When a reporter asked New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg whether the police had acted appropriately by shooting an armed murder suspect, he angrily replied, “Let me ask you this Miss, if somebody pointed a gun at you and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do? I think that answers the question.” Bloomberg makes (indirectly) an important point. The phrase “gun violence” gets tossed around quite a bit, but there’s a problem–the expression blurs the distinction between the use of a gun for self-defense and the use of a gun to commit a crime, such as theft, rape, and murder.
Mayor Bloomberg regularly advocates gun control measures, but according to his statements to the reporter yesterday, he’ll support your right to use a gun in self-defense, but, curiously, put you in jail should “you have a gun in your pocket.” Hmm.
For more on civilians using guns to protect themselves and others, go here.