A Good Guy With A Gun Acts—And The Media Looks Away

posted on November 21, 2016

Depending on where you get your news, you might—or might not—have heard that a good Samaritan with a gun happened upon a man punching the life out of deputy on a highway off-ramp along Florida’s Interstate 75 on Nov. 14. 

The attacker, 53-year-old Edward Strother, was atop Deputy Dean Bardes in what the UFC calls a “full mount” (there are photos). In a UFC fight, this is usually game over for the guy on the bottom. The referee at this point often throws his whole body in to stop the slaughter. Only this wasn’t in the ring and was likely about to be another murder of one of our finest in blue.

The good Samaritan, who asked to remain anonymous, had a gun and a concealed-carry permit for it. He moved in as the attacker sat on the officer’s stomach while punching the officer and trying to get the cop’s pistol.

The good guy stopped at close range and shouted two warnings at Strother. Reports say Deputy Bardes was screaming for the good guy with a gun to shoot Strother. One witness, Gord Holditch, said the concealed-carry permit holder shouted, “Get off the officer or I’ll shoot. Get off the officer or I’ll shoot.” When Strother wouldn’t stop, the concealed-carry permit holder shot him—first-person accounts say he shot Strother three times. The armed citizen’s aim was true—not one of the bullets hit the deputy or anyone else.

This is just one of many stories that isn’t in step with the “mainstream” media’s narrative that average American citizens shouldn’t be trusted with guns.This began when Deputy Bardes, a 12-year veteran, pursued Strother’s auto after Strother apparently tried to run the deputy down at high speed at the scene of a car accident at about 9:30 a.m. Deputy Bardes pursued, lights flashing, until Strother stopped on an off-ramp and got out of his vehicle. It isn’t yet clear why the deputy wasn’t able to shoot Strother before Strother threw him to the ground.

After being shot, Strother died from his wounds. The deputy is recovering without serious injury. Strother did have a previous, active misdemeanor arrest warrant for failure to appear on a battery charge in Florida, according to NBC-2, but no felony convictions.

Those are the facts as we know them now. But the thing is, you wouldn’t know them if you only watch CNN. A search of that media outlet’s website didn’t turn up any reports of this good-guy-with-a-gun story. Surprisingly, The Washington Post and The New York Times did run, albeit tiny, mentions of the event on their news pages. (The Timesstory is just 135 words.)

The so-called “mainstream” media saw that a good American stepped up as a hero and then, as heroes so often do, quietly stepped away after staying on the scene to be interviewed by responding law enforcement.

This is just one of many stories that isn’t in step with the “mainstream” media’s narrative that average American citizens shouldn’t be trusted with guns. This good citizen shot the bad guy. He didn’t get into a Wild West shootout, as many anti-gun politicians and “mainstream” media editorial boards have claimed would happen if concealed-carry permit holders attempt to stop a murderer.

In the context of the past few weeks, the fact that the “mainstream” media either outright ignored or downplayed this story says a lot about where the media has positioned itself.Stories like this one of a concealed-carry permit holder saving a deputy ought to make them step back and question their worldview.

Anyone reading the front pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times leading up to this past Election Day, no matter their politics, must see the irony in the “mainstream” media’s gripe about “fake news” on social media influencing the views of Americans.

Of course, at the basis of why such left-leaning publications are concerned about “fake news” is the fact that their power to influence has diminished. But still, they can’t seem to understand that their power has diminished because of the dishonest way they ignore or downplay events that don’t fit their views.

The New York Times’ publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. wrote a letter to the paper’s subscribers just after this past election saying “[we] rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor…” but then said, “[y]ou can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team ….” Saying that, he gave a classic non-apology apology that has since drawn honest criticism across social media and from competing news outlets.

Stories like this one of a concealed-carry permit holder saving a deputy ought to make them step back and question their worldview. Instead, they are denying the reality of their slant and of the real America that exists right outside their newsroom windows.

The official statement from Florida’s Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said, “The multiple egregious acts of aggression toward Law Enforcement Officers across this country over the recent past have taken us all by surprise. Just this last weekend, four law enforcement officers lost their lives to deadly attacks. Deputy Dean Bardes faced a similar set of circumstances on the morning of November 14, 2016. After a short vehicle pursuit Dean found himself in the fight of his life as he served to preserve the peace and dignity of this fine community …. My deepest and sincere appreciation goes to the citizen who engaged the crazed assailant and stopped the imminent threat of great bodily harm or death to our deputy.”

With facts like that, and given the real danger to our heroic law enforcement officers all over America, it is sad that many in the “mainstream” media can’t open their eyes and minds. 

Frank Miniter is a frequent America’s 1st Freedom contributor and the author of the new book This Will Make a Man of You—One Man’s Search for Hemingway and Manhood in a Changing World.


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