Meet Frank Taylor. Don’t get too attached to him, because he’s a crumb, a violent criminal, and he’s already dead, dead, dead — where he can’t hurt anybody any more. Maybe he was a lovely guy 99% of the time, or maybe he was always prone to the kind of dyscivic activity that characterized the last hours of his life. We don’t know, although the fact that he already had a scowling mugshot on file is what intelligence officers call “an indicator.”
Moms Demand Action records his demise as a “gun death.” And it was, but not quite the way they mean.
As it happens, he took his chances on robbing a woman a fraction of his size (4’11″/85 lbs, aka 1.5m/39 Kg), and the gamble came up snake eyes for him, as he coughed out his last blood on an operating table soon thereafter. (We can just feel the groundswell of sympathy for the guy, all the way from Arizona).
Now, we’re not big fans of open carry, here. Why advertise? In summer months, when our service pistol would be hard to conceal in shorts and t-shirt, we downsize. (First Rule of Gunfights: Bring a Gun). But some people, like Carolann Miracle of Glendale, AZ, are built so lean that even a Baby Browning is going to print. You might as well carry the horse pistol, exposed, then.
A news channel tells part of the story:
The suspect, Frank Taylor , tried to bum a cigarette. She told him that she didn’t have one, and then seconds later, Miracle said, she could feel the barrel of the gun against her skin.
“He put the gun up to my neck and said, ‘It’s loaded, don’t move,’” Miracle said. ”I think he thought, ‘She’s a little girl. Maybe she doesn’t know how to use her weapon.’”
Miracle said, “I dropped my soda, released my gun from my holster and cocked it. I shot him and ran in the opposite direction.
She called the cops from home; meanwhile, others responded to the scene, where they called paramedics who transported Taylor to the ER, where attempts to save him — why? Not because he was worth saving, but out of sheer force of habit; it’s what they do — were unavailing.
“Every time you hear a peaceable carrier’s gunshot, a devil gets his bat wings.” Now Frank Taylor hangs, upside down, alongside his brethren in the Surprised Scumbag Hall of Infamy.
Dean Weingarten has done some work on this story, and reached some conclusions we generally agree with:
Carolann’s father was a Marine. He taught her well. …
Carolann did many things right. The first was to instantly recognize the threat. Many become mired in the thought that “this cannot be happening”; “this is not real”. People who carry are much less likely to do that because they have considered the possibility of attack and prepared for it.
She did the right thing when she dropped her drink. Dropping things to access your weapon or to fight better is not an instinctive reaction. Many people instinctively hang on to useless things that impede their ability to fight. I taught my students to practice dropping things at the beginning of a fight so that they could draw their firearm, and fight more effectively.
She did the right thing when she fled the area in the opposite direction from the way the attacker was going. Many attacks, perhaps 50%, involve an accomplice. She purposefully made the decision, moved to safety, then called the police.
Carolann’s response is common. She did not want to kill her attacker. It was a consequence of what he forced her to do. She would have preferred that it never happened.
Indeed, if Frank Taylor decided to get a job framing houses or working in a car wash, he’d be ahead, not dead, and poor Ms. Miracle wouldn’t have his soul, blackened and crabbed though it may have been, on her conscience.
But he didn’t. He decided he wanted to be an urban predator — the U-Boat of the modern urban environment. If Carolann hadn’t gone home to her three-year-old, if it’d been her vapor-locking on that operating table, that probably wouldn’t have troubled Taylor’s atrophied conscience at all. But she wasn’t the complacent victim he expected. The only problem with the lesson he learned from running into a Q-Ship is that his ability to pass the message on is somewhat curtailed.