The Washington Post is, surprisingly, contemplating the wisdom of carrying a firearm for self-defense. The article accompanying this video doesn’t quite get there. And there’s something very wrong about the events shown above. More on that after the jump. Meanwhile, credit where credit’s due: WaPo scribe Courtland Malloy isn’t ruling out armed self-defense for DC beleaguered citizens. At least not out of hand . . .
Say you’re sitting at a bus stop in the District, alone at night, when a suspicious person approaches. There have been more than 475 robberies in the city this year — a 70 percent increase over this time last year — and many involve the theft of electronic devices such as smartphones.
But your chances of being victimized are greatly reduced because:
a. Your smartphone has a disabling device that makes it worthless to robbers.
b. More police officers have been assigned to street patrol.
c. You have a gun.
I know which answer TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia would choose for that test, being responsible people who understand the importance of self-reliance in a life-threatening situation. People who understand that a firearm is both a personal defense and a deterrent to criminals—in places where concealed carry weapons are “allowed” by government. Which they aren’t in DC.
Guess which way D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier answers the multiple choice quiz? Give up?
Police Chief Cathy Lanier believes the correct answers are (a) and (b). At a news conference last week, she said that a greater police presence has resulted in more than 100 arrests in robbery cases. In addition, police chiefs throughout the country will be lobbying the Federal Communications Commission, cellphone service providers and phone manufacturers to allow for the shutdown of stolen phones so that robbers can’t resell them on the black market.
“What’s going to stop this is stopping the profit,” Lanier said.
Sure. It’s an answer you can set your clock by. Here’s Malloy’s partial “common sense: solution:
Back to the bus stop example, which comes from a D.C. police crime report on Feb. 14: A woman was sitting at a bus stop on 11th Street NW about 1:30 a.m. when she was robbed of a laptop, cellphone, books, cash and credit cards.
Was the woman at fault for being out that late, carrying so many valuable items? Can she really expect to sit at a bus stop at any hour and not be targeted by criminals?
Risk avoidance — add that to the multiple-choice self-defense quiz.
Or, as criminals might put it, winning. Or losing, if there aren’t enough sheep to prey upon. All of which makes the correct answer all of the above, including a gun. Now, about those mask-wearing undercover cops . . .
If law enforcement officials wearing ski masks bereft of any clear indication of their police affiliation grab a suspected perp away from the scene of the crime and pull him into some sort of passage why wouldn’t he defend himself? And then get charged with resisting arrest, of course.
And what would happen if these Ninja cops happened to grab the wrong guy who had (in theory in DC) a legally registered and licensed concealed weapon? There’s a strong possibility of a gunfight at the Hell No It’s Not OK Corral.
That’s what happens in a culture without self-defense firearms: the cops lose all fear of, and consideration for, legally armed civilians. Good people go down. Armed or disarmed, collateral damage cuts both ways. Me? I’d rather be armed. And I’d have the proverbial woman at the bus stop carrying, too. You?