What would you do if you were entering a store and saw a person concealing a handgun under their coat in the parking lot?
Would you panic?
Would you confront that person?
Would you call 911, or contact that store's security guard?
Yesterday, Clarence Daniels, 62, went to Walmart to buy coffee creamer for his wife. Before he entered the store, he grabbed his gun from his car and placed it in his hip holster under his coat.
Michael Foster, being the apparent diligent citizen that he is, saw Daniels arm himself and decided to take action.
And by take action, I mean "go all vigilante."
From Tampa Bay Times:
As Daniels entered the store, a label for the coffee creamer in his pocket in case he forgot the brand, Foster tackled him to the ground and placed him in a choke hold, sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon said.
"He's got a gun!" deputies said Foster shouted.
"I have a permit!" Daniels yelled back multiple times, McKinnon said.
The men struggled and were separated until law enforcement arrived on scene just before noon.
Foster was arrested and charged with battery.
McKinnon said the Sheriff's Office recommends that citizens avoid taking matters into their own hands, especially when a gun is involved:
"Unfortunately he tackled a guy that was a law-abiding citizen," McKinnon said. "We understand it's alarming for people to see other people with guns, but Florida has a large population of concealed weapons permit holders."
"You better make sure there's a good reason," he added. "Otherwise you might be confronting a guy that is legally permitted to carry a gun."
Foster REALLY should have known better: he resides in the state that has issued the most concealed carry permits in the US, after all. As of January 1, 2015, there are 1,345,558 active concealed carry permits in Florida.
I wonder if Foster realizes that armed citizens often save lives.
I also wonder if he knows that increases in the number of legally armed citizens coincide with significant drops in violent crime in the US.
Last July, a report that was released by the Crime Prevention Research Center showed parallels between a 22% drop in the overall violent crime rate in the same time period in which the percentage of the adult population with concealed carry permits soared by 130 percent. That report also found that 11.1 million Americans (as of 07/2014) have permits to carry concealed weapons. That's up from 4.5 million in 2007.
That 146 percent increase parallels a nearly one-quarter (22%) drop in both murder and violent crime rates during the same time period.
Instead of attacking Daniels, perhaps Foster should have shook the armed man's hand and thanked him.
If you are curious about what the anti-gun zealots would say, look no further:
— Shannon (@shannonrwatts) January 21, 2015
Watts isn't the brightest bulb in the box, so it is no surprise that her comment has left others in the Twitter-verse stumped.
Is Watts implying that the incident occurred because people are allowed to carry guns in the US?
Or, does she mean that Foster shouldn't have been arrested?
Is it possible that Watts agrees that it was stupid to attack an armed person?
People on Twitter have asked her for clarification, but she hasn't responded.
@shannonrwatts a law abiding ccw holder is assaulted. Do you support this watts?
— Kevin (@kevinpost) January 21, 2015
— AMC (@Soldier1eaODGrn) January 21, 2015
@shannonrwatts So you're promoting assault on someone who is observing his legal rights? You've lost it lady.
— Alas Babylon (@MikeBeRotten) January 21, 2015
.@shannonrwatts Allow me to be the first to say that I would've shot that asshole for assaulting me. He's lucky to have been arrested.
— J.T. Gilgo (@JTGilgo) January 21, 2015
@shannonrwatts put the box wine down and realize assault and battery is a crime. Carrying a legal gun is not. Tell Bloomberg hi.
— Chris Childs (@bigdaddychilds) January 21, 2015
— I Am Charlie Hebdo (@Tomfreeusa) January 21, 2015
— Kristine ❀♡❀♡ (@KristineAz) January 21, 2015
— Super Marsupial (@MarsupialHeros) January 21, 2015
— #libertarian bacon (@NM_libertarian) January 21, 2015
Attacking a person you know is armed defies common sense. What if Daniels WAS a criminal? What if he was an off-duty police officer? A member of the armed forces?
Foster's actions could have ended in tragedy for himself, Daniels, or a bystander.Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.