“WILLIAM LAWLER [above left] didn’t want to shoot the man who threatened his girlfriend and him with a 13-inch knife Sunday outside a Pathmark store near his Northeast Philadelphia home,” philly.com reports. To make a long story short, he did, after telling Knife Guy to cease and desist. “At least a half-dozen times, I ordered him to stop. The last time, I said, ‘I don’t want to shoot you, but I will,'” Lawler said. “Then, after I shot him, he fell to his knees and tried to throw the knife at me.” Lawler, a gun owner who’d unsuccessfully sued the City of Philadelphia after cops clocked his pro-gun bumper stickers and confiscated his GLOCK 17, won. Here are the deets on Lawler’s defensive gun use . . .
Lawler, who retired from the Army as a lieutenant after serving more than a decade, continued to walk with his girlfriend. DeCosta brandished the knife and started mumbling and cursing at them, Lawler said. Right away, Lawler said, he moved his girlfriend away, unholstered his gun and held it at his side.
“Nine times out of 10, all the gun owner has to do is show the firearm, and the threat goes away,” he said.
Not this time: DeCosta instead moved toward the pair, Lawler said, threatening, “I’ll cut you up.” When he got within 5 or 6 feet, Lawler said, that was it. Lawler leveled the Glock and fired once, hitting DeCosta in the groin.
“My intent was to stop him, not kill him,” Lawler said yesterday. “I hope he’s OK, and hopefully he will be prosecuted.”
I’m not a firearms instructor, a task performed by Mr. Lawlor on behalf of the general public. Nor have I served in the armed forces, like our hero (and I say that without irony). And again and always for stories of this nature, result! That’s all that really counts. But . . .
While I realize that groin shots are all the rage these days in the tacticool community, I’m not shooting someone posing a threat of death or grievous bodily harm – mumbling incoherently and holding a 13″ knife – in the groin. Nor am I going to let him get within five or six feet if I can help it. Nor am I likely to shoot him or her just once. I’m thinking center mass until there’s no danger of the bad guy crossing the gap between them and me or other innocent life.
As they say, just sayin’. And in the interests of appeasing readers ready to accuse me of ill-informed armchair quarterbacking, I’ll let Lawlor, who must feel vindicated after his previous legal struggle, have the last, indeed best, word.
“I firmly believe that in order to maintain a free society, people need to take personal safety into their own hands,” he said. “You should walk around ready and able to protect yourself and others in your community.”