Friday evening I was on my way home from the GOProud office on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., when I came upon a group of young black men. There were roughly eight of them.
It was such a nice day that I had ridden my bicycle to work, so I was on my bike when I approached them. I was on the street but kept to the right side of the lane so that cars could easily pass on my left. This put me within a couple of feet of the sidewalk, where the group was walking toward me.
Just as I got up to them, the assailant lunged off the sidewalk toward me and delivered a punch across my chest. The momentum of my bicycling drove me into his fist and arm, causing a shocking pain like I’ve never felt before. Just as I began to realize what was happening, I heard it. The words are still ringing in my ears as I write this — “Fucking faggot!” […] [emphasis mine]
The situation could have gone either way: I could end up beaten or dead, or we could all go our separate ways.
All I could think to do was to get to my backpack and find my phone. As I fumbled for the phone, I heard one of them say, “Does he have a gun?”
So I kept my hand in my backpack, allowing them to wonder whether I was reaching for a gun. Then a couple of them started to run away, and the others soon followed. I got back on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could out of there.
This was GOProud’s executive director, Jimmy LaSalvia, a pro-gun, gay rights activist. Since this occurred in DC, he was forcibly unarmed at the time, but his attackers either didn’t know or thought he might be armed anyway. Considering it was 8-on-1, and the fact that gay-bashings like that can quickly and easily turn deadly even if that’s not the attackers’ original intent, that fear very probably saved his life.
And he knows it.
But I’ve thought a lot about the turning point of the situation — the fact that one of them thought that I might have a gun. None of them said, “There’s a law against antigay hate crimes!” That wasn’t the deterrent. It was the possibility that I might have had a gun that saved my life Friday night.
Although concealed carry is, unfortunately, not legal in the District of Columbia, I do intend to buy a handgun to keep in my house. Even though I didn’t actually have a gun, I now know the power of lawful gun ownership to save lives. [emphasis mine]
This is the kind of incident that the anti-rights crowd really doesn’t want you to hear about – a defensive gun use (DGU) that had no shots fired, because it didn’t even involve an actual gun. Tragedy was averted because a group of thugs thought their intended victim might have a gun.
Self-defense works. Concealed carry works. Armed gays don’t get bashed.
As Tam frequently says: Carry your gun. It’s a lighter burden than regret.
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[Source: Advocate.com Op-Ed, retrieved 7/20/11]
(h/t Sharp as a Marble)