According to The Tennessean’s guest “editorialist” David Randolph Smith, Americans do not have a right to defend themselves outside the home unless you can use a cell phone, a slurpee or some other less than lethal item. The article is plagued by the usual mistaken references and “studies” that tell us without a doubt that armed citizens walking the streets with a gun strapped to their waist will become murderous and will massacre innocent people when they find out that their local McDonald’s is out of Chicken McNuggets. Even though that the famous and constant bloodbaths predicted by the Violence Policy Center and other Super-Duper Intelligent People have not happened, it is nice to bring out the misconceptions to stir the political base.
Funny thing, last night I was reminiscing about the first time I used a firearm in a defensive situation. It was in Nashville (Home of The Tennessean) way back when Belmont was a College and Reagan was President. I came to my apartment from a long day of class to find it ransacked and whatever few possessions I owned, gone. I called the cops who arrived late, did a perfunctory investigation and pretty much told me that I would recover my belongings when the moon developed pink polka dots. After getting an emergency loan from Dad and the door repaired by the landlord the next day (imagine the kind of night I had) I made a bee-line to the Arms Room where I proceeded to buy the only handgun I could afford: a Beretta .25 with a pop-up barrel, a mousy looking little thing but it was mine and gave me a measure of mental peace.
I was told by the “good people that cared for me” that violence and certainly guns were not the solution. That I would probably shoot myself accidentally, kill my roommate during an argument and other assorted lines in favor at the time but that we now know are just plain old political rubbish. One of those concerned souls was my downstairs neighbor Phil. Phil was from Chicago and emotionally bred in the ways of Daly and the Chicago political machine regarding guns and self-defense so he laid out a thicker layer of anti-gun and I admit I wavered a bit about the wisdom of owning a gun but it did not take hold due to events that would happen later.
As it happened, my apartment was not the only one that suffered the visit of criminals looking for a quick buck. At least 2 other apartments got robbed and one neighbor got attacked when he came home after a long day delivering pizzas. Dear Phil, using the wisdom of Chicago decided that in order to keep his possessions safe, he had to get a roommate that worked nights (most break ins happened during working hours) and he did so. Next enters Chip, good old boy from the mountains of Tennessee who was one of the nicest human beings you can ever meet. The problem for Phil was that Chip came attached with several long guns which made him nervous (You know them guns can jump at you and kill you when you are not looking) but a deal was struck between them when Chip promised to have his room locked so the guns would not escape and create mayhem.
Fast forward 3 weeks. It is Friday night and I invited Phil to my apartment to watch a Genesis concert on MTV (way back then MTV actually had music and even a live concert or two) while enjoying pizza. Halfway through the concert we hear thumping noises coming near the outside my apartment. We looked at each other intrigued about the noise, got up and went outside. Lo and Behold a human critter was on his earnest trying to kick Phil’s door down and actually was halfway down in the process. We screamed at the guy from the top of the stairs but he just looked at us for a second, ignored our shouts and resumed his kicking. I ran back inside, grabbed my little Beretta and stepped outside once more. To my surprise, Phil was backing up because the Bad Guy was now climbing the stairs towards my apartment while screaming in full voice the amount and quality of damage he was about to inflict on Phil’s ass. I moved Phil out of the way and pointed my gun straight to the Critter’s face. Bad Guy froze in his tracks, looked at the gun, looked at me and proceeded to slowly moonwalk down the stairs and into the street. The BG kept swearing and threatening but he was in an active rearward motion which I felt grateful for. But the next surprise came from Phil who rushed past me, finished breaking his door and rushed inside his apartment. I thought that he was going to make a call to the cops so i also came down and posted myself outside the building while keeping an eye on the Bad Guy who at this time was entering a beige colored Chevy with an accomplice at the wheel. My gun is still pointed at their general direction as to indicate I was willing to use it when suddenly Phil pushes me out of the way while holding one of Chip’s rifles: a 30-30 scoped lever action.
I swear that the beige Chevy had a dragster engine under the hood because the next thing I know, I hear rubber screaming and the car becomes a blur down the street. Phil is cussing up and down while trying to shoot at the car but his lack of knowledge was a blessing: the rifle was safe and unloaded. I calmed Phil down, got the rifle out of his hand and called the police. Police arrived some 20 minutes later, took a report and left. Nothing new here. The officer did point out that we might have broken a law or two by stepping outside with guns, but he wasn’t sure and was not going to inquire either.
It was a teachable moment for me. A property crime in progress and direct threat to a human being was stopped by the simple presence of a firearm. Any doubts I had before about owning a gun disappeared that night. Nobody was killed or injured and even no more break-ins ever happened in our building. Some may scoff, but I do believe that the Bad Guys realized that the once Soft Target had become potentially deadly and the pay off was not worthwhile. It was time to seek Unarmed Targets for fun and profit somewhere else.
So, when I read Mr. Randolph-Smith editorial in The Tennessean, I cannot help and chuckle a bit and then just shake my head in disgust. If Mr. Randolph-Smith chooses to live his life depending on the police, he is more than welcome, having him as a target deflects Criminal’s attentions from other people towards him and I am OK with that: You made your bed, you can slumber in its consequences. But when he tries to impose General Victimhood by speaking against the Right Of People to Bear Guns, he is just one more ignorant fool who lives by the motto “Misery Loves Company And Then You Die.”
I rather live, thank you very much