November 1999

Protecting Your Own

There are few gun-related items in the mainstream media that make much sense to me. But a recent column by Jill “J.R.” Labbe, senior editorial writer and columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was the exception. I thought you’d like to read some of her thoughts, which pretty well sum up my own. Ms. Labbe writes:


Within hours after the shootings at the Wedgwood Baptist Church, a letter arrived at the Star-Telegram expressing the wish that I had been inside the church on that deadly Wednesday night.

I wish I had, too, but for a different reason than the writer’s desire for me to witness the carnage left by two handguns wielded by a raging paranoid.

At least the seven victims would have had a fighting chance.

Every time this argument is raised by proponents of concealed-carry permits for private citizens, gun-control advocates counter that they don’t want public venues turned into some modern-day version of the OK Corral….

When the bad guy is crawling through your child’s window, do you want to trust that the police, with an average response time in the [Dallas/Fort Worth] Metroplex of about seven minutes for Priority 1 calls, will be there in time to help?

A lot of damage can be done in that time. Look at what Larry Ashbrook did in less than 10 minutes, with a police officer at home across the street from the church when the shooting started.…

The argument always turns to a ban on handguns. Let’s suppose that the U.S. Congress does vote to ban private ownership of handguns.…

Australia’s homicide rate has risen more than 3 percent since the surrendering of more than 600,000 guns by law-abiding citizens; assaults have increased by more than 8 percent; and “armed” robberies—bad guys don’t turn in their guns—have increased 44 percent.

I’m married to a police officer. I have my own security detail living under the same roof. Guess who’s the one in the family to insist that we spend time at the range of the Arlington Sportsman’s Club?

He knows better than anyone that the only person who can give me a fighting chance to survive an attack is me.