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July 20, 2009

Back Nine

On June 22, an argument at a golf course in Austin, Texas, nearly turned into a tragedy. That day, Matthew Nader (a former stand-out football player for Westlake High School) and two friends were playing golf at the Lions Municipal Golf Course when 73-year-old Edwin Dailey approached the group and complained about their slow play and the way they had parked their golf cart. The argument continued for four more holes. At the 13th hole, Dailey told Nader that he was prepared to “make them both equal” by getting his gun.

After the 18th hole, all four of the golfers ended up in the course’s parking lot together. There was another verbal exchange, and Dailey pulled out a .25-caliber Browning handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets and pointed it at Nader. Nader and his friends took cover behind their cars, and Dailey concealed the weapon and walked back to the clubhouse.

The three men were on the phone calling 911 when Dailey returned to the parking lot. “If I feel threatened, I am morally obligated to destroy you,” he told the former football star and his friends. [It is unclear if Dailey was alluding to Texas’ controversial “Shoot First Law,” which removes an individual’s duty to retreat from a potential confrontation and presumes that he/she is reasonable in using lethal force if someone enters or is attempting to enter their occupied home, car or workplace.]

Dailey then left the scene, but was pulled over soon after by an Austin city marshal and taken into custody. Police seized the Browning handgun and also found a .38-caliber Beretta pistol with two magazines in a cooler in Dailey’s car.

In an affidavit, officers stated that they didn’t believe that Dailey had been in physical danger or that his threat of deadly force was justified. Dailey has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, and was released from prison on $15,000 bail.

Law enforcement officials have reported that Dailey holds a concealed carry permit in the state of Texas. It is unclear at this time whether he has a criminal record or any past history of mental instability. Texas residents can obtain concealed carry permits by showing proof of residency in the State of Texas, filling out an online application, and taking a single 10-hour gun safety class.

A “shall-issue” state, Texas forces law enforcement to issue a permit to anyone who completes these requirements and passes a computerized background check. The federal database searched during these checks, however, is missing millions of records that would potentially disqualify an applicant.

Hopefully, law enforcement authorities in Texas will take prompt action to revoke Edwin Dailey’s concealed carry permit. Any individual who feels a “moral obligation” to shoot and kill someone for their pace of play on a golf course is clearly a threat to public safety and not fit to carry a handgun in public—or anywhere else.