Not many people remember the official policy of the FAA pertaining to highjackers prior to September 11, 2001, so allow me to remind you:
Quiet cooperation and complete submission to the criminals.
Back in the days before we were consciously aware of the intent of radical Islamic terrorists, the international flying community had a pretty simple policy regarding people who commandeered jets in mid flight, “let them have their way.”
Thank God the heroic passengers of Flight 91 had just enough information that fateful morning to save countless thousands on the ground in Washington D.C. by daring to fight back, and taking their own plane down, in a rural field in the heart of Western Pennsylvania.
I have stood at that site, and consider it one of the greatest “battlegrounds” in American history. Even though they all died, you best damn believe the good guys won the Battle of Flight 91.
Eventually America and the rest of the civilized world devised new response plans for those attempting to highjack airplanes, and yes, most responsible citizens have come to understand they may personally need to aggressively fight an oppressor in such a situation, rather than cower and wait for uniformed help to arrive.
Well, most conservative, responsible citizens, anyway.
In this week’s shocking shootout following the fireworks show at Augusta’s Riverwalk, thank goodness we had at least two men nearby that were ready, willing, and able to intercede as two criminals put dozens of lives in immediate danger by indiscriminately opening fire at each other in the midst of a crowd.
26 year old Joshua Austin spends most of his time helping customers with computer questions at Best Buy, where he has worked for 3 years.
I did not notice him 20 feet away when my wife and I were picked up FitBit wristbands the other day, but he was there. I am pretty sure Clinton “SlumBoi” Coleman (his chosen nickname on Facebook) didn’t notice Joshua 20 feet from him, when he fired multiple rounds at another man in the midst of a terse argument.
Joshua was on him as quick as his sturdy legs could get him there, tackling Coleman as he fired, and disarming him despite the punk’s frantic efforts to recover his weapon, even after he was seriously wounded. Had it not been for Joshua, Coleman would have continued to fire, and given the fact that he was seriously affected by his wounds, God knows where his bullets would have gone.
“My girlfriend screamed that he was going for his (dropped) gun even though I had taken him down, so I had to continue to fight him and keep the gun away until he passed out about a minute later…”, he told me.
44 year old Brian Sikes, also a bystander for the gunfight, got involved on the other end of the battle. He produced his own legally carried handgun and managed to get a few shots off at the (still unknown at press time) other assailant, apparently running him off in the process.
Authorities have told me Sikes responded in a 100% appropriate and justified manner, and did not put others at risk with his gunfire.
Joshua Austin and Brian Sikes deserve the Key to the City, and Carnegie Medals.
So did Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree agree when he gave his statement to Augusta Chronicle reporter Bianca Cain Johnson the next day? He was mildly thankful, but seemed to cast a shadow on their heroics…
“Roundtree said that although he applauded the two residents for their courageous acts Monday evening, he doesn’t recommend getting involved in a shooting.
“Anytime you engage in a dangerous situation, there are consequences. Fortunately in this particular case, no one else was injured, and that is great,” Roundtree said. “But given the circumstances, it could have gone terribly wrong.”
Roundtree pointed out possible mistakes, such as deputies taking the armed resident for a criminal when arriving on the scene.”
Gee whiz Sheriff, invite the guys to lunch and hug their neck. Why would anyone discourage or downplay two obviously fit and prepared individuals who want to fight back?
As I have come to understand in recent years, this is not an unusual stand for liberals to take. In a personal exchange with my old friend (and well known local radio veteran) Ron Roberts, I learned he also frowns on folks fighting back in such situations. When I complained that there were few headlines about a recent hero who “shot back” at a nightclub shooter in Lyman, SC, taking the criminal out in the process, my well known Lefty friend spelled it out plain as day, and even credited local “journalists” for downplaying it as well:
“It deserved front page? Yeah, no thanks. Department of Sanity doesn’t wanna encourage swagger-laden Dirty Harry wannabes out at the club packing’, fearful he’s more Don Knotts than Clint Eastwood.
GGWG (Good guys with guns) don’t usually bode well in a dark bar setting. Especially when cops in similar settings have a mere 18% success rate themselves. Exceptions to statistical certainties happen. Good for that one.
If you think editors don’t conclude, A. No one died so folks won’t be drawn to the story, and, B. “we don’t air stories of “Jackass-like” stunts for fear some moron will try and replicate it so why go hog wild over this?”, then keep talking.
It’s a “Jackass like stunt” to try and get into a bar packing. Sorry Austin, but outside “ammosexual fantasy land” the truth is the country’s FULL of people who are irresponsible gunnies – like it or not – and until we stop hearing of toddlers shooting and killing more people than ISIS does in this country or idiots in clubs sneaking in pistols and shooting themselves (thank heavens usually just themselves) you’re going to have to deal with the FACT that the majority of this country thinks it’s IDIOTIC to want to encourage swollen-sacked gunnies going to the watering hole surrounded by drunks with the potential for having one or two themselves. It’s a toxic situation for weapons to be available for someone other than security and law enforcement. You won’t change the data: cops have an 18% success rate. Joe Packin’ would fare worse. And then he’s likely gunned down when cops arrive.”
Ron REALLY doesn’t like that the law in South Carolina allows you to carry a concealed weapon into a bar, as it does in Georgia now too, and has for some time. There are virtually no reports of legally carried weapons being misused, or accidentally fired, while a CWP holder has been at a bar or restaurant.
It really doesn’t matter what opinion polls say in the matter, the Constitution is clear, you have a right to own a gun, and I believe you have the right to carry it almost anywhere you go in America.
Here is my point: If you are ready, willing, and able to assert yourself and prevent an armed nut from doing more damage, then go for it. Here’s to hoping the Government has not prevented you from carrying the tools to assist you in such an endeavor. Two men independently took out two very dangerous criminals Monday night in Augusta. Coleman is a well known felon who was breaking the law by even possessing a gun in the first place. He was brought down in part, by the brave actions of two local men using their brains, brawn, and yes, firearms, to stop further bloodshed.