Monday, August 21, 2006

CCW FTW Watson

Looks like one of those EVILLLL gun-owners did some good for his community, this time at a KFC up in Indiana:
McMiller, police said, ordered a bucket of chicken then told cashier Deanne Slaughter: “Give me the money before I shoot you.”

The suspect held his hand in his back pocket as if reaching for a gun, police said, then lifted his foot to jump over the counter.

Paul Sherlock, a customer sitting in the dining room, approached and pointed a Taurus 9-mm handgun towards the suspect’s back.

The suspect raised his hands over his head, police said. Sherlock ordered him to lean against a window with his hands up until police arrived.

Police found a long screwdriver, not a gun, in McMiller’s pocket.
Nice work Paul! Not only was he Johnny-on-the-spot, but he showed some definite restraint in NOT pulling the trigger on the armed robber. Would he have gotten in trouble if he'd shot the guy, as the guy didn't actually have a gun? Probably, but it'd be a court battle; after all, the guy was armed and did threaten to shoot an innocent. Would Sherlock have had psychological issues down the road had he put a bullet into McMiller's body? Almost definitely, unless he's one of those rare individuals with the ability to completely separate rationality from emotions.

Let me play (an admittedly biased and somewhat weak) Devil's Advocate here for a moment, though: Did Sherlock do the right thing? Should he have gotten involved at all and should he have just let events play out and let the robber go on his merry way? Well, the guy DID threaten to shoot someone in the commission of another crime, and Sherlock did have the drop on the guy, but then, should he have waited until the threat of violence was imminent; that is to say, should he have waited until McMiller actually had a weapon ready to use on the body of another person? In my view, no. Sherlock decided early on in the event to take action in order to prevent violence, when he had some degree of control over the situation. By that I mean that a firearm was not visible and not ready to use, and Sherlock was able to approach the suspect with a decent probability of doing so undetected. Therefore he had a very good chance of ending the event either without bloodshed (preferred) or with only the suspect getting hurt. Did Sherlock actually rationalize any of that? I seriously doubt it:
Sherlock told The Star today that he was acting on instinct.
Damn good instincts, I have to say. Without thinking, and, in all probability, some serious psychological and physical distractions (increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, tunnel vision, and a mind that could be either "blank" or "racing" to name a few) Sherlock did the right thing, at the right time, and did it without hurting anyone.

One final question, this one on a larger issue: Will this positive event and this responsible gun-owner garner any attention from any large media outlets, well-known pundits, or anti-gun groups? No, of course not, because no bloodshed sells fewer papers and/or advertisements than bloodshed, and besides, everybody knows that guns, by their very existence and ownership, turn their owners into unthinking killing machines.

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