One of the concerns about the increasing number of gun permits and open carry laws is road rage. Those concerns magnified this month with a number of road rage incidents involving guns. In Sacramento, a man punched another man in a traffic argument and was shot in the face. Of course, gun advocates could argue that road rage can involve a variety of lethal weapons, including the car itself. A case in point would be another case in California where Dante Stewart, 63, set another car on fire in a road rage incident with the flare gun.
Police say that Stewart pulled out a flare gun and fired it into another car around 4 p.m. and that car caught on fire with four people inside. He is facing charges of arson and assault with a deadly weapon.
In North Carolina, Bradley Turner, 40, allegedly was upset that another man cut him off. He reportedly punched the victim after following him to his house. The victim’s friend videotaped what happened in the encounter. After her husband punched the victim, Christy Turner, 30, came out with a gun. Police say that her husband shot at the victims — hitting both the victim’s car and neighbor’s home. He has been charged with discharging a weapon into property, two counts of assault by pointing a gun, Going Armed to the Terror of People, Injury to Personal Property and Assault. Christy Turner has been charged with two counts of assault by pointing a gun.
Here is the video:
In the meantime, in Sacramento, Donald Bell claimed self-defense after shooting Timothy Mann in the face. The Mann family was out for a birthday brunch when a pickup truck cut them off. They say that they barely avoided an accident by slamming on their brakes after the pickup hit its brakes in front of them. Mann jumped out to confront Bell as his son and wife remained in the car. Bell brandished a gun but Mann still hit him. Bell insisted that the hit was so hard that the gun simply went off and this was an accident and part of self-defense. However, two weeks later, police received a call that said “My name is Donald R. Bell. I was involved in that Hazel incident that happened two weeks ago,” he said. “I am going to serve justice on myself.” He then went to the spot where he killed Mann and blew his own brains out.
Then there is this video posted this week though the authenticity cannot be independently confirmed. However, many of these incidents involve one of the crimes charged in the Turner case (pointing a gun at someone):
What is interesting about all of these incidents is how video technology can be used with the same effect as police abuse cases. Increasing citizens are videotaping encounters and creating important new forms of evidence in cases that were once left as simply of difference of accounts.
As for the flare gun case, the classification of the flare gun as a deadly weapon will be easy to establish. The combination could result in serious time for Stewart. The fact that the flare was shot into a car as opposed to at an approaching attacker would make self-defense claims more challenging. That should increase the chances of a plea in the case.