This is footage from a nineties TV show. I just discovered it for the first time. Perhaps some of you have seen it before. I think it is well worth your time. It is both heroic and just a bit tragic.
So, as you saw, the Lance Thomas ended up being a recluse. Is that a morality tale about being willing to shoot and kill in order to defend oneself?
I don’t think so. What stands out to me is that Lance Thomas was a rarity in West Los Angeles. So of all the shopkeepers in that major city, most of them were not going to shoot back. Everywhere else except that one store was pretty much a happy hunting ground for armed robbers.
What would have happened if every single shopkeeper had followed Thomas’s example. What if they had all armed themselves and decided, when held at gunpoint, that they were not going to rely on the mercy of the criminal pointing a weapon at them? Obviously, a few might die in the firefights. But in many cases the robbers would flee or be wounded or be killed. One armed shopkeeper willing to shoot his assailants might not have an effect on the willingness of armed thugs to enter a shop, assault the patrons, and threaten the shopkeeper. But what if the neighborhood sported a hundred such people? Or a thousand?
If a majority of the shopkeepers in the area had armed themselves and used their weapons rather than complying with the threats of armed robbers, Lance Thomas might never have had to have as many firefights. Even though each shopkeeper was protecting his own place of business, the effect would have been greater than the sum of the participants. The gunman who shot Thomas through the neck might never have been alive to pull the trigger because, in my alternative scenario, he would have gotten himself killed in an earlier robbery.
And, if more had armed themselves, then Thomas might not have felt as isolated. He would be under less threat and he would be less lonely because there were so many others like him.
Not everyone needs to own a gun. No one is legally obligated to acquire one. But an increase in the number of law-abiding gun owners would be a blessing to society and to one another.
Hat tip: Libertarian Republic