"Gun violence"–a bad thing?

In trying to come up with a topic for today, I decided to discuss this article (here is another article about the same incident), about a Seattle man who, over the weekend, used his legally carried handgun to stop a vicious, unprovoked attack on himself, very possibly saving his own life in the process. His assailant fared less well, and unlike a depressing number of perpetrators of violent crimes who enter our criminal justice system, will never have the opportunity to brutalize anyone else. The man who protected himself was not held by police, as this appears to be a clear cut case of self-defense.

What struck me about this story is that it occurred to me that among those who are rabidly opposed to privately owned firearms, and particularly to privately owned and legally carried concealed handguns, this will be filed as a “gun violence” statistic. Despite the fact that the “victim” of the shooting had already verbally articulated a death threat (there’s not much ambiguity to the statement, “I am going to kill you.”), and had gotten off to a fair start on carrying out that threat, by knocking the man down and kicking him repeatedly, this death will be counted, by some, as part of the “cost” society pays for not having more restrictive gun laws. If that’s the “cost,” then so be it–sounds like a bargain to me. If brutally attacking innocent people carries with it the risk of death for the attacker, I can’t see that as a bad thing.

Many people are opposed to laws that permit law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns for self-defense. To name a few such people, we have Sarah Brady (of the Brady Campaign), Wisonsin Governor Jim Doyle (who has vetoed concealed carry legislation the last two years), Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (neither of whom has ever seem a draconian gun law he didn’t just love), and many others. Interestingly, among those many others are rapists, muggers, psychopaths, and violent felons (who would never qualify for a permit to carry a concealed firearm). Curious company those political luminaries choose to keep, isn’t it?

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