The District of Columbia’s regime of civilian disarmament helped claim more victims last month. Savaas Savopoulous, his wife Amy, his son Phillip, and the family’s housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa were all murdered after being beaten, stabbed, and left for dead inside the Savopoulous’ $4.5 million home, which was subsequently set ablaze, just a short distance from Number One Observatory Circle, the official residence of the U.S. Vice President, Joseph Biden. The Washington Post reports that . . .
the murders allegedly came about as a result of a hostage/ransom plot. Daron Dylon Wint, a former employee of Mr. Savopoulous’ at American Iron Works, was arrested last week for the murder of Savaas. The Post goes on to report that the motive appears to have been ransom: $40,000.00. Strangely low considering the Savopoulous’ apparent wealth.
There’s a slightly more bizarre twist to the story. Fox News interviewed Natalia Guitierrez, another of the Savopoulous’ housekeepers, who was apparently told to stay at home while the hostage drama unfolded. She revealed that the couple apparently had taken some half-hearted security measures:
Guitierrez told FoxNews.com the couple had a gun they hid inside a closet in the master bedroom and said they sometimes moved it underneath the bed so “Philip wouldn’t find it.” She also said the family seldom turned on their security system and often left open their garage, where Guitierrez said she believes the killer or killers entered.
“They never really had it on, especially because the house was so close to the vice president,” Guitierrez said of the alarm system.
A gun unloaded and locked away in a closet (as D.C. laws required for so many years,) is almost of no value during an attack at home, as was seen in this situation. I also have no idea what to make of the comment that the alarm system was kept off because “the house was so close to the vice president.”
I’ve seen no indication that Ms. Figueroa, or any members of the Savopoulous family had a firearm or a licence to carry firearms from the District of Columbia — unsurprising given that the ruling striking down the highly restrictive clause of the D.C. code requiring applicants to show “good reason” why they need a license was struck down four days after the murders took place. It would be easy to aver that if only the Savopoulouses had licenses to carry firearms that this would’ve gone down differently. Yes, it might have. Yes, having a gun and knowing how to use it might have saved at least one life in this scenario. Yes, the worst-case scenario if a victim had been able to open fire on the perpetrator(s) here really couldn’t have gotten much worse than what actually played out.
That might, have required a completely different mindset on the part of the victims, unfortunately. The late Col. Jeff Cooper was fond of saying that having a gun and thinking you are armed is like having a piano and thinking you’re a musician; and forty years of repressive laws that violate the letter and spirit of the Bill of Rights can certainly take its toll on a citizenry conditioned to live under them.
A few weeks ago, I asked whether the most important value of the Second Amendment was really in the mindset it encouraged in the citizens. To disarm a population and to get them to accept that disarmament as being in their best interests requires them not just to give up their arms, but also to surrender a piece of their soul. It requires getting rid of the idea that one should take responsibility for one’s own physical security, replacing it instead with the idea that physical security is something that civilian law enforcement, military, or other hirelings should do for you. The passivity in the face of an upturned fist that D.C.’s repressive regime of firearms laws has encouraged in its citizenry since before I was born, in my mind, makes the whole repressive gun control regime an un-indicted co-conspirator in this brutal murder case. And many others. [Hat tip: TTAG commentor Bryan Veis]
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.