Shots Fired in Anger
-Patrick S Lasswell
Hiding in my front yard from a shotgun armed maniac last night made me reflect on my libertarian leanings. The Second Amendment never seemed so clear to me as an individual right as I waited for the police to arrive, and waited. I was carrying only a telephone and a flashlight, and updating the 911 operator as the lunatic passed twenty yards from my position it occurred to me how very much I appreciate owning rifles, and how very, very far away they were at the moment. Although I also own pistols, for a shotgun armed assailant in the night, the accuracy and stopping power of a rifle spoke to me with urgent clarity. As the wonderful folks from Box O'Truth say: Rifles are rifles, and pistols are pistols.
While running around in my PJ's armed exclusively with a flashlight, telephone, and civic virtue, my libertarian interest in keeping the police from having military weapons died of exposure. When the the kook drove by and kept pointing his lights at my position, I was all for the 911 operator getting access to laser armed satellites or police helicopters with precision guided munitions. The notion that patrol cars might have AR-15 rifles onboard seemed prudent, not an infringement. All apologies to Glenn Reynolds, but I wouldn't choose to face deranged shotgun toting citizens armed only with a pistol, why should the cops? Afterwards, I considered the comforting weight of my Navy Reserve unit's sweet shooting M240 machine guns and how nice it would be to lay the bipod on my driveway while covering the bad guy. Who am I do deny reasonable comfort to even the forceful Portland Police?
The ironic part of this whole thing was that as I was hearing shots fired in anger and close proximity for the first time in a long while, and my business partner Michael Totten is heading towards Fallujah. I have to consider the business impact of him getting dinged while covering a story. The notion that I might get peppered with buckshot in my front yard trying to get a crank dealer off the streets never entered the equation. Keep your head down Micheal, I'll try not to get dead back home...
This happened at my house. I heard a shouting and then what sounded like a shot. I looked out the front door and there was a man standing outside his car armed with a shotgun yelling down the street. Since my first investigation equipment only included a flashlight, I stepped back inside and grabbed the phone to call 911. I waited, then went back outside and the car had left. I looked for a shotgun shell and did not find anything. As I was headed back in, I heard a vehicle nearby and looked; it was the bad man. I called 911 and updated them, staying on the line. The man was looking for somebody; I decided to be a hard to hit somebody when he came in my direction. Our house has concrete fixtures that provide cover (one of those things I liked about it when we were house-hunting) and I made use of them for the first time.
I suspect this was a drug deal gone bad. The man with the shotgun was hunting for somebody after shooting from a public street. This is not the actions of somebody whose primary concern is the public good. The car in question is now parked two blocks from here.