I’m not sure this is a debate really anywhere except among Pennsylvania journalists:
Â When it came to whether Robert Pierce Jr. was justified in shooting a would-be robber, Northampton Country District Attorney John Morganelli said the decision was “crystal clear.”
“We don’t expect our citizens to wait until they’re shot,” he said at a news conference this week.
He’s referring to the self-defense shooting case I blogged about here.Â But there are other sides to the story:
Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ, a Newark-based organization devoted to reducing gun violence, said gun proliferation leads to more gun violence.
“It’s clear that the more guns you put on the street, in whoever’s hands, the more likely that there will be gun violence,” Miller said. “Allowing citizens to carry guns around does not make society safer.”
Miller said New Jersey has fewer gun-related incidents because the state does not allow permits to carry concealed guns.
To be sure New Jersey has fewer gun-related incidents like this, because New Jersey denies honest citizens the right to protect themselves.Â In New Jersey, Mr. Pierce would just be another statistic; just another murder victim.Â Â That would be just fine by Bryan Miller.Â It would also be just fine by Patricia McClain-Afford:
Patricia McClain-Afford, co-president of Guns Down, an Easton-based organization, said citizens carrying guns risk injuring themselves or becoming disarmed by a criminal, thus endangering themselves further.
“I just don’t agree with the idea that it’s right for people to get guns to defend themselves, because then the bad guys have guns, the good guys have guns and then everybody’s just shooting at each other,” she said.
Wow, I trembled before the intellectual veracity of that argument.Â The fact is that Mr. Pierce is alive because he lives in a state that allows honest citizens the right to have the means to defend themselves.Â The system works, even if some people don’t want to accept that.