What Austin Protest Shooting Says About Gun Control

Over the weekend, an armed protestor was shot during a protest in Austin, TX. It seems that a vehicle somehow ended up in the middle of the protest. Shots were fired, the victim was right there near the vehicle with an AK, and the driver pulled his own weapon and dispatched the person he saw as a threat to his life.

Sounds pretty straightforward.

However, the media has decided this should renew the gun control debate in Texas.

Garrett Foster was seen carrying an AK-47 rifle at a Black Lives Matter protest this weekend. The same night, he was shot.

Austin police confirmed the 28-year-old died at the hospital, after being shot several times during a confrontation between a motorist and protesters.

An independent journalist filming the protest and dash camera footage from another driver both captured the moment a car turned into a crowd of protesters on Congress.

Seconds later, there was a volley of gunfire.

“Gunshots were fired from inside the vehicle at Mr. Foster,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said. “During the initial investigation of this incident, it appears Mr. Foster may have pointed his rifle at the driver of this vehicle prior to being shot.”

Texas Gun Sense Board President Ed Scruggs called this shooting a “perfect storm of weak Texas gun laws coming together at that intersection.”

He argues that at three separate moments in this situation, the presence or use of a gun escalated the situation.

“This doesn’t involve the motives of the people involved in this incident,” he said. “It’s really a case of the atmosphere we are in, promoted by our lax gun laws that make violence more possible.”

Funny how people like this always use an incident like this to justify their push for gun control, but ignore the numerous instances when guns save lives…a fact that Mr. Scruggs ignores in this case as well?

All indications are that the individual in the car had ample reason to fear for their life. They then used their weapon to save that life.

Foster may or may not have pointed the gun at the driver. Photos from just before the shooting show he had it at low-ready, which meant it still presented a threat to the driver. Regardless of what laws allowed Foster to be armed, it was Foster’s actions that appear to have lead to his death.

I’m sorry, but I’m not really all that heartbroken over it.

More importantly, though, the driver of that vehicle now joins the hundreds of thousands of people who have had to use a firearm in self-defense.

“Oh, but if Foster hadn’t been armed, none of this would have happened,” some might say.

Well, maybe. However, we also know that the “largely peaceful protestors” were beating the car. We’ve also seen numerous cases where drivers have been pulled from their vehicles and beaten. It would be ridiculous to say what would have happened under a different set of circumstances would automatically have been peaceful.

The driver had reason to fear for his life. Foster had a gun at a protest. He’s already talked a lot of smack and now he won’t talk anything anymore. That’s the only debate to really be had right now.

At the end of the day, this is another case of guns saving lives. No spin is going to change that, nor should it.