Senior Citizen 2, Bad Guys and Media Zero

Samuel Williams, age 71, shot two suspects who attempted to rob about 30 people on Monday. One suspect had a gun, the other a metal bat. What’s most instructive about this case is how people reacted.


While other patrons were busy acting like obedient sheep, concealed carry licensee Williams drew his handgun and wounded both robbers. The video captures the entire incident, including the two erstwhile robbers falling over each other as they fight to be first out the door.

After reviewing evidence, Florida state attorney Bill Gladson said: “Based on what I have seen and what I know at this time, I don’t anticipate filing any charges” against Williams.

Not so the attackers, who were charged with attempted armed robbery and felony criminal mischief. One is now free after posting an $11,000 bond. The other remains in jail until he can make his
$31,000 bond.

The Gainesville Sun could have done a better job of describing the true Florida self-defense law by changing two words in their copy:

“Under Florida law, a person is allowed to use deadly force if he or she fears death or serious injury to themselves or others. As long as the person isn’t committing a crime and is in a place where he or she has a right to be, they are considered to be acting within the law.


Actually, the word “fear” is absent from the law. The Sun left out the part that says the defender is justified only if:

“He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony… [emphasis added]

Media promotes the idea that fear is a magical ingredient in self-defense. Were this true, it would justify their anti-self-defense rhetoric, because emotional people make bad decisions. One need only peruse the educational anecdotes from Chris Bird’s Concealed Handgun Manual to see what happens to people when they act on emotion instead of reason. That’s why reasonable belief, supported by evidence, is what Gladson based his conclusion upon.

And if that’s good enough for the state attorney’s office, it should suffice for journalists.


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