THE KILLING OF CANNON HINNANT
By Andy Weddington
Sunday, 16 August 2020
Childhood is a short season. Helen Hayes
Open carry (firearm) is North Carolina law.
In recent months, concerned about the increased possibility of being an innocent facing random violence, I have considered holstering my 45 caliber Springfield 1911 A1 or toting my Mossberg 12 gauge pump shotgun - everywhere - and carrying on.
To date, that temptation resisted, for not wanting to startle and draw unnecessary attention.
Yesterday, I completed the North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun certification course - including hours of classroom instruction on North Carolina law detailing circumstances permitting use of deadly force, passing a written test, and passing range qualification with my aforementioned pistol.
Now to submit the certificate and application to hold a conceal carry permit.
And I will absolutely conceal carry, once permit in hand.
The course yesterday was conducted - by a 30 years of service retired police officer - in a small town about 45 minutes east of our home.
Fifteen or so minutes further east is the town of Wilson.
Wilson the home town of Cannon Hinnant. And the home of the retired police officer who taught the concealed carry course.
If not familiar, Cannon Hinnant is the five years-old boy murdered - by a neighbor a week ago today - while riding his bicycle in the front yard of his home.
As reported, young Cannon may have wandered onto the neighbor's front yard.
The neighbor - Darrius Sessoms - used a handgun to shoot Cannon in the head.
Reporting also addressed there was no history of hostility, whatsoever, between families Hinnant and Sessoms. In fact, to the contrary.
Regrettably, it did not occur to me yesterday to bring the murder up during the course.
This morning I sent the instructor a text asking ...
"If a neighbor had been armed - open or concealed - and witnessed that attack on Cannon would they have had justifiable grounds (protecting others- third parties - not knowing the killer's intent) to shoot the shooter?"
Summarizing ... if witnessing what was happening to Cannon you could, of course, intervene with deadly force to stop it. But if the shooter dropped the weapon, was leaving, not posing threat to others there's not grounds to shoot. However, if still in control of the weapon and a threat to others, deadly force to stop the threat is within law.
Cannon Hinnant, a little boy of five riding his bicycle on a Sunday afternoon, was murdered.
I did not know him. Nor his family. Still I want to throw up.
Darrius Sessoms, a 25 years-old man, was arrested and charged with murder. I do not know Sessoms nor his family. That he is still alive, I want to throw up.
It does not matter Cannon white and Sessoms black.
But that variable mattered to media; purposely not giving this murder the visibility (compared to reverse circumstances) merited. For that disparity, I want to throw up.
That this senselessness can happen in little Wilson, North Carolina, about an hour east of my home, it can happen anywhere.
I am not happy about today's society and the necessary decision I've been forced to make to protect myself and family from impromptu violence while free to go about life.
What I learned yesterday is though there is no duty to retreat in North Carolina (Castle laws, et al. pertain), pulling your weapon to stop the threat is the measure of last resort when fearing for your life, serious bodily injury and same to others.
What I proved at the range is Marine Corps marksmanship training is deep-rooted muscle memory and a threatening bad guy - meeting the requirements for using deadly force - will not stand a chance in my gunsight.
Not that can be found in reports to date, I wonder if any neighbors to families Cannon and Sessoms were present, armed, and engaged?
Cannon Hinnant's childhood was a short season. Way too short.
The Hinnant's family grief not comprehendible.
May justice, since not happening on the spot, for Darrius Sessoms be a short season, too.
If residing in an open and/or concealed carry state, exercise your right.
Best to have a firearm and never need than to need a firearm and not have it at the ready.
Peace, Cannon Hinnant.