What are you prepared to do?
Two days ago, I had lunch with a good friend at a restaurant in Park Circle in North Charleston, an Irish restaurant that I have been to numerous times in the past and in an area that I have frequented during daylight and nighttime hours. It is an awesome area full of good restaurants and social events. As safe area that you can let your guard down.
What I didn’t know at the time was that just a block or so where I was having lunch, 12 hours earlier, a local bartender and musician, 43-year-old Eric Brantly, was gunned down in cold blood during an attempted robbery. (http://bit.ly/1WKEGN4)The paper described it as two females that were driving around two males looking for a potential victim. When they saw Mr. Brantly, they jumped out of their vehicle as he was getting ready to get on his motorcycle and go home for the evening after a long’s night’s work. I am not sure what they were trying to take, his money, his watch or his motorcycle. What they did take was his life. People in the area reported hearing about 6 gun shots at the time of the robbery. My understanding is that the police investigated the shots-fired report but didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. The local fire department found Eric’s body in their parking lot the next morning. So it sounds like after being shot, he spent several hours by himself and died cold and alone.
I don’t know if he was carrying a gun or if he even had a Concealed Weapon Permit. Probably not. I am sure that he made that same walk hundreds of times before and knew that it was a safe area. What he didn’t know or at least didn’t think about was that sometimes evil has a way to find and come to you. If Eric had a gun, like jackals in the night, maybe they were on him too fast for him to be able to defend himself. If he didn’t have one, maybe that would have made a difference. I would hope that if I had been in his shoes and been carrying a gun, the second that I saw two thugs jump out of a vehicle and rush towards me that I would have at least pulled it out. But that is Monday morning quarterbacking and hindsight is always 20/20.
The point I make is that Eric was complacent. He was familiar with his surroundings, the place and people in the area, his route, everything. The same way that people sitting outside a café in Paris were. The same way the people at a rock concert in Paris were. The same way people at a civic function in San Bernardino were. All safe places where nothing bad can happen…until evil comes to you.
My thoughts and prayers are with Eric, his friends, family and those that knew him. He sounds like a great guy.