Damn arrogant prosecutor
Date: Oct 4, 2007 9:56 PM
"If there's anything I want people to take away from this, it's that I don't think more guns is in any way a good thing." Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring
Click here: About That Shooting - Opinion - inRich.com
We harbor a great deal of sympathy for 21-year-old David Fielding, the VCU art student who was working at the Baskin-Robbins on Forest Hill Avenue in early September when a career criminal walked in with a gun to rob the place -- only three weeks after another robbery at the site. So do a lot of other people who question the decision by Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring to seek a charge against Fielding of reckless discharge of a firearm.
It's easy in the calm of peaceful surroundings to second-guess Fielding's heat-of-the-moment decision to pursue the robber as he fled, and to fire shots outside the store. Someone with more firearms experience might have shown more restraint -- and the hundreds of individuals who have signed a petition in support of Fielding might feel differently if one of the bullets had killed a child.
On the other hand, the right to self-defense is inviolable, and the fault for the episode lies chiefly with the instigator, Jerome Davis -- who apparently planned his next act of violence far enough in advance to obtain a BB replica of a more powerful gun in the hope that if he were caught he might avoid the additional prison time that comes with the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Scrutinizing every detail of the episode, and sorting out conflicting considerations that pertain to it, is precisely what grand juries are for. We trust and respect the judicial process.
Herring makes a decent point when he suggests robbers should find their fates in the courts, not in the streets. In a perfect world, that's what would always happen. The commonwealth's attorney stands on far shakier ground when he says, "If there's anything I want people to take away from this, it's that I don't think more guns is in any way a good thing." In Florida, Virginia, and elsewhere, violent crime has dropped after concealed-carry laws have been loosened.
Herring presumably doesn't think more guns in the right hands -- the cops' -- is a bad thing. Unfortunately, the cops can't be everywhere at once.