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Thread: Pharmacy owner accidentally shot self

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    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/168060

    Pharmacy owner accidentally shot self Police are investigating whether Corey Ramsey was armed as he tried to rob Sanco drug before being killed by the store's owner. By Amanda Codispoti
    981-3334
    The drugstore owner who police said shot and killed a man trying to rob the store Tuesday was not shot by the intruder but instead accidentally shot himself during the incident, Roanoke police said Wednesday.
    Police are still investigating whether Corey S. Ramsey, 22, was armed when he tried to rob Sanco Drug in the 1200 block of Riverland Road Southeast, police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said. He died at the scene shortly after the shooting.
    Police said Robert Kennedy, the store's owner and chief pharmacist, brandished a gun after Ramsey walked in and tried to rob the store.
    The two men struggled, Johnson said. Kennedy accidentally shot himself and then shot Ramsey, Johnson said.
    Police are still investigating whether Kennedy, 61, of Hardy shot himself before or during the struggle. He was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released later Tuesday.
    Kennedy declined to be interviewed Tuesday night and did not return a phone call Wednesday. He has owned the drugstore near the intersection of Garden City Boulevard since 1974.
    No charges have been filed. Police will present their investigation to Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell, who will determine whether Kennedy will face charges.
    Regardless of what evidence police find, Caldwell said Wednesday that it could be weeks before he makes a decision because he will likely wait for the toxicology results from Ramsey's autopsy.
    Ramsey's father, Sam Hiner, said Wednesday that he did not know whether his son was armed, and that police have not talked with him in detail about Ramsey's death.
    He said his son had been addicted to pain pills for eight years. Ramsey would go to the emergency room, a physician or the dentist to get prescriptions, Hiner said. He got help for his problem earlier this year while serving a three-month prison sentence for petit larceny, Hiner said.
    Ramsey had been living in Bath County, where he worked with Hiner as a carpenter. He had been in Roanoke because his girlfriend was there getting medical treatment, Hiner said.
    Caldwell said there have been shootings in Roanoke that did not result in charges because they were justified as self-defense, though he couldn't recall a recent example.
    To prove self-defense, an accused person has to have had reasonable cause to believe he or she was in grave danger, said Anne Coughlin, a criminal law professor at the University of Virginia.
    And, in Virginia, case law supports the use of deadly force to defend against a robbery, she said.
    "The shopkeeper clearly had rights to repel this person. The question is, did he take it too far?" she said.
    The prosecutor will look at a variety of factors, including whether the suspect was armed and used threatening language or made threatening gestures.
    Coughlin said previous robberies or attempted robberies at the store likely will be a factor.
    Sanco Drug has been the target of attempted robberies at least four times in the past 10 years.
    Staff writer Mike Allen and news researcher Belinda Harris contributed to this report.


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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    "Police said Robert Kennedy, the store's owner and chief pharmacist, brandished a gun after Ramsey walked in and tried to rob the store"

    - so now a store owner trying to defend himself in his own place of business is "brandishing" ? nice spin..

    "Police are still investigating whether Kennedy, 61, of Hardy shot himself before or during the struggle. He was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released later Tuesday"

    - before the struggle? did the store owner commit suicide when someone came in to rob him?
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    There seems to be a grey area here in VA about justwhat constitutes "menacing" and it appears that one can be charged for pointing a weapon at an unarmed individual. Can anyone explain?

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    Regular Member Harper1227's Avatar
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    ProShooter wrote:
    "Police said Robert Kennedy, the store's owner and chief pharmacist, brandished a gun after Ramsey walked in and tried to rob the store"

    - so now a store owner trying to defend himself in his own place of business is "brandishing" ? nice spin..

    "Police are still investigating whether Kennedy, 61, of Hardy shot himself before or during the struggle. He was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released later Tuesday"

    - before the struggle? did the store owner commit suicide when someone came in to rob him?
    +1. what's with the 'brandishing' business. So as soon as I remove my firearm to protect myself I am brandishing. Little bit of a negative connotation. I don't much like the sound of that.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Anne Coughlin, a criminal law professor at the University of Virginia said:
    "The shopkeeper clearly had rights to repel this person. The question is, did he take it too far?"
    The answer is "no".
    Carry On.

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    kenny wrote:
    Police said Robert Kennedy, the store's owner and chief pharmacist, brandished a gun after Ramsey walked in and tried to rob the store.
    The bias gets old, but…

    Though it does present the facts in a pejorative manner, it is a correct use of the word in the given context. He probably fully intended to brandish the weapon hoping the BG would be fearful for his life and leave. Instead the BG engaged the 61 y/o in a hand-to-hand struggle. What an idiot (the BG of course).

    We all know the motivation of the writer is to disparage the actions of the GG in this case. It’s a shame that he shot himself. If he’s married, can you image the flack he’s getting from his better half.



