As reported, a 38 year old man and his girlfriend were exiting their vehicle in the parking lot of McTaverns bar, on the 7400 block of Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond, IN, when two people attempted to rob the couple. The man grabbed his handgun from from his vehicle, and fatally shot Kenneth Denson, 17, of the 600 block of East 131st Street in Chicago. The other suspect fled in a car, only to crash and be apprehended by the police, who also found illegal drugs in the car. The two would-be robber victims were unharmed.
This is yet another example of why I support gun rights. This man and his girlfriend were going about their lawful business, only to have two criminals threaten their lives and attempt to rob them. Had the citizen been unarmed, the criminals could have injured, kidnapped, tortured, and killed him and/or his girlfriend. Instead, these law abiding citizens are safe, one of the criminals will never hurt another person, and the other criminals will be unable to harm anyone during their prison terms.
Some of the comments on the news site criticize this citizen’s decision to defend himself, due to the age of the criminal. To that, I would say a few things. First, a 17 year old male is often near the peak of his physical strength, and can pose quite a threat if violent. For example, at 17 years old, I stood 6’2″, and could bench press 245 lbs. Luckily for those around me, I was as peace loving and law abiding as I am today – but had I been violent then I doubt that your average 38 year old would have been able stop me, without a gun. Secondly, while a 17 year old likely lacks the judgment of a 40 year old, they certainly know right from wrong, and are not immature children. Virtually every 17 year old who commits robbery does so with the understanding that their actions are illegal and dangerous, and cannot reasonably claim age as an excuse. Thirdly, second guessing a citizen who defends themselves is almost never proper, as I discuss here. Finally, while it is sad that this young man’s life is over, just as any loss of life is sad, it is far better that the criminal suffer than his innocent victims.