TIFTON, GEORGIA — A woman leaving a local Cross Fit location discovered a thief rummaging through her car. Thankfully, she had her .45 caliber handgun on her. She fired a warning shot and held the thief at gunpoint until police arrived.
The Tifton Gazette said that police identified the man as 40 year-old Jeffrey Lee Smith. He was taken into custody without issue and will be charged with the theft. This capture comes after a string of car burglaries in the neighborhood have been reported over a period of several days.
Whether or not Smith is related to this string of car burglaries is unknown at this time but it’s likely this isn’t his first time picking through a vehicle. With him off the streets, this neighborhood will get to see if suddenly the other incidences begin to drop.
That’s the great thing about getting a bad guy off the streets after a string of robberies, burglaries, and theft has taken place.
But more importantly, it’s also why we carry every single day, everywhere we possibly can. Just think that if this woman had left her gun in her car — a common thing amongst gun owners — how this thief could have used it against her or someone else.
Because she had her gun on her, she was able to defend herself and ensure he got turned into authorities. The only bone we’ll pick is the firing of a warning shot.
In general, that’s a big no-no. The reason why we don’t fire warning shots is explained in this article I wrote up awhile back. It boils down to the nature of defensive gun use.
In most states, there are clear set rules underlying the use of deadly force. For instance, if you believe that your life or the life of someone around you is in imminent danger, deadly force becomes an option to defend yourself.
Seeing a thief rummaging through your car is definitely cause to feel threatened. However, exercising that deadly force needs to be clear. Firing a warning shot can be misconstrued. In this case, it doesn’t appear this gun owner will face any charges relating to that warning shot — which is a good thing — but in practice, it’s something we can all avoid.
If the bad guy doesn’t believe your gun is loaded and proceeds to try to hurt you, he will get to find out that it is indeed loaded and you are capable of using it to protect yourself. That’s on him. Your job is to defend you.
Stay safe out there and definitely keep your gun on you whether you’re going into the gym or the grocery store. Your life depends on it and the last thing any of us want is a bad guy getting his hands on a gun.