One gun owner allowed the heat of the moment to affect his judgment during a road rage incident and ended up behind bars because of it.
According to Seattle Detective Mark Jamieson, two men got into a traffic or parking dispute at about 2:20 a.m. on Sunday. From there, things apparently escalated from verbal sparring to physical conflict. One of the men was on his cell phone, and the other attempted to grab the phone out of his hand. The attempt failed, so the man went to his automobile and retrieved a firearm. The gun owner allegedly pointed the gun at the man with the cell phone.
The man with the phone then notified the gun owner that he was on the phone with 911, which prompted the gun owner to flee the area.
Police eventually caught up to the suspect a short distance away from the site of the altercation. The suspect admitted that there was a gun in the car and gave officers permission to search his vehicle. Police recovered a .45 caliber handgun.
The suspect was then arrested and hauled off to King County Jail.
Based on this report, the gun owner probably overreacted and allowed anger to affect his better judgment. Using a gun in self-defense is almost always justifiable, as the recent George Zimmerman trial has demonstrated, but pointing a gun at a guy over a parking place and a few mean words is more than enough to warrant jail time.
That was not even his first mistake. When the police pulled him over, the suspect should have stuck to his Fourth Amendment rights and denied the police officers access to his car. If he had kept his mouth shut, then the police might have been forced to chalk up the incident to a he-said-she-said altercation and let the man go on his way.
Putting aside the gun owner’s poor decisions with the police officers, what’s your take on the story? Does the gun owner deserve to be prosecuted for pointing his gun at someone? Or do you think that this is an instance of no harm, no foul?