When two good guys with guns confront one another
Georgia's new law goes into effect and everybody's packing:
A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.
The customer making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other customer, who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification.
He demanded the man’s ID again. Undeterred by the drawn gun, the man paid for his items, left the store and called for police.
Authorities arrested Ronald Williams, 62, on a charge of disorderly conduct, related to the pulling of a weapon inside of the store, according to the VPD. Police confiscated Williams’ weapon and took him to the Lowndes County Jail.
The police chief said no one can demand a person to show their gun permit. Under the new law, he as police chief and his officers cannot demand to see a firearms permit, Childress said.
“This is an example of my concern with the new gun law that people will take the law into their own hands which we will not tolerate,” he said.
I'm afraid the police chief is missing the whole point of "open carry." The good guys are going to help the police by stopping bad guys. You see, police can't be everywhere at once so the good guys have to step in and do their job for them:
“We’re not breaking the laws,” Haros said. “We’re not here to hurt anybody. We’re not trying to alarm anybody. We’re doing this because it’s our constitutional right.”
In this case, it gets a teensy bit complicated. Was the good guy with a gun who was stopping a bad guy with a gun the one who asked for the permit or the one who refused to show it? Well, apparently, it was the fellow who asked for the permit. He wasn't arrested for asking (although one can certainly see the day that will become an illegal act in itself) but for drawing his weapon in the store, which is only illegal if one doesn't actually shoot someone. That would have been fine since he would obviously have been in fear for his life. After all,there was a man with a gun in the store! (Who wouldn't be scared?)
Haros, who believes openly carrying firearms helps police, said citizens should know that the demonstrations will continue.
“It’s just for safety purposes,” Haros said. “Officers can’t be there at all times. We understand that. They can only do so much.”
This is confusing for those of us who can't automatically tell if someone with a deadly weapon is a "good guy" or a "bad guy." It's probably smart to make the cautious assumption that a yahoo with a gun is a bad guy or a fool, in which case it makes sense to simply walk away and take your business elsewhere. If you see two yahoos with guns having some kind of disagreement, run. Even if you know who the good guys and the bad guys are, their bullets don't make such distinctions.