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An Argument For An Armed Citizenry

A horrific news story has slowly made its way into the headlines here in the Twin Cities. A local resident, his wife and three daughters spent the evening of the Fourth of July at Valleyfair, a local amusement park. They were leaving the park at midnight when a criminal began to molest his twelve-year-old daughter.

The father intervened to defend his daughter, and the offender put out a call for his “homies.” Eight “men” materialized and began to beat up the father. They knocked him to the ground and took turns stomping on his head. The man’s wife and daughters tried to protect him, unsuccessfully, and Valleyfair’s security guards apparently tried to help, but ineffectually.

The father is still hospitalized, but the criminals are out on bail. The family’s name is being kept secret, lest the criminals find them and kill them to avoid prosecution.

Initially, the local media downplayed the story, presumably because of the race of the criminals. But today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune broke down and covered it. Still, the story was apparently too hot for the paper to allow comments; if you follow the link, you’ll see that, contrary to the Star Tribune’s usual policy, it is impossible to comment.

The story is an infuriating one in several ways, but what strikes me most forcibly is that it would have been a good thing if a few armed citizens had happened by while the assault was in progress. It’s no surprise that the victim’s wife and daughters couldn’t protect him from eight “men,” and apparently Valleyfair’s security force is unarmed. So the optimal outcome here would have been for one or more normal citizens to pull a firearm, shoot a couple of the criminals, and hold the rest until the police arrived. Criminals who carry out outrageous assaults in public do so on the assumption that passersby will not be able to stop them. Absent firearms, that assumption is reasonable. So let’s hear it for concealed carry.

Under Minnesota law, any business can ban guns on its premises, and, while a few minutes of research yielded nothing, I assume that Valleyfair bans guns, as most businesses that are open to the public do. This strikes me as a mistake. Against a gang such as the one that is now on the loose in the Twin Cities, only armed citizens can be effective.

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