This true story shows why the "concealed carry" permit laws are good news and bad news. Armed citizens, beware!
Road Rage Strikes
Doug Beatty, JPFO's former webmaster, was walking with some co-workers across the street in a busy part of Alexandria, Virginia, when he was bumped by a commercial van turning right in front of him. Doug bumped himself back from the van using his hands. The driver heard Doug bump the van, so the driver stopped, got out, and demanded to know why Doug had smacked the van. Some words were exchanged, and the driver said he was going to "get something" for Doug. While the driver was searching around in his van, and then in the nearby alley, Doug and his co-workers proceeded to their nearby office.
The driver apparently got back into his van and started searching for Doug and his companions. Doug saw the van driver go by the workplace and turn into the adjacent parking lot. Wanting to avoid trouble inside the office, Doug went outside. The van driver saw Doug and said he "had something for" him. The driver was holding a large brick behind his back, and was inviting Doug into the alley to "show him something."
Armed but Calm
Doug was carrying a concealed and loaded pistol in his pocket holster, and did not pull it out in response to the driver's jeers and challenges. Doug instead called 9-1-1 on his cell phone, identified himself as a concealed weapons permit holder and said he was armed, and also reported the trouble brewing with the van driver. The police dispatched a unit to the scene.
Doug debated with a companion whether it would be best to stow the pistol in his trunk so as not to worry the police when they arrived, or just keep it handy in case the van driver got more violent. During the parking lot discussion, Doug opened his car trunk and began to place the pistol into the trunk. Seeing that the van driver was still threatening trouble, however, Doug decided to return the pistol into his pocket holster.
From about 70 feet away, the van driver saw Doug pull out his gun and holster and then put it back. The van driver ducked into a nearby shop and called 9-1-1 himself, and claimed that Doug had "pulled a gun on" him.
The police arrived. Doug was detained, and his firearm confiscated. Later, based on the statement by the van driver, the commonwealth attorney (prosecutor) charged Doug with unlawfully "brandishing a firearm." The prosecutor refused to drop the case even after Doug had identified witnesses who said Doug never "pulled a gun" on anyone.
State vs. Lawful Firearms Owners
What the prosecutor did in this case shows the trouble with "concealed carry" laws. Via the concealed carry permit, the state grants "permission" to citizens to carry firearms. Once the state assumes the power to grant the "privilege" of concealed carry, the state becomes empowered to harass citizens who use the "privilege."
At Doug's trial, the prosecutor argued: (1) every CCW permit holder must be especially careful to avoid confrontation, because the state gives the permit holder a special privilege of carrying a firearm for defense; (2) because Doug was armed, he knew he could defend himself, and therefore he would be more likely to confront the van driver; and (3) as a concealed carry permit holder, Doug would be more likely to "take the law into his own hands."
Under oath, the van driver testifed that he saw Doug touch something in his right pocket, something that looked like a gun butt. There was no other evidence that Doug "brandished" a firearm. The state's case rested mainly on the assumption that Doug, being armed, would want to pull a gun. That assumption comes from decades of anti-firearms propaganda and television programs that portray gun owners as nuts, wackos, criminals, or at best, wayward vigilantes.
Correctly, the judge found Doug not guilty. But firearms owners, and particularly concealed carry permit holders, must beware. If you even look like you might be using a firearm in self-defense, or if a crook can generate a believable story that you "pulled a gun," then you will face the results of "gun control" propaganda. Prosecutors and some judges will place the burden on you to prove not only your legal innocence but your moral innocence.
The gun prohibitionists have been controlling the debate for too long. The attackers must not have the moral high ground over the innocent armed citizens.The mere possession of a gun should not make people automatically assume you area criminal or crazy. We must destroy "gun control" by winning the hearts and minds of the people. Otherwise, your concealed carry permit will be an express ticket to court and possibly to jail.
No organization works like JPFO to destroy 'gun control' and prevent things like this from happening to you. To learn more about your rights, and how to keep them, see our "Grandpa Jack" number 2, "Can you get a fair trial in America?". (Review the Gran'pa Jack booklet series.)
Remember, freedom is not free.
The Liberty Crew at JPFO.