reynolds

The use of firearms in the military occurs under very tightly controlled conditions and rules of engagement to prevent fratricide and collateral damage. Unfortunately, however, we’ve seen several instances lately where military veterans assume that they are gun experts, but most assuredly are not.

A Mr. Norman Reynolds is the latest sad exhibition of this fact.

The man facing felony charges for shooting his gun in an attempt to stop suspected shoplifters in Elkhart is speaking out.

Norman Reynolds fired one shot in the parking lot of the Big R farm supply store on South Main Street in Elkhart in mid October.

He spoke to the media for the first time Friday morning after appearing in court.

“The police officer arrives, he walks up to me and says, ‘Are you the guy?’” Reynolds said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m the guy.’”

Reynolds is a decorated army and Air Force veteran who said he’s worked with firearms for 45 years.

As two shoplifting suspects got into a truck in the parking lot of the Big R in October, Reynolds said he fired one shot in an attempt to stop the suspects from getting away.

Despite his claimed expertise and experience, Reynolds did pretty much the same thing as clueless Michigan concealed carrier Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez at approximately the same time.

She was just sentenced to 18 months of probation and stripped of her carry permit until at least 2023. Considering her flippant attitude and failure to learn from her mistakes, I’d suggest that she probably should probably never carry another firearm outside of her house. Reynolds seems to have a similar attitude. Neither one seems to know the law, nor do they seem to care.

Let’s go over this again.

You may only use a firearm when faced with the imminent threat of serious injury or death. Not for shoplifting. Not because someone yelled at you. Not because someone stole your parking space. There may be certain exceptions based on the laws of your specific state, and you should darn well known them. Your freedom, quite literally, hangs in the balance.

There are somewhere between 12-13 million concealed carriers in the United States, and they are the single most law-abiding segment of our society. Unfortunately, in any sufficiently large group there are bound to be some screw-ups, and we can at least count ourselves fortunate that in none of these instances has an innocent bystander or a petty criminal been injured.