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On Saturday in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a man from Tennessee allegedly pulled a gun on a man wearing a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat, stuck the gun in the MAGA-hat-wearing man’s face and reportedly threatened, “It’s a good day for you to die.”
The police report stated that the gun-wielding man was identified as James Phillips, 57, of Cottontown, Tennessee, according to WNKY. Phillips admitted he had given the finger to Terry Pierce and his wife, who were shopping at a Sam’s Club, as WBKO reported. WNKY added that according to the citation given Phillips, Pierce responded by giving the finger back at Phillips, prompting him to pull his gun.
Pierce told WNKY, “My wife was at Sam’s Club shopping Saturday night, and as we was walking up to the check-out line, a man approached us and flipped us off. I didn’t see the initial act; I seen him bringing his hands down and my wife had said, ‘Did he just flip us off?’ And she hollered at him, ‘Hey, did you flip me off?’ And he turned around and he done it again, and he said, “Yeah, I flipped you off because of them explicative hats you got on.’”
Pierce continued, “And when he said that, I went after him. And I went to him and I said, ‘What’s your problem, buddy?’ And he started screaming at me, so I returned the favor to him. Next thing I know, he drew a .40 caliber and stuck it in my face. Told me, he said, ‘This is a good day for you to die.’ And I asked him, I said, ‘Well, then, pull the trigger. Either put the gun down or pull the trigger’ … And he left, and when he did, I went after him. I actually, before I went after him, Sam’s Club management had come and said, ‘Did that guy pull a gun on you?’ I said, ‘Yes, he did.’ I said, ‘I’m going after him.’ They said, “No, don’t. We do not do stuff like that; we don’t want you having nothing to do with that.’ I said, ‘That’s not me. I’m going after him.’”
Pierce added, “So me and my wife went after him trying to find him, cause he’s already disappeared in the store. She seen him leaving the store, so I took out after him at the store, caught him out in the parking lot getting ready to get in his vehicle. And he couldn’t get in — he couldn’t leave because his mother was still inside the store shopping. And another argument ensued right there in the parking lot. And I told him, he said, ‘You assaulted me.’ I said, ‘Man, I never touched you.’ I said, ‘What gives you the right to come up and say and do something like that to us?’ And it just kept escalating and Sam’s Club management had already called the law, and that’s when they arrived and took over.”
Pierce commented, “I have as much right to wear that hat and support my country and my president as he has not to.” He concluded, “Our society is heading in the wrong direction. You’ve got liberal versus conservative. It shouldn’t be that way; it should be America.”
Surveillance video obtained by police substantiates that Pierce did not touch Phillips; it does not show the confrontation with the gun. But the police report cites witnesses who said Phillips did indeed pull a gun on Pierce, and also states Phillips had a Glock .40 caliber with one round chambered in his back pocket and two more magazines in another pocket.
Phillips was arrested for wanton endangerment first degree. According to the Kentucky state government website, “[w]anton endangerment, first degree, is a Class D felony carrying a penalty of 1-5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.” Phillips is being held on $10,000 bond.