Editorial: A win for the good guys

Waynesboro businessman faced down two thugs and won

Crime against acquaintances is no more acceptable than any other. Far from it. In fact, it’s far, far too common. And violating the trust of those in your life is its own brand of despicable.


Still, there’s something so ominous and sinister about crime against perfect strangers. Perhaps because it’s not the result of an unfortunate relationship. So random and capricious. So “it could’ve been anyone.”

This is the case of 68-year-old Henry Daniel Jr., the president of CP Daniel’s Sons Inc. in Waynesboro, who was brutally assaulted while locking up for the day Tuesday by two young gun-and-money-hungry robbers.

But the story takes an inspirational turn too – in Daniel’s defiant grit and resourcefulness in fighting back with an even bigger gun.

After some five minutes of repeated blows with fist and pistol, Daniel was able to lure the punks to his truck with the promise of a gun – knowing it might give him the chance to grab his 12-gauge shotgun. Which is exactly what he did.

He ended up bruised and bloodied and no doubt traumatized. But they ended up in the hospital – and well on their way to a lengthy, well-deserved stay in prison if convicted.

“The brutality went on and on,” Daniel said.

It was a hard-won victory – and there’s no doubt Daniel could’ve easily been hurt worse or even killed, with one whim or slip of a finger. But it was a triumph nonetheless – of the will to live, and of the wherewithal to divine the means to do it.

And, of course, it’s yet another example of the utility, necessity and God-given right of good people to arm themselves – just as surely as have the reprobates and ne’er-do-wells.

“He refused to be a victim and had the will to live while appropriately defending himself against armed robbers by shooting both of them, and ending the threat and the potential of their return,” the Burke County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. “We, along with the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, believe strongly in the Second Amendment and the right to protect oneself. We do our best to be proactive and responsive, but sometimes, when seconds count, we may be minutes away.”

Henry Daniel Jr. suffered mightily for it – not because of any unwise decision or unwise association, but at the cruel, random hands of accident and fate that brought him face-to-face with feral youths. But he won us all a small, bloody battle in the fight against raw inhumanity.

No one should ever have to go through anything like this.

But we’re so glad that if someone had to, it was someone as quick-witted and steel-spined as Henry Daniel Jr.



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