Man walks into a supermarket…

carrying an assault weapon and everybody flees in panic.  This being America, he didn’t actually break any laws:

A man who witnesses say walked into a Kroger grocery store in Charlottesville armed with a loaded semi-automatic rifle will not face any criminal charges.  Police say he did nothing illegal, but it created quite a scare.

Police responded to the call at the Kroger store on Emmet Street and Hydraulic Road shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday.

Witnesses and Kroger employees called 911 after a man walked into the store with a loaded AR-15. Police say a 22-year-old man had initially walked into the Kroger store unarmed, and then went back to his car to grab his rifle. He then briefly entered the store again before turning around and walking back out.

Monica Green, a witness, said she thought something was wrong when she saw people crowding at the front of the store. When she heard there was a man with a gun in the store, she ran out the door and called 911…

Police restrained the man to ask him questions. They released him after they confirmed he is not a convicted felon, owned the gun legally and it was not concealed. Police say he was cooperative and did not break any laws.

As far as why the man brought the rifle into the store, Charlottesville police say they believe he was demonstrating his 2nd amendment rights based on his behavior.

Now, call me crazy, but how’s this for a rule of thumb… if your actions are going to induce mass panic, they probably shouldn’t be legal.  Who is seriously going to just sit there comparison shopping the pasta sauce when a young male with an AR-15 walks in the door.  Sometimes what’s crazy is what we allow to be legal.  I would argue that this is a fairly dramatic case in point.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Man walks into a supermarket…

  1. Deborah Ferry says:

    It’s similar to falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater. You really don’t have the right to do absolutely anything you want in a public area.

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