Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What This City Needs is More Gunfights

My nephew called me this evening and wanted to know whether I had stopped writing. I went on line and saw that, in deed, I hadn’t posted anything in nearly three weeks. To those of you who have been eagerly awaiting some wisdom from me, I apologize. For those of you who couldn’t care less, I assume that you aren’t reading this and to you I have nothing to say.

You people in River City are aware that every day the Times-Dispatch chooses one of its letter writers as “correspondent of the day.” I suppose the award is given to the letter that is best written or deals with the most important issues. Well, to force myself to write more, I am hereby introducing the maven’s “most wonderful letter of the day.” I will choose a letter from the TD that is of the greatest importance and discuss it. Today’s award goes to the letter “Store Manager Made the World Safer.”

Nearly two weeks ago, the Baskins-Robins ice cream store on Forest Hill Avenue was robbed by a man who seemed to be holding a semi-automatic weapon. The store manager, not wanting to be viewed as an easy mark, drew out his own weapon and started firing at the unfortunate robber. Eight shots later, the robber had been hit in the back and in the hand. He fled from the store and was found dying nearby. The weapon the robber used in the robbery turned out to be a BB gun.

Some people suggested that perhaps the store manager had used excess force. Not our winning letter. It states that “[t]he store manager has saved the taxpayers the cost of further prosecution and incarceration. . . If more idiot sociopaths who prey on decent citizens were to be shot in the act of committing crimes—by their intended victims—then perhaps others of their kind would realize that we aren’t going to be intimidated.” The letter then uses the Wild West as a model for our city. “The American frontier was cleaned up, not by courts that were more concerned with the safety and rights of criminals, but by tough-minded lawmen and citizens defending themselves.”

Now you know why I chose this letter as the most wonderful of the day. Its writer has come up with the obvious solution to Richmond’s crime problem—arm everybody. And none of this hidden weapon business. If we’re really serious about dealing with crime the way they did in Dodge or Tombstone, every person in Richmond must be required to carry a hand gun in a holster strapped to their side. There must be no room for doubt that everybody is packing.

This is a great idea for several reasons. First we can save tons of money that we now waste on our criminal justice system. We won’t need the Commonwealth Attorney’s office any more. We also can cut in half the number of judges. Police officers will no longer have to fill out those pesky crime reports. We won’t need trials any more; our criminal justice system will be self-enforcing. When the store clerk sees a teenager shoplifting at the 7 Eleven he can enforce the law with his Glock.

Second, arming everybody will put a quick end to aggressive drivers and road rage. Now, when some idiot cuts you off on I-64 and you bang your head on the sun visor because you have to slam on your brakes, there is no reason to repress that anger. Just take out your Colt and blow the sucker’s head off. You’d be doing the public a favor. A driver like that would surely cause a bad accident and kill some innocents.

Third, packing a powerful weapon would add some excitement to our boring lives. Now if some doofus insults you at the bar at O’Tooles, you can call him out to settle things on Forest Hill Avenue with your Smith & Wesson.

Most important, all these guns will give us a whole new generation of heroes for our kids. We can produce our own Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Ike Clanton and others. Or lawmen like Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Matt Dillon. Our children need to have gun-toting idols to look up to.

So, writer of our first “most wonderful letter of the day” I salute you. When your suggestion is implemented, Richmond will undoubtedly become the safest city in America.

1 comment:

Malfred said...

In point of fact, one of many factors leading to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone was the enforcement of a local law prohibiting the carrying of firearms within the Tombstone city limits.
The men who eventually confronted the Earps and Doc Holliday at the corral were in part resentful at having to repeatedly surrender their weapons. The gunfight was spectacular (& eternally newsworthy) because it was such a rare thing.