LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — DGU stands for ‘Defensive Gun Use’ and from time to time we will take a closer look at an incident to decide whether or not the use of deadly force was justified.
We won’t even call it justified in this case, but rather, was the firing of a gun by an armed citizen the best course of action to take? Let’s take a look at what happened:
The man whose car was stolen pulled into a parking lot just before 10 p.m. at 251 N. Nellis Blvd., near Stewart Avenue, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. David Gordon said. He got out of his 2014 white Ford to throw out some trash, leaving the car door open and the engine running.
Upon returning to his car, he found another man sitting in the driver’s seat, Gordon said, and the man behind the wheel pulled out a gun. The car owner, whom Gordon said was a licensed concealed carrier, then pulled out his own gun and shot at the man behind the wheel.
In the end, the bad guy got away –with the car– and it isn’t clear if he was shot. The armed citizen in this case was injured when he fell while running away.
There are a few things to touch on, and I’ll try not to dwell on any particular topic.
First: The vehicle owner left his car running and with the door open when he went to throw out some trash. While we never think that someone will sneak in that quickly, it does happen. Allowing them easy access such as this is something that shouldn’t happen, and we should be securing our vehicles even if we are leaving them for a brief moment.
Second: The news article mentions that the bad guy, once discovered in the vehicle, produced a gun of his own. This seems to happen before the armed citizen draws his own firearm. Having a threat like that is a bad one, and showing your own firearm instead of retreating could have deadly consequences, since the bad guy already has the upper hand with his firearm out.
Third: A question to ask yourself; is a vehicle worth a life, whether it be yours or theirs? If I have someone stealing my car, I can shoot them and risk a number of things:
- Killing them
- Getting blood and guts spilled inside my car
- Damaging my car with the fired round(s)
- Getting myself shot in return
Remember, a vehicle is insured and your life isn’t. Well it could be, but you aren’t getting it back if you die.
On the other hand, if I’m faced with a bad guy with a gun who is already inside my vehicle and I have yet to draw my firearm, it might be best to let him go and call police. We never want to see the bad guy get away but in this particular case, shots were fired and lives were endangered, AND he still got away with the car.
We need to choose our battles when faced with threats and unless I had someone else inside the car while the bad guy was in there, I think I’d let him go while I called police.