By Mr. Curmudgeon:
Two days before Christmas, the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., gave lawful gun-owners a present – it posted an interactive map on their website providing readers the names and addresses of citizens possessing handgun permits for Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. According to the Journal, “One out of every 23 adults – are licensed to own a handgun.”
John Thompson of the Yonkers YMCA’s Project SNUG (that advises young people against gun violence), told the Journal, “I would love to know if someone next to me had guns. It makes me safer to know so I can deal with that. I might not choose to live there.”
Thompson might like to rethink that. The Journal no doubt thought it was shaming law-abiding gun-owners for protecting home and castle, but they inadvertently warned criminals away from said neighborhoods. Predators, like the skulking lion on the Serengeti, target the week, the old, the infirmed and the very young. The lion, like the home invader, does not like a fair fight.
No one knows this better than Ronald Dixon, Navy veteran and Brooklyn resident. In 2002, Dixon was startled awake by a noise in the hallway and noticed a stranger’s reflection in a wall mirror. An intruder was entering the room of his two-year-old son. “I went in,” Dixon told the New York Daily News, “I looked in his face. I didn’t know this guy, I was so shocked … in a nervous voice I said, ‘What are you doing here?” and he ran toward me yelling, ‘Come up stairs!’ like there were other people with him. I shot him ’cause I thought more people were in the house.”
Dixon, who never ran afoul of the law his entire life, was arrested for “illegal possession of a firearm” and sent to Rikers Island, along with wounded career criminal Ivan Thompson … whose 14-page rap sheet showed 19 arrests and convictions for criminal trespass, burglary and attempted assault. Dixon defended his son, and himself, with a 9 mm pistol purchased legally while living in Florida. Though he had applied for a New York State handgun permit, Empire State bureaucrats had yet to issue him one.
Needless to say, many defenseless New Yorkers were appalled by Dixon’s arrest. “By prosecuting Ronald Dixon on spurious charges, you are sending a very dangerous message to the residents in your jurisdiction: Defend your family, go to jail. You are also sending an equally dangerous message to the criminal element, who would realize that law-abiding citizens would now be hesitant to defend themselves for fear of criminal prosecution, and therefore make prime targets for violent crime,” wrote one New Yorker to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
Hynes, who once declared, “If you get caught with a gun in Brooklyn, you’re going to do jail time,” was force to moderate that empty-headed policy. “Clearly [Dixon] was justified in shooting this burglar, and the burglar is going to get as much jail time as we can get him,” Hynes told the News. However, Hynes declared Dixon’s defense of home and family “disorderly conduct,” for which Dixon served three days in jail. Hynes got his anti-gun pound of flesh.
Let’s hope that Dixon received his handgun permit and that his name and address are posted on a New York website. This way he and his family can sleep peacefully in the knowledge that criminals know he is armed and dangerously protective of his children.
Meanwhile, John Thompson of Yonkers – the YMCA advisor against gun violence – has telegraphed to New York’s criminal element that he and his neighbors are sitting ducks.
I know which list I’d rather be on.
Just in passing, an editor’s note appearing on the Journal News website disclosed that reporter Dwight R. Worley, who compiled the list of New Yorkers with handgun permits, is himself the proud owner of a Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Magnum and “has had a residence permit in New York City for that weapon since February 2011.”