Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Good news everyone: It didn't end in bloodshed! This time!

(Update: Ridiculous misspelling in title fixed.)

When I saw the headline this morning – "Two Guys With Guns Have Showdown On First Day Of Georgia's New 'Guns Everywhere' Law" – I thought to myself, well, that didn't take long, did it?
A "misunderstanding" between two armed men in a Georgia convenience store led to an arrest on the very day that the state's new expansive gun rights law went into effect, according to The Valdosta Daily Times.

Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress summed the incident up for the newspaper.

“Essentially, it involved one customer with a gun on his hip when a second customer entered with a gun on his hip," Childress said.

According to the Daily Times, the first man, Ronald Williams, approached the second man in the store and demanded to see his identification and firearms license. Williams also pulled his gun from his holster, without pointing it at the second man. The second man responded by saying that he was not obligated to show any permits or identification -- then he paid for his purchase, left the store, and called the police.

Police responded to the call around 3 p.m. Tuesday, and Williams was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct for pulling his gun in the store.
But here's the thing: As I read this story, even though one of the guys drew his gun, neither of the two central figures, nor any nearby noncombatants, were injured. The reason why, as they say, may surprise you:

The unnamed fellow had a gun, but he didn't pull it. Instead he kept his cool, retreated (although I don't know if he'd use that word for getting out of the danger zone), and let the police handle it – and they did.

In other words, the fellow in the Georgia convenience store – whose name we do not know, I remind you – did the exact opposite of what George Zimmerman did that night in February 2012, whereupon the latter made himself famous.

Note that Georgia does have a so-called "Stand Your Ground" law, under which a person who feels threatened has no duty to retreat to safety but rather is allowed to open fire at the object of his concerns. That legal fact, combined with the fact that such encounters – which Georgia's "Gun Everywhere" law virtually guarantees will happen, a lot, in bars, strip clubs, sporting events, schools, and yes, convenience stores – means that the unnamed non-shooter would have had a legal defense available if he'd dived behind the beef jerky display and blasted away.

But he didn't. He retreated and called the police. And at least two persons in Georgia are alive this afternoon who might not have been otherwise.

Good news everyone.

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