A burglar had broken into the 80-year-old tavern owner’s property through a bathroom window at 4 a.m. Awakened by the noise, he confronted and shot the intruder.
So what’s the problem?
As a convicted felon with prior weapons charges, Wright is prohibited from owning a firearm. There is no way he could legally obtain and possess a gun, meaning he used what the citizen disarmament cabal refers to as an “illegal gun.” Further, Wright maintains he’ll buy another one “if he gets the chance,” meaning he’s an unrepentant “gun criminal” and will continue to defy and break the law.
Why? Because he won’t be “left to the wolves.” Because, unlike some prominent anti-gunners, he does not consider a baseball bat sufficient protection.
In principle, I agree with Wright, and am disappointed in some self-identified “conservatives” who endorse the consequence of a lifetime disability from so fundamental a right as just punishment for past transgressions. After all, it should be obvious that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian, and if Wright is truly that much of a menace to society, how could he not pose a grave danger to any community he is let loose in? Should an elderly man and his wife really have their lives demanded as forfeit, especially since all indications are he’s lived productively–and peaceably–for decades?
Still, in principle, we must also insist on equality under the law for all individuals. We have a prohibited person with multiple weapons charges on his record. We have a situation where it’s not clear if his life was being threatened or if he merely surprised a teenager trying to steal some booze. We have an “illegal” gun–a willful violation of federal, state and municipal “laws”–and we have legal mercy shown to someone who not only won’t renounce his “crime,” but who has announced he’ll repeat it if he gets the chance.
Will the prosecutors show the same restraint for all otherwise peaceable citizens who run afoul of draconian Illinois and Chi-Town gun edicts? If not, why not?
“Prosecutors defended the charge, but announced in court early this morning that they were dismissing it. They gave no explanation,” the Tribune report tells us.
Don’t you think Illinois citizens in general and gun owners, in particular, should demand one? And demand that such consideration be applied across the board to all whose only “crime” is having the means of defense, including those of us who are not already convicted felons, instead of only to those whose cases would generate problematic publicity for prosecutors?
UPDATE: I neglected to link to Kurt Hofmann’s write-up on this from a few days ago.
About David Codrea
David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at www.DavidCodrea.com.