Imagine you’re at work and someone walks in with a machete and seems intent on committing some kind of violent act. You happen to be carrying a firearm, so what do you do?
You’re going to pull that gun, especially in a pro-gun state like Tennessee, right?
Well, the manager on duty at a Zaxby’s in Memphis did exactly that. He pulled his gun and held the suspect until the police arrived.
Shortly after that, though, the manager was arrested.
Yeah, I see faces turning red in fury at this, but hold up a sec. There’s a reason he was arrested.
A store manager who, police say, held the man arrested for a standoff in Southeast Memphis at gunpoint is also charged in the investigation.
Investigators say when officers arrived at the scene on Monday evening, Kendall Hamilton was holding the suspect at gunpoint near the rear of Zaxby’s.
When officers got to the scene, [Tevin] Garrett had Hamilton and another woman cornered with a machete over his shoulder and Tevin with a gun pointed toward him.
But, according to the affidavit, investigators say the gun was stolen.
Yeah, that’ll do it.
Hamilton also appears to be a convicted felon, so someone who couldn’t lawfully possess a firearm, which likely won’t help him out later on.
So this isn’t a case of a law-abiding citizen unwittingly purchasing a stolen gun. That kind of thing can, at least in theory, happen. A person who says he needs cash and offers to sell you his gun. You want it and have the money, so you buy it, but then later on your find out it’s stolen.
I’ve known someone it happened to, actually, and it sucks to be them. Luckily, they had the police check the serial number, so it was clear they weren’t willfully purchasing stolen property and thus weren’t facing charges, but it still happened.
However, Hamilton, as a felon, can’t play the law-abiding citizen taken advantage of by a criminal. As a felon, he knew he couldn’t lawfully own a firearm, yet he purchased and carried one anyway.
Now, that said, this is one of those times when you have to question whether prohibiting such folks from owning guns is actually a good thing.
I mean, Hamilton appeared otherwise to have been walking the straight and narrow. My understanding is that Memphis is kind of a rough place these days. Neighborhood Scout gives the city a score of 0, with 100 being a safe community. So I can see why he might skirt the law to obtain a gun even though he couldn’t do so lawfully, especially as a store manager.
I’m not excusing it, mind you, nor offering an opinion on whether he should face charges in a just society. I’m merely pointing out that I can see where he might have come from.
Unfortunately, whether he should have been permitted to buy a gun or not is largely irrelevant. The law is what it is and he allegedly broke that law. Now, he’ll have a day in court to try and convince them of his innocence.
It sucks, too, because, without that gun, it’s entirely possible someone would have been killed.