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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Whether or not the robber had a weapon, I think that a reasonable person would assume a robber is armed. I mean, what did the robber do? Walk in and say calmly and politely, "I am unarmed, however, I would like for you to give me these particular drugs and all of the money in the register as this is a robbery."

    If someone walks into my business yelling, "This is a robbery, give me your money," I am going to assume he is armed and act accordingly.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    deepdiver wrote:
    Whether or not the robber had a weapon, I think that a reasonable person would assume a robber is armed. I mean, what did the robber do? Walk in and say calmly and politely, "I am unarmed, however, I would like for you to give me these particular drugs and all of the money in the register as this is a robbery."

    If someone walks into my business yelling, "This is a robbery, give me your money," I am going to assume he is armed and act accordingly.
    Well, we don't reside in liberal "fantasy land" where everyone smells like fresh kittens and the world plays lollypop songs everywhere you go and bad people don't exist.

    It is a fair assumption IMO that if anyone tries to rob you (on the street, in your house) they will use any level force necessary to get your goods.

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    hsmith wrote:
    Well, we don't reside in liberal "fantasy land" where everyone smells like fresh kittens and the world plays lollypop songs everywhere you go and bad people don't exist.

    It is a fair assumption IMO that if anyone tries to rob you (on the street, in your house) they will use any level force necessary to get your goods.
    I most definitely concur with this train of thought. "PO PO, he told me he had a weapon. He said, "This is an armed robbery. Give everything that you have." So I started out by giving him the projectiles from the rounds in my gun. He really did not specify to me how he wanted me to give him my things or in what order. So, being the reasonable person that I am, I prioritized for him.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Though it does present the facts in a pejorative manner, it is a correct use of the word in the given context. He probably fully intended to brandish the weapon hoping the BG would be fearful for his life and leave. Instead the BG engaged the 61 y/o in a hand-to-hand struggle. What an idiot (the BG of course).
    I agree with Joseph Mingle's comment ^^regarding the issue of brandishing, but must add that the comment does not go far enough.

    There is an old saw that basically goes "If it's time to pull it, it's time to shoot it." Using a firearm as a means to scare someone away or scare them out of completing any hostile action is, IMNSHO, a clear indication that you were not YET in fear of death or great bodily injury. Also IMNSHO if you pull your smokestick just to show you also have one,after someone else has told you they already have one and intend to use it against you, all you are doing is engaging in a contest to see whose is bigger. That surely is not an indicator that you were in fear of death or great bodily injury.

    Mr. Mingle, I would say that the GG was also an idiot for thinking that the mere sight of his handgun would scare away the BG. Unless he (GG)somehow conveyed his utter resolve to use it (perhaps by actually shooting the BG?) he's only scaring himself with the awesomeness of holding a gun. There is a thought in my mind that he did not even point it at the BG, but rather waved it around, giving the BG the idea he might be able to grab it away before the GG could come on target and pull the trigger.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    hsmith wrote:
    Well, we don't reside in liberal "fantasy land" where everyone smells like fresh kittens and the world plays lollypop songs everywhere you go and bad people don't exist.
    News to me...

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    Don't forget it's the Roanoke (it's cool to list names and addresses of all VA CHP holders on their website) Times.
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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    So we had the Richmond Ice Cream guy and the the Virginia Beach Pizza guy. We know how those turned out. Any bets on how the Roanoke Pharmacist will turn out?

    Damn shame that legal geeks want to split hairs when people try to defend themselves.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Don't you mean "Roanoke Pharmacist Guy"? :P

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    skidmark wrote:
    Though it does present the facts in a pejorative manner, it is a correct use of the word in the given context. He probably fully intended to brandish the weapon hoping the BG would be fearful for his life and leave. Instead the BG engaged the 61 y/o in a hand-to-hand struggle. What an idiot (the BG of course).
    I agree with Joseph Mingle's comment ^^regarding the issue of brandishing, but must add that the comment does not go far enough.

    There is an old saw that basically goes "If it's time to pull it, it's time to shoot it." Using a firearm as a means to scare someone away or scare them out of completing any hostile action is, IMNSHO, a clear indication that you were not YET in fear of death or great bodily injury. Also IMNSHO if you pull your smokestick just to show you also have one,after someone else has told you they already have one and intend to use it against you, all you are doing is engaging in a contest to see whose is bigger. That surely is not an indicator that you were in fear of death or great bodily injury.

