There has been much made about the right to own and carry a gun. As things seem to be getting worse for law-abiding citizens the more restrictions are placed on gun ownership, there seems to be more evidence that gun restrictions do not stop criminals. Now, there has been a rash of incidence where gun-owners have stopped crimes from happening. The latest occurred in Chicago.
A masked man, later identified as 55-year-old Reginald Gildersleeve, walked into the store and currency exchange about 7 p.m. Saturday on the city’s southwest side, displayed a handgun and announced a robbery to an employee, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. The gunman next pointed his weapon at another employee and forced her to the back of the store.
The armed customer then fatally shot the man multiple times, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Gildersleeve was pronounced dead on the scene at 7:10 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He had an extensive criminal history, including prior arrests for robbery, the Sun-Times reported. Gildersleeve was set to have an autopsy performed on Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A career criminal, in the act of terrorizing and robbing his neighbors, was killed by a man who was lawfully carrying a firearm. This is going to drive anti-gun people crazy. But, we see the perfect example of what happens when a criminal has to walk into a store, and every person could be armed and ready to end his life.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the customer, who has not been identified, will face charges. Guglielmi said the case is under review by local prosecutors, but the preliminary details suggest that the customer was not at fault.
“We’re looking at it as a self-defense issue at this point,” he said.
Now, it would be hard for them to see this in any other light. The unnamed customer was in the store minding his own business when Gildersleeve enters and pulls a gun. The citizen was probably fearful for himself and his fellow patrons, but he was likely more fearful for the safety of the female employee.
What could the gun-owner do? What choice did he have but to stop this gunman and protect the female who was being led to the back of the store? And this man was not the first.
Last month, a Michigan woman with a concealed carry license shot at shoplifters fleeing a Detroit-area Home Depot store, flattening a tire of their SUV. No one was hurt, and the suspected shoplifters were arrested several days later. The woman faces up to 90 days in jail after pleading no contest to a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm. Two other shootings in which citizens fired at lawbreakers or potential lawbreakers also happened in September in Michigan.
Though I do not advocate the actions of the woman, this should put criminals on notice. Americans are tired of being victims. They are tired of feeling vulnerable and weak. They will not simply stand by and be victimized or watch as others are victimized.