If it’s illegal, is self defense wrong?
A news story I read made me start thinking about people who carry self defense tools without a permit. According to the news report, Flair Lamont Griggs, a seventeen-year-old from York, Pennsylvania, was often at odds with fellow youth Joseph Gomez, Jr.. Their animosity toward each other was strong enough that Griggs decided to carry a firearm to be able to protect himself from Gomez.
Griggs found himself in just that situation. Gomez, backed by three of his friends, drew a pistol on Griggs in a McDonald’s parking lot. In response, Griggs drew his own illegally carried pistol and shot down Gomez. The entire exchange was captured on surveillance tape.
In other circumstances, Griggs’ situation may have been considered a cut-and-dry self defense case. However, because the teen was carrying his self defense firearm illegally, he now faces three to seven years in prison.
Is Griggs’ prison sentence the better of two evils, or should the teen have found a different—legal—means of self defense?
Featured image courtesy of contributor ephraimphotography via istockphoto.com