It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use: Memphis Mob Gas Station Attack Edition

You know the old expression “It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it?” This. Here. While the unarmed man attacked by the swarm/mob/gang at this Memphis gas station had a gun in his car, Orrden Williams, Jr. was very lucky to be able to get to it. And even luckier not to have to use it. Gun control advocates will use this incident to justify their argument that guns escalate violence, rather than end it. Wrong. In fact, this horrific encounter is proof – if proof were needed – that carrying a firearm can mean the difference between life or death for its owner. And his three-year-old child. Yes, there is that. [h/t JM]


  1. avatar CAG404 says:

    How about that? This man does the right thing helping someone out and gets thrashed by a mob. And they endanger his child?

    Incidents like this obliterate the anti-rights, anti-gun “high capacity argument.” I carry along with an extra magazine and wouldn’t have had enough rounds to deal with that entire mob, if it came to that.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      The thing about mobs is they usually fizzle fast when they see that they can get hurt.

      You wouldn’t have had enough if they were trained, working as a team, and had a mission, but they didn’t have any of those traits. They were just emboldened by the mob. I’m guessing you would have had plenty of rounds to disperse a crowd like that.

      But if they did have any of those traits, you’d have been screwed.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Me, I might have fired a warning shot, I’d have to check ammo remaining vs holes in people to be sure. “Warning shot” sounds so much better than “I missed”

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          A “Warning Shot” could have been the worst thing you could have done.

          That would be considered proof you felt your life wasn’t in danger. That might mean a negligent discharge arrest.

          Good-Bye carry permit.

          As others mentioned, it’s one hell of a good case for extra mags. Or at the very least full standard capacity mags.

        2. avatar rosignol says:

          Not in the jurisdiction I live in.

          Around here, if you fire a warning shot, the legally safe thing to do is say you missed.

          Remember what happened to that lady in Florida.

        3. avatar TheBear says:

          Yup. What you do is less important than how you describe what you did.

          Welcome to self defense law 101.

        4. avatar DBM says:

          What direction would you shoot? Its an urban area. Also lately people who fire warning shots havent been treated so well by the courts.

  2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    The growing problem too politically incorrect to discuss openly: mobs of feral youth terrorizing law-abiding people. Tell me again why a 10-round magazine limit makes sense?

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      “feral youth” is the term I was thinking of as well…

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        Did you watch the report? “Rowdy youth,” please.

        1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

          the reporter at the end call them children…..

        2. avatar Taylor TX says:

          @Sage Just unarmed children like so many we hear about in the news lately ha

      2. avatar Tony says:

        Feral youth is a term that I will adopt.

      3. avatar CoolBreeze says:

        You mean “children”

        1. “mah child dindu nuff’n'”

    2. avatar BlueBronco says:

      What’s weird is they came from a nearby “prep academy.” LEO need to talk to the head master and board over there.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Prepping for thug life and prison…

      2. avatar Vhyrus says:

        Proof that uniforms and high tuition do not a honor student make.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Actually, they would be honor students.

          “Yes, your Honor. No, your Honor. No excuse your Honor…”


      3. avatar Mike in Memphis says:

        So here’s the deal. The “prep” academy is a Shelby County (read Memphis City) school and according to the website is one of the schools in the Department of Alternative Schools. The school is mid-town/downtown, not the best area with everything that comes with it, poverty etc etc etc. It isn’t some toney high-end private school. Those would be in East Memphis/Germantown/Collierville. This is a failing school full of problem teens.

        I heard this story the day after it happened and the gas station owner states that the problems are usually worse in the morning and afternoon, before and after school. There have been a number of roving pack attacks in the last year, including one at a Kroger where the pack beat the tar out of a bagboy last fall.

        When I heard the story, the first thing I though was “Should have been a defensive gun use”.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          I had that feeling since I’ve been to Memphis many times, and that did not look like the ‘burbs of the upper-middle. Nor did the “kids”.

        2. avatar BlueBronco says:

          it sounds like Shelby County/Memphis needs to get a handle on this so-called “prep school” pdq!

      4. avatar Irish1776 says:

        I think he meant to say “Perp” Academy.

    3. avatar arsh says:

      Things like that video make me glad I got an XD with 13.

  3. avatar Skyler says:

    A real hero.

  4. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    This is why you also carry a knife.

    1. avatar Don says:

      A flamethrower might have been more appropriate here.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      A knife is good, when you run out of ammo you can begin digging out all your bullets. Then the flamethrower to cauterize the wounds. Finally, draw a breath and intone deeply “MY WORK HERE IS DONE!!” and stroll away.

