Man Threatens Girlfriend with Hammer; Son Responds with Handgun

This is a little tricky. A fight broke out among members of a Memphis, Tennessee family. A man, his live-in girlfriend and her son were having a heated argument when the man Tony Hardin chased after the other two with a hammer and a wrench, threatening to kill them. The woman and her son managed to escape, but amid the chaos, the son shot several times at Hardin, who was drunk at the time. Apparently, Hardin survived and is facing several aggravated assault charges.

The son isn’t being charged at this time, because he claimed he acted in self-defense. But Hardin was shot in the back. That could mean that the son fired at Hardin while Hardin was pursuing them but missed, and then was finally able to hit him when Hardin tried to retreat. Or, it could mean that the son didn’t shoot until Hardin had turned around. We don’t know the details, because there weren’t enough witnesses.

In this case, since there isn’t really enough evidence to prove that the son tried to murder his mom’s boyfriend, he shouldn’t be charged. It doesn’t mean that I’m on the son’s side or that I think he’s completely innocent. There just isn’t enough evidence to convict him. He should be presumed innocent until proven to be guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Of course, there is the issue of stray bullets, which the media predictably fixated upon. They like to focus on what bad things could have happened, all because a civilian had a gun. In other words, no neighbors would have been frightened if this family weren’t allowed to own a gun. I wonder if they’d be that critical if it had been the police that fired the stray bullets.