We tell a lot of stories here at ConcealedCarry.com that revolve around well-to-do armed citizens saving the lives of themselves and/or their families from criminals but that doesn’t mean that all people who pull a gun out to stop a crime do it right. Sometimes “defensive” shooters are anything but and that can lead to dire consequences where there need not be any.
A story out of Greenville County is a prime example of this thoughtlessness. Back on October 12th an incident occurred in which lawful gun owner Jason Dewayne Stephenson witnessed a burglary occurring at his neighbor’s home and decided that he needed to do something about it.
The burglars, Jeffrey Bradley, Shane Standard, and Tracy Mayfield were in the process of grabbing items from the home when Stephenson noticed what was going on and attempted to make his move. However, instead of calling the police as he should have done, Stephenson made the terrible choice that will haunt him for the rest of his days when he decided to try and play the hero and shot at the burglars striking Jeffrey Bradley in the back and killing him.
The others ran off successfully, at least until police later caught up with them, but Bradley’s death made it so that the police did not have just a burglary case to handle, but rather one of manslaughter as well.
Jason Stephenson was taken in for his crimes and recently was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in court as well as possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and while he has found the money to make bail the mistakes that he made and his want to be a hero are what has caused this permanent blemish on his record.
We call cases in which an armed citizen fights back against criminality defensive gun uses because they are just that, defensive. We as concealed carriers are not armed in order to suddenly go on the offensive. We carry so that we may shield ourselves from the world of criminality. Not to become a part of it ourselves. We as carriers need to set a better example than this because it leaves an unnecessary image, tarnishing our entire flock and I should at least hope that none of us WANT to unnecessarily harm anyone.
So please remember that in situations like this that the police are there for a reason. It is their oath to protect and serve us so that we do not end up putting our lives or our freedom on the line. So let’s let them handle the issues when they can and remember that we are there to defend, never attack.
What do you think of this story? Are there other concealed carry mistakes that you have seen bring down usually upstanding members of society? Let us know in the comments below.