    Mr. Mingle, I would say that the GG was also an idiot for thinking that the mere sight of his handgun would scare away the BG. Unless he (GG)somehow conveyed his utter resolve to use it (perhaps by actually shooting the BG?) he's only scaring himself with the awesomeness of holding a gun. There is a thought in my mind that he did not even point it at the BG, but rather waved it around, giving the BG the idea he might be able to grab it away before the GG could come on target and pull the trigger.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    Very well stated, Mr. skidmark. Thank you - you certainly laid out a compelling argument that both the BG and the GG may have acted as idiots. I hadn’t considered it from the plausible point of view you put forward.

    I have never had to draw my weapon, but after many years of military service in different forms of law enforcement I always told myself if I draw my weapon it will be to use it. That “use” might end with obtaining a sight picture without requiring the discharge of the firearm. I hope I never have to.

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    JosephMingle wrote:
    skidmark wrote:
    Though it does present the facts in a pejorative manner, it is a correct use of the word in the given context. He probably fully intended to brandish the weapon hoping the BG would be fearful for his life and leave. Instead the BG engaged the 61 y/o in a hand-to-hand struggle. What an idiot (the BG of course).
    I agree with Joseph Mingle's comment ^^regarding the issue of brandishing, but must add that the comment does not go far enough.

    There is an old saw that basically goes "If it's time to pull it, it's time to shoot it." Using a firearm as a means to scare someone away or scare them out of completing any hostile action is, IMNSHO, a clear indication that you were not YET in fear of death or great bodily injury. Also IMNSHO if you pull your smokestick just to show you also have one,after someone else has told you they already have one and intend to use it against you, all you are doing is engaging in a contest to see whose is bigger. That surely is not an indicator that you were in fear of death or great bodily injury.

    Mr. Mingle, I would say that the GG was also an idiot for thinking that the mere sight of his handgun would scare away the BG. Unless he (GG)somehow conveyed his utter resolve to use it (perhaps by actually shooting the BG?) he's only scaring himself with the awesomeness of holding a gun. There is a thought in my mind that he did not even point it at the BG, but rather waved it around, giving the BG the idea he might be able to grab it away before the GG could come on target and pull the trigger.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    Very well stated, Mr. skidmark. Thank you - you certainly laid out a compelling argument that both the BG and the GG may have acted as idiots. I hadn’t considered it from the plausible point of view you put forward.

    I have never had to draw my weapon, but after many years of military service in different forms of law enforcement I always told myself if I draw my weapon it will be to use it. That “use” might end with obtaining a sight picture without requiring the discharge of the firearm. I hope I never have to.
    I believe that the word "brandish" has a specific legal definition in the Virginia Code (§ 18.2-282, paragraph A) and in this case it does not fit the circumstances because the pharmacist was engaging in justifiable self defense. Therefore the reporter used the word incorrectly.

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    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    I believe that the word "brandish" has a specific legal definition in the Virginia Code (§ 18.2-282, paragraph A) and in this case it does not fit the circumstances because the pharmacist was engaging in justifiable self defense. Therefore the reporter used the word incorrectly.
    Thank you for saving me the trouble of looking that up...
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    roscoe13 wrote:
    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    I believe that the word "brandish" has a specific legal definition in the Virginia Code (§ 18.2-282, paragraph A) and in this case it does not fit the circumstances because the pharmacist was engaging in justifiable self defense. Therefore the reporter used the word incorrectly.
    Thank you for saving me the trouble of looking that up...

    § 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

    B. Any police officer in the performance of his duty, in making an arrest under the provisions of this section, shall not be civilly liable in damages for injuries or death resulting to the person being arrested if he had reason to believe that the person being arrested was pointing, holding, or brandishing such firearm or air or gas operated weapon, or object that was similar in appearance, with intent to induce fear in the mind of another.

    C. For purposes of this section, the word "firearm" means any weapon that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by the action of an explosion of a combustible material. The word "ammunition," as used herein, shall mean a cartridge, pellet, ball, missile or projectile adapted for use in a firearm.

    (Code 1950, § 18.1-69.2; 1968, c. 513; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1990, cc. 588, 599; 1992, c. 735; 2003, c. 976; 2005, c. 928.)
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.

    We have insufficient information from the news article to determine if in fact the pharmacist was engaged in justifiable self defense when he was described as "brandish[ing] a gun after Ramsey walked in and tried to rob the store." At that point the pharmacist could have merely had his gun out in a display of force. Remember, "Police are still investigating whether Corey S. Ramsey, 22, was armed when he tried to rob Sanco Drug in the 1200 block of Riverland Road Southeast, police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said." Until there is a determination that Ramsey was in fact armed, there is nothing to suggest that the pharmacist would have needed to resort to deadly forcein self defense.

