I woke up at 2:00am and could not go back to sleep. So, I got up quietly, being careful not to disturb my wife, put on my sweat suit and went outside my home to enjoy the cool night air. Of course, as was my habit, I strapped on my Glock-9 before going outside. My concealed weapon permit would not have been necessary if I had not intended to carry my weapon. I walked down the block and listened to the crickets sing and watched the occasional shooting star go across the sky.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark SUV parked down the street with the motor running, and I could barely see the glow of a cigarette and someone sitting on the driver's side. I wondered who would be parked in such a place in our quiet neighborhood at this time of night, but I continued to walk down my street.
I felt more than heard the SUV begin to slowly follow me. I started to get nervous. After all, I had heard talk of burglaries in my neighborhood, and was aware of some of my neighbors purchasing various types of security systems for their homes. The SUV pulled up beside me, stopped, and a large man got out on the driver's side and walked toward me. I instinctively touched the butt of my Glock, but I stood my ground, waiting for the fellow to state his business.
As he approached me, I asked "Why are you following me?"
"Who are you and what are you doing in this neighborhood?" he replied in a challenging tone.
"That's none of your damn business," I said. "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
"I'm a Neighborhood Watch captain and I want to know your business!" he answered.
I didn't know whether to believe him or not. He looked menacing to me.
The fellow stepped closer to me and I noticed his open jacket revealed the butt of a pistol. We stood face to face. We each stood our ground. He moved his hand toward his pistol, but fearing for my life, I pulled mine out first and shot him. As he fell backward he pulled his own gun out and shot me.
We each had stood our ground, but now we were both on the ground in a pool of blood... dead.
This is the world of National Rifle Association lobbyists, Republican-dominated state legislatures, and eager-to-please governors. God help us all.
Patrick Anderson is professor emeritus of Criminology at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida and is the editor of Christian Ethics Today.