BILINGS, MONTANA — As armed citizens, we never want to envision ourselves needing to draw our firearms in any sort of self-defense situation, but we always hope that if we do, we’re able to do so appropriately.
In a busy shopping mall in Montana last month, an armed citizen found himself drawing his firearm. How did he do? Not too well. Watch the video below, and then let’s get into some details:
According to KTVQ;
The two suspects, a male and female, were in the process of shoplifting when they were confronted by another man in the parking lot who told the suspects they could not leave, according to police.
The citizen attempted to block the suspects in by standing behind the vehicle around 7:30 p.m. near JCPenny. “The citizen was open-carrying a sidearm and told the suspects if they tried to run him over he would shoot them,” said Sgt. Matthew Chaney.
Chaney stated the suspects attempted to back into the citizen who pulled his sidearm and fired several shots into the tires of the vehicle. The vehicle still fled the scene.
The news report goes on to say that the armed citizen, who was openly carrying his firearm, was not arrested and will likely not face any charges.
James Newman, the man behind the firearm and a Marine Corps veteran, stands by the decision he made that day.
“I felt like someone needed to step in and stop it,” he said. “There is enough crime going on in this world that there is not enough people making a stand against it.”
While I agree that more criminals need to be held accountable for their actions (like, all criminals), I am also aware that it’s not reality. Furthermore, I disagree with how Mr. Newman handled this situation.
During an interview, he goes on to say:
“At no point was there anybody in danger and I’ve said this to several people. Yeah, I put myself behind a vehicle, maybe that’s not how you conduct your business, but that’s what I did. I chose to do that and yeah it resulted in shots fired. But at no point was any other person in danger. And the ricochet factor, you’re stretching for it, they’re stretching for something to throw out there. ‘Oh well this guy is an idiot, he’s just a gun-toting vigilante.’ No, I’m just your average person walking around.”
Anytime a firearm is discharged in public, people in the area are in danger. Bullets take funny ricochets and to completely dismiss the very real possibility of someone being struck by a ricochet is irresponsible. To me, at least.
The man and woman who are accused of shoplifting were stealing from a JCPenny store. That’s not motive for me to get involved with my firearm. My life isn’t in danger, and neither is my personal property. If, however, one of the accused was beating the other one senseless in the parking lot, then I’d feel it’s my duty to step in to try and stop the assault.
There’s a big difference, especially since we’re talking lethal force.
While he was just shooting at the tires to try and disable the vehicle, I feel that time would have been better spent writing down the license plate and securing an accurate description of both suspects.
And I being hard on Mr. Newman? Chime in below.