For the record, I have never intentionally shot another person. Not with a gun larger than .22-caliber.
However, I’ve accidentally shot other people with lots bigger stuff — fireworks, pellet guns, dart guns, blow guns, even a cannon.
Note: Did you know that mini-marshmallows traveling at 200-feet per second from a cannon start to melt and will stick to human skin? Yeah. Have Sonny show you his marshmallow-burn dance. It’s hilarious.
On a more serious note, as a cop, I came close to shooting people in defense of myself or others a few times. I’m thrilled to go through the rest of my life not having had to actually follow through.
Now that we have my personal experience out of the way, we need to address the issue of when it should be legal for you to shoot someone else.
Whenever you want is the wrong answer.
So is whenever you get mad enough. Ditto, whenever someone calls you names or utters impossible threats like “I’ll hit you so [bleeping] hard your dog will bleed.” Credit the movie “Dutch” for that.
And you definitely, positively, absolutely shouldn’t shoot somebody for pushing you during an argument over a parking space.
I am, of course, referring to the recent stupidity in Florida, where a dispute over a handicapped-accessible parking spot resulted in the murder of an unarmed father in front of his significant other and their children.
Yes, I said “murder.” That’s what it was. Watch the video. In it, you will see Michael Drejka, 47, gun down Markeis McGlockton, 28, when the latter pushed him away from his girlfriend, whom Drejka was cursing for being in the wrong parking spot.
McGlockton shoved Drejka to the ground. Drejka then pulled a handgun and shot McGlockton, who was turning away at the moment the shot was fired.
Apparently — and I’m not sure at this point because I have a hard time reading when I’m disgusted — Drejka was treated for his, ahem, “injuries” before being allowed to reload and proceed on his peace-loving way. No charges.
If the killing of McGlockton is legitimized by that sort of “stand your ground” law, then theoretically I could have shot about, oh, say, a hundred people during the time I was standing my ground as a cop. Even more since then.
As far as I know, Drejka, who has a history of being a parking space vigilante, remains a free man who probably believes the world is a much safer now that another person is dead over a push.
In a telephone interview — one I am forced to fabricate because Drejka isn’t answering his phone — the defender of parking lot freedom says shooting his assailant was justified.
Me • “You don’t think you overreacted?”
Him • “Sir, what the video doesn’t show is that [McGlockton] had a grenade in his hand and two Glocks in his pockets. There I was, on the ground, completely at his mercy. I had to do something to protect myself and those children?”
Me • “His children.”
Him • “Well, who knows what a man like that is capable of when he pushes loudmouthed jerks to the ground? What would you have done?”
Me • “Hmm, that’s a tough one. Probably jumped up and down on your head until exhaustion set in.”
Having blown what meager journalistic objectivity I had, I hung up and decided to never go outside again. Who knows whom I might be expected to shoot just to stand my ground.