Good Guy With Gun Shoots 9-Year-Old Waiting In Line To See Easter Bunny
Second Amendment advocates are always talking about how they need guns for personal protection — never mind the well-established fact that guns in a home "are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense." They love the saying "the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." They love insisting that mass shootings could be prevented if more people were carrying guns.
On Tuesday night of this week, 20-year-old Marqel Cockrell, the co-owner of a mall shoe store in Victorville, California, thought he was going to be a good guy with a gun. He saw two people shoplifting from his store and then chased them down with a gun, shooting in their general direction. He did shoot someone, but it wasn't a shoplifter. It was a 9-year-old girl who was waiting to get her picture taken with the Easter Bunny.
Cockrell fled the scene after the shooting and got all the way to Nevada before he was caught by the Nevada Highway Patrol. He has since been booked at the Clark County Jail for attempted murder and is being held on $1 million bail.
The little girl, who was shot twice in the arm, is stable, recovering in the hospital and expected to be okay. Except for the extreme trauma of getting shot while waiting to see the Easter Bunny.
The other owner of the shoe store announced on Instagram that "the shop will be closing down soon and will remain shut down!!!" in order to "do what is right" for the 9-year-old victim.
None of this ever should have happened. This guy should not have had a gun in the store in the first place — and frankly, should not have been chasing down shoplifters with one either. Second Amendment enthusiasts like to perpetuate the idea that one can be a hero for using a gun in a situation like this, but no one should be killing anyone over stolen shoes, period. Even in the United States, that doesn't warrant the death penalty.
As a veteran mall employee, let me just say that the very first thing they will tell you in any store you work at is that you do not personally confront shoplifters. Even if you literally see someone stuff something in their bag, you just call mall security and let them handle it. Same deal with the pervs who try to masturbate in the clothing racks and behind earring towers or people who poop in fitting rooms (both of which, disturbingly enough, are real things that happen). This is both for your safety and the safety of other people in the area, because you never know what people are going to do when they are confronted. Nothing in a store is worth anyone's life.
What did we end up with here? A little girl got shot, a 20-year-old is going from being the co-owner of a business to a stint in prison that will significantly derail his life, and the shoplifters still got their damn shoes. Nothing was gained by introducing a gun into this situation. Nothing.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse