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Opening Arguments


Today's "morons with guns" question: When it is OK to start shooting up the streets?

Police were searching for three gunmen who followed a vehicle home from a party on the Northwestside and peppered it with gunfire the whole way this morning, sending the 19-year-old driver to the hospital.

The barrage ended only after the victim's father came from his apartment and returned fire, forcing the assailants to leave.

The rolling assault began after a party in the 8100 block of North Harcourt Road at 2 a.m., according to a report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Tyshell Morman, 19, Indianapolis, and her 17-year-old brother, got into an argument with some acquaintances as they were leaving.

When you've been drinking at a party and think a "rolling assault" against someone you've been arguing with sounds like fun -- no. When you're a father protecting your children from such funsters -- yes. Oh, and if your life is not in danger, you might want to think twice:

MUNCIE -- A liquor store clerk took the law into his own hands after being held up by a robber armed with a shotgun late Tuesday.

[. . .]

 The clerk, a 60-year-old Losantville man, followed the robber as he fled on foot to a getaway vehicle parked on the west side of the store.

"(The clerk) said he then began shooting at the suspect as the suspect was entering the vehicle," city police patrolman Brian Campbell stated in a case report. "(The clerk) said he emptied his magazine while shooting at the suspect."

[. . .]

"There is no need to go chase after somebody," said Muncie police Capt. Mark Vollmar. "The money can be replaced."

He added: "You have a right to defend yourself, but it's hard to claim self defense when the robbery has ended and the robber is fleeing. It's also dangerous to fire shots like that. He put himself in a situation where there might have been a shoot-out."

A shoot-out could have injured the clerk, nearby residents, restaurant patrons across the street or motorists, Vollmar said.

Most gun-control advocates would concentrate on the assaulters in the first story, not so much on the rescuing father. But it's the clerk in the second story who actually gives them the most, um, ammunition, because he fits their stereotype of the "law-abiding person" who can't quite control himself when armed and so endangers others with his vigilante mindset.