    3. avatar Irish1776 says:

      I would carry a stack of Job applications. That would disperse them immediately.

  5. avatar James says:

    So much Vibrancy©! I feel extremely Culturally Enriched® just watching this video! I can’t wait for Diversity™ to come to my neighborhood!

    1. avatar nynemillameetuh says:

      Hey come on, those teens were one NRA youf outreach away from becoming truckling conservatives!

  6. avatar foo dog says:

    Black lives matter.

    1. avatar JohnO says:

      All lives matter, but when a person, or group, of any race attacks like that, that group needs to know they will be shot at by a good guy with a gun.

      1. avatar John P says:

        I think he was being ironic.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      What if the guy being beat up was white, would it have even made the news?

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        yeah, and if any of obamas sons had been hurt by the evil white man, the national outrage would have been huge.

  7. avatar J. Zoss says:

    If an anti used this to support their treasonous views they would be more insane than normal since it was said he nearly pulled out a gun. Unless there is evidence to support that the mob was made up of mind readers how did thinking about pulling a gun have any effect at escalating or deescalating for that matter.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      The anti line would be that he survived, so he clearly had no need to pull his gun. If he pulled his gun, “teens” might have died. The fact that he escaped death or serious injury by pure luck would not matter to them.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Actually what it does for me is put to the lie that old canard about gun-owners all being vigilantes just itching for an excuse to shoot someone. That guy had plenty of excuse, but restrained himself once he was safe from the immediate danger.

  8. avatar Pwrserge says:

    I admire his restraint. I’m not sure I would not have gone for my gun after the first punch. This is why we need to reintroduce public flogging. For the “yuths” and their “parents”.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I admire his restraint. ”

      You ain’t kidding. A large crowd swarming towards me, I hope I’m never in that situation.

  9. avatar foo dog says:

    Black lives matter…..

    1. avatar MotoJB says:

      Black Crime Matters

      1. avatar arsh says:

        We should get this video trending on twitter with #BlackCrimeMatters

    2. avatar 16V says:

      Black lives don’t matter much to other blacks. That poor guy barely escaped with his.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Black lives don’t matter much to other blacks.”

        That is the tragic reality.

        I doubt that situation will improve much near-term.

  10. avatar ThomasR says:

    I was just making the comment in another post is that the only bad stereotype is if we say all of a racial group are violent or are criminals since most people are law abiding and only a small minority of the minorities are involved in violent or criminal behavior.

    Ummm, then youtube smacks you up side the head.

  11. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    If he’d been carrying and pulled his gun, and shot a couple members of the mob before they were all on top of him, then we’d be hearing about “Shooter Goes on Rampage at Memphis BP,” but, tactically, waiting until they’re all in punching and kicking range before you attempt to draw your weapon is suicide. When you’re fighting half a dozen assailants in close combat, there’s no reliable way to stop a gun grab. There was very little time to have made that decision, but armchair quarterbacks on the left wouldn’t have seen it that way. Any one of those punches or kicks could have disabled or killed him. The fact that he got away without serious injury was pure luck.

    Say he’d fired, right when he saw the mob closing. He killed or wounded one or two teens and the mob dispersed. The mass beatdown then never happened, so people would be second-guessing him constantly about the level of danger he was in.

    They say better to be judged by twelve than carried by six, but man, it’s an awful choice to have to make in the heat of the moment.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      There is, it just requires you to be more aggressive than most people are capable of being. If somebody wants to grab the barrel of my gun while I’m in contact shot range, they better hold on tight. The nice thing about most pistols is that the grip gives you one hell of a leverage advantage.

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        “There is, it just requires you to be more aggressive than most people are capable of being. If somebody wants to grab the barrel of my gun while I’m in contact shot range, they better hold on tight. The nice thing about most pistols is that the grip gives you one hell of a leverage advantage.”

        No, sorry, that’s all out the window when you have a half dozen people piling on you. What about the guy who’s got hold of your off arm, and the guy who’s got you around the waist, and the two on your gun arm, and the guy who’s punching you in the face? Letting a mob get its hands on you isn’t something anyone can credibly fight their way out of outside action movies. Your only hope is that it’s a disorganized mob and that they don’t cooperate like that.

        1. avatar Pwrserge says:

          That’s the difference between hand to hand combat and martial arts. In reality, no trained and armed fighter willing to be as vicious as it takes is ever outnumbered by an untrained mob.

