Why Law-Abiding Citizens Need Guns At Restaurants - And Response (10)

  • Friday, July 24, 2009

According to an article today in the Chattanoogan, Matt O'Conner and Stacy McEwen were "jumped" (aka assaulted and robbed) by five thugs. The couple were attacked walking from the Terminal Brewhouse.

The report states that Mr. O'Conner received minor injuries. However, as of July 14, the legislature has empowered all law-abiding permit holders in Tennessee to lawfully carry their firearms in restaurants, like the Terminal Brewhouse.

I have always said that my concern was less about being victimized in the restaurant as in the restaurant's parking lot.

Now had the five thugs who attacked the couple above done so to me and my wife, then the outcome would have most likely been much different. It is imperative that all law-abiding citizens in this area realize that the police cannot be all places at all times. By the time the police made it to the scene, the thugs had left. Fortunately, the police caught two suspects but there are three of the same thugs running around looking for their next victims, and many more thugs where they came from.

We must all find the courage to provide for our own safety. The couple can count themselves very fortunate that they were not victims of yet another homicide here in town.

The story notes that one of the suspects just rolled his eyes and showed no remorse or shame. I guarantee that should these thugs attack a permit holder, regrettably the very last thing they will probably feel is remorse.

It is sad that our society has degenerated to the point that law-abiding citizens who are only attempting to protect themselves or family members are the villains. People should be angry or concerned with the criminals, not the people who follow the laws, served their country, and pay their taxes.

John Harris

* * *

What takes you a split second to get into can take a lifetime to get out of. What would you rather live with - a mugging, or the fact you killed someone over trying to take your wallet?

To live with killing another, even justifiable homicide, is homicide, and is a horrifying thought.

Just a thought for you all to consider. Praying for cooler heads to prevail all across our town.

Veronica Madaris
East Ridge

* * *

This is not about the “sanctity of life” and it is not about “homicide”. Where did anyone say they would have come out shooting? Where did Mr. Harris say that he would have unloaded his 9mm Glock on the perps? He did not and he did not suggest it. He was saying that the couple has a right to defend themselves personally and their property from criminals.

So if the victim had a gun, then the robbery would have ended. No one needs to be shot with a fully licensed and trained individual owning and using a handgun.

Criminals are by definition not going to follow the law, but law-abiding citizens have a right to bear arms and use them or display them in self defense. All five of the little cowards would probably have wet themselves and run away. Case over.

This is not the Wild West 2, but we live in a society where bleating hearted liberals have erased the fear of punishment within the criminal justice system and now we are reaping a society of people without respect for authority. Now they want to take legal gun ownership and carry permits out of the hands of the good guys and law-abiding citizens too. For what purpose, so everyone will be equal? Guess what? The criminals will still have guns because they are criminals.

Johnny Franks

* * *

So Eric Fitch is against putting the value of a wallet over that of a human life. The criminals have already decided that to be the case...who are we law-abiding citizens to argue with them?

David B. Smith
LaFayette, Ga.

* * *

I would rather live with the thought of having to shoot an attacker, no matter how hard that might be, than to live with the thought of having to watch one of my family members being murdered by an attacker who chooses to do what he is doing, and me helpless to stop it or do anything about it.

You never know what the 'other' person is going to do. They might just ask for your valuables or vehicle and let you go, or they could
just kill you in cold blood for 100 different reasons or for no reason at all.

The people who care nothing about the law or other people should understand that not everybody is an easy target.

I pray everyday that I'll 'never' have to even show my gun, but if it ever comes down to them or me, I will at least have a chance to live another day.

Going out to eat shouldn't cost you your life, but when you plan and scheme to commit a crime against someone else, bad guys need to understand the consequences also.

Most permit holders should know what can happen if they decide to use their weapon. If permit holders weren't 'very' responsible, you'd
hear it and see it in the news every other day where another permit holder shot someone.

Maybe one evening as you're being mugged, a responsible permit holder
will hear your screams for help and come to your aid.

Steve Carr
Benton, Tn.

* * *

I understand the value of life compared to the value of my girlfriend's purse, but I think we're all forgetting something here. These criminals are the exact same people that will take your wallet the first time and then take your girlfriend the next.

I believe Mr. Harris is correct. Had it been me those thugs approached, things would most certainly have turned out differently, and I seriously doubt I would have to take a life to make that happen. As soon as they find out that I am armed (and that would happen pretty quick), I would wager that they wouldn't be asking me for my wallet. And had they tried to take my girlfriend, most certainly to rape and possibly murder, then at least I would be prepared to make sure that doesn't happen.

