Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Two citizens helped out a wounded officer at a Wal-Mart. The officer had been shot several times. His assailant was trying to retrieve the shotgun from the patrol car after stabbing a security guard who attempted to subdue him. A 16 year old pulled the pistol out of the officers holster & handed it to the officer who then promptly shot the assailant.
Of course the article doesn't mention that they were ordinary citizens: it relies heavily on the terms "security guard" & "police cadet" lest any common folk get it in their heads that they are responsible for their own defense as well as society's.
One thing that bothers me though: why did the 'cadet' hand the gun to the officer who's wounds were so bad they prevented him from unholstering his weapon? If the shooting was justifiable, as it appears to be, then wouldn't it have been just as justifiable if a non-cop had done it? & considering the officers wounds, wasn't handing a gun to a man who's injuries were so bad he couldn't use his strong arm dangerous? Yes, it turned out alright but if the officer was in that bad a shape then it's conceievable his aim might have been way off (understandably) at best or at worst he could have lost control of the weapon to the assailant. Under the circumstances it turned out alright, but I would feel better knowing that citizens were encouraged to take an active role in protecting themselves & their community instead of dutifully handing the gun over to the cop.
One more thought: I wonder if the cadet will be prosecuted? After all, he is under 18 & he knowingly possessed a handgun. That's a no-no under Federal law & I'm sure California has one that's stricter. Of course I don't want to see the kid prosecuted, I'd much rather those assinine laws were removed. That way if it should ever happen again maybe the kid would have enough confidence to handle the firearm himself.

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