I recently stated that robbery is properly thought of as a crime against a person, rather than their property. A recent home invasion robbery from Chicago really reinforces this point:
As reported, a man with two prosthetic legs was in his Chicago home, watching a Discovery Channel program about volcanoes, just after midnight. Two teenage criminals broke into his home and came to his bedroom. One of the criminals pistol whipped him, then pulled off his prosthetic legs. The criminals then took his ID card before fleeing – with his legs. The man suffered minor injures from the attack, and the suspects remain at large. His friends found his prosthetic legs dumped in a nearby alley, and returned them to him.
As I previously discussed in greater detail, robbery is a crime against the victim’s person more so than against their property. That is true even when the robber takes only a few dollars of cash. But when the robber breaks into a person’s home, pistol whips that person, pulls the prosthetic legs off their body, and then dumps those legs in an alley, that is an offense against the victim’s person like no other.
Sadly, preying upon the disabled and other vulnerable people is nothing new. Criminals who are willing to commit violent felonies seem to prefer victimizing people who they know can’t put up a fight. When that seemingly defenseless victim is armed, tragedy is often averted: This armed 85 year old woman held a home invader at gunpoint, and made him call the police on himself. This armed disabled veteran saved himself from two armed and violent home invaders. This armed 93 year old man shot a home invader in self defense after the home invader began to attack him. This armed 70 year old woman held an intruder at gunpoint until the police arrived to arrest him. This armed 91 year old man used his handgun to fend off two home invader who had broken in and threatened his wheelchair-bound wife with their guns. This armed 84 year old man used his handgun to stop a criminal who repeatedly tried to enter his home through the front door, back door, and a window, and was on the verge of overpowering him. I could go on with more examples, but the point should be clear: gun ownership saves lives every day and allows even physically disadvantaged and elderly people to stop the strongest criminals.
I would also like to note that not one of the many gun control laws here prevented these criminals from being armed. Not one of Illinois’ strict gun control laws, nor Chicago’s total ban on handguns stopped these offenders from having a gun or using it to threaten the life of a disabled man in his own home. Instead, Chicago’s handgun ban ensured that this man was without the legal ability to own the one tool that would have allowed him to defend himself against even the largest and most able bodied home invaders.
Indeed, I would note that even if the Chicago handgun ban actually worked, and kept guns out of the hands of criminals, these two unarmed criminals would almost certainly have been able to overpower the man anyway. In sum, even if they worked (which they don’t), gun control laws just create a situation where the physically strong are able to impose their will on the physically weak – and that is the opposite of civilization.