Imagine the scenario [via chron.com]: Co-worker with a criminal past (violent?) shows up at work drunk. Gets reported, gets fired. Several weeks later shows up at your house in the wee hours of the night, angry, armed, and blaming you. What do you do?
You’ll have to excuse the Houston Comical for it’s poor reporting standards. It’s epidemic, but down here in Houston we’re used to it. So we’ll take everything written with a grain of salt. The good guy here worked late and got home after midnight. He sat in his truck to burn one last cig before going inside for a night’s rest. Bad guy shows up (with wife!) and blocks the driveway. Bear in mind, this is Texas, so both men are driving pickups. Mr. Ford (good guy) is driving a Dodge (oh, the humanity) and Powell (bad guy) was driving an unidentified truck (a Ford? the irony).
Ford stays in his truck while Powell assaults the outside – smart choice. Powell announces that he has a gun and returns to his truck to get it. Quick – what would you do? Ford fires up the Dodge, rams backwards into Powell’s vehicle (oh how I wish they’d given the make and model) and then peels out through the front yard to escape. Car (truck) chase follows, with Powell firing indiscriminately through the night air in a heavy residential area. A showdown at a cul-de-sac, and then Ford’s Dodge finally outruns Powell’s Brand X vehicle. That thing got a Hemi in it?
There’s more at the link, including the rarely mentioned aftermath. Fear, upset family, moving away to avoid future harassment, etc. Apparently in the state of Texas you only get 8 years for missing your target. The comments section is fun, with plenty of mention about Ford getting a CHL for when Powell finally gets out.
And there’s my problem. I’m not sure a gun would have helped in that story. We already had one guy firing round after round in a residential neighborhood. If we ratchet that up to two guys firing multiple rounds from fast moving trucks then all we do is double the odds of a bullet flying through a child’s bedroom window. Ford had a small window of opportunity during the initial phase of the assault – before Powell got his gun out – in which he could have gotten out of the truck, gun in hand, and ended the affair quickly. And possible illegally too. At that point he wasn’t in imminent fear of death.
Doesn’t matter, once that window passed, Ford was left with escape as his best option. Stay in the truck, keep moving, focus 100% on driving. Getting caught in the cul-de-sac wasn’t great, so you have to be thinking ahead. Which turn, which street, where is it I want to go? And please, don’t say police station. I’ve driven to the cop shop at 2 am. Deserted. Completely.
In any event, there are plenty of places here where one cannot legally pack. Work being a prime place where you spend 10 to 12 hours a day, unarmed. And plenty of reasons one doesn’t leave a gun in your locked vehicle. So if you follow the law, you could very well find yourself in a gun-free situation. Food for thought.
Several last thoughts. I work at a chemical plant in La Porte, less than a stone’s throw from Pasadena. Chances are this guy worked in a plant just down the road from me. Second, I’m pissed about the 8 year sentence. The DA should have added a dozen years for illegal possession of a firearm at the very least. Finally, there are plenty of plant stories of people laying in wait at the company gate to jump a particular employee at quitting time. Hey, you know it’s a gun-free zone (for at least one of the participants).