One would think the writers of The Onion satirical newspaper snuck into the offices of The San Francisco Chronicle after reading a report about a pizza shop owner who saved the lives of his family by killing a gun wielding robber that was attempting to rob his store, a store with the owner's whole family inside. The Chronicle calls the meeting of the thief and would be killer and the innocent pizza shop owner "tragic" and the report is filed as if the whole story was all just some unfortunate accident instead of a crime stopped cold.
The lives of the two men intersected tragically at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday when Hicks, armed with a pistol and joined by two other men, tried to rob Piedra inside the popular pizzeria at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard. Fearful that the assailants might hurt him, his wife and three children -- all of whom were inside the restaurant -- Piedra pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic pistol and opened fire, killing Hicks, police said.
The Chronicle made the story as an excuse at a morality play revealing how friends are remembering the robber as one who "...always had a smile on his face", that the shop owner "took no satisfaction in taking Hicks' life", and the police "...by no stretch of the imagination" were they "agreeing with or justifying what the owner did." We are even treated to a telling of our "tragic" robber's happy little "rap artist" name; "Boonie".
Obviously the San Francisco Chronicle has decided that this story is going to be their platform to show how guns "traumatize" everyone when the real focus of the story should be on how a shop owner protected himself and his family inside the shop from an armed criminal.
This is no "tragic" incident, but a crime stopped by a man protecting his family!
But, the SFChron goes to great pains to show the remorse of the shop owner, Mr. Piedra, as well as reporting how everyone just loved the drug using, girlfriend beating, pseudo "rapper", Hicks, turning a righteous case of self-protection into a giant pity party for the criminal.
The shop owner is reported as having remorse:
"I wish this never happened," Piedra said. "I don't want anybody, any business to be in this kind of situation, with anybody putting a gun in your face."
Why, exactly, would anyone imagine otherwise?
The police are seen as scolding the shop owner who was just protecting his family and property:
Piedra said his 17-year-old son, 19-month-old son and 13-year-old daughter were inside the restaurant at the time. Piedra said he was afraid that the assailants would shoot him or hurt his family, a contention supported by Oakland police who nevertheless cautioned against citizens taking direct action against criminals.
"There is definitely a balance," said Officer Roland Holmgren, department spokesman. "This thing had potential -- who knows where the suspects were going to take the situation? But by no stretch of the imagination are we agreeing with or justifying what the owner did."
Holmgren said, "We're not saying that we want citizens to go out there and arm themselves and take the law into their own hands. We want citizens to be good witnesses, to be good report-takers and to identify suspects."
And a neighbor of the shop owner is quixotically quoted in the story as being anti-gun:
Mohammed Ali, the manager of a market on the busy thoroughfare that has seen its share of robberies, had mixed feelings about business owners arming themselves. "Of course they have a right to protect themselves, but from what? If we have law enforcement, should (businesses) have guns? I don't think so. They're inviting trouble."
Again, WHY is this man's quote in the story? Ah, because the SFChron is anti-gun, that's why.
Then the SFChron goes into a long account about how everyone just loved the criminal, Hicks... sorry, "Boonie"... and how they are all going to miss him.
They even take time out to quote one of "Boonie's" friends found at a "makeshift memorial" to Hicks who is presented as a philosopher, rapper.
"He always had a smile on his face," said a 22-year-old man who identified himself as a rapper named Little Al. "He was a solid dude, loyal."
He didn't express any anger at the pizzeria owner for shooting his friend. "Life happens," he said. "I'm not upset, you feel me? You wouldn't want it to happen, but it happened. Ain't no telling why that shooting occurred."
Well, isn't that nice?
Even the girlfriend Hicks beat up is quoted as saying "despite the alleged abuse, Hicks was a 'good person.'"
This story was such an absurd warping of the proper message, that a crime was stopped and a family had their lives and property saved in accordance with the Constitution and all that is right. But, the SFChron used the story, instead, to moralize on how bad guns are and mourn the death of a criminal.
(H/t see-dubya at HotAir)