Tennessee Carjacker Picks Wrong Guy To Assault

July 7, 2008 - 8:20 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A man who turned the tables and fatally shot a would-be carjacker in Nashville this week deserves a "good citizenship" award for fighting crime, according to a national gun advocacy group.

According to published reports, Billy J. Brown stopped at a convenience store in South Nashville at around 1:00 a.m. on Dec. 29 to get a snack. When he got back into his car, he was surprised by two carjackers demanding that Brown start driving.

Instead of following orders, Brown pulled out his gun and shot and killed one of the carjackers who had jumped into the backseat, according to police and press reports. The other carjacker fled the scene, but was later apprehended by police and reportedly admitted to the attempted carjacking. Brown has not been charged with any violation of the law, but the local district attorney is expected to review the case.

"I hope there is some agency at the state level that is prepared to reward this guy or give the guy an award appropriate to the circumstances," said Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, in an interview with CNSNews.com.

"[Brown] deserves some kind of a good citizenship award," Waldron said.

Waldron believes Brown's actions were completely justifiable.

"When an incident like this occurs with the carjacker being killed, while any loss of life is unfortunate, the carjacker made that decision and had suffered the consequences," he explained.

But a group favoring restrictions on gun ownership cautioned that this one incident should not be used to draw conclusions on gun laws or to heap praise on any individuals.

"Anecdotal stories like this don't necessarily make up good policy. To say that because one individual may have used his gun in self-defense in this case doesn't necessarily mean anything about gun policy. It tells you very little," said Matt Bennett, spokesman for Americans for Gun Safety.

"Gun laws should not be based on one event, either tragic gun shootings or instances of self-defense like this," Bennett said.

"There are 250 million guns in private hands. It is a much more complicated issue," he added.

But Waldron said instances in which would-be victims fight back against criminals are not rare.

"This case is actually quite common. There are any numbers of legal defensive gun uses in the United States everyday and newspapers are beginning to carry more accounts of these things," Waldron explained.

"Every day, I see reports of citizens, law abiding armed citizens, who are forced by circumstance to use a firearm to protect themselves and their families," he added.

E-mail a news tip to Marc Morano.

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