I heard a story on the radio the other morning that bothered me. Not just the story, but the reaction that people had to it.
Seems that there was an alleged incident of Road Rage in one of the snooty enclaves of dysfunctional nouveau riche that infest Connecticut. According to the police report, an SUV passed a car in no-passing zone. At the next intersection, one of the car occupants got out and approached passenger side of SUV and the driver of the SUV pointed a handgun at him/her. The SUV speeds off, and the car occupants call police.
The SUV driver was arrested later, and charged with Threatening and Reckless Endangerment. He had a permit, and gun was legally owned. The story said the gun was registered to the SUV driver.
Much to my surprise, one of the morning show hosts (they both lean softly to the left) sided with SUV driver; based on the limited info in police report, and due to concerns over carjacking. Then some caller dials in, claims to be a “pistol instructor”, initially harping on the fact that “there is no gun registration in Connecticut”. Host says, uh, whatever, that’s a small detail. Caller repeats his “correction” and says he wants to prevent bad information from being disseminated to public. He sounded like a pedantic ass.
When asked by the hosts to proffer an opinion on this incident, the caller then says the SUV driver is wrong for brandishing a weapon.
As to the SUV driver’s behavior in this incident, we should all bear in mind that the complaint (in addition to being publicized by an anti-gun media outlet) was lodged in the most litigious town in the state, a town known for citizens poking their noses into their neighbors’ private affairs. Trim your hedges too little? Say hi to a lawsuit for neglecting your property and lowering the neighbor’s property values. Trim them too much (so the neighbor thinks it’s unattractive to look at), say hi to another lawsuit. It’s THAT kind of town. So, I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that the car that got “passed” was in fact parked on the side of the road (but sticking out into it) while the occupants masturbated to the changing colors of the autumn leaves, and the SUV had no choice but to “pass” it to get by. Time will tell, hopefully.
We have no idea what the car occupant was brandishing as he/she approached the SUV, nor what what was said.
The only clear mistake that the SUV driver seems to have made is that he did not contact the police after the incident. I have heard it said many times: “If you carry a gun, carry a phone.” That is excellent advice. Just as important: “If you draw (or use) your weapon, call the police as soon as possible, because the first one to call is the de facto victim.” Also excellent advice.
My problems with the way this story was handled boil down to two issues.
One, the caller’s tone: Mr. Smartypants on his high horse. The kind of guy who gives gun owners a bad reputation. He had the same tone of voice you hear on the videos made by open-carry zealots that seek out confrontations with the police.
Two, the caller choosing to focus on the registration claim of the story as the only part that he would challenge. This alleged “gun guy” automatically took the media account at face value and jumped to the conclusion that the SUV driver did something wrong. Even the Obama-voting host didn’t jump to that conclusion.
Guys like this do at least as much harm to the cause of gun rights as the “good” they do.