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TTAG reader DH emailed a link to The New York Daily News story Texas mom high on pot, PCP tried to drown kids before saved by armed son with a simple statement: “Not a perfect tale, but it’s the real world.” Ain’t that the truth. Sonya Gardner, 35, had allegedly just placed her two kids, ages 6 and 4, in the filled tub at her Dallas home when her courageous son heard the children’s cries and kicked down the bathroom door after firing a gun in the air. The teen reportedly breezed past his disturbed mother and snatched the children from the filled tub before safely dropping them off at a neighbor’s home Thursday night. “We were fixing to die,” the 6-year-old later told officers of their mother’s attempt to “drown us in the bath” over their request for snacks, according to the affidavit.” Even so, there’ll be no hero’s welcome for the son . . .

Gardner’s son, identified as Jydesmon Gardner, shortly after fled the scene while wanted for an outstanding warrant.

Because he was in possession of a gun, he could also now face a charge as a felon in possession of a firearm.

Regardless of that charge’s possibility, Dallas police Maj. Rob Sherwin publicly expressed his hope that the teen will come forward as a witness.

“It appears that his actions may have saved the lives of these two children,” he said during a press conference. “We would like to speak to Mr. Gardner as a witness.”

Would it be churlish of me to point out that firing the gun “in the air” may have meant firing the gun through the ceiling of a neighboring apartment? I guess so. To paraphrase DH, it’s not a perfect world.

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  1. Hopefully he won’t be charged at all. (If I was the DA I would simply decline to prosecute him under these circumstances.) But, since he may be facing felony charges, I kind of doubt that.

    • This is where the District Attorney has a moral and ethical obligation to enforce the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law about felons in possession is prohibiting them from carrying to commit crimes. In this case the teen was not carrying to commit a crime … quite the opposite. The only real legal question is who actually owned the handgun. If the teen grabbed the mother’s gun and used it to defend the children, then the District Attorney should NOT prosecute the teen. If the teen “illegally” purchased the handgun from a criminal, then the prosecutor might have reason to charge him.

      • Agree. The “doctrine of competing harms” or “law of necessity” should immunize this heroic young man from the gun charge. In a case of objective need, such as this, there should be no criminal liability for him employing a little “shock and awe” to distract the mom from her insane purpose. If I was the DA, depending on what the warrant was for, I might give him some slack there too.

  2. I’d hope his possession charge would be weighed against saving his siblings’ lives and he’d get probation and a ‘thank you’. Probably not, but I’d hope it.

  3. It’s not churlish. Mom seems like real a real winner. I hope the kids are safe and the hero is NOT prosecuted. There is so much evil in the world.

    • I’m guessing that the mom’s drug-used and attempted filicide and the kid’s checkered past are strongly causally related. I wonder if the AG will take that into consideration.

  4. This is why in Georgia part of HB 60 was that felons wont necessarily be charged for defending themselves with a gun. If a felon ends up having to use a gun to defend themselves, or another person, and its legitimate, they wont be charged. More laws like this are needed across the nation. You’d think Texas would have a similar law, unless Georgia is the first to do so…

    • Why? Texas is hardly the bastion of firearm freedom it plays on TV. Glad that Georgia has it on the books though. common sense.

      • That’s a good point. I’ve heard allot about Texas gun laws and their very, inhospitable to what I’m used to here in Georgia. Georgia is great. Especially after having lived in several other states, some not so gun friendly. I really feel like a free man here. Not so much in other places.

    • The “Texas isn’t gun friendly” routine is getting very old. I just laid a smackdown on some jackwagon here yesterday on that very topic. It never ends….

      As for Texas law and this guy getting off the hook, Texas penal law does offer Necessity as a legal justification for otherwise criminal conduct. It’s title 2, chapter 9, section 9.22 of the Texas Penal Code. How about you go read the actual law, instead of exchanging mutually reinforcing ignorance online? If Georgia’s new law offers something similar, then way to go Georgia! Texas welcomes you into the 21st century for finally updating your law to the Texas standard.

