During the hustle and bustle — and, quite possibly, the insanity — of getting ready for back-to-school activities last month, two pairs of women physically tussled over the last notebook on a shelf at a Michigan Walmart … until one of them pulled out her gun. Folks have been arguing that the mother was rightfully defending her daughter from the two other women who were beating her over the said school supply. But I can’t help but wonder about who instigated the fight, how all four women seemed to have kept the fight going, if there were opportunities to stop and remove themselves from the altercation and whether or not death or great bodily harm were part of this equation.
For all of these questions and more, I believe that this notebook dispute is a perfect example of when NOT to use your firearm. And all of this got me thinking: How many more stories like this exist, in which gun owners made poor choices, irresponsibly or irrationally pulled out their guns … and ended up making all of us look bad?
In some cases, drugs or alcohol were involved in these types of situations. In other cases, hurt feelings and bad tempers were escalated. And while there are millions of responsible gun owners out there, perhaps we can learn from the errors in judgment of the few who have used their guns in inappropriate and unacceptable ways. Following are some examples of what NOT to do:
I hope all of these examples have you asking why … and shaking your head in disgust. As we know, a firearm is a tool to be used as a last resort to protect lives. It’s not for making a point, getting angry or proving something to someone. In order for deadly force to be justified, there must be an immediate, otherwise unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily harm to yourself or other innocents.
Having a firearm for self-defense is a huge responsibility. And using a firearm for self-defense is an even bigger one.
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