“Elmurray ‘Billy’ Bookman was cutting hair at his barber station, the second chair from the door, when two masked men, one wielding a pistol and the other carrying a shotgun, entered Next Up Barber & Beauty, he said.” That sounds like a recipe for disaster. And it was…for the stick-up men. As heraldonline.com relays, “Minutes later, Bookman and one of his customers drew their weapons as the robbers were taking money from customers and employees. They fired shots that left one of the suspects dead and sent another on the run just before 7 p.m. Friday.” . . .
The only problem with this scenario is, of course, that we know it just can’t happen. We know this because we’re constantly reminded by card-carrying members of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex that packing heat only increases the danger for the carrier. We’ve all be toiling under a tragic myth perpetuated by the gun lobby that Americans regularly defend themselves and their loved ones with firearms. Just ask a noted authority like Shannon Watts.
Yeah? Well tell that to the crowd in the Columbia barber shop.
About 20 people, including several women and children, were at the barbershop on Fort Jackson Boulevard. It sits behind the Applebee’s restaurant on Devine Street, across from the Cross Hill Market that houses Whole Foods.
Bookman said he just wanted to protect the crowd of people inside the shop.
And protect them he did. While the pistolero was bleeding out on the linoleum tiles, his pal with the shotgun took off into the night and is still at large, as the constabulary is wont to say. So next time you read something from the usual sources arguing that carrying a gun only increases the risk for the carrier, think of the 20 people in Next Up Barber & Beauty and ask yourself if you think they’re happy that Mr. Bookman and his un-named customer were packing Friday night.