I received a text from a friend a few days ago asking if I had time to take a call. These types of texts usually imply an urgency or immediate need so I picked up my surveillance device and called him. He opined after the usually greeting “speak” amongst friends, that, his words, “I may have fucked up”! I, having had these exact thoughts a few times in the past, inquired on who he got drunk and kissed at the Christmas party? I figured his old lady had walked in on his temporary indiscretion as I know he’s a stand up Southern boy with a good moral compass. I was wrong about all of it regarding the reason!
He mentioned that on the way home from work, a fella had been a total peckerwood flashing lights and blowing the horn at his car as he had no place to pull over the let the guy by. The usual, flashing of the bird as the guy passed pissed my buddy off, as said peckerwood sped by, but he shrugged it off as one should in these times. At a stop light, in the very near future, my buddy ended up behind the angry driver and the fella recognized his car and decided to back into him. My friend is wondering WTF, as anyone would. They get to the next light and it happens again! My friend has a dash camera and decides to follow the perp in order to get his insurance information and his plate number and give him a piece of his mind. Any other decade this may have made sense but these are uncertain times we live in. Ohhh, and by the way, the camera may have worked if he had formatted the SD card…..SURPRISE!
As my friend pulls into the parking lot where the perp parks, he notices the guy is rather large and extremely irate and decides to exit his car and grabs his pistol by his side. Words are exchanged and the perp gets on his phone summoning a small army of police that soon arrived. The police disarmed my friend of the pistol, that he never raised, only held by his side, and began taking statements from both parties. Everything seemed cool and the officer returned the pistol to my friend and told him they would have to review the local video footage and they would get back to him.
I am not a lawyer, but do some teaching of arms handling, and I head a weekly preparedness group where we have discussed such “incidents” in prior meetings , so I offered him a quick opinion on what had happened and where he could have made better decisions. At the end of the conversation I shared the number of an attorney that has experience in this area and suggested he contact him, just in case.
Well, to finish this story, and get to my point, he now needs to hire the attorney in regard to what happened. The list of charges include Terroristic threat, simple assault and reckless endangering. These are supposedly misdemeanor charges but his ability to own and possess firearms is in jeopardy. Who knows if they add more charges, as the Government can pretty much charge you as it sees fit, so who really knows where this is going. One thing that is apparent is 10’s of thousands of dollars will be paid in Atty. Fees, court fees and fines are guaranteed…..let that sink in! How big was the threat? Was life really in danger? Was a rational, unemotional action followed in determining a response? All of these questions, and more, will dance in his mind over the next months or years as his bank account dwindles and he may lose his Constitutional rights as well.
Finally, the point, as I reflect on a friends misery and misfortune. Most all of this is self inflicted and gross negligence on his part. Let me list my points and remember I have invited him many times for group, training, etc :
- Friend carries a pistol but does not practice. He is always too busy or going away with his wife for leisure events.
- Friend has never attended group meetings where we have some discussion regularly on when is appropriate to bring a gun to the party. More importantly when not!
- Friend never studied firearm law nationally or at the state level so has no knowledge
- Friend never “checked” his equipment for function and just assumed it would work
- Friend is not familiar with what is a real threat.
I have not shared the above points with my friend now is not the time. I hope this tale of woe settles in your brain when your faced with a situation of possible self defense.
AP/BB Hard Knocks Dept