When disaster is on the horizon, people get stupid. They get scared and they stop thinking. It’s not universal, of course, but it happens with far more regularity than any of us would like to see.
Last week, Hurricane Ian was the disaster many in Florida were looking at. Some opted to ride out the storm where they were while others planned on getting out of dodge.
Yet in the build-up, one woman illustrated beautifully how not to be a responsible gun owner.
A Florida woman was arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at two women she mistakenly believed were cutting a long gas line in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Terri Johns, 59, is accused of aiming a firearm at a car carrying the two women that she “felt was trying to skip the line to get gas,” Saturday, the Fort Myers Police Department said in a statement.
The car, however, was “simply trying to make a U-turn in the congested traffic,” authorities said.
Johns was hit with charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and displaying a firearm during a felony, police said.
Look, I get that Johns was probably scared of the storm. Ian was a monster and resulted in at least 76 fatalities. Fear was certainly warranted.
Pointing a gun at someone because you think they’re trying to cut in line isn’t.
Hell, even if they were trying to cut in line, that’s not a killing offense.
Sure, I can work out a stream of thought that someone might use to try and justify doing something like this, but it wouldn’t be accepted in any court of law. Just because I can think it doesn’t mean it’s valid.
It probably goes along the lines of “if I let them cut and they used up the gas I would have gotten, I could be killed.” Well, sure, maybe…but that’s not how self-defense works. Even if they’d been trying to cut into line, that’s not something the courts could or should accept.
So now, this woman is facing felony charges. If she’s very lucky, she can plead down to a misdemeanor. However, she may end up losing her gun rights because she was a complete and total idiot.
Yes, that’s harsh, but we cannot make excuses for people like this. They paint our entire community in a negative light and make it that much easier to argue that gun control is warranted. More than that, though, they put innocent lives in danger and that, too, is something we cannot afford to tolerate.
Look, there may come a time when you feel like you need to point your gun at another human being. However, it behooves you to make sure you understand how and when you can do so justifiably well beforehand and review that information often so you can keep it fresh in mind.
And cutting in line, even with a hurricane bearing down on you, is not a justification to ever point a gun at someone.
Not even in Florida.