“Dawoud Zoubeidi has done the pro-gun crowd no favor,” the anti-gun Chicago Sun Times editorialist begins. “When Zoubeidi raced out of his Calumet City clothing store and fired three shots at a fleeing thief, he played right into the fear of every opponent of looser gun laws who worries about Wild West shoot-em-ups.” Uh-oh. “Zoubeidi fired a .40-caliber handgun. A bullet from a .40-caliber can travel a mile. Zoubeidi is lucky he didn’t hit an innocent shopper or child.” True dat. “Now, almost two years after the incident, Zoubeidi is about to stand trial on felony weapons charges, and we’re bracing for the predictable outrage from the NRA. Surely they will rally to his defense, right?” Don’t call me Shirley. “Actually, no.” I’m confused . . .
Gun rights advocates are, for once, in general agreement with gun control advocates, including this editorial page, in believing that the Cook County state’s attorney’s office was right to bring criminal charges against Zoubeidi and that his claim of self-defense is dubious. Even if the thief did flash a handgun in his waistband before he fled the store, it’s hard to see how Zoubeidi was defending himself from physical danger when — as he told police — he followed the man out of the store and shot at him.
OK, we good now? The NRA and its supporters don’t support chasing after bad guys and shooting at them. Neither do gun control advocates. Common ground. So where does that leave us?
Gun control advocates fear that Zoubeidi’s acts, which they stress are rare among legal gun owners, will undermine efforts to make the concealed carry of a handgun legal in Illinois.
Wait. What? How does the store owner’s illegal behavior undermine gun control advocates’ anti-gun position? I would have thought it would help them. Wild West, blood in the streets and all that jazz. Oh hang on. Here it is!
Our own worry, although we acknowledge that statistics in other states have yet to bear out our concerns, is that legalized concealed carry — on the expressway, on the L, on the sidewalk — will result in more irresponsible gunplay in public places.
Whew! Credit where credit’s due: the unnamed editorialist understands that he needs to back up his point that the general public are a bunch of trigger-happy louts who shouldn’t be able to exercise to their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. And so he goes to the single best source of unattributable crap (without linking): the comments section.
Not surprisingly, quite a few anonymous online commentators offered a less patient view, basically defending one’s right to shoot a suspected bad guy anywhere. Kill them “during these crimes,” wrote one online Sun-Times reader, and quit “wasting our resources on trials and jails.”
But there also were readers such as bosshoss biker, who wrote that he’s “all for” gun rights, “but this man makes us all look bad. You simply cannot chase and shoot someone in the back for stealing.”
To clarify, Zoubeidi did not shoot anybody. He missed.
Lucky for him.
And for us. What would be even luckier: if the Sun-Times stopped getting its freak on when it comes to gun control and push for tougher sentences for criminals who purchase, own or use guns illegally. Given that the city is something of a gangland war zone these days.