Road rage is one of those things I don’t really understand all that well. I mean, I’ve gotten annoyed at other people while driving. I might even yell at them to let off some steam. But the idea of trying to chase someone down because of something that happens on the road just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, not in most cases anyway.
Just because I can’t make much sense of it, though, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It does, and people die because of it.
That’s what happened in Detroit, recently, when an armed citizen and cyclist put down an enraged driver with a weapon.
A 24-year-old man is dead after a late-Tuesday night “road rage” confrontation in downtown Detroit became violent, police said.
The fatal shooting took place about 10:50 p.m. on the 400 block of East Jefferson, police said in preliminary information.
That’s the same block as the Renaissance Center, between Randolph to the west and Beaubien to the east. The shooting happened on the eastbound side of the street, nearest the RenCen.
Janae Gordon, a spokeswoman for Detroit Police Department, said the man was driving a 2006 Land Rover when he had a “road rage” incident with the two bicyclists.
He then allegedly exited the Land Rover, with a weapon in hand, and approached the pair. The weapon was not a gun, Gordon said, but police declined to specify what it was, citing the ongoing investigation.
This particular report doesn’t say what happened with Gordon, but another report said she was arrested and was being held while prosecutors determine whether or not she should be charged.
If the driver was armed, though, she shouldn’t be.
Michigan has a Stand Your Ground law. She’s not required to try and run away just because someone is attacking her. Even if they didn’t, Gordon was on a bicycle and the other party had a car. It’s not hard to imagine that any attempt to retreat would be unsuccessful anyway.
So, no matter how you shake it, an armed attacker came after a couple of cyclists, apparently enraged over something he thought they did, and got shot for his trouble. I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to muster the ability to feel bad about it. What was Gordon supposed to do? Allow herself to be killed?
While we don’t know what the weapon was, some of the likely suspects are things like a tire iron, a baseball bat, or a knife. None of those look like pleasant ways to die, so I don’t blame Gordon for drawing her weapon and firing.
I do blame the Detroit Police Department and the district attorney’s office for making Gordon deal with this kind of nonsense in what sure as hell looks like a straightforward self-defense shooting.
It’s well past time for law enforcement to stop treating law-abiding gun owners as if we’re criminals. Unfortunately, this seems to happen in every major city in the country, and unfortunately, Gordon got caught up in that.
At least she was armed. That way she could get caught up in this mess and not end up on a table in the morgue instead. It’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six any day of the week.