      Besides, felon is possession of a firearm is also a FEDERAL crime, which has nothing to do with Texas. Does the federal system have a necessity defense? I don’t know. If not, then maybe you should direct your ire toward D.C.

      Finally, Texas doesn’t portray itself on T.V. as anything but what it is. If you’re still stuck in your childhood watching old westerns, then that’s on you, not Texas.

      • State stereotypes are always interesting, and often times wrong. What do you think when you hear “Seattle”? Probably smug, gun hating/espresso drinking liberals. Meanwhile in reality the state has some of the loosest firearms laws in the country. Want a concealed permit? $52 bucks and wait a few weeks for it to arrive in the mail, no mandatory training. Open carry anything without a permit as well. Full state preemption too. Just passed a bill allowing SBR’s a few months ago. Great state if you love guns, stereotypes are bad.

        • To be fair, Rich, those laws are in effect despite Seattle, not because of it. My dad used to have a “Christine Gregoire: Governor of King county” bumper sticker on his car. Luckily, the rest of the state does unite around their gun rights, and on that issue is able to prevent the tail from wagging the dog. And the rest of the Seattle stereotypes are pretty true. Like the Houstonians around me are fond of reminding, I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could. Still miss rural Pierce County sometimes though, especially when Puyallup devil doc starts posting about life back there.

      • Texas is a bit paradoxical about guns. The culture is very gun-friendly, and we now have some of the broadest self defense laws in the country (deadly force in defense of a third person’s property in some cases). Long guns are pretty much unregulated as long as they are not sawed off too short. But the handgun laws are not as loose as some other states, true enough.

      • You didn’t lay anything down: what are you, drinking out of your Rock sippy cup, whilst doing the People’s Eyebrow?

        I stated the same thing that many others here have stated: you cannot open carry a pistol, you are not as free, gun-wise as you think. Nowhere near as much as many of our states. That’s a fact; getting mad at me isn’t going to change it.

        I’ll just leave this here:

      • “Finally” no one’s talking about how Texas portrays itself; we’re talking about how many (not all) of you who live there act like it’s so great, gun-wise. Any time someone complains about gun laws in their state, there’s always a chorus of “come to Texas!”, “you need to move to Texas!”, etc.

        • If you draw a Venn diagram of goodness on guns, jobs, and taxes, I reckon Texas comes pretty close if not smack-dab in the middle. No place is perfect, but when Abbott/Patrick win and the 2015 session finally pushes thru open carry for CHLs (if not Constitutional Carry), it’ll get that bit more perfecter.

    • While HB 60 would defend a felons use of lethal force to defend themselves, it is not going to make any allowances for things like felons in possession of a firearm… They are still going back to jail.

  5. Wow, so out of character for someone to try to drown their kids while high on PCP and pot, says the family. That never happened before, says the family.

    Who knew crazy sh!1 could happen to Moms high high on PCP and pot? I wonder what Shannon R Watts thinks of a prohibited person defending two children against another prohibited person high on PCP? Here we saved not just one life, but two! And If It Saves One Life. ®

    We should get these two Mom’s together. They have a lot in common. For starters, they are both against felons in possession of a firearm. I Demand Action against bat-sh!1 crazy Moms.

  6. They want to speak him as a witness, my ass. Sure come on in, we know you’re wanted on a warrant, but you’l be free to go after we talk to you.

    You did a good thing dude. I don’t know what charges they have for your warrant, but unless they are trading your witness testimony for a get out of jail free card, stay hidden , and make the cops do some work the honest way.

    • The onus is not on the police to win some game of cat and mouse out there with defendants. It’s the responsibility of the accused to present himself for prosecution. That’s why such actions as flight from prosecution are additional crimes themselves. While you think about that, think about this: flight from prosecution can be introduced as evidence of guilt of the original charge. So he’s doing himself no favors.

