Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, August 14, 2015

If people believe they are only safe when carrying a gun, they shouldn't live in a city

Generally, I argue that no one should ever be made to feel guilty about advocating for public safety and taking reasonable precautions, asking to be walked somewhere, etc.

However, I realize after reading a letter to the editor in the Washington Post that there is no blank check on this, because some people have unreasonable definitions of what being safe means.

Maggie Starks (pictured at left) wrote this letter, "",which is reprinted in full:
The Aug. 3 Metro article “Struggling to feel safe in rising tide of violence” showed why D.C. residents need more freedom to carry a concealed weapon. As a Mississippian, I grew up feeling safe because I knew I could defend myself if my life was threatened.

Unfortunately, I do not feel safe in the District.

Similar to the victim presented in the article, who was seriously injured in a shooting while visiting a friend in the District, I must rely on emergency responders with notoriously slow response times to save my life in the event of a shooting. Although the Second Amendment guarantees my right to bear arms, the District is infringing upon this right.

According to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s concealed-carry application, a resident must have a documented threat against his or her life to obtain a permit. If the Second Amendment alone were not enough, then living in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States should give me the ability to apply for a concealed-carry permit.

Even if 100 percent of the police department’s resources were committed to stopping gun violence, criminals would continue to obtain guns illegally and use them violently. Law-abiding citizens with appropriate background checks and training should be allowed to protect themselves and feel safe in the District.
While it is terrible that the woman profiled in the article "Struggling to feel safe in rising tide of violence," was shot, the reality is that this is an infrequent occurrence, even in the most violent areas of the city, which is where the lady was shot, and is an area not likely to ever be frequented by Ms. Starks.

cf.Toddler reaches into purse and gun goes off, killing mom," USA Today and wrt what I thought was a more suburban mentality in a blog entry from 2012, "Sub-urbanism: guns in public | Downtown Birmingham, Michigan."

Gun supporters march in downtown Birmingham, Michigan
Gun supporters march in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. David Guralnick /The Detroit News via AP. Chris Combs, of Troy, left, and Stephanie Locke, of Clawson, cross the street in downtown Birmingham, Mich. while participating in a protest by gun enthusiasts Monday, June 11. The protest is in support of eighteen-year-old Sean Michael Combs, of Troy, who was arrested in Birmingham on April 13 while carrying a rifle. Combs was charged with brandishing a weapon, disturbing the peace, and obstructing a police officer.

Before I could drive, usually with friends, I used to bike to Birmingham--maybe 5 miles away from where I lived--when I was in high school. It is 6 miles north of Detroit, with an intact downtown core still thriving in the face of competition from enclosed shopping malls. Until about 8 years ago, it still had independent department stores functioning as part of the retail district. It's incredible to me that people would openly carry guns there.

Labels: ,


At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Christopher said...

This reads like a planted LTE. Probably specifically solicited by the pro-gun lobby. It's too edited and hits too many talking points, it's structured like a press release.

You know what doesn't feel safe? Is the constant reminder of carry laws in Illinois. Places are allowed to opt out with no guns signs on their doors. So wherever you are in Illinois and Chicago, you see them every where: stores, museums, places of work. A constant reminder of guns and armed citizenry. Really disturbing.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

She does work for a conservative lobbying group. Because I didn't want to call extraordinary attention to my post from conservative activists, I didn't mention any of her particulars, which are on LinkedIn.

Good point for making a more direct connection. Thanks.

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So its not ok for her, but only for her assailant?


Post a Comment

<< Home