View Full Version : NY GUN LAWS & THE GRANNY

Will Brink
September 15th 06, 03:41 PM
Too bad it was just the elbow....

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/op...lot t_jr_.htm


September 14, 2006 -- SHE looked like the perfect victim. Last Fri day,
56-year-old Margaret Johnson was leaving her building in her wheelchair.
Ex cept for her small dog, she was alone and didn't see the criminal
attack her from behind. Having suffered bruises to her neck and arm, a
friend of Johnson's said, "She was scared for her life. She's devastated."
But this attack ended differently than most crimes in New York City. As
her attacker grabbed her "violently" and "choked" her, Johnson pulled out
a handgun and shot once, hitting the criminal in the elbow. Johnson was
fortunate that she was able to defend herself.

The city obviously wasn't there to protect Johnson. A police officer could
have handled it, but cops can't be everywhere, and they virtually always
arrive after a crime has occurred.

Nor does it appear that the city was doing a particularly good job of
keeping the criminal off the street to begin with. Johnson's attacker had
been previously arrested nine times, primarily for the violent crime of
robbery, and he had served time in prison for selling illegal substances.
One can only wonder how many times he was never caught.

Even worse, if Mayor Bloomberg would have enforced New York City's
gun-control laws, it's Johnson who would be in jail. Her license only
allows her to carry a handgun that is unloaded and in a locked container
to and from a firearms range. With an attacker choking her, there is no
way she could have unlocked and loaded her gun.

Ironically, just last week Bloomberg went to Washington, D.C., and lashed
out at those who failed to stop people who "possess a gun illegally." What
would Bloomberg recommend Johnson have done, had she sought to follow the

Bloomberg might want to keep in mind Johnson's case in his lawsuits
against gun dealers. The suits mention only the harm and none of the
possible benefits from people owning guns to protect themselves.

Considering how others benefit from guns goes against every reflex
Bloomberg has. Even after a City Council member was killed at City Hall a
few years ago, Bloomberg questioned why the murdered councilman, James
Davis, would want to carry a gun. Davis, a retired police officer, had a
permit to carry a gun, but Bloomberg found it very troubling: "I don't
know why people carry guns," the mayor said. "Guns kill people."

Bloomberg's crime-fighting solution was then to ban off-duty and former
cops from carrying guns in City Hall. But the criminal was not an officer.
Such bans have only one possible outcome: Criminals have less to worry
about; in these "gun-free zones," fewer people can act to defend
themselves and others.

Coincidentally, last week the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association
announced its quixotic plan to push for right-to-carry concealed-handgun
laws in the state. Some 40 other states already allow people to carry
concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and meet age
and some training requirements. Some 600,000 people have concealed-handgun
permits just in New York's neighboring state, Pennsylvania.

The Brady Campaign, the gun-control advocacy group, last week responded to
a call for a right-to-carry law by saying: "Oh yeah, that's going to
happen - when hell freezes over."

Too bad. It would be nice if the Margaret Johnsons of New York were able
to defend themselves legally.

John R. Lott Jr. is the dean's visiting professor at SUNY Binghamton and
the author of "More Guns, Less Crime" and "The Bias Against Guns."