Sometimes Doing the Right Thing Doesn’t Involve Punishment Afterward

It isn’t always the case that no good deed goes unpunished, sometimes people get away with doing the right thing:

The 71-year-old Florida man who fired his gun at two men trying to rob a crowded Internet café will not face criminal charges, an assistant state attorney general told

Bill Gladson, the attorney, said he reviewed the security video from the Palms Internet café in central Florida.

The video shows patron Samuel Williams pulling a handgun and shooting. He continues firing while the suspects fall over each other as they run out the door.

Gladson said in the memo Williams’ use of force was lawful under Florida’s statutes regarding individuals rights to use deadly force when resisting a forcible felony, like a robbery.

Although a rare sight, it’s nice to see the justice system actually deliver justice. There is no reason that a man should face punishment for firing on armed aggressors. Some people have pointed out that one of the suspects claimed his firearm was nonfunctional:

‘The gun was broken and rusty and wasn’t loaded. Nobody was going to get hurt,’ he told the paper; the plan was to ‘barge in, get the money and leave.’

He said that neither of the two teens ever ‘expected anyone to be armed.’

Just as the teens didn’t expect anybody to be armed the man who fired on them didn’t expect their guns to be nonfunctional. When you initiate force you can’t expect to blame anybody who defends themselves because you didn’t really mean it. It should surprise nobody that a negative correlation exists between the number of lawful armed individuals and violent crime. The teens in this story admitted that they didn’t expect anybody to be armed, they thought the risk of robbing the Internet cafe was very low compared to the potential reward. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for everybody else, the teens’ risk assessment was wrong and they met armed resistance.

As the number of armed individuals increases the risk of aggressing also increases. Since every action is a risk/reward assessment increasing the number of armed individuals can effectively lower violent crime, since the risk of being hurt or killed while perpetuating a violent crime becomes too high.