A Virginia family said they were just showing off their Southern pride when things took a bad turn out of nowhere. A stranger with ill intentions skidded to a halt when he saw their flags and signs, and the outcome of it all has some people outraged.
Mark Wilson and his family were standing along the side of the road in Moseley, Virginia, flying their Confederate battle flags high to display their proud Southern heritage. However, things suddenly took a turn and headed down a violent road, according to NBC12. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the terrifying ordeal, but the outcome seems a little off nonetheless.
Wilson and his family soon learned that not everyone shares their views, and they learned it the hard way. As the family stood outside their own home with their flags, motorists sped by at 60 to 70 mph, most of them ignoring what the Wilsons were doing — except for one man. “We just don’t believe our flag means that we’re racist,” Wilson said.
According to Mark Wilson, after 46-year-old James Baker spotted him and his children along the road, he decided to do something about their open support of the flag. “He slammed on the brakes and when he got right beside me, he pulled out a gun, chambered a round, and told me my cause wasn’t worth anything now,” Wilson said. “He got out of the car and took three steps towards me and the gun was maybe six inches off my head.”
Wilson was terrified that Baker was going to hurt his children. Meanwhile, his son Mark Jr. was concerned that Baker was going to kill his father. The 15-year-old boy described the same series of events as his dad did, explaining he had hoped Baker didn’t make a mistake by pulling the trigger. “I was just hoping the man didn’t make a bad decision to pull that trigger,” Mark Jr. said. “The guy starts to yell at my father and got out of his car, pulled the weapon, and chambered a round in it. [He] put it to [my father’s] head.”
After a brief exchange, James Baker returned to his vehicle and drove off without harming anyone. The Wilsons called the police, and sometime later, authorities were able to track down Baker. “They found him in Amelia, and he said we were threatening his life,” Mark Wilson said. “This is a busy highway and he is in a vehicle going 70 miles per hour, how are we threatening him by walking across?”
Pulling a gun on someone over a flag is outright ridiculous. When a civil conversation doesn’t work, some people resort to intimidation to get their way, just like Baker did to Wilson. “He brandished a weapon, he chambered a round, and put it to my head,” Wilson said. “I think he needs to go to jail.”
While some people would consider what James Baker did to be assault with a deadly weapon or even making terroristic threats, he wasn’t charged with anything nearly as serious as that. In fact, Baker wasn’t even charged with a felony. Despite holding a gun to someone’s head and threatening to murder them, he was only charged with brandishing a firearm, a class one misdemeanor.
When the case went to court, Baker was found guilty of brandishing a firearm and was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 11 months suspended. In other words, he was only ordered to spend one month in jail in addition to paying a measly $150 fine.
Despite the scary confrontation, Mark Wilson says that it won’t stop his family from celebrating their Southern heritage. “I’ve actually always flown this flag. As you can see it’s all tethered, I have had them all my life. My family is from Richmond, we settled here. I’ve got kin in Kentucky in the coal mines that have settled here, and I have had generations of family to die for his country,” he explained.
Wilson says that pride in his Southern heritage doesn’t make him a racist and that he doesn’t agree with people who adopt the Confederate flag as an excuse to commit crimes against others. But, he says he will not be intimidated into remaining silent. “I’m not gonna be scared away from people that are acting ignorant and trying to act violent when it’s not a violent thing,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a race thing, it should be a heritage thing.”