The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Waitress is guilty of reckless endangerment


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 08, 2017 - 1:00 AM

Much has been said about the waitress who fired her weapon at fleeing bandits. She is alternately castigated or lauded for her actions.

It’s reported she fired over the heads of the fleeing miscreants; where did her bullet go? It is axiomatic anyone firing a weapon is responsible for the projectile until it comes to rest. Noticeably silent is the Coweta district attorney’s office.

The waitress appears guilty of reckless endangerment: “A person who causes bodily harm to or endangers the bodily safety of another person by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his act or omission will cause harm or endanger the safety of the other person and the disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation is guilty…”

Regardless of which side of this argument one is on, it seems clear the waitress 1) was in no immediate danger of bodily harm; 2) had nothing stolen from her personally; 3) and saw the malefactors running away from her. She had no legal justification for firing a weapon, let alone firing into the air over their heads. This action can cause dire results.

·         Wednesday the NTH reported an incident where, after a “New Year's Eve celebration … a single bullet pierced a side wall … ricocheted through the kitchen, hitting a dish drainer and shattering several dishes before coming to a rest in a wall next to their refrigerator.”

·         In January of 2012, “The [Hillsborough County, Fla.] Sheriff's Office says the boy apparently was struck [in the head] by celebratory gunfire that could have been fired miles away.”

Recklessly discharging a weapon is a serious event as the above two examples demonstrate. That this waitress lost her employment may give the employer some sense of justice, but the public’s recourse is left wanting.

The Second Amendment does not permit recklessly discharging a weapon. While incarceration may not be appropriate, certainly a fine and a public record are warranted. The public should be kept safe from well-meaning citizens as well as criminals.

Ken Schaefer

Sharpsburg