Dave Simpson: Never A Better Time To Live In Wyoming

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "Just once in the horrible surveillance videos we see of innocent people being beaten to within an inch of their lives, I long to see someone with the ability and the tools necessary to fight back."

Dave Simpson

October 31, 20224 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

I’m not afraid to admit this, and I’ll bet you aren’t either.

Just once in the horrible surveillance videos we see of innocent people being beaten to within an inch of their lives, I long to see someone with the ability and the tools necessary to fight back.

The video of the monster beating the daylights out of a woman near the turnstiles of a New York City subway station comes to mind. As the thug beats mercilessly on a woman half his size, a third man comes through the turnstiles, sees what is going on, and steps toward the perpetrator. But the lunatic scares him away, then goes back to beating his victim.

How different that picture would be if the woman could have defended herself, pulling a handgun and sending the thug to the hospital, instead of her. Or the morgue. He was trying to kill her, so who would shed a tear if he died in the process?

Or, if the guy coming through the turnstile had been armed, the outcome could have been much different.

In another surveillance video, we see another lunatic – this one in a New York McDonalds restaurant – going berserk, grabbing a hatchet from his backpack, smashing glass and tables, then slugging a guy who was just there eating a burger. (Reporters uniformly called the hatchet an ax, revealing the fact that none were ever Scouts. No surprise there.)

Don’t you wish the guy eating lunch could have pulled a concealed pistol when he saw the hatchet-wielding lunatic heading toward him? He might not have had to fire a shot.

This isn’t about revenge. It’s about self defense. I’m not a blood and guts guy. I think the days of hanging the murderer on the courthouse lawn the day after the trial was a bit hasty. But equally ridiculous is the situation today when murderers linger on Death Row for 20 years or more before justice is finally done. What kind of deterrent is that?

One surveillance video showed a thug getting his just desserts. A shopkeeper in New York (so much of this craziness happens there) grabbed a knife as he was being beaten by an attacker and killed the guy. And what did New York prosecutors do? They charged the guy defending himself with murder and put him in jail. Only after a couple weeks of richly deserved ridicule did they drop the charge and let the guy who was defending himself out of jail.

We all know that you can’t take the law into your own hands. You can’t be a vigilante. But what do we do, in so many instances, when the legal system refuses to take the law into it’s own hands? In that environment, who could feel bad about a lunatic shot while trying to push someone in front of an oncoming subway train?

Radio pundit Dennis Miller used to say he had no sympathy for residents of cities like Chicago if they keep electing the same politicians over and over.

But pundit Dan Bongino – who began his career as a New York City cop – rejects that. Bongino recalls the murder of a teenager in a small neighborhood grocery. He guarded the crime scene until detectives could arrive. He was there when the victim’s mother arrived, and saw her son’s brains all over a vegetable display.

Bongino refuses to say he has no sympathy, like Miller, if voters don’t throw the politicians out. He remembers that mother’s overwhelming grief. It’s no surprise that Bongino is a devout defender of the Second Amendment, and the ability to defend yourself.

We should thank our stars that we live in Wyoming, where most of the bloodshed we see is between grizzlies and hunters. Where the closest thing to gang violence is the ongoing warfare between the Bloods and the Crips of the state Republican Party.

Obviously our low population is a factor, but I can’t think of a state where the average guy is better equipped to defend himself than here in Wyoming. Maybe Alaska. So it’s no coincidence that we don’t experience the insanity raging elsewhere.

Has there ever been a better time to live in Wyoming?

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.