Washington DC comedian Tim Young had strong feelings against the second amendment, that is until he was robbed in a public place in plain view of a crowd of people by two armed attackers.
He was on his way to perform at a DC hotspot known as The Wharf when two men, one of which banished a gun, robbed him. The comedian called out for help from the large crowd of people who were close enough to witness the crime and hear Tim’s pleas for help.
“That level of fear and that level of helplessness that you feel,” Young told reporters, “it doesn’t compare to anything else I’ve felt in my life. There’s no man card involved. I was defenseless.”
Young explained that he had always assumed the police and the presence of other people would be enough to keep him safe from events like this. Of course, most of us understand that is not the case.
It is especially not the case that the presence of others protects a crime victim from attack or robbery when the criminals are armed and the law abiding citizens are not. There is no blame to be had for those who, unarmed, saw a gun-wielding man committing a crime- and did not help. In a situation like that, the best a person can do is to get out of the criminal’s line of sight and call the police.
But that brings us to Young’s second problematic assumption, the assumption that the police offer meaningful protection from crime. The fact that we have armed law enforcement and a system of punishments for those who commit crime is a deterrent. But it is not a protection.
The police cannot arrive on scene fast enough to prevent a robbery or some other act of violence. The average police response time nationwide is about five minutes. The average gun battle lasts less than thirty seconds. That means the only one who can protect a person from crime is the person himself.
Young talks about the fear and the helplessness he felt as he stood defenseless, completely at the mercy of his robbers, while the crowd looked on. “They just stood by and watched as I was yelling for help. ‘Help, I’m being robbed!’ They stood by and watched.”
People who believe they are safe from this kind of attack lack a visceral understanding of what being threatened at gunpoint really means. It means you are being given the choice to obey the criminal and hand over your personal belongings, or face the risk of immediate death or grievous injury.
For the average person, whose resources are modest- handing over personal belongings is a much more serious matter than it would be for an affluent person. For most Americans, losing a couple hundred dollars, a jacket, wallet, and/or a cell phone could cause them to miss a rent or mortgage payment or lose their job.
Once a staunch anti-gun advocate, Young now understands what the right to self-defense means. It means having the freedom to protect yourself from criminals using prevalent weapon technology. It is simply the right to have a chance in a fight with an armed assailant.
Young said, “I think a lot of those people who are opposed to having a concealed carry permit and being able to own a weapon have never had one pointed directly at them when they have nothing on them.”
When interviewers asked him what he would have done if he had been armed, he said he would have used it to defend himself.
But like many other major American cities, Washington DC makes it extremely hard for people to carry guns legally. John Stossel recently ran a piece about the campaign of arbitrary imprisonment the City of New York wages against people who carry guns legally and follow all of the local regulations.
Stossel himself tried to obtain a concealed carry permit. The process took months, cost him thousands of dollars, and he was still turned down even though he has no criminal record.
It’s difficult to pretend that anti-gun lawmakers do not realize their policies actually hurt Americans and empower criminals. They claim to believe guns themselves are the cause of violence. And the areas where the strictest gun laws exist are also the highest crime areas.
In Stossel’s report, an Iraq veteran living in New York said, “They want you to know that you aren’t important enough to be allowed to carry a gun to protect your family. It’s about status, and their superiority.”
~ American Gun News