One of the outrageous claims of the gun nuts is that carrying a concealed weapon is the way to protect oneself from robberies and such. Nothing could be further from the truth. One can be killed or injured before one gets one’s weapon in hand. The gun can be snatched away and used against the owner by the perp. One’s kids can get them.
Living in NYC we are always at risk of robberies — any time, any place.
Of the three that come to mind of my own — I have probably forgotten some or near ones, none would have been helped with a gun by me which could well have injured others, too:
1) The least threatening happened on a train out of NYC. I was jostled by one guy while his partner grabbed my billfold. They had departed before I realized had happened. My good luck was that it was an old billfold with only a few dollars in it. I had taken out my credit card to buy something on the train. Reported what had happened to put them out of business and saw one of them later. No way to prove him guilty apart from my recollection that he had bumped into me.
2) In another case when we had our front door open one hot summer day and I was on my back repairing the bottom of a table, I saw a guy tiptoeing out our front door. On checking I found that he had taken my wife’s purse and my billfold from where we had left them on a chest near the entrance. I rushed out a back door to our building and saw the perp heading up the street. Just around a corner I found my billfold stripped of cash (not much) and followed him down the next street where police were guarding the residence of our then district attorney. I started yelling and the police chased the guy over a wall into Riverside Park and eventually found him down by the Hudson — he had by that time hidden my wife’s purse between some rocks where a nice lady found it some weeks later and returned it to us. The police arrested the guy, but I could not claim that he was the one who had robbed us, as I had never seen his face nor seen him drop my billfold. In court he greeted me like an old friend, but I had to honestly testify that I could not be sure he was the robber. A few months later I happened to sit down next to him at a local lunch counter. We recognized each other and he departed rapidly.
3) My most dangerous robbery was on a subway when a guy demanded my money and said he had a gun in his pocket. I pretended that I had not understand him and he shouted a repeat. Everyone on the half filled subway car looked the other way. He grabbed the $20 that I handed him and ducked out of the car as the doors were closing. I stopped the train. The cops asked if I wanted to ride around searching for him. I said I could not possibly identify him as I had been watching the pocket where the gun was supposed to be, not his face.
4) There were now I remember several other instances along these lines — but enough for now. We New Yorkers get used to such things and take them in our stride.
The main point here is that a gun would have been no help to me, would only have endangered me or others in the vicinity. I grew up with all sorts of guns, knew how to shoot them, etc. My father kept locked away a handgun which he said had been given to him by a policeman who said it has been used to murder someone. I am glad that he kept it in a locked safe, as either I or my kid brother would most likely have wanted to see and play with it as young kids.
And so the NRA types continue to endanger us all by spreading guns around where any — criminal, crazy, or otherwise — can readily obtain them!
What do you think?
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]