Defensive Gun Use Shows Need for Self-Control, Not Gun Control

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Police in Phoenix, Arizona say a shooting in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant was likely self-defense, and declined to arrest the gun owner at the scene over the weekend. 


According to authorities one man was shot after pulling a knife during a dispute over a parking space.

According to police, [Alejandro] Samplina and the shooter got into an argument over parking. Samplina then pulled out a knife and chased the man around his car.

This was when the man grabbed a gun from the open door of his vehicle. Police say Samplina continued to approach the man with the knife in a threatening manner, and that’s when the man fired his gun, hitting Samplina.

Detectives interviewed the man, who claimed self-defense. Police say this claim was consistent with witness and surveillance video.

The man was released after the investigation.

Several media outlets have identified the victim of Samplina's aggression as 53-year-old Shannon Ritch, a former MMA fighter nicknamed "The Cannon." If Samplina hadn't brought a knife Ritch might not have grabbed his gun, but once Samplina presented a threat to his life he was justified in using deadly force to defend himself. 

I'm glad that Ritch had the means to protect his life, but what a stupid thing for Samplina to lose his life over. I'm not blaming the victim at all here. If Ritch's statement, the eyewitnesses, and surveillance video all back up his claim of self-defense, then the responsibility for Samplina's death lies solely on him and his lack of self-control. 


There's simply no reason for a parking dispute to escalate to the point that a knife is pulled. Even if Ritch cut Samplina off and ducked into the space he was waiting for (and we don't know that was the case), Samplina could have done what most of us would do in that situation; mutter an expletive, shake our head, and drive on down the aisle until we found the next available space. 

Aggravations like these can upset any of us in the moment, but if Samplina had just gone on with his evening he probably would have forgotten all about it by the time he went to bed. Instead, it sounds like he took a temporary annoyance and escalated it to the point of physical violence, leaving his victim with little choice but to defend his own life from an aggressive stranger armed with a knife. 

For all the Democrats' demands for new gun control laws, what we really need in this country is a little more self-control. Someone cuts you off in traffic? You don't have to take it as a personal affront. Just take a deep breath and drive on to your destination. Someone takes the parking spot you were patiently waiting for? Grit your teeth and find another spot. Life is too precious and short to spend angry over every perceived slight or act of jackassery from others. 


Of course, saying this is easy. Getting other folks to exercise self-control is more difficult. Ultimately, we're responsible for our own actions, and we can't control what others do. And no matter how easygoing we might be, we can still be the target of someone blinded by rage to the consequences of their own actions. We might not be looking for a confrontation, but we still need to be able and ready to defend ourselves if we encounter an impulsive and violent individual ready to end our life over the dumbest of disputes. 

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