It’s refreshing to learn that even in the midst of a deadly pandemic where thousands are dying and millions are containing themselves in self-isolation, that some men have not abandoned their sense of priorities.
Men who understand what’s truly important, who are willing, ready and able to stand up and be counted, to throw themselves in harm’s way on behalf of all that is right and just.
One such individual, a 74-year-old Palm Coast, Florida man, made headlines this week when he responded to just such a call of duty, courageously ignoring the viral threats of social interaction in order to enforce crucial norms of civil society.
His battlefield: the golf course at Hammock Beach Resort south of St. Augustine.
The target of his ire: Rule-breaking golfers.
And what were these scofflaws doing wrong? Were they violating the six-foot social distancing rules? Had they failed to sneeze into their elbows? Or, heaven forfend, neglected to wear bandannas?
Or was it that they had the questionable taste to be flitting about the links during the greatest health and financial crisis in the 21st century while millions more were trapped in their homes, unemployed, worried about paying their bills and feeding their families, wondering where the next roll of toilet paper would come from?
Who would play golf in the middle of all that? Even Donald Trump has stopped flying down to Mar-a-Lago. Of course, he’s fired all his staff there, so that could have something to do with it.
But, no, that wasn’t it. This is Florida. Golf has been determined to be an essential business. It must go on. It’s critical. You know, like professional wrestling, which also has been ruled exempt from the lockdown.
So it wasn’t that the men who attracted our 74-year-old’s ire were out for a day on the links. It was much worse than that: They were driving their carts over a bridge reserved exclusively for walkers. And they were disregarding his admonitions to cease and desist this improper behavior.
Rules are rules, and when the duffers ignored him, our hero took matters into his own hands. Specifically what he took into his hands was a Winchester Air Rifle—yes, a BB gun. And he held the evil-doers at bay until the authorities could arrive.
And arrive they did.
But justice was ill-served.
Instead of hauling the golfers off to the hoosegow, it was our hero who was charged with aggravated assault.
BB guns are real guns. On average four people a year are killed by them. Even in Florida it’s illegal to point a gun at people. Unless, of course, you cite the Stand Your Ground Law, which says, essentially, you can shoot anybody you want so long as you make the case you were feeling threatened by them.
Weren’t these golfers carrying clubs? What more provocation could there be?
Alas, it will now be up to the courts to determine our hero’s fate.
STRANGE FACT: Despite all the many and arcane rules of golf, there is no standard for how many dimples a golf ball can have, but the most common number is 392.