PLANT CITY, FLORIDA — Warm, humid air swam across a pasture field of the Rocking V Ranch. The Ranch had passed down from generation to generation but lying on the ground were the last descendants of Lamar “Ed” Varn, already deceased and in the dirt. On one side was the body of Milton Varn, 62, and across from him, his older brother Perry, 66. The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office arrived to find another man, George “Terry” Long, clutching a gunshot wound to his shoulder.
The details of the case will likely never be clearer than they are already. A great write-up of the story comes from Tampa Bay News. Starting back in 2009, Milton physically assaulted his older brother and was charged in court for it. The two brothers inherited the ranch from their father after he passed away. Perry, the oldest, repeatedly sought protective orders against his brother, claiming he struck him and threatened to exact “cowboy justice”.
As it would turn out, the two met their fate in a field.
However, the story didn’t end with both brothers gunning each other down in the heat of the moment. No, sir. Milton, the youngest, shot his own brother down in cold blood and then turned the gun on Terry who was with him. Terry got shot in the shoulder.
Milton thought he had won the field that day, likely.
After all, he had killed his only competition for the rights to the ranch. But it would never be enough. He saw his ex-wife standing beside her wounded husband, Terry, and figured he just had to go one step further. He threatened to shoot her, too.
With Perry pushing up daisies in the field already, there certainly would be no doubt that Terry’s wife would be next in Milton’s newly penned laundry list of people who needed his version of justice.
After all, he has the right to hit who he pleases, when he does, and if they try to fight back — well, that’s how they end up dead.
Unfortunately for ole Milty, he missed one important detail: his ex-wife also had a gun. And she had no intention of joining Perry in the ground.
Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office arrived to find both of the brothers lain out dead on the fields they likely ran across as kids.
From the ground and back to it and nary too far from where they were both likely born.
The locals in Hillsborough County likely had a lot to say about the whole thing. A tragedy some may say. Others may have seen it just as a certainty. And for some lucky reporter at Tampa Bay news, he just happened to get the break on something right out of a Steinbeck novel.
However, the conclusion for us concealed carriers is this: if you don’t keep that gun on your side every single day, everywhere you go, you’re at the mercy of a bad guy who doesn’t mind taking yet another life.