Last week, while I was drifting merrily through Scotland on Hebridean Princess, I wrote a blog post about Curt James Brockway, a brain damaged Army veteran and ardent Trump supporter accused of choke slamming a 13 year old boy. On August 3rd of this year, Mr. Brockway allegedly grew incensed at the 13 year old child because he was wearing a hat during the playing of the national anthem at a rodeo in Montana. When Mr. Brockway asked the boy to remove his hat, the boy reportedly responded with a hearty “fuck you”, allegedly inspiring Brockway, three times his victim’s age and much larger in size, to body slam the boy.
Brockway’s excuse is that he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. He was serving in the Army at Fort Lewis at the time. Years after his accident, he’s an extreme supporter of Donald Trump, and believes body slamming the boy was warranted, since Trump has said people who disrespect the flag or the national anthem should be punished. Meanwhile, the child Mr. Brockway allegedly assaulted was left with a concussion and skull fracture.
Today, I read that Mr. Brockway, already in legal trouble due to a 2011 conviction of assault with a weapon, pleaded not guilty to the crime of felony assault of a minor. Judge John Lawson reinstated Brockway’s probation, which requires that he stay at home and wear a GPS monitor. In the 2010 incident, Brockway had threatened three people with a weapon during a traffic dispute. He was put on probation and given a suspended ten year prison sentence.
I’m not really surprised that Brockway pleaded not guilty. I’m sure that’s what his lawyer, Lance Jasper, advised him to do. I’m also sure that Brockway feels like he’s in the right for his extreme response to the boy’s disrespect and use of profanity. I think he belongs to a certain segment of society that feels that children need to be taught respect through violence. I first read about Brockway’s plea through a Facebook link from the Army Times. Plenty of people think Brockway was right in putting his hands on another person in violence and fracturing his skull.
It scares me how indoctrinated some military veterans can be when it comes to certain issues. Although a lot of them joke about liberals being so open-minded their brains fall out, I think that conservatives sometimes are guilty of being so closed-minded that their brains can’t access oxygen. This is also often the crowd that thinks corporal punishment is always okay in every situation and a parent’s inalienable right.
Lance Jasper, Brockway’s attorney, is seeking a mental health evaluation for his client. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I’m sure he does have brain damage from his accident. And, I don’t think he’s brain damaged just because he’s such an ardent Trump supporter that he’d hurt a child, believing Trump would want him, personally, to punish people he thinks are disrespectful and unpatriotic. I’m sure he really does have some functional damage to his brain resulting from his accident and it affects his judgment.
However, Brockway, just like the two Trump lovers who, several months ago, shot each other while drinking alcohol and wearing a bulletproof vest, is just another example of the low caliber of a person who doesn’t question Trump’s toxic leadership, use common sense, or employ critical thinking skills. These people just can’t seem to see what is very obvious to people who aren’t brain damaged.
I don’t know the status of Brockway’s brain today. I do think that if he’s so out of control that he can’t keep his hands to himself at public events, he should not be walking free within society. If he’s so brain damaged or mentally ill that he feels compelled to physically harm other people, he should be in a place where he can be appropriately supervised. Whether that’s prison or a mental hospital remains to be seen. I’m sure more facts will come out during his legal battle. I just hope the kid he hurt will be able to make a full recovery. In the meantime, he’s going to miss part of his childhood and cost his parents a lot in hospital bills thanks to Brockway’s Trump inspired violent outburst.
Granted, we have plenty of violent people in the United States. They seem to be inspired by different things. I’m certainly not saying that Trump is directly to blame for every violent incident. It just seems to me that his leadership is emboldening people who otherwise might not act out in violence and Trump supporters also tend to be pro Second Amendment gun rights types. I am not necessarily anti-gun myself. I know many responsible gun owners. I’d just like to see it a lot more restricted and regulated, like it is in Europe. There is violent crime here, but a lot fewer people die of it because there are far fewer weapons.
I keep thinking I might like to move back to the States soon… so we can own our own house for once. But right now, the United States is completely warped. I’m actually scared to move back there. I’m sure we’ll have to at some point… or at least leave Germany. I just hope it’s sometime when Trump is out of office. I think he’s really damaged the country and awakened a frightening beast in some people. As for Brockway, frankly, I think he deserves a nice long prison sentence. If I was the mother of that boy he harmed, I’d be demanding it.