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As Violent Crime Soars in Philadelphia a Record Number of Citizens are Lawfully Defending Themselves With Guns

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner doesn’t look happy about citizens lawfully defending themselves with guns. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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A recent story by the Philadelphia Inquirer tells us the tale of rising justifiable homicides in the city. As violent crime rises and more good people are getting carry permits, the number of violent criminals who played stupid games and won their very last prize is spiking.

As the Pirates of the Carribean ride says, “Dead men tell no tales.” But, the people who successfully defend themselves from armed attackers in an increasingly violent city aren’t dead, and the Inquirer story tells some of their tales.

One man stepped out for a smoke when a crackhead (or crackhead-like individual) rolled up on a bike with a gun, demanding cash. The good guy, however, had a gun himself and smoked more than a cigarette that day. The guy on the bike died from a bad case of sudden onset intercranial lead and copper poisoning. The outcome was found to be justified by both the police and Philly’s often disinterested prosecutor’s office.

A Dollar General employee may have lost his job, but he didn’t lose his life. An armed man in a ski mask demanded money, and the manager said, “I’m opening up the drawer for you, sir.” Instead of a drawer of greenbacks, the would-be robber got a ballistic response Again, the prosecutor’s office agreed, determining it to be a justified homicide.

The manager had decided to start carrying a gun after a drug addict threatened to stab him with a needle and, in a separate incident, he was grazed by stray gunfire from gang bangers conducting a friendly neighborhood gunfight. “It’s unfortunate that it happened, but victims are tired of being victims,” he told the Inquirer. “People are actually standing up for themselves and are making robbers think twice about taking hard-earned money from everybody else.”

Philadelphia Shooting
A person walks past the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

But, the Inquirer couldn’t manage to tell a straightforward story about armed citizens defending themselves. Instead, they were sure to “both sides” it, interviewing anti-gun activists and looking for bogus statistics about the rise of completely justified shootings. And it wouldn’t be a story about guns without the obligatory “Wild West” reference:

Jamal Johnson, an antiviolence activist who since 2017 has marched to Washington to lobby for stronger gun-control laws, said flatly he sees little good in the boom. “Whether they have permits or not, everyone is quick with the gun now,” he said, noting that two men with gun permits touched off the June 4 South Street mass shooting that left three dead and 11 injured.

“Guns are becoming too prevalent, whether they’re in the hands of licensed or unlicensed people,” Johnson said. “We’re becoming the Wild, Wild West, and soon everyone is going to have a gun, killing people ― justified or not.”

This is all very concerning to those whose job it is to see that as many Americans as possible don’t have armed self-defense as an option.

The trend worries some analysts and gun-control advocates, who say civilians who buy guns for protection may be putting themselves and others at more risk, not less. They cite studies showing that legally purchased guns are more likely to be fired in accidental shootings, during domestic disputes, and in suicides than in self-defense.

And, of course, the Inquirer was sure to include studies that people like John R. Lott, Jr. have thoroughly debunked:

Numerous studies have found that guns legally purchased are used far less for self defense and are more likely to be used in unintentional and criminal shootings and in suicides. In 2019, there were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) as there were criminal homicides (19,141), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2015, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and Sara Solnick, an economist at the University of Vermont, analyzed national government surveys involving more than 14,000 people and found that people were more likely to be injured after threatening attackers with guns than they were if they had called the police or ran away.

In a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1993, researchers found that having a gun in the home was linked with nearly three times higher odds that someone would be killed at home by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

What should be an empowering article about the constitutional rights of the poor and minorities giving them a fighting chance against the scum of the earth who prey on them instead becomes an opportunity to give voice to the very people who would rather see these Philadelphians be victims instead of victors.

Courtesy Philadelphia Inquirer

Somehow those who advocate for more gun control laws are quick to quote that 45,000 people were killed with guns last year (about 55% of which were suicides) but they never acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of assaults, robberies, rapes, and murders that are prevented every year because of civilian gun ownership.

While politicians, the corporate office honchos at Family Dollar, and rich people in gated communities can afford armed guards, the people in this story can’t. Which is why more of them are taking steps to protect themselves.

The poor often have to wear many hats to stay afloat. They fix their own cars to be able to afford a car at all. They fix their own homes as needed, playing the role of handyman. One guy was working as his mom’s caretaker (a tough job if ever there was one).

Wealthy people see no problem with such DIY ingenuity…until people start to take charge of their own security in a city that’s experiencing rising violent crime. That’s a bridge too far for elites who claim to have the best interests of the poor and middle class at heart.

This “Just dial 911,” let-them-eat-cake attitude is what drives the gun control industry. It’s terribly inconvenient for the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex that empowered, hard-working people aren’t at all happy about living in a “you’ll own nothing and be happy about it” system. As a result, the poor and middle class must be disempowered wherever possible.

As an influential man once said, “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.” Surely that’s a sentiment someone like DA Larry Krasner can get behind.


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