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A cautionary tale

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013

* I was visiting a good friend’s office yesterday and accidentally left my mobile phone behind. I was sitting at a stop light in front of her office building listening to some loud tunes on the radio when my passenger door suddenly opened. The next thing I knew, there was a smiling person pointing my phone at me.

Needless to say, I was startled out of my mind, although I eventually managed a big smile and a “Thank you!” to my friend.

As I drove away, the incident got me to thinking. Even if I had a concealed carry permit, it wouldn’t have done me much good if my friend had been a carjacker. No way did I have enough time to react, let alone respond. I didn’t see her walk up to my vehicle. If she’d been a carjacker, my truck would’ve been gone, along with my gun.

Your response might be, “Well, you were in a ’safe’ area, so there was no need to be on your guard.” I’d point to the horrible murder of Sen. Napoleon Harris’ brother-in-law in a pretty safe South Loop neighborhood this summer. The family said they believed it was a carjacking.

* All I’m saying here is that I doubt most criminals are stupid enough to come at you from the front and give you time to respond. Predators try to take advantage. So, as someone who is himself planning to get a concealed carry permit once they’re available, I’m under no illusions that I’ll be all that much safer.

And God help me if I had overreacted and shot my extraordinarily helpful friend. I don’t want to even think about that. I wasn’t carrying yesterday, of course, because I don’t have a permit. But one day I may be.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments
  1. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    You don’t lock your doors when you are driving?


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    Lock your doors, dude.

    You’re a lot less likely to get jacked if someone has to smash a window.


  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    ===You don’t lock your doors when you are driving? ===

    Automatic locks, but they hadn’t kicked in.


  4. - Longtime follower - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Situational awareness….. Just like you’re watching moving traffic….be aware of what is around you….


  5. - Jaded - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    The doors should lock automatically on that new truck of yours! Also, maybe turn the radio down and be more aware of your surroundings when driving. Just some driving tips I gave my 16 year old niece this summer.


  6. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    How many accidental shootings occur every year (in a similar manner as you describe above) by people that are conceal carrying? Tens of thousands? More??


  7. - Mason born - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:29 am:

    Rich,

    I would say you have just proved that you are exactly the type of fellow that should have a permit. If consideration of the consequences of carrying a gun doesn’t make you pause before you do it, then you probably shouldn’t do it.


  8. - Bill Wick - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    You lack situational awareness. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you should seriously consider getting training before you start to carry. There’s a big difference between carrying and writing about carrying. Glad you’re OK.


  9. - I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    Auto Door locks dont’ kick until you hit about 16-18 miles per hour,


  10. - AlphaBettor - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    I used to work as a police reporter, and I don’t ever remember writing about a self-defense shooting. When two guns are involved, the aggressor always wins.


  11. - reformer - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    This story is why some legislators, such as Rep. Durkin in 2012, voted NO on Phelps’ concealed carry bill. (I believe Jim is the only current member of the GOP caucus to have said NO to concealed carry.)


  12. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    “Surprise”.

    It’s is a more powerful weapon than any hand gun or assault weapon on the market.

    That’s why Major Nidal Hassan was able to kill 13 at Fort Hood, a place full of weapons and trained soldiers.

    He was packin’ surprise.


  13. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    This is why I really need to borrow a clown costume to scare my brother in law before he gets his permit. He’s terrified of clowns.


  14. - Mason born - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    David

    Hassan was able to kill 13 because he was in a transition center where no one was allowed to have issued or Personal weapons. Which by the way having been on many U.S. Bases Ammunition is severely restricted to firing ranges, MP’s, and Guard duty. The only way he would have been stopped was if he’d called Base Police and told them 5 minutes before hand.


  15. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    If your doors were locked and someone had a gun, they could just shoot the window (and possibly you). Sometimes we can’t prepare for everything, unless we all wear bubble wrap and tinfoil hats.

    My hunch is that conceal-carry in Illinois will just lead to more gun deaths (accidental or not), I hope an agency/organization keeps good data on this and we can make policy decisions based on data and information instead of pure emotion.


  16. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    Mason,

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Still, “surprise” was essential, even on a army base.


  17. - Belle - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    Thanks for thinking of this type of situation, Rich. Not enough people consider all sides of the issue.


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    I seem to remember car jacking stopped being a big deal in Florida after concealed carry was passed.


  19. - democrat Grrrl - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    My car doors lock when I put the car in drive. They unlock when you put the car in park, so I lock the doors manually if I am still in the car when it is parked.


  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    –I seem to remember car jacking stopped being a big deal in Florida after concealed carry was passed.–

    Try the google.


  21. - Boog - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    -I seem to remember car jacking stopped being a big deal in Florida after concealed carry was passed.-

    Yes it did, then they (the thugs) started preying on unarmed tourists as the rental cars were easy to identify by the license plates…which prompted a change to the license plate numbering scheme to make rentals less obvious.


  22. - Goob - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    @Boog -
    From the National Research Council of the National Academies report titled “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review”:
    “No link between right-to-carry laws and changes in crime is apparent in the raw data, even in the initial sample; it is only once numerous covariates are included that the negative results in the early data emerge. While the trend models show a reduction in the crime growth rate following the adoption of right-to-carry laws, these trend reductions occur long after law adoption, casting serious doubt on the proposition that the trend models estimated in the literature reflect effects of the law change. Finally, some of the point estimates are imprecise. Thus, the committee concludes that with the current evidence it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates.”


