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“Dawoud Zoubeidi has done the pro-gun crowd no favor,” the anti-gun Chicago Sun Times editorialist begins. “When Zoubeidi raced out of his Calumet City clothing store and fired three shots at a fleeing thief, he played right into the fear of every opponent of looser gun laws who worries about Wild West shoot-em-ups.” Uh-oh. “Zoubeidi fired a .40-caliber handgun. A bullet from a .40-caliber can travel a mile. Zoubeidi is lucky he didn’t hit an innocent shopper or child.” True dat. “Now, almost two years after the incident, Zoubeidi is about to stand trial on felony weapons charges, and we’re bracing for the predictable outrage from the NRA. Surely they will rally to his defense, right?” Don’t call me Shirley. “Actually, no.” I’m confused . . .

Gun rights advocates are, for once, in general agreement with gun control advocates, including this editorial page, in believing that the Cook County state’s attorney’s office was right to bring criminal charges against Zoubeidi and that his claim of self-defense is dubious. Even if the thief did flash a handgun in his waistband before he fled the store, it’s hard to see how Zoubeidi was defending himself from physical danger when — as he told police — he followed the man out of the store and shot at him.

OK, we good now? The NRA and its supporters don’t support chasing after bad guys and shooting at them. Neither do gun control advocates. Common ground. So where does that leave us?

Gun control advocates fear that Zoubeidi’s acts, which they stress are rare among legal gun owners, will undermine efforts to make the concealed carry of a handgun legal in Illinois.

Wait. What? How does the store owner’s illegal behavior undermine gun control advocates’ anti-gun position? I would have thought it would help them. Wild West, blood in the streets and all that jazz. Oh hang on. Here it is!

Our own worry, although we acknowledge that statistics in other states have yet to bear out our concerns, is that legalized concealed carry — on the expressway, on the L, on the sidewalk — will result in more irresponsible gunplay in public places.

Whew! Credit where credit’s due: the unnamed editorialist understands that he needs to back up his point that the general public are a bunch of trigger-happy louts who shouldn’t be able to exercise to their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. And so he goes to the single best source of unattributable crap (without linking): the comments section.

Not surprisingly, quite a few anonymous online commentators offered a less patient view, basically defending one’s right to shoot a suspected bad guy anywhere. Kill them “during these crimes,” wrote one online Sun-Times reader, and quit “wasting our resources on trials and jails.”


But there also were readers such as bosshoss biker, who wrote that he’s “all for” gun rights, “but this man makes us all look bad. You simply cannot chase and shoot someone in the back for stealing.”

To clarify, Zoubeidi did not shoot anybody. He missed.

Lucky for him.

And for us. What would be even luckier: if the Sun-Times stopped getting its freak on when it comes to gun control and push for tougher sentences for criminals who purchase, own or use guns illegally. Given that the city is something of a gangland war zone these days.

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  1. Great article, and one that hope gets people thinking. This guy should not have shoot the criminal in the back, that alone is proof his life was not in danger when he pulled the trigger. However, he should have the right to bear arms and protect himself. Illinois has simply decided to act like the Second Amendment doesn’t even exist.

    On a side note, not sure I would consider 3 shots at a person running away a “Wild West Shootout”, but more a person who was angry and not trained properly in how to use their weapon.

    People are always going to do dumb things, that is just life, but the best way to help prevent situations like this is not by anti-gun legislation, but more funding and programs for gun education and training.

    • “This guy should not have shoot the criminal in the back, that alone is proof his life was not in danger when he pulled the trigger.”

      If an armed criminal threatened you and is anywhere within sight, they are a threat whether or not they are facing you. An armed criminal who has his back turned to you could turn and shoot you in less than a second.

      Assuming the criminal was armed and threatened the store owner, once the criminal was out the door and running down the street, his attack was no longer imminent and there was no justification to use deadly force.

      Remember the three criteria to justify deadly force to defend yourself. A “reasonable person” would have to answer “yes” to all three questions:
      (1) Does the attacker have the ability to inflict great bodily harm or cause death? (Hint: only if the attacker has a weapon or a substantial physical advantage.)
      (2) Did the attacker express (whether verbally or non-verbally) their intent to inflict great bodily harm or cause death?
      (3) Is the attack imminent?
      If a “reasonable person” would answer “yes” to all three questions, then you are justified to use deadly force to defend yourself.

      Of course states with Castle Doctrine basically allow you to assume all three criteria above in certain circumstances in your home. (In some states Castle Doctrine does not cover guests in another person’s home.)

      • Totally agree, and great points on answering the 3 questions. I might have worded that sentence a little vague. What I meant by “not being in danger” was how I think the legal system will interpret the situation at the very moment he pulled the trigger, especially given the fact that, if accurate, Zoubeidi “raced out” of the store after him.

  2. We had a police officer explain “transferred intent” during our Personal Protection Outside the Home class, and it really makes you think about what could go wrong. You might get the bad guy and you may also shoot an innocent bystander at the same time, and then you’re really in deep $hit!

    • Don’t be so upset. Stupid exists everywhere. Come to Boston sometime if you don’t believe me.

      • Ha no thanks.. when I am there I head straight out that tunnel thingy out of town!
        Although I do like it out of town, Westborough area.

  3. According to the news, there is lots of gunplay in Chicago every week among the lawless already. But that’s not going to win them any arguments. Was this shop owner some kind of gun rights poster boy before all this happened?

  4. The Sun Times is one step below the National Inquirer in terms of credibility, in my opinion. If the 18 year old pregnant woman who shot a burglar lived in Chicago they would write a slanted hit piece elevating the “poor unfortunate felon” over the pregnant citizen defending her life.

  5. “A bullet from a .40-caliber can travel a mile.” …in space, or if fired at a 45 degree angle from a cliffside.

    • That’s what I was thinking. Just goes to show that this guy has no idea what he’s talking about. If you are going to be so fervently against firearms maybe you should take a minute to learn something about them.

      • Someone should send him the ballistics data to prove it will only travel a few hundred yards at best. Demand a retraction or all the ammo manufacturers will sue him lol

  6. In Texas it is legal to use deadly force when a person is fleeing the scene of an aggravated robbery. The fact that the BG flashed a gun before fleeing would make it an aggravated robbery in the Lone Star State, and therefore legal to plug him from the rear. So to speak….BTW it would really SUCK to live in Chicago.

    • Man, the heat is the only thing keeping me from moving to Texas. Your state is the best.

  7. Oh how Chicago hates guns. I think we should definitely listen to a bunch of people who are content to live in a city who’s gun laws were dictated by Al Capone’s bought off city councilmen. When will you guys get a grip?

  8. SAME thing happened in VA a few years back. BG was shot, but, lived. The thinking was, I believe, that since BG had come back twice before, the threat wasn’t over.The DA declined to prosecute.

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