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I Do Not Want My Whopper To Get Capped

By Jesse Taylor
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 16:27 EDT
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imageThis firefight at a Burger King is getting cheered by many on the pro-gun right as the awesomest thing that’s ever happened.

The robber entered wearing a ski mask. He approached a clerk, showed his gun and demanded money, said Miami police spokesman Jeff Giordano.

A customer eyed him and the two started arguing. The customer had a concealed-weapons permit and his gun — and the two exchanged gunfire.

The robber crumpled to the floor and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The customer, with several gunshot wounds, was in serious but stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

There are two ways of looking at this. The first is with the tacit approval of this brave man taking justice into his own hands and using his Constitutional rights to stop a robber in his tracks, saving a fast-food restaurant literally hundreds of dollars.

The second is that this guy got into a firefight in a public place, endangering himself, the employees and other customers and passers-by, is in serious condition in a hospital and probably could have died if a bullet had been a half-inch off, all to save a fast-food restaurant literally hundreds of dollars.

Let’s talk about why the second way is correct. Simply put, you have the right to defend yourself and others – this, I cannot and will not disagree with. However, there’s a reason that we train people to do this for the community at large, rather than trusting a group of residential commandos to lay down suppression fire every time someone wants to hold up a 7-11. Guns are dangerous. Very dangerous. They are designed to kill living things. Regardless of your position on the right to bear arms, a man nearly lost his life to protect the till at a Burger King. In terms of social cost, a law-abiding citizen’s life is not worth ten hours’ take of Tendercrisp sandwiches and shitty (but improved!) fries.

And just to make clear: law enforcement officials are in a far better place to handle situations like this without endangering others, providing they do their job correctly. Your average armed person, with no real training and prone to misread a situation, often becomes as much of a danger to the others as the criminal, if not more so.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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