In the same sense that anyone without a gun can’t pull a trigger? Well, almost. Writing for Northern Ohio’s The Morning Journal, Richard Osborne feels obliged to translate his recent stumble upon experience with a parking lot homicide into a diatribe about gun control. Only Richard doesn’t want to alienate his conservative readers jump to conclusions. So he rambles a bit, seeking color in the corners, leaving out salient facts, as curmudgeons are wont to do. “When I got home after the game and checked the phrase ‘Cleveland parking lot attendant’ on the Web,” Osborne [almost] reports, “more than my worst suspicions jumped off the screen. Shot. Dead. One young man had killed another young man over a dispute involving a parking space.” Huh? What parking space? Why? How? When? Where? Never mind. Apparently.
I would not want to add to the grief of either of them by speculating about [or reporting on] the details — how the first young man retrieved the gun he used from the trunk of his car, how the second young man had carried a gun for his protection on the job — or what precisely happened in the split seconds when their life stories converged and changed forever.
So allow us. (Forgive me Richard for actually sharing some of the specifics, via Cleveland.com).
David J. Williams, 27, of Maple Heights, was pronounced dead at MetroHealth Medical Center at 7:25 p.m., according to the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office.
Williams was shot three times. He died from one gunshot wound to the head and two to the abdomen, a coroner’s spokesman said.
Police said Williams and the suspect argued over a [handicapped] parking space just after 7 p.m. The verbal confrontation turned into a fistfight, according to Cleveland police.
The suspect then shot at the attendant three times, police said.
Police recovered two guns. Williams also had a gun, but he did not fire it, police said.
The suspect [Matthew Warmus] is in police custody. Police said he is to be charged today.
I know: anyone who tries to park in a handicapped space is, ipso facto, guilty of anything up to and including being the gunman on the grassy knoll in Dallas in ’64. But is it possible Warmus had a concealed carry permit and fired a legally registered weapon in self-defense? Speculation your honor! Agreed. Mr. Osborne. Conclusion?
I will, however, state one opinion with absolute conviction: Temper can kill. And if tempers flare in an encounter with a stranger — someone cuts you off in traffic, or steals your parking space, or is responsible for any number of the other petty annoyances of everyday life — you are just plain foolish to pursue the argument.
Wave and let them go by. Because the folks who have guns don’t necessarily fit the stereotype you have in your mind. Anyone might have a gun. And in a flash of anger, anyone with a gun just might pull the trigger.
So let’s be polite out there. I think that’s a message we can all embrace.