California man arrested for shooting at fleeing suspect

California man arrested for shooting at fleeing suspect
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California has some pretty screwed-up laws when it comes to guns. They’re not friendly toward the Second Amendment in the least, as we all know, and they’re not overly friendly toward the idea of armed citizens defending themselves.


So, when you read about a California man being arrested for shooting at a suspect, it’s easy to blame the idiotic laws.

However, for this guy, it wouldn’t have mattered where he was.

When officers arrived, they said they learned that teenagers threw items at a house.

Police said the person who lives in the home, later identified as 68-year-old Gary Powell, came out of the house with a gun.

Officers said Powell fired shots as the teenagers ran away.

There are a lot of people who think this is what you do in a case like this and that if this happened in anywhere but in California, he’d have walked.

Others think that shooting at someone running away is a viable thing to do.

They’re wrong.

First, let’s consider whether the incident itself warranted an armed response. All we know is that the kids were throwing “items” at the house. That’s pretty vague since bricks are an item and so are marshmallows. One can also be a deadly weapon and the other can only kill you if you ingest enough for diabetes to kick in.

So, if we give this gentleman the benefit of the doubt and say it was something particularly dangerous, then sure, bringing the gun out may have made some sense.


Further, since he didn’t know the intention of these individuals, having a gun handy would be prudent no matter what the items were, though having it exposed becomes more problematic if the items weren’t dangerous.

That’s all a gray area due to a lack of information.

What’s not is that the man in question fired at the teens as they were running away.

Folks, it doesn’t matter what they have. They could have bazookas, for all it matters. If they’re running away and not actively engaging you in the process, you cannot justifiably shoot at them.

People who are just running away–not running and shooting, but just running–are considered to be no threat any longer. While cop shows may have the hero shoot at the fleeing suspect, that’s Hollywood nonsense.

Someone running away is, you know…running away. They’ve left the altercation and are trying to extract themselves from the conflict. That’s pretty much what you want them to do.

Taking a shot at someone who is doing just that is firing at someone who isn’t a threat to you.

That’s illegal, and not just in California.


We’ve written about California screwing over armed citizens before. We’ve seen how they view self-defense or the defense of others. It’s not a friendly place to have a firearm or to use one.

But cases like this aren’t what we’re upset about. This could have happened in Texas, Missouri, Georgia, or any other pro-gun state you care to name and he would have still ended up in handcuffs.

There are those who think that once someone crosses that line, anything you do is fair game to them until the moment they’re dead or in handcuffs. That’s not how it works and we all need to make sure everyone understands that things like this aren’t justifiable.

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