      Unless this guy has zillions of dollars to flee the country and live comfortably somewhere special, or is content to live on the run for a little while in exchange for the massive prison time he’s going to incur, his bet best is to man up and face the music.

    • Generally one does not lead a happy life with warrants out. Also, it’s a lot safer and convenient to turn yourself in than have the police beating down a door.

      Course, it sorta depends on what he’s wanted for… failure to show up for a traffic court date is different than murder.

      • True, although, at 18 and already a felon (how is he even still walking the streets?), I doubt they want to talk to him about spitting on the sidewalk.

  7. No matter what he has done in the past or where his deeds my take him.

    On that day he did a good thing.

    • A point he may want to make to his trial jury and parole board. Until then, he’s a fugitive who’s committing an additional crime by being on the run. People like that get desperate and are more apt to replicate their criminal actions than their one time good deed. When the moment comes, and it will, when his desperation reaches redline, just hope you don’t find yourself in his path.

  8. He shouldn’t be charged as he apparently committed no legitimate crime in this incident. Every time our government charges someone for mere possession of a firearm, it commits a real crime; shall not be infringed.

    • Rights are infringed every day and is perfectly legal, by way of the Constitution’s due process clause. Your right to firearms goes out the window the same as many other rights when you’re convicted. He knew that up front. Don’t do the crime if you want to keep your rights. What’s so complicated or controversial about that?

      It blows my mind that so many people in here who would gleefully kill a home invader and thereby unilaterally deprive him of his right to life, all of a sudden get all bleeding heart compassionate that felons endure by way of due process some curtailment of their rights.

      • Blah, blah, due process, blah, blah, bleeding hearts, blah, blah. That’s all predictable from a “2A but”. The right of the people to keep and bear arms not being infringed is necessary to the security of a free state. Freedom requires a well regulated militia. When government infringes, tyranny eventually follows. There’s no getting around that.

        A well regulated militia being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 😉

        • Wrong again. I’m 2A across the board. No licenses, no background checks, no registration, no limits on types. I could go on, but even you must get the point. Or not, but I don’t want to bore other readers by writing to your level of comprehension.

          It’s not “2A but….”, it’s “2A until…” You get all of your rights until you demonstrate that you cannot handle them. Then you’re punished for the acts you’ve committed, including by having some of the freedom you’ve been overwhelmed by curtailed. This happens every day in jail.

          But hey, just come out and say it: you believe that no one should ever bear the consequences of their actions. You believe that no matter how badly someone F’s up and hurts anyone else, that it’s ok to cry “King’s X!” and get a do-over with all of your rights intact.

          That’s where you and I disagree. I demand that rights be coupled with responsibilities. You hear that as “Blah blah blah.” Well. You demand rights without any responsibilities. I hear that as “Whah whah whah! Gimme my rights before I throw another tantrum! It’s MY life, I’ll do whatever I want, to whomever I want, whenever I want and you can’t stop me!” *door slamming*

          Grow up, sir.

        • I’m fully grown up, Jonathan – Houston. Granted, my reply was a tad childish, but look at your original comment and your reply. The proof is in the pudding. 😉

          It’s too dangerous to Liberty to allow government to infringe. That’s why the Constitution has a Second Amendment. It has nothing to do with my own personal feelings. Now, have a third go at trying to put words in my mouth. Another one of your little tantrums would be entertaining.

    • What if the warrant was for burning down your house, or raping your wife, or even just for identity theft? Why should criminals get to concoct their own little free lance good deed schemes to escape responsibility for crimes committed against others?

  9. Odds are the son was illegally possessing the gun he used to scare his mom off. He did good to save his siblings, but I doubt there would be a warm welcome with the police.

  10. I think “firing in the air” first has to go through the neighboring apartment’s floor, before it goes through its ceiling. And perhaps this young man can get some consideration if he lets authorities know that the gun just “went off”. And I’m certain he found the gun in his mom’s apartment, and I’d bet she is a convicted felon, as well.


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