So while some folks can hand over their wallet and possibly their spouse, Mr. Harris and I as well as other armed citizens will be keeping these thugs as honest as possible.

Yes, it would be tough living everyday knowing I took a life for my wallet, but it sure beats having to live with the fact that I couldn't save my girlfriend's life. Who's to guess what these criminals are there for? They don't have to have a weapon to take a life.

Lindsey Mayo

* * *

I would like to set up a meeting with Ms. Madaris and Mr. Fitch, at your convenience of course, so I may be able to witness this crystal ball in action that you both apparently have. You both seem very confident that you will know, unequivocally, that the muggers' intentions are only to rob you and nothing else, so one must wonder exactly what makes you so confident.

In fact, there is no way of knowing beforehand that all these muggers were trying to do was take their wallets. Wake up, it's 2009, and today's thugs no longer need a reason, not even a bad one, to kill someone.

People like the group of five that mugged the couple often times have the mindset of "no witnesses, no chance of getting caught," so they'll kill their victims in order to avoid relatively minor consequences should they get caught.

TV shows like A&E's "The First 48", where a camera crew shadows homicide detectives for the first 48 hours after a homicide, often involve murders where the (unarmed) victim was robbed of a minimal amount of money and subsequently murdered, simply so the suspect could avoid being identified later. (Off the top of my head, I can recall at least three instances where the suspect actually admitted killing the victim simply to avoid being identified). There are only a handful of cities that are featured on this show, so there's no telling how often this type of situation actually occurs.

Furthermore, you're both assuming that HCP-holders will, by default, shoot to kill. We often hear people make statements like, "Don't draw your firearm unless you're going to use it." However, nowhere in the law does it state you have to discharge your weapon should you present it, only that you must contact police whenever you draw your weapon (regardless of whether or not you actually shoot it). Often times, the mere sight of a gun is more than enough to thwart any robbery attempt by these cockroaches.

I value my life much more than that of any bacteria that preys on others, so personally, I could live with myself if my 'honest' self-defense happens to result in the death of someone who was threatening my life. Yes, this couple luckily came out of this incident with their lives, but that's not to say that their lives were never in danger.

If only Ms. Madaris and Mr. Fitch would clone their crystal balls, or at least loan them out, then we would at least be able to know, in advance, what the criminals' intentions are. Until then, I'll protect myself to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Dallas Cole

* * *

"Horrifying thought" and "the sanctity of human life." I am always amazed by the expressions of passive people. I doubt the five thugs had any such passive thoughts for their victims.

Mr. Harris only said, "the outcome would have most likely been much different." That's all he said. Until criminals are confronted with people who are willing to defend themselves, crime rates will continue to increase.

Some of us choose to accept reality. We know the police can't be everywhere. Being passive is no guarantee of one's safety. Being armed isn't either, but it yields a much greater chance for providing some

Donald R. Cash

* * *

I am not a loose cannon or some kind of cowboy, but personally I have no issue defending myself even if that means someone forfeiting their life if they attempt to cause me any kind of bodily harm.

It's just that simple.

Ian Queen

* * *

Aggravated assault, rape, robbery and carjacking, are all felonies. Does anyone in possession of a gnat’s portion of common sense believe one who has decided to commit a felony would be dissuaded from doing so for fear of breaking a misdemeanor prohibition on the carrying of firearms?

Gun control laws only deter and, consequently, only disarm the law-abiding.

It is a 10-year federal offense for a convicted felon to be in possession of a firearm. One can expect an additional five years for using a firearm in the commission of a crime.

In spite of these heavy penalties, violent felons use guns like mechanics use wrenches and farmers use hoes. A gun is a common tool of the thug’s chosen profession.

Gun-carry restrictions are very useful to gun-toting criminals. They create havens in which criminals are able to carry out their vocation with the blissful peace that comes with knowing theirs is the only gun in the room.

Jeff Young
Soddy Daisy

* * *

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1991, Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen. She had left her handgun in her car to comply with Texas state law at the time which forbade carrying a concealed weapon. When George Hennard drove his truck into the cafeteria and opened fire on the patrons, Hupp instinctively reached into her purse for her weapon, but it was in her vehicle. Her father, Al Gratia, tried to rush Hennard and was shot in the chest. As the gunman reloaded, Hupp escaped through a broken window and believed that her mother, Ursula Gratia, was behind her. Hennard put a gun to her mother's head as she cradled her mortally wounded husband. Hupp's mother and father were killed along with 21 other persons. Hennard also wounded some 20 others. As a survivor of the Luby's massacre, Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws. She said that had there been a second chance to prevent the slaughter, she would have violated the Texas law and carried the handgun inside her purse into the restaurant.

Sue White

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