Monday, September 29, 2014

When seconds count, the police are just minutes away

All too often, I am asked why I carry a gun. Have I "bought into the fear being peddled by the NRA and firearm manufacturers"?

While I doubt this explanation will convert the True Believers, an event that occurred in Phoenix, AZ earlier this month really ought to be the final word on the matter for anyone who has eyes to see, ears to hear, and minds to think when it comes to the fallacy of "You don't need a gun, just call 911."

And hey, one of the sources reporting it is HuffPo, so there's no way it can be accused of having a right-wing bias.

To summarize:

A woman -- a widow, presumably living alone -- hears someone trying to break into her house. We don't know how long it took between realizing someone was trying to break in and calling 911, but from the tone of her voice you can tell she's terrified, so I think it's safe to assume it was 30 seconds or less.

If you listen to the actual 911 recording, from start to finish, at the 2:30 mark she says "He's inside!" and there is an audible scuffle as the phone is dropped.

The fight ends when she shoots him.

Later, still listening to the recording, you hear him say that he thought the house was abandoned, and yet, DESPITE THAT CLAIM, when he found her hiding inside her bathroom, he assaulted her.

The police can be heard inside the house at the 6:30 mark.

A transcript of the call can be found here, courtesy of AZ Central 12 News.

So, let's go over the facts:

  1. 6.5 minutes is DAMN FAST for police to respond. I'd go so far as to say it's practically unrealistic. I've called 911 to report that my father was having a stroke and it took the fire department between 10 and 15 minutes to arrive. 
  2. They still didn't arrive in time to protect her. Even if we assume she took 30 leisurely seconds to call police, the burglar was inside her house, INSIDE HER BATHROOM, and assaulting her within 3 minutes.
  3. That last part is important:  if all he wanted to do was rob the house, he could have. But he sought her out inside the bathroom, and instead of fleeing, he assaulted her. 
  4. We're told "Just give them what they want and they'll leave you alone."  Well, what if what they want is to maim, rape or kill you? 
  5. If she hadn't had that gun to protect herself, she would have been at his mercy for 4 minutes until the police arrived. For an idea of how much damage can be done in that amount of time, I'd like to point out that a singe round in a boxing match takes only 3 minutes, and that's done between professional athletes, of similar weights, in protective gear, and who adhere to a code of conduct AND have a referee.

So please realize this: If you still believe no one but police officers should have guns, you are effectively saying "I'm okay with this widow being assaulted for four minutes before the police arrive."

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