Would You Shoot Someone to Protect Your iPod
By Richard Pearson
Executive Director Illinois State Rifle Association
Illinois –-(Ammoland.com)- As I write this, I’m just returning from a badly needed vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. There’s nothing like a several days in the great American wilderness to help put things in perspective.
I must say that my Black Hills experience did little to sweeten my view of Chicago public officials or their apologists in the popular press.
South Dakota impressed me as a place where people love the land, respect their neighbors, and place great value on talking straight about the issues of the day. On the other hand, returning home earlier this week reminded me that many Illinoisans hold a pretty cockeyed view of the world – especially those Illinoisans of the Chicago variety.
Case in point – the recent upswing in violence on Chicago’s north side committed by so-called “flash-mobs.” I don’t think flash-mob attacks would go over very well in South Dakota. Yet, Chicago politicians and the press are essentially suggesting that folks should take flash-mob violence in stride like any other Chicago summer tradition.
For those of you unfamiliar with what a flash-mob is, let me just say that a flash mob is certainly not something that any of us ever wants to encounter. Essentially, a flash-mob is a large group of young people who use the Internet or smart phones to arrange to meet in a certain
place at a certain time to engage in criminal activity – usually retail theft or beatings and robberies of unsuspecting citizens.
The whole flash-mob issue first came up on Memorial Day when Chicago’s North Avenue Beach was shut down and evacuated due to flash-mob violence up and down the shore.
A week later, another flash-mob attacked and robbed several persons in the Streeterville area just steps off of the fashionable Magnificent Mile shopping area.
At first, Chicago city officials dismissed these flash-mob events as isolated incidents. However, it was later revealed that organized flash-mob violence on the north side had been going on for more than a year with little publicity.
Anyone who has read about the tactics of flash-mobs knows that the people who participate in such activities are like a pack of wild animals totally devoid of humanity.
Flash mobs are organized specifically to overpower victims without warning with the mob disappearing before the police arrive. Difficult to detect, difficult to control, difficult to apprehend – flash-mobs are effective and dangerous criminal enterprises.
Like many of you, I feel that flash-mob violence is a perfect example of why Illinois needs to pass concealed carry. There is absolutely no excuse for the legislature to deny honest citizens the means of protecting themselves and their families from these roving gangs of thugs.
Shortly after the flash-mob activities were made public, the ISRA issued a pair of statements condemning flash-mob violence and suggesting that concealed carry was a possible solution to the problem.
As you might expect, the ISRA statements sparked a lot of howling from the gun control movement and their pals in the anti-gun press. The anti-gunners were quick to condemn the ISRA’s suggestion, pointing out that the flash-mobs only rough up their victims and steal wallets and electronic items without inflicting life-threatening injuries.
When bashing the ISRA’s position on concealed carry, one chuckle headed editor of a political tabloid made light of flash-mob violence by suggesting that protecting an iPod is not justification for shooting a flash-mob participant.
On that point, I would like to remind everyone once again that the ISRA has never advocated shooting someone who snatches one’s purse, picks one’s pocket or grabs a chain or iPod and runs away. The state’s deadly force laws are quite specific. The ISRA supports the use of deadly force only in strict accordance with state law.
I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet that none of these flash-mob attacks began like this, “Excuse me, sir, my friends and I are taking donations of gently-used iPods to raise funds so that our choir can go to Washington and sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.”
On the contrary, flash-mob attacks are swift and brutal, with the victim(s) having little warning of what is about to happen to them. All the victim knows is that they are being savagely attacked by an overwhelming force of aggressors. Under state law, it is conceivable that the use of deadly force by the victim of a flash-mob would be authorized as the victim may believe that he or she is at risk of serious bodily injury or death. As we all know, a defensive firearm is one of the most effective means of applying deadly force to an assailant.
As is usually the case when concealed carry is discussed, the gun controllers trotted out their laundry list of lame excuses for why things would only “get worse” if the victim of a flash mob were armed.
We heard the old excuse that the assailants would certainly overwhelm the armed victim and take their gun away from them – a situation that the antigunners say would be “worse.” Well, pardon me for not grasping the logic of that assertion. Yes, it would be a bad thing for a criminal to disarm the citizen. However, is it really “worse” to get shot to death with one’s own firearm than it is to be beaten to death by a bloodthirsty mob?
Yet another excuse floated in opposition to concealed carry was that an onlooker might get shot if the victim draws a firearm. Indeed, that would be an unfortunate case. Yet, in my mind, the wounding of a bystander would be the fault of the flash-mob and not the fault of the original victim. I do not accept the antigunners’ notion that the victim has an obligation to lay down his or her life just to reduce the damage inflicted by the flash-mob.
An equally outlandish assertion floated by the gun controllers was that drawing a firearm on a mob of 20 attackers is pointless because the victim is so outnumbered. Let us not forget that criminals such as those populating flash-mobs are essentially cowards. Again, the objectives of flash-mobs are to terrorize and rob helpless victims. Thus, when faced with an armed victim, it is doubtful that any of these flash-mobbers would sacrifice their lives in pursuit of an iPod. I think it is a safe bet to say that, as soon as the victim drew a firearm, the mob would scurry away like the vermin they are. These people are not going to fight to the last man.
Of course, as is usually the case when shocking acts of violence occur, there was plenty of victim-blaming dished out by leftist commentators who put an almost Robin Hood-esque spin on the series of attacks. Disadvantaged youth waging a battle against conspicuous consumption by giving greedy capitalists a taste of their own medicine. I don’t know many times I heard that these are all good kids from good schools who are merely acting out their frustration with our society’s inherent lack of opportunity.
The most perplexing aspect of the flash-mob experience has been that the gun control movement and their pals in the press find it easier to defend the actions of the flash-mob participants than to recognize the individual right to self defense. Yes, that sounds nutty, but that is the mentality that we come up against in Springfield when we try to advance a concealed carry bill. It makes no sense, but they stand by that logic.
We Must Neutralize Our Opposition
Many concealed carry supporters I encounter believe that it is just a matter of education to convince opponents that there are indeed benefits of having concealed carry. Sadly, it is not that simple. A sizable number of concealed carry opponents just don’t believe that individuals have a right to defend themselves under any circumstances. They believe that it is better for you to suffer a beating or even die than it is for you to raise a hand against your fellow man. The truly unfortunate thing is that these people have sufficient political clout to force their beliefs on you by way of law.
If you look at Illinois law, you will see that, in most cases, you would get a longer prison sentence for defending yourself than would the person who attacked you. That fact demonstrates just how serious the gun-controllers are about forcing their will upon you.
The bottom line to all of this is that the gun control movement subscribes to a twisted brand of logic. These people cannot be reasoned with. If ever we are to enact concealed carry in this state, we must first neutralize our opposition.
That will take a lot of work, and the ISRA will lead the charge in that effort. But we need your help – help we know we can count on.
Please don't forget to Volunteer at the ISRA Range Open House on June 25th, 2011! Please go to www.ISRA.org for details!
The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. Since 1903, the ISRA has represented the interests of over 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois firearm owners Visit: www.isra.org