In Pennsylvania last week, a man was shot to death in a church.
Apparently Robert Braxton III was sitting in seats reserved for other members, and when an usher tapped him on the shoulder to ask him to move, he got upset and yelled at the usher, telling him not to touch him. And this little blow-up sparked wanna-be TV action hero Mark Storms into action.
As the usher and the pastor spoke to Braxton and calmed him down, Storms, by all accounts, rushed up to them with a gun drawn, flashed a badge and ordered Braxton to leave the church.
The badge was one of those ones advertised on the internet that simply says "Concealed Weapons Permit Holder". They serve no purpose and are bought exclusively by idiots and morons.
Braxton apparently didn't care for being badged by a poser, because he reportedly told Storms what he could do with his "fake badge" and "fake gun". Then he punched Storms in the mouth.
Storms retaliated by shooting Braxton and killing him.
Gunman fatally shoots Pennsylvania churchgoer after fight over seat at Sunday service
Storms was rightfully arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter. At his arraignment, Storms claimed that he was using his handgun in "self defense", and, apparently without talking to or heeding the advice of a lawyer, he told the police that he was hoping to defuse the situation by showing a gun, which, according to court documents, he's done in the past.
Sigh... it's people like this who mess it up for the rest of us CCW holders and responsible gun owners. The anti-gun crowd always tries to say that we do stuff like this, and even though we all know better, here comes some tosser to do exactly this sort of stupid thing.
So let us count the screw-ups in this case. Feel free to add any that I miss:
1. Storms buys a poser badge that carries no authority but merely identifies him as a concealed weapons permit holder. Why he feels that he needs a shield like real police and other officials carry is not known to me, but it appears that he's got a history of going around flashing it at people, no doubt hoping that it'll be mistaken for a real badge. Impersonating a police officer is both illegal and dangerous, and no one not a sworn Law Enforcement Officer needs to be carrying a badge around, especially a toy badge like this one.
2. Storms decided to butt into a verbal dispute that he wasn't even a party to. No one asked him to help, it was being handled by the appropriate people, and it wasn't his business.
3. Storms pulled his gun (and flashed his toy badge) to intimidate Braxton and get him to do what Storms--who had no authority to act--was ordering him to do.
4. Storms, with his gun out, was close enough to Braxton that Braxton could easily punch him in the face. Had Braxton gone for a disarm instead, he could probably have pulled it off, because Storms was way too close to react to the attempt.
5. While it's plausible to argue that you shot in self-defense in response to an attempt to disarm you, shooting someone for busting you in the lip is pretty much cut-and-dried retaliation. Storms life doesn't appear to have been in danger there; only his ego did.
6. I can't think of anything Storms could do to make this worse, unless...oh, wait--he could give statements to the police about how he was trying seize control of parties having a verbal disagreement by threatening them with his gun. Yeah, that could make it worse, as could having a history of having done this sort of thing before and not learning from those incidents.
All I can say now is that I hope that Storms likes jail food and diverse roommates, because I think that he's going to be getting his fill of both for a long, long time to come.