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Gun Control Killed Ana Charle

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Don’t count on the gun controllers to express any guilt over the death of Ana Charle, the director of a homeless shelter in the Bronx. But the fact is that gun control is partly responsible for the death of the 42-year old woman.

Last month, a former resident of the shelter stalked and kidnapped Charle. After the man forced her to undress in her car, she was able to escape and began running away naked. Her abductor, also naked, began chasing after her and then shot her dead. An autopsy is being performed to determine whether Charle was raped.

Of course, Charle was not armed. New York City has strict gun-control laws. If she had been armed, she would be subject to a felony conviction and a long term in jail. There are not many people who want to take that kind of chance by illegally carrying a weapon.

As I have written so many times in the past, kidnappers, rapists, and murderers don’t give a hoot about gun-control laws. New York’s strict gun-control laws certainly didn’t dissuade Charle’s killer from possessing a gun and using it against her. He obviously didn’t say to himself, “My gosh, I can’t use a gun to kidnap and kill this woman because that would be illegal.” At the risk of belaboring the obvious, if a person is willing to violate laws against kidnapping, murder, and rape, he’s also willing to violate gun-control laws.

But New York’s gun-control laws are extremely effective in prohibiting peaceful, law-abiding people like Ana Charle from defending themselves against kidnappers, rapists, and murderers. By making it illegal for them to carry a weapon to defend themselves, the gun-control laws make them easy targets for violent criminals.

Compare what happened to Ana Charle with what happened to Dinah Burns. Burns was out walking her dog on a path when she encountered two men with a baseball bat, one of whom said, “You’re coming with us.” The Ohio woman pulled out her concealed handgun and said, “I have this and I’m not afraid to use it.” The men backed off and left the scene.

Without her gun, there is little doubt that Burns would have met the same type of fate that Charle met.

The difference? Ohio has concealed-carry laws, which enables people to carry a weapon to defend themselves against kidnappers, rapists, and murderers. With its gun-control laws, New York City prohibits people like Charle and Burns to defend themselves from violent criminals.

If New York City did not have gun control, would Charle have been carrying a weapon that might well have saved her life? That’s, of course, impossible to say, but at least she would have been free to do so without fear of being convicted of a felony and forced to serve many years in jail. New York’s gun control law denied her the right to defend herself.

Moreover, even if Charle had not been carrying a weapon, she still would have been living in a safer environment. When people are free to carry weapons for self-defense, the kidnappers, rapists, and murderers don’t know who is armed and who isn’t armed. That dissuades some of them from accosting people, since they can’t be sure as to whether the person they are accosting is armed or not. Also, without gun control law there is the increased likelihood that a kidnapper, murderer, or rapist will have to contend with armed third parties who are willing to come to the defense of the victim.

Thus, it’s no surprise that kidnappers, murderers, and rapists would much prefer to operate in a gun-free zone, such as a public (i.e., government) school or New York City. One never hears about a kidnapping, murder, or rape at a gun show.

Of course, we can’t be sure that Ana Charle would be alive today if the city of New York had not prohibited her from carrying a handgun to defend herself. But we do know that absent New York City’s gun control law, she might well be alive today. Just like Dinah Burns and countless other women who are alive in jurisdictions where they are free to defend themselves with a gun against kidnappers, rapists, and murderers.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.