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Do Those Without Guns Deserve to be Crime Victims?

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One of the most disturbing trends I’ve seen in the battle over gun rights is the notion that people who choose not to have guns somehow are cowardly or, perhaps, even deserve to be victims of crime…in a sort of a “you made your bed, now lie in it” way.

It’s disturbing because it makes no sense. It’s disturbing because it makes false claims about what courage actually is. And it’s disturbing because it is yet another example of people’s failure to see anything other than the black or white of an issue, when there’s a lot of gray.

You would think that a story of an unarmed man being “rescued” by a gun-owning Good Samaritans would please gun advocates because it would serve as a reminder of the importance of citizens having guns to protect themselves.

You might be wrong.

Take the case of a Houston man who was robbed at gunpoint. The victim says he “doesn’t believe in guns” and therefore does not own one. Police tell KHOU-TV they think canvassed the neighborhood in search of a victim.

After being robbed, the victim fled down the street and was spotted by two men in a Mercedes who stopped and asked him what happened. Upon learning he’d just been robbed, the two men chased the gunman — something police would generally tell us is an extraordinarily bad idea. Gunfire was exchanged, and the suspect ended up wounded.

I’d love to know how the Good Samaritans could justify shooting at someone they chose to pursue on their own, especially when they took the word of someone they don’t know who claimed to be a victim.

As the suspect tried to escape, he jumped over a fence into a yard where he was attacked by a family’s German Shepherd. That attack kept him from getting away.

Gun enthusiasts are frustrated because Dorsey says he doesn’t believe in guns. Users at various gun rights message boards are actively making fun of him by saying he should believe in guns because “guns are real,” not imaginary. Nice.

A commenter on a gun advocacy site complained that this guy is “just content with relying on others to protect him.”

We all pay taxes — whether we own guns or not — in part to pay for our military and our law enforcement: it’s their job to protect us.

More importantly, there’s this: Just because someone “doesn’t believe in guns” and chooses not to have one himself does not mean that he wants no one else to have one, either. Owning a gun is a personal decision each of us needs to make based on our on beliefs and confidence in our abilities and level of personal responsibility. It takes a certain amount of courage to admit one’s own shortcomings, especially if it means not doing what someone else considers “being a man.”

Anyone who isn’t comfortable owning a gun or doesn’t think he can responsibly do so can take comfort in the fact that the Second Amendment only grants people the right to own: it does not require it.

Gun enthusiasts ought to keep that in mind.

Why would someone want to “thank” others who came to his rescue and who happened to have guns when he didn’t? Well, what on earth is wrong with that? What would we have the victim do, not be grateful? That, in my book, would be the wrong move. He should be grateful. Gratitude is a good thing.

But the real question is this: what would a gun proponent have liked to see happen? Does a victim deserve to be a victim if he chooses not to carry a gun everywhere he goes? I’d like to believe that no one can honestly believe such a thing.

Being careless about locking your door or leaving valuables in sight that could result in a burglary is one thing; choosing not to carry a weapon is not the same thing.

What would a gun advocate — other than the heroic men who chased down this suspect — have done?

Let’s say they knew that this victim didn’t believe in guns and chose not to carry one himself. What would a gun advocate do? What should he do? Should he sit back and do nothing and just allow the robbery to happen? Should he give up an opportunity to take down the suspect out of spite?

What about the victim? Should he have not gone for help? Should he have jumped in front of the Samaritans’ car and prevented them from chasing the guy down?

People who don’t believe in guns and therefore choose for themselves not to own one are not the enemy of those who do.

The enemy to gun owners is people like the suspect who use the guns illegally in the commission of a crime. Those are the very people who make people like this victim “not believe” in guns to begin with.

As much bad things as gun advocates have to say about the victim of this crime, they’re saying almost nothing about the perpetrator. Gun advocates, of all people, ought to understand the importance of choosing the right “target.”

7 Comments

  1. Gun violence is a big problem in the Philippines as well. It seems like every Tom, Dick, and Harry can purchase a gun for cheap, and with civil unrest occurring for the past few decades, obtaining a firearm is much too easy.
    Having said that, it MIGHT be helpful for a non-criminal to carry a weapon as a means of self-defense – but in the same that a pair of high-tech racing shoes will help an athlete. Without training, any and all accessories will be useless and in fact, an untrained individual might even hurt themselves.

