This news about Bennett Williams — the local gun store owner arrested last week for allegedly threatening to blow up Danville Christian Academy — is most unfortunate. Bennett is a big talker with sharp opinions in a land that upholds freedom of speech.
Surely the police officers who came to his shop and engaged in the chatter of the gun crowd have arrived at the opinion Bennett is — at the end of all the talk — harmless.
I suggest this was an overreaction to the sad school shooting that dominated the news of that day. In anticipation of strict gun control laws, there is a speculative run on guns. That wave of feelings — driven by fear, blame, and upset at the madness of school shootings by youth in mental and moral crisis — has gotten this misunderstood man in trouble. I trust his defense attorney can bring peace to the anxiety of this situation.
I have sympathy for this man’s wife and daughters. Such chatter in a gun shop should be kept in that context, not extrapolated. It should be left behind in the private space when the door is closed.