Stephen Kim was a kind, hardworking father of three young boys who, in 2017, was shot to death in Des Moines during a robbery attempt. The Burmese-American’s sons, all under the age of 9, witnessed his murder. No arrests were made. Kim’s murder was among 1,247,321 violent crimes perpetrated in America in 2017.
These crimes included other murders, muggings, rape, carjackings, robberies, home invasions and assault. In December 2018, the respected criminologist Barry Latzer, a professor emeritus at the John Jay college of Criminal Justice, said that most violent crimes go unreported. Only 26 percent of such crimes are ever solved, Latzer noted, and “46 percent of felons convicted of violent crimes are sentenced to no incarceration whatsoever.”
However, violent crime tends to drop in states that enact concealed-carry laws. I imagine that’s because even thugs prefer breathing to being blown away.
I hold concealed-carry permits issued by Iowa and Utah, and nearly always carry a loaded handgun — usually, a .380 pocket pistol. I’ve not been victimized since I began carrying. Before that, though, I was hospitalized for two weeks in Washington, D.C., after being brutally mugged.
A loaded gun aimed at violent perpetrators facilitates an instant attitude adjustment, and law-abiding, innocent U.S. citizens should be able to protect — with deadly force, if necessary — their lives, property, and the lives of others.
“The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway,” President Trump said, in endorsing the proposed federal concealed-carry law. This legislation would require all states to recognize concealed-carry permits issued by any state. It passed the U.S. House and will be debated in the next Congress. ALL elected officials should have the backs of lawful Americans who wish to avoid becoming victims. Opponents of this legislation will justifiably be seen by likely voters as anti-victim and pro-perp.
In 2013, Shaneen Allen — a black single mother who’d been mugged, twice, in her native Pennsylvania – was pulled over in New Jersey by an officer for an alleged unsafe lane change. She’d never had a run-in with the law, holds a Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit, and had a loaded handgun in her purse. But New Jersey doesn’t recognize the gun permits issued by Pennsylvania. Allen was arrested and spent 48 days in jail. Facing 10 years in prison, she was freed only after then-Gov. Gov. Chris Christie pardoned her. A 50-state concealed-carry law would preclude such travesties, which disproportionately impact minorities.
In 2006, in a dark D.C. alley, three punks confronted me as I walked to my car. The trio demanded my cell phone, car keys, watch and wallet. As they advanced, one warned, “Y’all give it up. We not playin’, dude.” As I slid my hand into my front pocket before pulling my .380, another said this guy knows it’s “for real” because there are three of us. Chambering a round, I replied, “There won’t be.”
Their stunned expressions resembled those of a clueless “Jeopardy” contestant who was stumped by the “Daily Double.”
“Hands on your head if you wanna keep ‘em,” I said. The stupid malefactors quickly complied; nobody was hurt and cops weren’t needed.
With 50-state concealed-carry, some carjackers, muggers, rapists, would-be killers, home invaders and other violence-prone perps, will likely be snuffed out by their intended victims. But where’s the downside? Not all violence is bad, and permanently retiring such vicious reprobates would be good riddance. Federal concealed-carry would particularly benefit minorities like Shaneen Allen and the late Stephen Kim — who, statistically, are far more likely than whites to be victimized.
After all, when attacked by depraved miscreants who threaten innocent lives and personal property, law-abiding Americans should be allowed to take out the trash.
Todd Blodgett of Clear Lake served on President Reagan’s White House staff and on the staff of President George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign committee. He also worked for the Republican National Committee and the FBI.