Over at usacarry.com the forumistas debated whether or not an armed citizen should have shot New York City subway pusher Naeem Davis after he killed Ki Suk Han. Huh? Generally speaking, you can only shoot another human being if he or she places you or other innocent life in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm (including kidnapping). If an armed citizen saw Davis in the act of pushing Han into the path of an oncoming train, he or she would have had more, uh, leeway . . .
Provided they were a cop. Or their name was Robert DeNiro or Donald Trump, [just about] the only civilians “allowed” to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms on the mean streets of Manhattan. Or below them. And provided the armed citizen knew, for a fact, that Davis was trying to kill Han.
Otherwise, there’s no way an armed non-LEO could have stopped this murder. Or is there? If a concealed carry license holder had seen the two men arguing with each other perhaps he or she could have intervened to defuse the situation.
At the risk of giving aid and comfort to gun control advocates who see concealed carry licensees as violence-escalating Wild West gunslingers waiting to happen, intervention in this situation might have gone the wrong way. Who’s to say Davis wouldn’t have pushed the peacemaker in front of the train instead?
The best course of action for an armed American in this scenario: observe and call the cops. Especially as you don’t know the players, the situation and what’s likely to happen. Do you really want to risk your life, potentially orphaning your children, for a stranger? IMHO no, YMMV.
That said, there is another way of looking at this tragedy: what if Han was armed?
I’m not suggesting that Han could have drawn his [hypothetical] gun in those fateful moments when Davis decided to give him the old heave ho. I’m thinking that Han wouldn’t have argued with Davis if he’d been armed. No argument, no murder.
There is no scientific data to back this up (grant money please?) but concealed carry licensees (such as your humble scribe) report that carrying a gun increases their situational awareness and makes them less confrontational.
Why wouldn’t it? People who carry a gun are aware that it’s there. (D’uh.) They know that any interpersonal conflict could, potentially, lead to a defensive gun use. They know what that means: bloodshed, legal hassle, death. Their own death.
The downsides of using a gun—especially in New York City—are higher than Josh Peck in Red Dawn. The upside: a defensive gun use could save your life.
Despite gun control FUD on the subject of the general public’s mental stability (lately spewing from NBC sportcaster Bob Costas) the vast majority of gun owners in a confrontation are fully capable of following Lord Humongous’ advice to Mad Max’s mob: just walk away.
In fact, we do. Millions of us every day. This firearms-enhanced aversive behavior isn’t particularly newsworthy or quantifiable, but there it is.
Would Han have walked away from Davis if he’d had a gun, whatever the beef? It’s hard to say. New Yorkers are not exactly the back down types. Something to do with the lack of a gun culture perhaps? But one thing is for sure: Han is dead. We’ll never know.
Until and unless the voters discard Mayor Bloomberg’s fascist regime and its like-minded proponents we’ll never know if New York City could be both an armed society and a polite society.