There’s a Bible story about someone we call a “Good Samaritan.” You probably know it from Luke 10:25-37. It goes something like this: A guy identified as “an expert in religious law” — in other words, a smart-ass — asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up and left him half dead beside the road.”
Apparently a number of important people came along and, seeing the victim lying there, just walked on past, but then a member of an unusual sect, a “despised Samaritan,” came along and helped the man. A Samaritan in those days — half Jew, half non-Jew — was sort of like Canada’s Métis, people of mixed European and Indigenous ancestry.
Roadways have always been dangerous places. Think of Miami in the ‘90s (or Acapulco today). Thugs harassed tourists in rental cars; they killed several by ramming into those cars. And when the tourists pulled over — anticipating that it was simply an accident — they were assaulted, and several were murdered. Florida asked rental-car companies to remove all stickers and logos identifying them as rentals; it abolished special license tags for rentals. Miami improved lighting on highways and posted new highway signs to help visitors avoid unsafe areas. Rental-car agencies now give customers detailed safety brochures in English, Spanish, German and other languages, and they play tape recordings with similar messages over the public-address systems in their rental offices.
So, what if, when the Good Samaritan approached the man lying in the gutter, the man jumped up and his thug comrades, hiding in a ditch or behind the bushes, attacked and murdered the Samaritan? What would Jesus have said then? Would he have said to simply hand over your wallet, your watch, the keys to the rental car, your luggage … your wife or daughters? I don’t think so.
It’s just an opinion, but the guy who took the whip to the moneylenders in the temple was no wuss. He would have said to fight back. He said turn the other cheek maybe to gossip or some type of verbal insult, but I don’t think he would have applied that idea to murder, rape, robbery and mayhem.
We in the concealed carry community have a special responsibility: first, to take care of ourselves and our families. Then … and only then … to help someone on a dark and lonely country road or a crazy busy interstate like I-95 through a city like Miami, which is absolutely trashed with broken auto parts and fast food debris and stuff that’s fallen off trucks.
It’s a conundrum, if I use that big word properly. In South Carolina not long ago, Chadwick Garrett, 45, stopped to help Deon Frasier, 17, and Michael Dupree-Taylor, 19. The 2016 Dodge Durango they had been driving was in a ditch. Garrett asked them for $20, to which they said okay, but when Garrett had done his good deed and asked them for his money, Frasier pulled out a handgun and shot him. The two teens left Garrett to die.
It wouldn’t have mattered that Garrett was carrying (he wasn’t) because his murder was so fast and unexpected. It wasn’t like $20 was a great deal of money (a tow truck would have charged $100 or more) but the teens had used the Dodge without the permission of its owner and they were afraid she would yell at them. So we have two teens without a conscience, who have picked up a gun from God knows where and have shot an innocent man — someone trying to help them — and left him to die.
If you’re alone, would you stop to help someone at night? How do you protect yourself on the highway? Driving defensively is fine, but when you’re carrying, you have a whole ‘nother level of responsibility … as well as opportunity. If you stop to help someone along the road, be aware of the possibilities. I would advise not stopping, resisting the Good Samaritan urge, if you are alone or in a strange place or do not recognize the folks needing assistance. If your Good Samaritan urge overrides your common sense, please have someone cover you or at least have witnesses to call 911 and console your family.