  12. avatar Lone Ranger says:

    Cloudbuster you are absolutely right but unfortunately the left does not see it that way. They won’t acknowledge that what they view as a “simple beatdown” can result in death or permanent life-altering injuries to the person being assaulted.

    They also view any use of a gun in such a situation as escalation, with absolutely zero ability to understand that the use of a firearm can quickly de-escalate the situation and preserve the honest citizens life, even if it is at the expense of a couple of murderous thugs.

  13. avatar MotoJB says:

    Should have been a DGU with a mini-gun. That mob of scum shouldn’t be walking the earth. Savages.

    1. avatar Tony says:

      I chuckled at this image in my head. Thanks!

  14. avatar Rokurota says:

    He left his gun and his kid in the car. This incident is why you take both with you.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Yep. When I first started carrying a weapon, It seemed like the few times I didn’t have my gun on me, something would happen, usually a person or group of Youts would present themselves in an aggressive way where I thought, “Damn! I wish I had my gun right now, things could go south very quickly”.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “He left his gun and his kid in the car. This incident is why you take both with you.”

      Something tells me I doubt he will repeat that error.

  15. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Memphis used to be a nice town.

  16. avatar fogtown says:

    This has been a problem for a few years here in St Louis. Mobs of teen and young adults, doing mob robberies and attacks in the Delmar Loop and down town.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Stuff like this (Ferguson was a different kettle completely) rarely happens compared to Chicago. There were little groups of garbage causing problems in The Delmar Loop, but nothing like a 30:1 wilding shown in the vid. The U-City and STL coppers have taken (finally) to cracking down hard on them. Problems way down.

      The vid was the best argument for commuting in a Ferret with a live .50 I’ve seen in years.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “The vid was the best argument for commuting in a Ferret with a live .50 I’ve seen in years.”

        Ferret? Or Ferrari?

        1. avatar 16V says:

          I dunno, depends on your personal taste. The Ferret weighs 3.7T, goes about 60 MPH, and has more than adequate armor against small arms. Any Fezza I can think of is not quite so robust. Faster, but the bodies stack on on the hood, not under the wheels. Let alone mounting the MaDeuce…

        2. avatar Raven says:

          He meant Ferret, a light scout armored vehicle, like so:

          And I’m with him on that one. 😀

          That one’s for sale currently: POR, which means pricey for certain. Still, it’s a good bug out option. :p

        3. avatar DBM says:

          These armored bathtubs are a [email protected] to drive and hard to maneuver.

        4. avatar 16V says:

          Raven,. Didn’t check out that particular one for sale, but AFAIK, Ferrets still run around $20-40K depending on which generation they are and condition. I know a gent who has a Mark IV, they’re interesting to operate.

        5. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Ah! Thanks for clearing that up.

          I had a mental image of the guy with his pet ferret from a few days back…

          Further confused on where the hell you mount a .50 on a Ferrari.

          What I get for over thinking it….

          (With what little I have available for thinking…)

  17. avatar Scythian Arrows says:

    Rorke’s Drift 2: Electric Boogaloo

  18. avatar arsh says:

    I would have pulled out my gun and had a heyday. It’s all on video of self defense with justifiable reasoning to believe you’d be killed!

    1. avatar Model 31 says:

      and hope there was a video after the fact…you never know if there will one.

  19. avatar Waiting - 4 - Justice says: ( Again ) group of black females stomp woman outside movies. I will be following , and contacting the reporting news outlets , for updates. There Must Be Justice.

  20. avatar Grindstone says:

    Hm, man is attacked by a mob of teenagers, all seem to be the same race, so no racial motivation can be gleaned from it. What’s the best response as a TTAG commenter? Let’s bring up race!

    If this had been a DGU, then it would’ve decreased the likelihood of this happening again immeasurably.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Yeah, Grindstone, I don’t think people on this site have got the memo.

      The only time that it’s acceptable to mention race is if it helps to show that racist white privilege supposedly causes the disparity in arrest rates, education levels or levels of Poverty of the minorities, but to mention race when it shows behavior that negatively reflects on those same races, then it’s obviously racist. (Irony alert)

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Why dance around it? Sack up and say the racist crap you want to.

        1. avatar foo dog says:

          Project much, bro?

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          Projecting would be if I was calling out the obvious racism while hiding my own, yet I’ve made zero racist statements, ever. Not even the “blame whites” strawman that ThomasR so unskillfully built.

