Every so often, we’ll see a use of force case where the good guy shoots someone only to find out that they were pointing a pellet gun at them.
Now, we all know that in that moment, every bore looks to be about .50 caliber, but a lot of people don’t get that. They assume we should be able to tell in an instant if an air gun of any kind is a real firearm or not. We’re supposed to be all-knowing and all-seeing.
Yet even if we could see that a pellet gun was, in fact, an air gun, should that change how we approach it?
Well, based on a recent conviction, I’d say no.
A jury found Aaron Adams, 41, guilty of murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday.
A previously convicted felon, Adams, of Ewing, used a pellet gun to kill Ashley Davis, 32, in his home. Davis, of Levittown, Pennsylvania was found dead in the basement of Adams’ home on June 1, 2020.
An autopsy revealed Davis was shot with a metal air gun pellet that struck internal organs and caused massive internal bleeding.
Because this was a murder charge and not something like manslaughter, this is a case where Adams meant to kill Davis and h is weapon of choice in that moment was a pellet gun.
See, a lot of people think that such weapons aren’t lethal. They figure that because you can buy one at Walmart and just walk through the checkout with it, it’s not a dangerous weapon.
Never mind that they can do the exact same thing with knives, baseball bats, hammers, and other things that can kill, the fact that it’s a kind of gun skews their thinking entirely. They don’t see pellet guns as deadly weapons.
Which is also why they claim it’s a case of murder when an armed citizen or police officer shoots and kills someone pointing a pellet gun at them.
No, these are real weapons, and while they might not be as lethal as a firearm, they can still cause serious injuries or death, as this case amply demonstrates.
Of course, don’t take this as a legal advice or anything. I’m not a lawyer nor did I play one on TV and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so this is just a guy looking at this case and thinking about all the other cases that happened in the past involving pellet guns.
Now that my butt is covered from a legal standpoint, I can’t help but see this as yet another reason not to screw around when someone is pointing some kind of gun at you.
Yet people don’t see them that way. If they can order it off Amazon, it can’t be dangerous, despite all the other dangerous things they can order off Amazon.
And I don’t know that we really want to point out that pellet guns are potentially lethal. If we did, we’d see some dipstick try to require background checks before they’re bough and sold. I mean, New York is trying to do that with 3D printers, all because some bad people do illegal things with them. You’d better believe we’d see it with these kinds of guns.
But we do need to point it out when someone points a pellet gun at another and gets shot with a real firearm for their trouble. We need to point it out because yes, that was potentially deadly force.