15 Minutes to Stay Alive

By Rob Morse

Should I carry a gun in public?
Should I carry a gun in public?
Slow Facts
Slow Facts

Louisiana- (Ammoland.com)- A friend of mine is a new mom.  She and her beautiful baby live in Los Angeles.  I owe them a visit.

At least I owe her coffee and conversation the next time I’m nearby and we have 15 minutes to kill.

Then again, 15 minutes can be a very long time for a new mom.  Now that I think of it, even 5 minutes is forever if you need help.  As I mentioned, my friend lives in Los Angeles where she is not allowed to carry a firearm in public.  She called and asked if she should carry a gun for protection.  She isn’t alone.  Many gun owners are asking the same question after the recent attacks in southern California.

Should I carry a gun in public?

Let’s get this obvious point out of the way.  My friend wants a gun because she is afraid someone might hurt her and her family.  That isn’t unreasonable.  There were 44 murders in the LA area last month.  That is more than twice the number of people the terrorists killed in San Bernardino.  There were thousands of assaults and robberies reported in the LA area last month.  What would happen next time if a criminal decided to break into my friend’s home?  My friend could call a good guy with a gun for help but that always takes time.  Sometimes, like the recent murders in San Bernardino, there is no time.

Seconds count.

The police response to the recent Christmas party murders in San Bernardino was exemplary.  Law enforcement arrived 3 to 4 minutes after they were called.  The San Bernardino murderers had already killed 14 and wounded an additional 22 people in that amount of time.  The muslim terrorists were long gone when the police arrived.

What would my friend with a baby do if she hears or sees a break in when she is at home?  She would grab her child and retreat to a safe area of her home.  She’d barricade her family into this room to buy time.  She’d call 911.  Then, depending on priority, police would be dispatched to investigate.  Police travel to the scene and stop the criminal activity.  This takes time at every step.

Time is crucial.  Most burglaries are over in minutes.  Assault and robbery are over and done in seconds.  Murdering terrorists kill three to four people a minute.

The average police response time is 5 to 10 minutes depending on the city, weather conditions, and time of day.  As you should imagine, few criminals are caught at the scene.

Scholars who study violence say that response time is the critical factor to stop crime and limit the number of victims.  That is a fancy way of saying you need to defend the people you love now rather than later.  My friend, the new mom, could defend herself in seconds if she were armed.  I’ve seen her.  She can do it.  She could protect her family until help arrives.. but only if she is at home.  She is supposed to be disarmed every time she steps outside.  By law, she is supposed to lock up her gun if she walks to the curb to get the mail.. or when she takes a smelly diaper out to the trash late at night.  Those laws sound like a war on women to me.

My friend wants go get a gun and carry it.  Self-defense makes sense to her.  If her child were hurt, she’d apply first aid.  If she had an accidental fire in her home, she would move her child, grab a fire extinguisher, and call for help.  She would respond to the situation first .. and later call for help.  Self-defense deserves the same response.

What is she supposed to do, drop her child and run to safety?

She can’t carry a gun legally in Los Angeles because local politicians consider her and her family to be politically disposable.  Money talks in politics.  Special interests made large campaign contributions.  These special interests paid to pass gun-control laws that disarm honest citizens in LA.  Now, my friend is supposed to sacrifice her family to some gun-control fantasy.  I don’t think she will.

There are thousands of visitors in Los Angeles who have their permits and legally carry concealed.  I think my friend will join them.  She will disobey an unjust law in order to keep herself and her family safe.

I don’t blame her.  Do you?


About Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is also an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.