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Why Carry a Gun? A Case Study

12/2/2012 @ 7:48am

Andersonville, Tennessee.  A quiet rural community, north of Knoxville.  Ryan Sharp was switched on when he stopped by his parents’ house: stopped a burglar and held him at gunpoint.  The article is short, but it offers so many instructional points.  Congratulations to armed citizen Ryan Sharp on a job well-done.  Here are MJM’s observations.


First, it’s pills, again.  Prescription narcotics.  Burglar thought he would find them in the house and broke in for pills.  These addicts are like zombies.  The pill-lust instead of the blood-lust.  Doctors spray prescriptions at old people like firemen spray water on a fire.  Pillhead zombies figure old people have pills.  Old people are easy targets, they assume.

If you take these damned pills, why?  Get off the damned things.  They are a curse.  Ryan’s dad was taking these things.  People, do not limp around on a cane or walker; do not talk to everybody about your surgeries, your illnesses, your pain.  Do not visit Walgreen’s more often than you visit the bathroom.  Do not live the lifestyle of the government-subsidized narcotic addict!  Make all the excuses you want: you are like bait dangling at the end of a fishing line to these pillhead zombies.

Doctors: You know who you are.  Some doctor wrote that script.  You stand at the faucet handle and turn on the tap.

I assume that Ryan arrived armed with a handgun, and approached the back door at high ready, using cover correctly, and then upgraded to his father’s shotgun, which he knew was behind the back door.  Right Ryan?  You were armed?  Otherwise, had you arrived as the pillhead zombie burst from the house to make his escape, you would have confronted him unarmed.  Article silent on the status of Ryan’s sidearm situation, but given Ryan’s switched on behavior, I will assume he was armed regardless of the shotgun he fetched.  The point here is, anytime, anyone, anyplace.  You never know when you will need a gun, but when you do, you really, really, really need one and nothing else substitutes.

Christopher Pack, the burglar, had already racked up three outstanding warrants in other counties by the time he reached his 29 years.  Due to Ryan Sharp’s mercy, he may reach 30.  The likelihood that Pack will ever be “reformed” is miniscule.  It is more likely that he will work his way through the system, return to the streets and neighborhoods, and burglarize again.  Only, maybe next time, he will kill someone.

Crime and punishment
But, we should all understand that with three other warrants, and this crime, Pack is a veritable walking crime wave.  You may reason that he has committed many other crimes.

Sick culture
Many complain that our judicial system is dysfunctional.  That would be true, but it is only a glimpse of the truth.  Our culture is dysfunctional and we have lost the moral framework from which to fix it.  We literally breed Christopher Packs, subsidize them, coddle them, excuse them, and threaten punishment against those who try to defend themselves from them.  Our culture has lost the common understanding that property is sacrosanct, fruits of labor are sacrosanct, the home is sacrosanct, and human life is sacrosanct.  Christopher “Pack off your belongings for pills” is what we get.  And worse.  Pack and his string of other charges are symptoms of deeper problems.

Tragically, yes, our judicial system is dysfunctional.  If you seriously want to argue with me, just Google “Lamaricus Davidson” or “Letalvis Cobbins.”  Or, try “Knoxville torture murders.”  Oh, did I mention that pills fueled the judicial dysfunction that even now thwarts justice?  We lawyers may hold lofty conferences on judicial reforms, judicial ethics, and judicial efficiency, but we cannot deny that the judicial system is broken.  Justice is not its aim.

Not-so-hypothetical scenarios
Assume Sharp shot the unarmed burglar Pack as Pack advanced on Sharp trying to make his escape.  I say “Exercise prosecutorial discretion generously in favor of the innocent Sharp, and assume Sharp’s justified self-defense.”  No charges for the killing of Pack.

Assume this is England: Sharp is in big trouble.

Assume this is a more left-leaning state, on America’s east coast, where urbanites are horrified that people can own guns, much less use them.  Sharp’s behavior will be micro-examined for factoids that indicate he lacked reasonable apprehension of death or great bodily injury.  Sharp may be charged, may have to hire a defense lawyer, may lose his job, his life savings, and may lose his freedom.  All for protecting himself and doing the rest of us a favor.

Assume that Sharp reads the news and is aware of the kind of trouble he can get in for even a justified shooting, so he held his fire.  Assume that while he was focused on holding Pack at gunpoint, waiting for the police to come, Pack’s accomplice  who had been hiding quietly gets the drop on Sharp.  Now, Sharp is struggling against two men.

Or, try this scenario.  Now, add the assumption that Pack is black, Sharp is white.  Assume that Pack is 19 instead of 29.  Assume that unarmed Pack charged Sharp yelling expletives and murder threats.  Assume Sharp shot Pack and killed him.  Imagine.  Oh, that’s right, you don’t have to imagine.



  • Mr Evilwrench

    Well, some of us do need to gimp around on a cane, at least sometimes.  I’m only 48, but have sciatic issues.  Sometimes I’m not too bad, sometimes I literally can’t walk.  I’m not all drugged up, though.  Somebody busts into my place looking for pills, I’ll shoot him in the face myself.

  • Robert T

    90% agree with what you say, but the fact is that some people do suffer in pain and just because there are criminals out there is no reason for them to suffer without medication.  The solution is to get rid of the criminals.

  • MJ Mollenhour

    Understand the pain and the cane, Evilwrench, and I see you are not using the pills, but I’m warning about being out in public, using a cane. Pillheads zero in on those they think have pills.

  • MJ Mollenhour

    I used to agree.  Having watched this grow over the last 15 years, I now think the pill addiction and crime problems are far, far out of control.  Some doctors are passing pills out like candy, and pills are driving fraud and crime.  At some point, the (questionable) pain-control benefit no longer balances the evil.