Thursday, October 15, 2009

Too nice for a gun

Drunk patron shoves owner, grabs bank bag. Scuffle ensues involving thief, owner and another patron helping the owner. Owner gets a a gun, thief runs, owner fires a warning shot. Thief returns, more fighting, owner throws gun into a truck bed so he doesn't have to shoot thief. Thief winds up with gun, leaves, is arrested later.

I know the bar owner involved. He is a really nice guy, possibly too nice to carry a gun. I haven't talked to him yet, so my comments assume that the newspaper account is closer to reality than most stories.

First of all, the paper says the warning shot was after the thief was fleeing. In Ohio (like most states), you can't use deadly force to protect property. Warning shots are rarely a good idea, and in an area as populated as where this happened, a warning shot into the air is a really bad idea.

Don't involve a gun if you are going to throw it away rather than use it--especially if you will throw it where a criminal can retrieve it. I think the criminal thought that the owner wasn't willing to shoot.

If the owner doesn't get charged, this worked out reasonably well, but only by really good luck.

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