Washington state is bipolar when it comes to guns. While the state passed I-1639 recently, it also is a shall issue state on concealed carry. In fact, we’ve seen before that in some parts of Washington, there are a lot of people carrying when something bad happens.
Yeah, it’s kind of weird in that way.
A couple of shoplifters found out just how many people in a given store might be armed after they stole a few products.
On the afternoon of 22 December, 2018, two young men decided to steal from a Coastal Farm & Ranch store in Marysville, Washington. Marysville is a town of about 60,000 population 35 miles north of Seattle. The two young men took nail guns worth about $3200 from the store, without paying. They did not expect opposition. Most stores teach their staff not to confront thieves. While it may prevent some lawsuits, it is an invitation to steal.
In this case, concerned citizens worked to stop the blatant theft. An impromptu militia of six formed up and surrounded the suspects’ car with drawn pistols. From heralnet.com:
They didn’t expect to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.
One customer was standing in front of the car, yelling at the alleged thieves to get out.
“He won’t shoot, run him over,” one of the suspects reportedly said.
The driver pulled forward, causing the man confronting him to land on the hood, court papers say.
Another customer shot at the driver’s side front tire, according to documents. A third fired twice at the rear tire.
Another responsible citizen followed the car until he thought they showed a gun. Then he backed off.
The car was found three blocks away with two flat tires. All the merchandise was inside. The police deployed a dog to track the suspects. The two suspects, 22 and 23 years old, were taken into custody.
The armed citizens did not fire until the driver of the getaway car committed assault on the armed citizen attempting to detain them. The armed citizen who was struck with the car is in good condition. He did not need to be hospitalized. The two suspects have been charged with felonies.
Now, I’ll admit my first reaction was to put my fingers to the bridge of my nose, groan, and shake my head.
That was before I read far enough along to realize that the thieves had used their vehicle as a weapon.
There are a lot of people who like to scream about “unarmed” individuals killed while behind the wheel of a vehicle, but they’re either ignorant or lying. A car is most definitely a potential weapon. After all, more people die in car crashes than in shootings every year. Just because most of those are accidents rather than intentional acts is irrelevant. A car is a dandy way to murder someone if you’re so inclined.
Because of that, the fact that the vehicle was being used in an aggressive manner, this was a clean shooting.
Now, should guns have been drawn over a shoplifting case? I’d say probably not in most cases, but the moment they got into the car, they were armed. They had the potential to kill any one of those men.
In fact, if I’m going to criticize anything, it’s trying to shoot the tires rather than the bad guy, but that’s just me. My thinking is that shooting tires doesn’t work like on TV and the bad guys can still get away. You start shooting at the guy trying to kill you with his car, though, and things change.
Still, an interesting story of how guns save lives, even in a state with mixed opinions on guns like Washington.