoulder, and she apparently bled to death.


I don’t know Ashli Babbitt.  She may have been one of those mouthy young people who talk more than listen.  She may have been the impetuous type … going off on adventures without giving much thought to the likely consequences of her actions.  In fact, Ashli may have been an idiot.  What she was not, however, was armed.  I’m not sure how a police officer is justified in killing a mouthy person.  It does not appear to have been the “least amount of force necessary to place someone under arrest.”  That would probably be physical restraint or the use of a taser if she were too rowdy.


But at no time did Ashli give the police officer a reasonable belief that she endangered anyone’s life or cause them injury. She did not have a nuclear weapon or any explosive device. Nor, given the fact that Ashli was shot “while entering” the Capitol building, could the police officer reasonably conclude that the use of deadly force was justified to prevent serious injury or imminent death against other persons (cowering members of Congress).


I suspect the individual who shot her was likely unsuitable for police work — someone who gets rattled easily, is always afraid of others, someone incapable of “taking charge” of a situation or employing the least amount of force necessary to effect an apprehension.  We might understand this, particularly if the shooter was a young officer, inexperienced, or a bed-wetter — but it doesn’t mitigate the fact that he murdered an unarmed demonstrator.


What should concern us about the Babbitt murder is that a citizen was shot and killed and that the police shooter was exonerated.  He’s become the hero (even if we don’t know his name), and she’s become the bad guy.  I think Ashli used poor headwork in her part of this episode, but she’ll not be learning any lessons from it.  She’s dead.  She’s unforgiven.  The question remains: did this potentially mouthy, reactive, dim bulb deserve to die?  Apparently.


And so too does anyone else who participates in demonstrations against a totalitarian government.  The capitol policeman and Speaker of the House of Representatives fired a warning shot.  Not at Ashli, at the American people who won’t do as they’re told. You have been warned.  I think it was author/former police officer Joseph Wambaugh who once wrote, “Never take a stick to a gunfight.”  

Unforgettable Scene – Unforgiven. “Hell of a thing…” ….“Hell, kid, we all have it coming.”

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

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18 Responses to “Reflections on the film ‘Unforgiven’”

  1. Imyourhuckleberry Says:

    Probably just an unfortunate coincidence, I’m sure, but is it at all odd that the count is now up to 4 police officers who responded to the Capitol Jan. 6 that have committed suicide?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Baysider Says:

    I may be the odd man out here. The footage I saw was – I thought – shot by the antifa guy who broke in with them. I could picture myself on the other side of a partly broken barrier. Glass broken, but not the lock – yet. I see a gaggle of rambunctious people headed for my poorly barricaded barrier. WE KNOW there was a troop coming up the stairs right behind that gaggle of people. The officer who shot her may have had no idea of that. He does not know if anyone headed toward him is armed, either. My thought as a civilian would be to be on the radio hearing or talking about a mob headed my way – if there were any info or instructions. At the point where the breach was imminent I would fire. It’s extremely hard to second guess a man’s actions where fractions of seconds are involved and information is incomplete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      The interesting thing is that according to the clips there were at least 6 to 8 cops wearing gear and armed to the teeth on her side of the door. They were crouching down along side the wall. I would think they would have made some effort since they had the military style guns and could have taken out the whole crowd.
      As I understand, police are trained to use “levels of response.” I do think a somewhat less than a fatal shot first might have done the trick.
      I suggest by the police inside with her and doing nothing surly gave an impression that she was not going to be killed by someone in a suit with a handgun,


      • Baysider Says:

        Qualified immunity is so abused. So many cases of authorities getting away with murder under its shield. However, from what I know at this point (who knows what security videos the capitol has not released) this looks like a QI case. It’s hard to say where to fire. I’m definitely not one of those aim-for-the-legs people. This was a group, and if you believe you must fire, pick off a leader if you can, or fire into the mass to break up the charge. At least the couple in Kansas/St. Louis who presented arms (in a piss poor manner – I’d never do that) to protect their home from a mob that broke into their community did not fire into the mob. But had the mob turned and rushed them – as the Babbitt situation – they would have had every right to do so in my book.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bunkerville Says:

        I agree it was a cluster…. The real crime was not having adequate security in place nor police prepared for such a large crowd…… Now that is a story I would like to hear more about… Nancy and her pretorian guard was not up to snuff.


  3. markone1blog Says:

    I other news, Merrick Garland threatens states who want to lift COVID-related mail-in ballot provisions (much like the rancher in Unforgiven beat and threatened farmers and sheepherders in the right-of-way for the railway).

    Doxxing and threats against election workers continue (much like the actions of the hired guns in Unforgiven). At the same time, the Department of Injustice pantomimes an investigation into said doxxing and threats.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      I read they are already mailing out a ton of ballots regarding the recall of Newsome… what a surprise…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      First off, elections belong to the states — unless the federal government contends violations of civil rights. I think it is a stretch to argue that limitations placed on mail-in ballots violate anyone’s civil rights. Garland, by the way, is another one of those self-loathing Jews who grew up as a Chicago thug. He’s also a former Harvard pillow-mate of Jaime Gorelick, the bitch who set into motion the events of 9/11, later to make a fortune ripping off Fannie Mae (made a bundle in partnership with Crooked Franklin Raines). Garland received his law degree from Harvard — which given the fact that HLS also graduated Barack Obama, isn’t much to brag about. I’m trying to decide which of these men make the worst AGUS: Sessions, or Garland. Tough call.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. nrringlee Says:

    Murder, plain and simple. Murder by gummint is murder.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    I know I’ve said it before, “You’re government is at war with you.”
    The shooting of Ashli was not the warning shot.
    The exoneration of the shooter is.

    As for Unforgiven, when I first watched it I was repulsed by the general amoralism of everyone involved.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mustang Says:

      I certainly agree that the film was no “Hop-a-long Cassidy” venue, but I think it reflects how many (not all) people were back in the 1880s. The best part of history is its rawness, but that’s just my opinion. I think the film also speaks to us about grace. You can be a low-down drunken shooter for most of your life, but find your way into the light, which is what I think happened to Eastwood’s character. We don’t know that, of course, which was part of the genius of the film; it left you wondering about Will Munny and his children.

      Liked by 4 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      It has been some time since I watched the film, but it gives insight into the shooter “kid” who came to terms with what he had done. I thought the development of the characters spoke of personal redemption to the point of recognition of one’s actions.
      We are sadly returning to the wild wild West is seems in many ways.

      Liked by 2 people

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