Posted in Politics, tagged philadelphia on January 30, 2012|
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This weekend, another group of teens randomly attacked someone
on the street in Philly. These random attacks have been making news in Philly since the flash mobs made headlines a few years ago, but I’m writing this post not to comment on the attacks themselves, but the community’s reaction to them afterwards.
Every time, either in the comments under the articles, subsequent columns (and their comments), or overhearing discussions on the street, I hear the exact same line over and over and over and over again. “Dude should have been carrying a gun”. But what, exactly, would this have accomplished? One of the victims of a flash mob attack this past summer, Emily Guendelsberger, wrote an excellent (and terrifying) account of her and her friends’ experiences. Read it in its entirety if you have the time, but I want to specifically point out Emily’s closing thoughts (bold mine, italics Emily’s):
“I’ve heard a lot of armchair quarterbacking about what we should have done, especially from people who are into concealed-carry and Bernie Goetz. I always carry pepper spray. But with the adrenaline going through my brain, if the thought, “Hey, I have pepper spray!” had squeezed through the wall of fight-or-flight—“SHIT FUCK SHIT FUCK SHIT!”—it would have done worse than no good. Unless you are literally Charles Bronson, you just don’t win fights where you’re outnumbered 20 to 1, even if you have a gun. Suggesting that shooting a gun into a crowd of crazed, violent teenagers would have somehow made them less crazed or violent I think means that you are drawing on imagination rather than memory. Just let me assure you: I was there. It wouldn’t have been a good scene.”
This is exactly the point I would like to make. Does anyone actually think these people are scared of guns? These are people that will assault a random person in the middle of a crowded intersection. And from a tactical standpoint, if you’re up against a crowd you’ve got one, maybe two, shots before they wrestle the gun out of your hands. Then a bad situation gets much worse.
Read the rest of her closing thoughts, if nothing else. They display a graciousness and clarity of mind that are nothing short of heroic after enduring something like this. And to Emily’s enduring credit, she finishes with a joke:
And, finally, I will not be moving in with my auntie and uncle in Bel-Air, but I appreciate the hundreds of suggestions.
This post is not meant to be anti-gun, pro-gun control, or any other thing. It is meant to be simply this: some common sense thought on what is being suggested. I simply have a hard time believing that, had any victims of these types of crimes been armed, they would have fared much better.
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