    I know I would LIKE to think that the pharmacist was the Good Guy, but it is still possible that he was in fact Bad Guy #2. As soon as the investigation is complete and the results released we can talk about whether or not it was a good shoot. Till then, with the limited information available, it look like the pharmacist may have been brandishing and have committed some form of homicide.

    stay safe, and patiently wait for full information to be released.

    skidmark
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    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    I believe that the word "brandish" has a specific legal definition in the Virginia Code (§ 18.2-282, paragraph A) and in this case it does not fit the circumstances because the pharmacist was engaging in justifiable self defense. Therefore the reporter used the word incorrectly.
    No, you’re mistaken.

    That's the point of skidmark's post and mine. It could very well have been brandishing and fit's perfectly with the code you cited.

    The portion of the code I think you’re considering states, "However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense."

    The author stated, "No charges have been filed. Police will present their investigation to Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell, who will determine whether Kennedy will face charges." If the CA doesn't bring charges and determines it was justifiable self-defense then he can’t be charged with brandishing.

    That doesn’t mean he didn’t brandish. Skidmark presents a very plausible scenario which I think few would argue meets the definition of brandishing. IMHO, the definition leaves much to be desired from a legal perspective. But Merriam-Webster's definition is pretty clear and may perfectly fit what the pharmacist did (if in fact he did what M-W says the definition of brandishing is.

    1 :to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly

    2 :to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner





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    Founder's Club Member OC-Glock19's Avatar
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    JosephMingle wrote:
    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    I believe that the word "brandish" has a specific legal definition in the Virginia Code (§ 18.2-282, paragraph A) and in this case it does not fit the circumstances because the pharmacist was engaging in justifiable self defense. Therefore the reporter used the word incorrectly.
    No, you’re mistaken.

    That's the point of skidmark's post and mine. It could very well have been brandishing and fit's perfectly with the code you cited. (snip)
    Everything has not been sorted out yet, you're right. However, the basic, most obvious evidence -- an attempted robbery -- automatically puts the pharmacist into the role of defender, not aggressor. Did he act within the confines of the law or did he illegally brandish his weapon?We'll have to wait and see.

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    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    JosephMingle wrote:
    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    I believe that the word "brandish" has a specific legal definition in the Virginia Code (§ 18.2-282, paragraph A) and in this case it does not fit the circumstances because the pharmacist was engaging in justifiable self defense. Therefore the reporter used the word incorrectly.
    No, you’re mistaken.

    That's the point of skidmark's post and mine. It could very well have been brandishing and fit's perfectly with the code you cited. (snip)
    Everything has not been sorted out yet, you're right. However, the basic, most obvious evidence -- an attempted robbery -- automatically puts the pharmacist into the role of defender, not aggressor. Did he act within the confines of the law or did he illegally brandish his weapon?We'll have to wait and see.
    You're absolutely correct. I sure hope he acted within the confines of the law and it is determined justifiable self-defense.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    Everything has not been sorted out yet, you're right. However, the basic, most obvious evidence -- an attempted robbery -- automatically puts the pharmacist into the role of defender, not aggressor. Did he act within the confines of the law or did he illegally brandish his weapon?We'll have to wait and see.
    The facts of the situation - an attempted robbery - do place the pharmacist in the position of defending against it. But as we do not yet know if he was entitled to use deadly force to repel the robbery. There is case law which allows for the use of deadly force even when faced with an unarmed robber, but again certain circumstances need to be met to make that legal.

    I believe Mr. Mingle and I are saying not to jump the gun and call every use of deadly force against a criminal a good shoot. Personally, I see doing that as creating a mindset that one may almost always use deadly force against criminals, when in fact the opposite is almost always the case.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    It would seem hard to argue against the GG. Afterall the BG was struggling with him, I would assume for the gun. Is the GG supposed to guess what the BG wanted to do with it?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Neplusultra wrote:
    It would seem hard to argue against the GG. Afterall the BG was struggling with him, I would assume for the gun. Is the GG supposed to guess what the BG wanted to do with it?
    If the pharmacist had not pulled out his gun there might not have been a struggle.

    BTW, your post does suggest that therobber may not have been armed - if he had been his most likely response to the pharmacist's pulling out a gun would be to shoot, not to engage in a struggle.

    The totality of the situation is that a criminal is off the streets. The particulars of how that came to happen may or may not bode well for the shooter, based on the determination of whether or not he had a legal "right" to use deadly force.

    Both sides (yes & no) have been posited. Let's now wait for the investigation results and the Commonwealth's Attorney decision regarding any possible charges. And after that mess we can watch any potential civil suit.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    Neplusultra wrote:
    It would seem hard to argue against the GG. Afterall the BG was struggling with him, I would assume for the gun. Is the GG supposed to guess what the BG wanted to do with it?
    If the pharmacist had not pulled out his gun there might not have been a struggle.
    Yes we will have to wait and see, not that I trust a CA to get the facts straight since he is being fed the facts by others. But I do believe the proper reponse in Virginia is to run when someone points a gun at you :^)?

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