  21. avatar DBM says:

    Just a few observations here. A group of Kangaroos is called a mob so they are saying a mob of teenage kangaroos attacked a gas station?

    Next no where in that “mob” did I see white teens. I saw white and black patrons in the station but only black teens on a rampage. Why is it so hard to say this in news reporting? The same type of crime is being committed all over the country by all black flash mobs like this but no one ever says who is doing it.To fix a problem you have to identify and address it.

  22. avatar LJM says:

    For the children.

  23. avatar Yellow Devil says:

    Holy crap, that looked like a flurry of angry ants after you step on their hill. I won’t mention the color of said ants, because I would be labelled racists by some commentators here.

  24. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Hmmm…years ago I was in the southside of Chicago selling insurance(I think) when my car was surrounded by a large (30 or more)group of black youts. No guns or weapons on me at the time(I thought I was a badass). AS the young black mens(sic) reached into my car and I yelled “Im running you over!”. gunned the engine and barrelled through as the sea of “children” parted. The PO-leece are afraid of these mobs. Shoot to kill and hope to get away. BTW this was around 1990 and the same west Pullman neighborhood is FAR FAR worse-as is most of the city. LOTS more armed teens.

  25. avatar Ralph says:

    This is reason #206 for why I carry — because all animals need to get their shots.

  26. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    “Hands up, don’t loot”

  27. avatar craig says:

    Monkeys need more exercise I guess…Hope and change

    1. avatar Q says:

      Are you refrencing all black people with this statement or the POSs in this video?

  28. avatar Kevin says:

    That many people beating up on one guy would have been enough disparity in force to justify a defensive gun use. Someone in the store could have fired through the glass at attackers in defense of the victims life, and likely dispersed the mob. Hindsight is 20/20..

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I was wondering about that. By the time the mob clearly demonstrates their intent it is too late … that guy would have had maybe 1 second to decide, draw, and start putting bullets on target before the mob was literally on top of him. And I can assure that 1 second isn’t enough time.

      It seems to me like you cannot prevail over a mob attack. There just isn’t enough time lapse between their demonstration of intentions and landing of punches.

  29. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

    A mob that size isn’t exactly inconspicuous. If I saw that many people heading my way and pointing cameras around, I’m getting the fuck out of dodge before they close the distance. That size of group is definitely truck gun territory too.

  30. avatar Phil LA says:


  31. avatar Daniel Martin says:

    How dangerous would it be to fire a gun next to the pumps at a gas station? You’re not even supposed to have your cell phone on, and are supposed to discharge static electricity before filling up. Could this horribly go all Robocop on a lawful defender?

  32. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    This incident is proof, if proof were needed, that you shouldn’t go provoking an angry mob.

    Oh sure, I get it. They’re feral and they’re maladjusted and there’s no excuse for their savagery. Those sound like even more reasons not to taunt or challenge the powder keg . Just walk the lady to her car, then quickly go get onto your own and keep quiet.

  33. avatar Magister says:

    Well damn. Where’s a belt-fed when you need it?!

  34. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    So if we can’t blame this on America’s gun culture where should the blame lie? Wow that’s not an easy one to answer with all the regime promoted racial and economic class division…

  35. avatar Josh Wood says:

    You know, this mob and the last one reported on here had something in common… Weird how that works.

  36. avatar Don in PA says:

    I don’t think there’s much you can do with a handgun with that many people attacking you. No matter what you’d be relying on most of them decide to retreat. This is what SMGs are for.

  37. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    I see more and more multiple assailant attacks in my (here to fore) low crime area. Wilding, knockout “game”, roving bands of “feral” youth, etc. My edc is 6 in the mag, one in the pipe, 8 in the back up mag. Back up gun in my vehicle with 20 more rounds. Is a glock with a 30rnd mag still considered bad form?

  38. Orrden Williams simply was not afraid for his life – and those are his words. Sure, he’s got a lot more patience than I, but as he was not afraid for his life, he did not have the right to use his firearm. His own words, he thought about it, but couldn’t live with the thought of taken a life. If you can make that distinction, you clearly don’t fear for your life, or in his case, the life of his child. As I say in every class I teach – if you can do that logic in your head, you clearly are not afraid for your life. IF you ever are – and I have been – I can assure you, you are not thinking, you’re responding. Let’s all hope that at least one of these knuckle heads does good by the gift that Mr. Williams has given them, and does something reasonable with their life. As for Mr. WIlliams, he’s running for Tennessee State Senate for District 88. Makes me wish I lived in TN…

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