I consider myself a moderate on gun control, in that I wish to put only a moderate amount of lead into the torso of some lowlife thug that thinks it is his right to commit violent assault on a law abiding citizen in this fair city of ours. As far as I'm concerned, prospective muggers should be having a conversation like this before they go out on a mugging spree:
Mugger 1: Hey, sport, what do you say we go hit the streets and attack some citizenry with fisticuffs and whatnot?
Mugger 2: I think not, dear chap! Recall what happened to our mutual acquaintance, Former Mugger 3, just last evening. He mistakenly picked a tourist from Texas who was unaware of the District of Columbia's stringent gun laws, and happened to be armed with a rather large blunderbuss, which the tourist used to separate our friend's upper torso from his lower torso.
Mugger 1: Ah, that's right--perhaps our cunning plans are not so cunning after all! As I am fond of my body parts all remaining attached, what do you say we go bowling instead?
Now, I'm not one of those gun proponents who thinks every crime can be averted by armed citizens, and of course I'm aware that guns in the hands of idiots usually means a lot of unintentional shootings. I'm not opposed to ALL restrictions on gun ownership and use--registration, background checks, safe storage, transport and carry and the like. And meaningful safety courses and tests are fine too--we require it for drivers' licenses after all.
But D.C.--like a lot of big cities--has some stupidly absolutist restrictions on gun ownership, making legal concealed carry impossible and basically forcing any otherwise law-abiding person to break the law if they want to keep themself safe. In a city where a bunch of thugs can pistol-whip a man at 8PM right smack in downtown D.C. or thugs hospitalize and possibly permanently disable some guy for his cell phone, it's clear who has free rein in this town. The police can't possibly be everywhere they need to be, and it makes little sense to keep citizens from having a fighting chance against the urban predators we have to contend with. Train the prospective gun-owners in proper safety, run the background checks, but for God's sake let them own and carry safely.
That's not to say that every street crime could be prevented if the victim were armed and trained properly--in one of the linked cases above, the victim was likely somewhat intoxicated and therefore wouldn't legally be able to carry a weapon even under liberal concealed carry laws--but there would be many cases where a victim would have a fighting chance. Just like any predator in the wild, an urban thug is less likely to strike when there's a chance that their prey can do damage--and enough well-publicized incidents of a mugging victim shooting or warning off an attacker would discourage what seems to be an all-too-common occurrence.
Besides, I'm sure society isn't going to miss a few of these cretins if they should happen to assault the wrong person. It'd be nice if big city governments would give the rest of us a fighting chance against the predators.
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