An unarmed security guard thwarted a gunman in Washington on Wednesday using nothing but his body - and that's just what D.C. officials want. Mayor Vincent C. Gray cited Leonardo Johnson's being shot in the arm while protecting coworkers at the Family Research Council (FRC) as proof the capital city's restrictive gun laws are effective. It's dangerous to think unarmed guards are always going to be able to protect the innocent from determined criminals.
On Thursday, the mayor told NewsChannel 8's Bruce DePuyt that he is "proud of the gun laws we have here in the District of Columbia," which he called "the most stringent, restrictive" in the country.
Mr. Gray believes it's significant that the accused shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, bought a 9mm handgun in his home state of Virginia. "He would not have been able to do that in the District of Columbia," the mayor said. "When guns are available, they will get them - like in a situation like this and use them for potentially tragic purposes, as this man did yesterday."
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Mr. Johnson was a "hero" because "he didn't allow the armed person past the front, so he did his job."
Mr. Johnson might have been able to do his job without getting shot had the city recognized his constitutional right to bear arms. The District does allow law enforcement and the military to carry while engaged in official duties. Special police and campus police who have been commissioned by Ms. Lanier also are allowed to protect themselves with firearms while on the job. It's unknown whether Mr. Johnson, a full-time employee who handles security as well as facilities management, had a special police commission.
Firearms attorney Richard Gardiner surmises that Mr. Johnson "was probably not armed because FRC did not want to register a gun." All firearms in the city have to be registered by an individual or a company. According to Mr. Gardiner, the registration would be in the name of the organization and the bizarre process would have required FRC President Tony Perkins to personally undergo D.C.'s 12-step registration ordeal.
FRC's position opposing homosexual "marriage" may have motivated the shooter, who reportedly had bags of Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack. The fast-food chain has come under criticism from left-wing groups since its CEO, Dan Cathy, said he supports traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
While Mr. Gray pats himself on the back over Washington's gun laws, they haven't done anything to stop criminals from obtaining illegal guns. In the last year, there have been 1,285 robberies with guns and 552 assaults with guns, the latter being the charge against Mr. Corkins. The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. No American should have to defend himself with his body.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
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