Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Safety First

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Safety First

Article excerpt

Over the summer, an important initiative was launched to make our nation's capital an even safer place to live, depending on how quickly you can purchase a bullet-proof vest.

But, you may well ask in italics, doesn't Washington, D.C., already have nine separate police forces, as well as daily over-flights by F-15 Eagles and armed helicopter gunships? Absolutely, I would reply from inside my home. since I seldom venture out and attract the attentions of armed helicopter gunships (CO-PILOT: Hey, the guy in that backyard is either igniting a barbecue grill or a thermo-nuclear device! Should we call this in? PILOT: Nah. We'll handle it Eat lead, possible terrorist!

Given these considerable protections, it may seem surprising that Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch wants to ensure an even greater level of security by repealing Washington, D.C.'s 27 year-old ban on handguns, thus enabling citizens to "better protect themselves."

It's about time.

D.C.'s archaic gun law--barely enacted by an overwhelming majority of city voters--prevents a law-abiding D.C. resident from defending himself from an intruder who, in broad daylight and disguised as a possible mail carrier, might attempt to open his front door unannounced. The point is, citizens have a right to protect themselves from strangers who attempt to invade the sanctity of their homes or, in the ease of Jehovah's Witnesses their front porches.

(Facetiousness aside--but just for a moment--one day last summer I was quietly walking through the sanctity of my own home when I discovered Jehovah's Witnesses STANDING IN MY LIVING ROOM! It was a hot day, and a member of my family had foolishly assumed the New Testament imperative to welcome the stranger applies to EVERYBODY, even though Jesus clearly intended for there to be exceptions, Jehovah's Witnesses chief among them. After all, they are the pit bulls of unwanted conversation, never letting go of their unsolicited theological opinions until, exhausted, you finally relent and promise to read a Watchtower Anyway, they had kindly been offered cool drinks to relieve the heat of the day and they wouldn't leave until, in desperation, I told them that the neighbor across the street had once asked me about the Godhead. They scrambled out the door like bloodhounds on the scent. …

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