By: José Niño
Although the Lone Star State has built a strong reputation for its social stability, it has not been exempt from the radical leftist unrest that has engulfed the nation over the past few months.
On July 25, 2020, tragedy stuck in Texas’ capital.
Active U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry was driving close to a protest that was quickly getting out of hand. Agitators surrounded his car and started pounding on it.
As his vehicle was encircled by protesters, Garret Foster walked towards it with his wife. Foster was carrying an AK-47-style rifle as he approached the vehicle.
Already in a state of distress from protesters surrounding his car, Perry panicked when he saw Foster come near his vehicle with a rifle in hand. The Army Sergeant attested that Foster aimed his rifle at his car, which propelled him to draw out his own firearm and fatally shoot Foster.
The suspect ended up being arrested and later let out of jail in fewer than 24 hours without having charges pressed against him.
Once he got word of this incident, Austin Mayor Steve Adler went on Twitter to comment about the situation:
Mayor Adler tweeted:
“In a split moment, three guns were drawn, eight shots were fired, and a protester was tragically killed. This is horrible as is all gun violence. There are too many guns. Our City is shaken and, like so many in our community, I’m heartbroken and stunned."
Guns are simply tools, which, of course, can be lethal in the wrong hands. When there’s a climate of generalized unrest, people will eventually come to blows. This is why all civilized political jurisdictions have some form of law enforcement to keep the peace. Blocking traffic and threatening people’s property will inevitably provoke a self-defense response from private individuals.
Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works and a concealed carry instructor, offered a more sober take on this shooting incident. Cargill said:
“It’s very easy to teach you how to shoot and kill someone. The hard thing to do is not to pull that gun out.
“We talk about protests in class. If you come across a protest, stay in your vehicle, with windows up and doors locked, and let them bang on the vehicle. Whip your cellphone out, in hopes of identifying them for a civil suit to pay for damages. That’s what insurance is for. Don’t worry about the vehicle.”
Cargill reviewed the video of this lethal encounter and provided his perspective on the matter:
“I can only imagine, people are banging on the vehicle, banging on his hood, on top of vehicle, he turns and looks left,” and, catching sight of a person with a long gun, “thinks this person is going to try to kill me.”
Cargill said Foster made “…a very bad judgment call to be in a protest that can get violent and to have a rifle. It’s his right, but the sight of that gun is what got him shot and killed.”
Foster’s death was a tragedy, but it’s a stretch to say it’s because there are too many guns on the streets of Austin. Had Austin’s political leadership taken these violent protests more seriously and proactively prevented protesters from blocking traffic, they would have likely avoided such a confrontation.
Unfortunately, when you have an agenda to push, demagoguery trumps any form of reason. So blaming guns becomes an easy way out when the real problem is the lack of order that’s sweeping across America’s major cities right now.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.