Last week in Maricopa County, Arizona a man and his wife attempted to rob a Sears department store. As they exited the store a security guard confronted them – which is when the wife pulled a gun. She had painted a toy gun to make it look real and used it now to threaten the guard so the couple could make their escape. The only problem for the couple was that waiting for his wife outside was a retired, and armed, Marine.
61 year old Mervin Brewer was waiting for his wife outside the Sears when he noticed the confrontation and the criminals brandishing their gun. At the same moment, his wife was also exiting the store as the couple moved past the unarmed and frightened security guard. Fearing for the lives of both his wife and the security officer, Brewer drew his weapon and fired several shots at the couple as they exited, forcing them to flee hurriedly on their motorcycle. Most of us would call Mr. Brewer a hero. But apparently not the local authorities.
Now police say Brewer could be charged with a felony depending on how the district attorney decides to proceed. According to the Associated Press, police submitted a felony charge of unlawful discharge of a firearm.
Look, I understand the police are worried about the public safety, and having a man shooting up the entrance of the local mall is not ideal. However, Mr. Brewer acted in exactly the manner that many a husband fearful who is protective of his wife would have. If you are all that stand between the love of your life and possible harm you will do whatever it takes to protect them. In this case, the only way that Mr. Brewer could work to keep his wife safe was to fire his gun, and so that is what he did.
Our nation values justice, it’s one of our bedrock principles. If Mr. Brewer is charged with a crime for moving to defend his wife from the danger of armed thugs – Arizona will surely be committing an injustice.
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