It’s not everyday that we hear of an armed citizen stepping out of line with their firearm, and that’s a good thing. In fact, it’s extremely rare. However when we do see it, it causes problems not only for that concealed carrier, but for concealed carriers everywhere.
If you’re unaware of the recent story, here’s a quick catch-me-up:
The shooting happened in the store’s parking lot at around 2 p.m., when Home Depot security was chasing a shoplifter in his 40s who jumped into a waiting dark SUV, said Lt. Jill McDonnell, an Auburn Hills police spokeswoman.
But when the SUV began to pull away, a 48-year-old woman suddenly began firing shots at the fleeing vehicle. The vehicle escaped – but possibly has a flat tire, McDonnell said.
The yet to be identified woman is making bad headlines everywhere, and it’s creating a discussion that hinders the cause. Why would a legal gun owner fire in public towards a fleeing suspect? In this case, the suspect doesn’t seem to have ever been a threat to the woman and in that case, you simply let him run off into the sunset. While he’s running off, your job as a witness is to gather as much information as you can about the suspect, the vehicle, and anything else that could help police with their investigation.
In case I haven’t been clear yet: You do not draw your firearm and fire at a fleeing suspect that is of no threat to yourself or others.
“It’s my worst nightmare as a [concealed pistol license] instructor,” Doreen Hankins told the Detroit Free Press. “You have to know the entire situation before you pull that handgun out. And I don’t see that a shoplifter at Home Depot fills any of those criteria.”
The Country as a whole has been undergoing monumental changes in the world of concealed carry, and it’s leaning towards us. For the first time in a while, citizens are seeking out permits to lawfully arm themselves. They’re tired of being victims, and they want to ensure the safety of their families and themselves.
One person can ruin that, trust me.
When the media latches on to a story such as this one –and they do– it can have devastating consequences to the topic as a whole, regardless of how short-lived the event is. This incident will be brought up in gun debates for years. Just watch.
What’s the best thing to take away from this irresponsible gun owner’s story? Know the laws, and know how to properly react to a situation. It’s why we pose hypothetical situations now and then; to see what people would/should do in certain situations.
The truth is this: If you’re going to carry a gun, it is your responsibility to know when –and when not– to use it. This woman will be lucky if she isn’t charged with a crime but if you ask me, she should be. Holding irresponsible parties responsible for their actions is important for all of us.
A person who holds a concealed pistol license can only use the weapon if they think there is imminent danger of death, great bodily harm or sexual assault, Legally Armed Detroit firearms trainer Rick Ector told the newspaper, calling a gun “truly a tool of last resort.”
Everyone that messes up in a way such as this needs to be held accountable.