Scoot Blog: Gun Owners Beware!
There seems to be a grave misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. I may not be a constitutional lawyer, but there are a few things I do know.
In general, the 2nd Amendment grants the right to keep and bear arms, but it does not grant the right to use a gun to seek revenge or relieve frustrations against others.
Over the weekend in Florida, Michael Dunn, 45, was at a gas station and asked a group of teens in a car to turn down the music that was blaring from the car. He said he heard threats from the teens and thought he saw a gun in the car. Dunn grabbed his gun and opened fire on the teens in the car, killing 17-yr-old Ron Davis. Dunn said he felt threatened. No guns were found in the car.
Last night on the show I talked about a homeowner in Minnesota who shot and killed two teens who had invaded his home on Thanksgiving Day. The 18-yr-old girl was shot and as she lay on the ground he shot her several more times in the chest. Her 17-yr-old cousin was shot and after falling down the stairs, the homeowner then shot him in the head as he lay on the floor. David Smith, 64, faces two counts of second-degree murder.
A few months ago, a retired firefighter in Texas had a confrontation over loud music with a neighbor across the street from his home. He walked across the street and shot and killed his neighbor. He was convicted of murder.
All of these cases bring to mind the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. What must be defined in all of these cases is whether the gun owners can prove they actually felt threatened. Laws allow lethal use of a gun in the presence of a direct and immediate threat.
The homeowner in Minnesota will have to convince a jury that he felt threatened even after both of his victims had been shot and were lying on the floor. David Smith admitted that he probably fired more shots than necessary.
In Florida, Michael Dunn, who asked that teens in a car at a gas station turn down their blaring music will have to prove that he felt an immediate threat from the teens, which will certainly reach beyond verbal threats.
The right to own a gun in America carries with it the responsibility to use your gun at the right time and in the proper manner – period!
The 2nd Amendment does not protect macho or vigilante mentalities and does not allow gun-owning citizens to use their guns to seek revenge or vent frustration.
Now – are we all clear on that?