In West Virginia, a pharmacist used a .45 to stop an attempted robbery. There is little doubt about what happened. The case is noteworthy for a number of reasons. From wvmetronews.com:
PINCH, W.Va. – Investigators with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department say a pharmacist who shot a man who later died will not be charged with a crime.
Detectives said surveillance video at Good’s Family Pharmacy in Pinch shows the masked man pulled out a gun after he entered the pharmacy at about 9:45 Wednesday morning and pointed it at workers. The pharmacist, who has a legal conceal carry permit, pulled out his gun and shot the man, who later died at a Charleston hospital.
It is likely that the armed pharmacist was practiced and had considered the possibility long before he had to act. People who opt for a .45, in my opinion, are more likely to be serious shooters. He did not hesitate, he shot three times; he hit the robbery suspect every time.
The changes in the vocal and published support for self defense are clear. For decades, mention of support for self defense was suppressed. Rare, individual cases might make national attention, but the media usually denigrated them with claims of “vigilante” and “taking the law into your own hands”. Most self defense stories were never published or were spiked after publication at the local level. In the few stories that got attention, such as the Bernard Goetz case, it was clear that there was widespread support for self defense and fighting back against crime, but its vocalization was minimized.
As publishing and access to news has blossomed via the Internet, as media has had to allow widespread reader interaction with ubiquitous comments sections, the false social stigma against self defense has faded.
In this case, the employer spoke up for his employee’s actions, and goes beyond, to embrace self defense as a philosophy:
Good said he had no problem with his employees carrying firearms with a concealed carry permit while on the job.
That philosophy has been supported by legislatures across the country. Wisconsin law even grants immunity from liability for businesses that allow their employees to carry guns.
Comments at the article show an increased sophistication in the public awareness of the reality of self defense shootings. While kudos to the shooter abound, they are tempered with the understanding that a self defense killing is a serious event that will take considerable adjustment. From the comments:
Tell him it will be alright and it isn’t his fault. That thief put him in a situation he should never have been in. I am sure he had no desire to take that man’s life, but when he pulled that gun to rob everyone he left your uncle with very little choice. We should all pray for his peace of mind dealing with this situation.
This sort of community support helps to mitigate post shooting problems. When a self defense shooter realizes that he is supported, and not denigrated as a “killer”, symptoms of post shooting trauma are diminished.
A commenter who calls himself “Rational Thinker” is roundly castigated for suggesting that the pharmacist should just have “given him what he was after”. A small number, a tiny minority, voice similar comments. There are, at last count, 195 comments on the story. Here is a comment that is a microcosm of what has been happening to the public attitude about guns and self defense in the United States over the last 50 years:
I dislike guns. I only dislike them because they make me somewhat nervous to be around them. I do however want to learn how to use one and eventually own one.
I do not condone shooting or killing anyone. However, this man was in a store with INNOCENT people and potentially children. I think the pharmacist did the right thing and I support him 100%.
It is not unusual for people who are unfamiliar with firearms to be a bit nervous about them. It is also common for them to become firearms enthusiasts once someone takes them shooting. The more people become aware of facts about firearms and self defense, versus media myths, the more people are converted to second amendment supporters, or to a neutral position. Gallup data clearly shows this. Opposition to a ban on handguns has risen from 36% in 1959 to 73% in 2014.
Police are willing to publicly support self defense shooters more and more. Police Chief Craig in Detroit is a clear example, as is Sheriff Clarke of Milwaukee county, and they are not alone.
The mass use of surveillance video systems, and the routine carry of recording devices by most members of society, has fed the phenomena. A news consumer is often able to view the event of a robbery themselves, and make up their own mind, rather than relying on a reporter and editor to interpret for them.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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