You’ve seen this by now.
Clarence Daniels, 62, enters a Walmart to get some coffee creamer. He’s with his granddaughter. On his hip is a holstered and absolutely legal firearm. He doesn’t get far.
Michael Foster, 43, saw him place the gun into the holster after he left the car. Although it was concealed beneath his coat, Foster knew it was there. So, he tackled Daniels, shouting, “He’s got a gun!”
It’s hard to estimate how many ways this situation could have slid more out of control. Being pinned to the ground by a group of men in front of your grandchild is bad. Being shot by responding police in front of her would have been worse. Or maybe he asphyxiates in Foster’s hastily applied choke hold while waiting for the police arrive.
Or he Daniels shoots Foster. In this scenario, Daniels somehow draws his weapon and shoots, even though he was attacked from behind with absolutely no warning. At this point we are venturing into fantasy, but it is an idea that is thrown around every time the video is shared.
He would have been legally justified, and sitting on my couch hundreds of miles removed from the situation, I admit it, I kind of wish he had.
It’s not easy to watch Foster run into the store and clip him from behind. Harder, to watch the other men help pin him down, for no other reason than Foster, a stranger, asked them to. This is assault. They are making themselves accessories.
But legal justification is one thing. That doesn’t mean that he would have made it out of the situation alive.
Besides, his granddaughter. If he had killed a man in front of her, it would have haunted both of them.
Foster, who was charged with assault, has been called “hapless hero” by some. I can’t help but wonder, however, if he would assumed that Daniels was a robber or terrorist if he had been a white man. After all, despite the weapon, nothing about Daniels screamed, “criminal.”
Daniels will be on my mind as I file for my CCW in the State of Georgia. Is there anything that Daniels could have done to avoid the situation?
Are any of you worried about running into a man like Foster?