  23. - HGW XX/7 - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    Rich, you just learned first hand how useless concealed weapons are in many cases. The late Mike Royko argued this point after he was mugged in the lobby of his condo and that having a concealed weapon would have not changed the situation.

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Mike-Royko-on-Guns-165136016.html


  24. - A. Nonymous - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    * All I’m saying here is that I doubt most criminals are stupid enough to come at you from the front and give you time to respond. Predators try to take advantage. So, as someone who is himself planning to get a concealed carry permit once they’re available, I’m under no illusions that I’ll be all that much safer.

    And God help me if I had overreacted and shot my extraordinarily helpful friend. I don’t want to even think about that. I wasn’t carrying yesterday, of course, because I don’t have a permit. But one day I may be.

    …Exactly.

    You don’t have ESP and a CC permit won’t give you or anyone else with a loaded gun a sixth sense.

    It’ll just give you a loaded gun. In public. With a lot of other things (like alcohol) that don’t mix well with loaded guns.

    And, no, there’s no evidence showing you’ll be any safer.

    Plenty of evidence showing you and yours will less safe though.


  25. - Mason born - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    A. Non

    Right no evidence whatsoever that you can protect yourself.

    “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,”

    Pg. 16. of Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm Related Violence, National Academy of Sciences.

    To be clear if you are carrying and are not aware of your surroundings, whether because you feel “safe” or just distracted, and are careless then no it won’t do you any good. To use that to say you will never be able to protect yourself goes against all reason and experience.


  26. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 1:47 pm:

    === How many accidental shootings occur every year (in a similar manner as you describe above) by people that are conceal carrying? Tens of thousands? More?? ===

    Ummmm…. you are not even remotely close.


  27. - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    === How many accidental shootings occur every year (in a similar manner as you describe above) by people that are conceal carrying? Tens of thousands? More?? ===

    Here, let me Google that for you. A quick search indicates that it appears to be about 600 a year. From The University of Utah Eccles Health Sciences Library of Pathology…

    In the U.S. for 2010, there were 31,513 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 19,308; Homicide 11,015; Accident 600. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.

    The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, declined to 1999, and has remained relatively constant since. Citing the CDC, 2001 and Sherry et al, 2012).


  28. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    Concealed carry is good for shop owners like liquor stores, jewelry stores or my local pet food store that was robbed. I really don’t see the need for concealed carry but it’s the knee jerk response whenever a crime is committed.


  29. - Bemused - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    Rich
    You have encapsulated what I have felt for a long time. I think in most cases a Pistol in your pocket will only be added weight for the Ambulance guys to pick up.


  30. - Todd - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 4:21 pm:

    Yea you will never be able to protect yourself cause they always get the drop on you

    http://www.guns.com/2013/08/26/pizza-delivery-driver-shoots-and-kills-armed-robber-with-violent-history-video/

    http://www.click2houston.com/news/woman-opens-fire-on-group-of-robbers-at-dennys/-/1735978/21394538/-/3f3c2c/-/index.html


  31. - Confused - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    All criminals are super smart and sneak up on their intended victims in a completely covert manner. All of them.

    Oh, remind me why the police carry guns then if they can’t be helpful against these super smart criminals?


  32. - Bemused - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 4:57 pm:

    Come on guys I did not say always and yes even some cops get caught napping. I think even a highly trained Navy Seal got caught thinking he was in a safe situation. But if it makes you feel safe have at it.


  33. - Ruby - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 5:22 pm:

    There is no safe area in Illinois or any other place where you do not need to lock your car or secure the doors and windows to your home. This applies not only to the Chicago area but to also to small towns and rural areas. Feeling safe is not ever the same as actually being safe.


  34. - David0316 - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 6:05 pm:

    Police carry guns so that when they respond to a call they can surprise the bad guy. Unfortunately, hundreds of cops have been killed or seriously injured by bad guys who surprised them. Evan a highly trained law enforcement officer can be surprised.


  35. - FormerParatrooper - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 6:24 pm:

    Being surprised in this case is a good thing. It reinforces the need to be aware, especially if you accept the responsibility of being armed at some point.

    I think many people forget the responsibility they are accepting when they carry a weapon. We have to be more careful than police or soldiers because our actions reflect on all firearm owners. And most importantly our actions are what we will have to live with.


  36. - 47Chief - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 7:05 pm:

    - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Aug 27, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    === How many accidental shootings occur every year (in a similar manner as you describe above) by people that are conceal carrying? Tens of thousands? More?? ===

    Here, let me Google that for you. A quick search indicates that it appears to be about 600 a year. From The University of Utah Eccles Health Sciences Library of Pathology…

    In the U.S. for 2010, there were 31,513 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 19,308; Homicide 11,015; Accident 600. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.

    The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, declined to 1999, and has remained relatively constant since. Citing the CDC, 2001 and Sherry et al, 2012). -

    Since the question you answered pertained to “How many accidental shootings occur every year (in a similar manner as you describe above) by people that are conceal carrying?”, you appear to be saying that the 600 accident deaths involving firearms (as well as the other firearm-related death statistics you provided, courtesy of Google) were all concealed-carry permit holders.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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