  2. On Facebook a gun advocate posted a video of two men robbing
    a store with a number of customers, a customer pulled out a gun and started
    shooting at the robbers and chased them out of the store while he was shooting
    at them. He must of have fired over a half a dozen rounds, not hitting them.
     The gun advocates on Facebook praised him for taking the initiative
    and they all chimed in on how everyone should carry a gun to stop robbers.
    What I saw in the video was somebody shooting recklessly and
    not caring about the other customers that were in the store. I don’t know what
    the walls were made of but if it is like most strip malls they were just
    sheetrock and the bullets could have easily gone through them into adjacent
    stores.

    1. DianaCT I agree that there is an inherent danger in people who are armed trying to take matters into their own hands. There’s a big difference between defending yourself and being “heroic” beyond necessity.

  3. In this particular scenario, the two men did not see the act take place therefore did not see the suspect in the act and therefore should not have pursued him. In this state they likely would have faced charges for it. It is vitally important to understand that if you are going to take the responsibility to carry a gun in public, you better not only know how to use it but you better know when to use it. 
    As a gun enthusiast I do not know anyone personally who thinks that a guy who does not have a gun is any less of a man just as I do not think that one that does is more of one. It is a choice that every person has to make. Where I start having a problem is when you have someone who publicly ridicules the practice of carrying a gun and then gets bailed out by someone who does and now cannot be thankful enough that the guy with the gun protected him from harm.
    I conceal carry everywhere I go because I refuse to be a victim and the only defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. All you have to do is ask yourself. If my life was in danger at the hands of another human being would I rather have a phone or would I rather have a gun? Not a hard one to answer.

    1. MarkStumpJeffcoat I agree completely with the first half of what you said. Where I start having a problem is the exact place you do, but for a very different reason: I read the victim’s comments and listened to his interview:  NOWHERE does he “publicly ridicule” the practice of carrying a gun. Nowhere.
      He says he doesn’t believe in guns. That’s HIS choice to make. But not believing in a gun FOR YOUR OWN PERSON does NOT equal wanting YOU not to carry one for YOUR OWN PERSON.
      Gun enthusiasts are, based on what this guy ACTUALLY SAID, putting words in his mouth.
      And in case there’s any doubt, let’s look at it LOGICALLY: One does not PRAISE (calling them “angels”) people he thinks are IN THE WRONG. One does not seek to THANK people he thinks made a bad situation worse.
      Where’s this “public ridicule”? You can’t project onto HIM what OTHER people who don’t believe in guns may feel. All we have to go on is what HE said, and based on that, it’s only himself who he doesn’t want to arm.

      1. patricksplace MarkStumpJeffcoat I was not refering to his reaction but rather to reactions I have seen and heard myself in the past. maybe I should have clarified that a little better. Also, not believing in guns is like saying I don’t believe in oxygen. Not something you believe in but rather something you prefer not to possess

        1. MarkStumpJeffcoat patricksplace Saying you don’t believe in guns is not at all like saying you don’t believe in oxygen: we need oxygen to live. We do not necessarily need a gun to make it through a day.
          Neither is it saying, as many gun enthusiasts have tried to suggest, that the speaker things guns do NOT, in fact, exist.
          Everyone knows guns exist and are “real.” NO ONE is saying guns are “imaginary.” To suggest otherwise is subjecting those people to public ridicule.
          I think it’s clear to most people that when he said he didn’t believe in guns, he’s saying he doesn’t believe in OWNING A GUN HIMSELF, which ought to be a decision that he gets to make. If you weren’t referring to HIS reaction, then why does this particular story bother you? Here’s a guy who doesn’t choose to own a gun, but who claims to have been saved, AND IS GRATEFUL FOR, people who did choose to? If you don’t think he was trying to ridicule gun owners by saying he doesn’t personally believe in owning a gun, then there’s no reason for this story to be upsetting: obviously he appreciates the fact that gun owners came to his rescue, and he obviously does NOT believe gun owners did anything wrong in this case.
          So again, what’s there to be angry about?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.