I’d just as soon avoid a blog post about guns since it’s a fairly polarizing topic, but this post is limited to guns and cars. More specifically, guns in cars.
In the last year I have had a number of calls and questions from clients and friends regarding angry drivers who perceive some wrongdoing done to them and who then “flash” a gun at the other driver in an apparent show of force or retribution.
Wow, this is such a bad idea. This bit of rudeness might land you in jail. Hostility can bring out the worst in some people and given the frequency of how often this issue comes up, obviously it is a growing problem. Some apparently think this is as harmless as shaking ones fist or using the notorious middle finger if they don’t pull the trigger. It is not only a crime, it’s usually a felony.
If it is done to you, you are indeed the victim of a crime.
Depending on the State you live in, the crime is called any number of things: disorderly conduct, menacing, reckless conduct, second degree riot and even “terrorist threat”. But make no mistake: It is a form of assault. Here in Florida, it’s aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
This is true even if the gun isn’t loaded as the person at the end of the gun barrel doesn’t know this. This is also true if it is a BB gun or even a toy gun for the same reason: the victim perceives it to be a dangerous weapon, and the damage is done.
It is also true if the gun isn’t even aimed at you, but it just made visible in a mirror in a threatening manner. Again, the victim is witnessing a deadly weapon and they are the intended target.
If this happens to you on the road, stay calm. However, do not antagonize the other driver. Get the license tag number, and as detailed a description of the other car and driver as you can and call the police. Don’t worry about “losing” the other driver. Let them go. That’s what the police are for.
And if the investigative agency tries to talk you out of filing charges, make it known in no uncertain terms that you were the victim of a violent assault and you want the other driver prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Too many times these altercations get out of control and someone ends up dead when a confrontation ensues. Don’t take any chances. Get the information, get off the road and call the authorities.
Image credit: mullannix930