Just a few days ago, a southside jewelry store owner not otherwise identified, and known hereinafter as SSJSO, shot a man. That man, 19-year old Justin Edward Garnett, was one of two men in the process of trying to rob him. Garnett pointed his gun at SSJSO and SSJSO grabbed his own gun and shot him. The two men fled and were eventually captured. Garnett subsequently died of the injuries he sustained in the shooting. Another senseless gun death!
If it were not for SSJSO's gun, Justin Edward Garnett, at 19 still a virtual child, would be alive (and robbing and killing other people) today.
Make no mistake, when the gun grabbers tally the results of this encounter, they will not count it as a case where a man saved both his life and his business from criminals. They will score this as "another senseless gun death," and use it, as they have used so many others, as grist to try to prove that no one will be safe until government and criminals have a monopoly on gun possession and all the law abiding are at their mercy.
Will SSJSO be prosecuted for anything he did in this encounter? Probably not. Good thing his store was not in Washington, D.C., or Massachusetts or New York. The laws of those jurisdictions would come down hard on SSJSO. Let's see, possession, firing within city limits, endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon, and possibly even manslaughter. He would be facing jail time for sure.
Consider the murders by another young man (just a child really), Kajornsak Prasertphong. He was convicted along with his young accomplice of three counts of felony murder. Three senseless gun deaths that could have been prevented if only the victims had not been armed. Oh, they were unarmed? And a good thing, too. Think of how many more might have died if the victims had been armed.
Now that they have been convicted, it has been revealed that Prasertphong might have bought his gun at a gun show at the TCC. So they are planning to cook up a lawsuit against the private seller of the gun on the theory that he didn't obtain a background check on Prasertphong even though he was not required to do so. Maybe they will even join the manufacturer of the gun for making a dangerous instrumentality that had but one purpose: to kill. How about suing the city for providing the forum in which the buyer and seller could meet and conduct their nefarious business?
When the dust settles on the jewelry store killing, will someone decide to sue SSJSO? Will they trace the seller and the manufacturer of his gun and sue them?
All these killings go into the count as senseless gun deaths that could have been prevented by making possession of any firearm a felony just as we have done with narcotics. And you know how easily we solved our drug problem with those laws.
Lionel Waxman's Flashpoint commentaries are heard on about 400 radio stations nationwide, including KJLL AM 1330 in Tucson. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.