Ed Stone, the President of Georgia gun rights organization GeorgiaCarry.org, recently wrote about the following event in his column on the Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner website.
Matt Brannan and J.P. Mitchell were dining in the Wafflehouse on Barrett Parkway at I-575 in Kennesaw at 4:45 in the morning recently when a scout for an armed robbery crew entered the restaurant to case it. At the time, Matt and J.P. thought he looked a little suspicious, as he was wandering around the small restaurant like he was looking for someone. Unknown to Matt and J.P., two cars full of armed robbers were parked behind the restaurant waiting for the scout’s report.
The scout saw that two of the customers were wearing holstered 1911 Springfield Mil-Spec .45 pistols, and he immediately turned and left the store.
Meanwhile, conscientious Cobb County Police Officer D. Lowe had noticed suspicious cars sitting behind the restaurant in the dark and decided to investigate. He caught men with masks and rifles who had been preparing to rob the Wafflehouse. The criminals informed the police that they had changed their mind upon discovering armed customers and were waiting for Matt and J.P. to leave. Ironically, the police car was pulling in to the parking lot just as Matt and J.P. were driving away. In other words, had Matt and J.P. not been armed, the robbery probably would have occurred before the police intervened.
The story goes on to say that a Cobb County Police precinct commander confirmed that the alleged armed robbers were, in fact, deterred by the two visibly-armed Waffle House patrons. GeorgiaCarry.org (GCO) has filed two Open Records Requests with Cobb County to try to find out more details; however, the county has denied both requests, possibly because they wish to build their case without any distracting media attention.
TTAG contacted Mr. Stone, who said he understands the county’s reticence to make public the details of the case right now: “I personally have no desire to endanger or harm a prosecution of a dangerous predator simply to post reports to an article I write.”
When asked about how GeorgiaCarry.org feels about open carry, Stone indicated it was a non-issue. “GCO takes no position on how its members carry, whether openly or concealed. As an issue of personal liberty, GCO’s position is that this should be up to the individual. Nobody should ever be put into a jail cell for peacefully exercising a civil right.”
Jerry Henry, the organization’s Executive Director and a practitioner of open carry himself, echoed Stone’s sentiments:
“As for GeorgiaCarry.org’s stand on open carry, we encourage you to be comfortable with how and what you carry. The method of carry is a personal choice and should be left as such. Simply put, we are fighting for your right to carry.”
Regardless of how you feel about open carry, it certainly seems that two visible, citizen-carried .45’s deterred a crime at a Waffle House diner. But the more important issue is the continuing struggle for expanded gun rights in general, and the importance of providing real-life examples to a sometimes-undecided public of how guns can and do save lives on a regular basis.
“My Atlanta Gun Rights Examiners articles are meant to bring content that gun owners are not getting elsewhere,” Mr. Stone opined. “including interesting incidents like what happened with Matt and J.P. at the Wafflehouse. You just do not read stories like that in the local newspaper.”