I came across this story this morning, and I’ve got some thoughts about what happened. The reporting is pretty slim, so I could be completely wrong, but here goes.
“Victim” and “suspect” are being mutual assholes on the highway. “Victim” decides to teach “suspect” a lesson, and gets out of the car to, er, administer that lesson.
The alleged victim stated he then exited his own vehicle, “to see what the other driver wanted.”
“Suspect,” who has his two kids in tow, then persuades victim to get back in his car by flashing his Glock.
At that point Keller reportedly began yelling, cursing and pointed a handgun.
I imagine the yelling and cursing was “Get back in the fucking car” or “Don’t come any closer, asshole.” Both would be appropriate if “suspect’s” version is accurate:
Keller stated he “may have been” riding the complainant’s bumper on Memorial Boulevard. He reported the other motorist “locked his brakes” in the road, exited and approached his car. Keller admitted to then showing the other driver he had a gun, but claimed not to have pointed it his direction.
So that’s why you call the cops if you ever have a defensive gun use. If the guy you may or may not have been tailgating* escalates the situation by forcing your vehicle to a stop and advancing towards you and your children, it’s probably time to put your hand on your gun. The rule is “first to call 911 is the victim.” I suspect Keller didn’t because he was carrying illegally**. The details around where the victim was when Keller showed his gun are important–and missing from the report. If the victim was within door-opening distance and still advancing, presenting the firearm would be appropriate. If he was 40 feet away, it would not.
If Keller felt he was justified, he should have driven to the nearest gas station and called 911 to report the incident. Instead, the other guy did that and Keller was arrested.
Cooler heads should have prevailed, and Keller should have made an effort to get away if that was practical. If you carry a gun, you know how a physical confrontation can end. It’s your job to avoid that, no matter how it makes you look in front of your kids.
*The best thing, of course, is for Keller to not have been tailgating in the first place, but I know people who consider less-than-one-car-length-per-10mph to be tailgating, even during rush hour.
**Suspect is not in my current database of Tennessee residents with Handgun Carry Permits. He could have just gotten his, but I feel like the reporter would have mentioned that. The article doesn’t mention that Keller was arrested for carrying without a permit, nor what the two counts of reckless endangerment were actually for.