People who live in nice neighborhoods and work in nice buildings with nice people and send their kids to nice schools and never go to places where the word “meth” is spoken will probably never need to use a gun defensively. A TTAG commentator drove home this point recently when he revealed the reason most concealed carry permit holders are woefully deficient in the gunfighting department: they don’t need to be good at it. Speaking of driving home, the open road is one of those few places where Joe average is likely to encounter an armed aggressor. To wit . . .
A 21-year-old borough man was arrested in a road rage incident in which he pulled a gun, according to police.
Adam Jones faces charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment in the Friday morning incident in the area of S. 9th Street and Hummel Avenue, West Shore Regional police said.
The driver of the other car had pulled onto Hummel from 9th without seeing the vehicle Jones was riding in, police said. Both vehicles had stopped in the roadway before the gun was displayed.
Authorities said the victims were able to give a license plate number to police, who found the vehicle, its occupants, and a loaded .45 caliber handgun.
There are a couple of different ways to look at this story from PA’s abc27.com. First, let’s assume the news service got it exactly backwards. Let’s say the that Jones was the victim. That the driver of the second car road raged him. Jones drew his .45 in self-defense.
If so, Jones made an enormous mistake by not calling the cops immediately after the incident. This happens all the time: a CCW holder brandishes his or her weapon at a potential perp, the assailant ceases assailing, and the non-victim figures that’s that.
The perp—who knows the criminal justice system like an accountant knows the tax code—calls the cops to report a nutcase with gun. The cops swoop in and the next thing you know the victim gets a second taste of victimhood. This time with paperwork.
A responsible gun owner MUST call the cops anytime he or she reveals his or her weapon to anyone. Not just because it’s the right thing to do. A gun owner who doesn’t dial 911 afterwards runs the risk of getting shot to death by the cops.
OK, so, let’s assume Jones was the aggressor. Obviously, a responsible gun owner doesn’t use his weapon to threaten or intimidate someone who doesn’t pose a threat. But beyond that, carrying a gun requires an entirely different mindset. A pacifist mindset.
Given that you don’t want to use your gun against another human being ever, avoiding confrontation is Job 1. De-escalating is Job 2. Being “right” has nothing to do with it. If someone cuts you off, let them. Let it go. No honking, no light flashing, no giving them the bird. Nothing.
Gun owners can’t afford to get into a fight. If a fight escalates into gunplay, the police, prosecution and perhaps jury will want to know your part in the pre-ballistic part of the incident. If you were anything other than non-confrontational at any point of the proceedings, it can and will be used against you in court of law.
For example, maybe Jones got aggressive towards the other driver, who cut him off intentionally. He pulled over to sort it out, never intending physical violence. At some point, the other driver became extremely aggressive. Jones brandished his gun in self-defense.
Too bad. Jones is toast. He initiated the conflict, so he’s legally responsible for its aftermath. If he hadn’t brandished his gun, if the cops had nailed him for assault and battery or making terroristic threats or some such thing, the fact that Jones was packing heat at the time will NOT work in his favor.
Either way you look at this, Jones got it badly wrong. Any citizen who carries a gun for self-protection needs to know the law AND needs to take a big ass chill pill. If you think about it, the palliative effect of a legal concealed weapon is another good reason why more people should carry a gun. Or not. Or so. Depending on how you look at it.