A tragic incident happened in Mississippi on Sept. 17. The outcome could have been even worse, considering the circumstances. A 16-year-old girl involved in an attempted mall shoplifting incident allegedly pulled a gun on a store owner. The store owner was armed, too, and reportedly used his gun in self-defense. The girl was shot and wounded, and she was later arrested. According to the Madison County Journal, Za’Lill D’Chelle Patterson had already been confronted by the store owner of Corni’val Popcorn in the Northpark Mall in Ridgeland. Patterson allegedly shoplifted a water bottle. The owner took the water bottle away from her, and words were exchanged before the owner returned to his store. Five minutes later, Patterson reportedly returned to the popcorn store and pulled a gun. It is not clear why she came back after the situation seemed resolved. She may have been intending to commit a further robbery. Or perhaps she just wanted to intimidate the owner. Patterson could have even intended to do real harm. Whatever her motivation was, Patterson could have been killed. Instead, she was shot in the calf and taken to the hospital before she was booked on criminal charges. Patterson is being charged as an adult for aggravated assault, shoplifting and possession of a stolen firearm. The occurrence demonstrates two major points about life in America today. The first point is how official policies supporting consequence-free crime have eroded respect for the rule of law. A teen girl should not be out attempting armed robbery. It’s a sign of a cultural breakdown being forced by the practices and narratives of the political class and the establishment media. Starting in 2020, Democrat-run cities embraced radical “defund the police” rhetoric and actions. Police, not criminals, were said to be the problem driving crime. Even though an ABC News/Ipsos poll done in June of 2020 showed 64 percent of Americans opposed the “defund the police” movement, progressive politicians persisted in attacking law enforcement. The results are surging crime, and police in Democrat-run cities like Seattle are leaving the profession “in droves,” as reported by KCPQ. The “defund the police” catastrophe has been augmented by weak-on-crime district attorneys. In such chaotic times, the Mississippi shooting demonstrates a second point of life in contemporary America: the importance of defending the Second Amendment. At the same time Democrats are coddling criminals, they are going after the gun rights of law abiding citizens. The store owner who shot Patterson was not only defending his store and his property, but for all he knew, he was defending his life and the lives of others. It is terrible the store owner was put in such a position, where he had to shoot a girl who was allegedly threatening violence. The owner might have killed her and dealt with the consequences for the rest of his life. With our corrupt justice system, the store owner also theoretically could be prosecuted for defending himself. This is where the upside down, insane policies of the Democrats have brought us. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court’s recent gun rulings are seen as strengthening and affirming the Second Amendment. In June, the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen upheld the right to bear arms with limits to burdensome, state-imposed restrictions. Because smartphones are everywhere, we often see video of unexpected events. This shooting was no exception, and in the WAPT report that shared it, there was some hope on display. A father recording his son with his first pair of Air Jordans caught the sound of the shooting as it happened. Multiple shots were fired; it is unclear if it was only the store owner shooting or if Patterson was also shooting. [firefly_embed] [/firefly_embed] The father protected his son during the incident. “What I did is, I grabbed him and covered him up, so that if anything would happen it would hit me and not him, and it would protect him,” the father Travis said. Travis’s heroism shows there is still love and bravery in America. His son, Ethan, agrees. He said his dad is “better than Superman.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.