Texas, along with a number of other states, passed its law to allow qualified citizens (those with no felonies or history of mental illness) to carry concealed firearms in 1995 — which, oddly enough, coincided with the beginning of a decline in violent crime nationwide.
As Democrats in the Senate begin a new assault on Second Amendment rights, perhaps they should pay attention to a few local news stories.
Jimmy LaSalva, executive director of GOProud, a group for gay Republicans (its focus is on fiscal conservatism), wrote a piece for the Advocate about a recent attack he suffered because of his sexual orientation.
“Two years ago the federal government passed a law ostensibly aimed at preventing violent hate crimes against LGBT people,” LaSalvia wrote. “Many gay conservatives, including me, said at the time of its passage that the law would do nothing to actually prevent hate crimes. After this weekend, I can now say firsthand that this law hasn't stopped violent, bias-motivated crime.”
A recent run-in proved this.
He was attacked as he rode by.
“Just as I got up to them, the assailant lunged off the sidewalk toward me and delivered a punch across my chest,” LaSalvia wrote. “The momentum of my bicycling drove me into his fist and arm, causing a shocking pain like I've never felt before.”
Instinctively, he grabbed for his cell phone.
LaSalva explained, “As I fumbled for the phone, I heard one of them say, ‘Does he have a gun?' So I kept my hand in my backpack, allowing them to wonder whether I was reaching for a gun. Then a couple of them started to run away, and the others soon followed. I got back on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could out of there.”
This proved a revelation for LaSalvia.
“I've thought a lot about the turning point of the situation — the fact that one of them thought that I might have a gun,” he wrote. “None of them said, ‘There's a law against anti-gay hate crimes!' That wasn't the deterrent. It was the possibility that I might have had a gun that saved my life Friday night.”
Technically, the District of Columbia doesn't even have a concealed-carry law; like some other backwards localities, it clings to the notion that anything that goes “bang” is bad. It ignores the reality that criminals, even in D.C. and similar liberal bastions, still get guns and use them to kill and terrorize law-abiding citizens.
But LaSalvia's luck held out. Most criminals are stupid. His assailants didn't discuss the District's particular policies. All they knew is that around the country, more and more citizens are allowed to defend themselves with the same firepower that may be brought to bear on them.
Democrats, now considering tighter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, should take a look at the reality, not the rhetoric. Guns in the hands of good guys deter the bad guys. That's a pretty compelling argument.