Vigilante Walmart shopper shoots at shoplifter, hits 3 cars, almost hits innocent

I see the future. A future in which the NRA and the Republican party, along with Democrats like John Dingell, get their way, and America is armed to the teeth. Then we all get shot shopping at Walmart.

The Boy Scouts should have a merit badge for shopping at Walmart and surviving, considering the number of gun incidents in or near Walmart stores, or the murderers who do their gun & ammo shopping at Walmart, in the past few years.

This latest incident is classic.  And it proves why arming the world does not the road to safety make.

A responsible gun owner was in the parking lot of a Walmart when he says a shoplifter tried to “run him over,” putting him and other shoppers in danger.

So, responsible gun owner opened fire on the guy.

The Batman managed to hit the alleged shoplifter’s car, but also managed to fire bullets into two other cars.  Fortunately no small children were shot in the head.

The cops do say that one innocent bystander was “basically in front of the muzzle of the gun as Mr. Martinez was shooting.”

And what do you know, once the police reviewed the store camera footage, they said the responsible gun owner’s story doesn’t add up.  The video does, however, show the perp shoving a woman into the side of a door, she then falls to the ground motionless.  We’re clearly not dealing with a nice guy.

And isn’t that the problem with arming people to the teeth.  Not only are they more likely to intervene, when sometimes perhaps they shouldn’t, but they more likely to do it in a much more violent manner, which risks hurting innocent bystanders (assuming the target is guilty, which also isn’t always clear).

I know that right after I was violently mugged a little over ten years ago – the two kids tried to strangle me, and did a pretty good job of it – I got a call from someone at the Gun Owners of America, a group to the right of the NRA.  They were writing a story, and wanted to include my mugging, and the guy asked me “don’t you wish you had a gun?”  And I told him, yes, because I would have gladly shot the kids who tried to kill me, but then I’d probably have been so upset by the attack that I’d have missed the shot and instead hit the young couple standing right behind the kids as they were trying to get away.

And that’s the problem with the “we arm the world” crowd.  Even if you’re sympathetic to the basic argument that when someone tries to kill you, you’d really like a weapon to defend yourself, a lot of times things aren’t that clear cut.  A lot of times you’re in public, and by playing all Rambo you risk killing innocent people all because some guy stole a t-shirt (or whatever) from the local Walmart.

Here’s a pretty good news report on the story, with the surveillance video and the cop talking about where the innocent guy was standing in relation to the shooter.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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