Put the Blame Where it Belongs

In the late 1990s, I was just getting started building custom home décor and displayed items I had made at mall shows. Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio was one of the malls where I had set up a display booth. Recently, there was a robbery of a Kays Jewelers in that mall. This robbery resulted in a shooting that left an innocent, unarmed customer dead. From the reports, all this man did was step in front of his wife in an attempt to protect her. He was unarmed and could only protect her with his body. This couple was in the jewelry store getting their wedding rings cleaned for their anniversary. From my understanding, things went downhill from there.

After shooting the unarmed man, the duo of robbers seemed to go on a shooting spree as they attempted to leave the area. Somewhere along this timeline, after the initial shooting of the unarmed customer who had stepped in front of his wife, a Good Samaritan who had his Concealed Carry license returned their gunfire, hitting one of the robbers, making him unable to flee the scene. The other robber continued running through the mall, firing off rounds that hit other innocent individuals. He eventually was caught outside the mall when he crashed his car. The Good Samaritan, from all reports, only hit his intended target—the murderer who had just killed an unarmed man. The Good Samaritan stepping in did not cause the unarmed man to get shot. The Good Samaritan stepped in because the unarmed customer in the jewelry store had just been shot. While I do not know the specifics of the Good Samaritan’s actions, from the details that I do know, he should be applauded, in my mind.

This shooting occurred Sunday. I am familiar with KENS5, a CBS affiliate, out of San Antonio. They throw a twisted, agenda driven slant to almost everything they “report.” The last two days of reporting on the shooting at the mall have been one attempt after another to make the Good Samaritan into the villain. The latest being today (Tuesday), when the news channel found an accomplice in vilifying the Good Samaritan—the general manager of the mall, whose perceived liability and CYA mode obviously drives his public relations policy—even to the detriment of human life. The headline in the story today reads, “Mall policy: Shopper who shot suspect not allowed to Carry.” In the story today, the reporter laments that the Good Samaritan should never have been carrying in the first place. The mall manager echoes that lament by whining that guns are prohibited on mall property: “Although we respect the laws of the state and individual rights, we do, however, maintain a separate code of conduct that we visibly post at our entrances that includes the prohibition of any weapons on the property. Our top priority continues to be the safety of our shoppers as we strive to provide the best possible shopping experience for all.”

In a typically mislead anti-gun view, both the mall manager and the reporters seem to think that the robbers were not the threat—it’s those conceal carry holders that need to be kept out. Tell that to Mr. Murphy who stopped the robber’s bullet that day that left his wife a widow. The Good Samaritan permit holder had no evil intent when he entered the store, unlike the criminal duo. We don’t know why the concealed carry permit holder was carrying in the mall. I know that some signage is hard to see or easily overlooked. Whatever his reasons were, his actions reveal that he had no evil intent.

Neither the reporters nor the mall manager mentions the robbers as being the cause of all the grief and tragedy—they simply lament that their 30.06 sign (Texas penal code designating permissible areas for conceal carry) should have kept out the concealed carry Good Samaritan. They see no connection between their “gun free” zone and how well it worked (or didn’t) to keep the robbers from carrying their guns in there and murdering an unarmed man who did not try to stop them from robbing the store. He simply wanted to protect his wife from being victimized. This vilification of people who step up on the side of right, not only does it leave me with a sick, disgusting feeling in my stomach—it just makes me downright mad.

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