A horrible story out of Brownsville, New York, illustrates perfectly why everyone who is capable, should carry a gun and why it’s import to choose ahead of time to be the victor in a life-or-death situation.
The New York post reports that, at around 9:10pm, a group of five thugs (one with a gun) approached a man and his 18-year-old daughter as they enjoyed an evening in Brooklyn’s Osborn Playground, demanding that the father leave.
The father did so, leaving the thugs to take turns raping his daughter, while he tried desperately to find help.
Eventually the man found two police officers and returned to the scene, where the thugs ran off when they spotted the officers.
This story, while very sad indeed, provides some very important lessons for the rest of us.
First, though I cannot say with any authority that the father would have been carrying a gun – if the New York allowed its citizens to protect themselves from thugs who walk the streets in search of prey – I can say that it would have, at the very least, been an option.
The carrying of a firearm has been shown on countless occasions to be the difference between becoming a victim and being the victor in the face of an imminent threat. And when that right is denied, one can only hope and pray that the police are able to respond the second a deadly response is needed.
Sadly, in this case… they were not.
Second, I recognize that the father was in fear for his life and that both of their lives have been changed forever in ways I can’t possibly imagine. And I do want to seem as though I am casting judgement on a man in fear for his life. However, I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would choose to leave my my daughter behind with a group of armed thugs.
I have trained and prepared myself for years and hope that, if I found myself in that same situation, I would stand and fight to the death and let my daughter know that her father was ready, willing, and able to give his life in her defense than to leave her with a lifetime of doubt.
Though I’ve always said that in a deadly force confrontation it is always the best defense to run when you have the option, I do not believe that, in doing so, you should leave your loved ones behind to suffer at the hands of those intent to do them harm.
This is why it’s imperative that you train to develop a combat mindset and, should you find yourself in a life-threatening situation from which you cannot run… you fight. You fight with everything you have in you! You choose to be the victor… or die trying.
If, as you reflect on this story and others like it, you cannot say with certainly that you have a combat mindset and are equipped with the knowledge and resolve to do what is necessary consider picking up the two books I recommend more than any others: Massad Ayoob’s, In the Gravest Extreme and Jeff Cooper’s, Principles of Personal Defense.
Confrontations like the one in New York, don’t always have to end the way this one did. By training and preparing yourself both physically and mentally for a life threatening situation, you stand a much greater chance of being the victor… not the victim.
** UPDATE **
The New York Times reports that four of the five suspects have been taken into custody. Two of the four suspects, who range in age from 14 to 17, we turned in by their parents.
The video surveillance footage from a nearby deli, whose owner claimed the teens were regular customers (read: thieves), played a key role in their identity and subsequent apprehension.
A timeline of the events determined that it took the father of the victim, who it’s been reported was drinking at the time of the attack, at least 16 minutes to get help. Add to that, the time it actually took authorities to get to the scene, the response time was almost certainly over 20 minutes, maybe even closer to a half hour.
Had the father not been drinking and had he been legally allowed to carry a firearm for self-defense purposes, those long minutes could have been mere seconds and the entire ordeal might never have progressed to the point that it did.
If you live in a state that honors your right to carry a firearm for self-protection, let this story serve as a reminder of why it’s important to do so. Let it also serve as a reminder to make wise choices about how and where you choose to spend your time and to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
If you do not live in a city or state that honors your right to carry, consider working with local concealed carry advocates to pressure your law makers to change the law… or maybe just consider moving.