Friday, March 27, 2015

Good gun outcome

Doctor had a fighting chance and took it at hospital

Good gun outcome

An officer directs traffic near the scene of a shooting Thursday, July 24, 2014, at a wellness center attached to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital´s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said. (AP Photo)
An officer directs traffic near the scene of a shooting Thursday, July 24, 2014, at a wellness center attached to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital's psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said. (AP Photo)

 

People who are “pro-gun” (although I hate that construction) like saying it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.

 

That seemed to happen twice on Thursday in widely separated parts of the country.

 

In Colorado, an ex-con with a long record and an assault rifle went on a two-hour carjacking rampage until stopped by a motorcycle cop who (although this clip doesn’t show it) pulled up with his left hand on the motorcycle grip and his right hand pointing his revolver at the suspect. Looking into the barrel of the cop’s gun, the suspect dropped his weapon.

 

http://kdvr.com/2014/07/23/armed-carjack-suspect-on-wild-crime-spree-captured-in-dramatic-fashion/

 

In Darby, ex-con and mental patient Richard Plotts allegedly pulled a gun and shot and killed caseworker Theresa Hunt and wounded psychiatrist Dr. Lee Silverman, who pulled a gun and shot Plotts three times.

 

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140726_Hospital_shooter_had_history_of_mental_illness__arrests__records_show.html

 

It was reported that Sister Marie Lenahan Mercy Wellness Center has declared itself a gun-free zone. (How’s that working out?)

 

I called several times to ask if that is true and if it is, will Dr. Silverman be disciplined? I got a form letter email instead of answers.

 

I think Silverman did the right thing at the right time.

 

Dave Sager, president of Pennsylvanians for Self Protection, agrees.

 

“He acted in self defense and probably saved a lot of lives in the process.”

 

Not that certain was Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFire PA.

 

She says there were “some strange things were going in that office” and noted that the doctor was able to get his gun, “which is unusual in these cases.”

 

Goodman may be right, but . . . at least Silverman had a chance. Without it, he would have been a helpless target.

 

Gun-free zones don’t create safety, they create targets.

 

Goodman poses some questions that match mine,  and which likely will be reported in the days ahead:

 

Was Dr. Silverman licensed to carry? If not, he could face charges.

 

Most gun owners say this about that:

 

“I’d rather by judged by 12 than carried by six.”

 

How did Plotts, who would be prohibited from owning a gun, get his? Can the police trace it back and arrest the person who supplied it? If so, that person needs to be prosecuted.

 

I am on record — as a licensed-to-carry gun owner — as supporting sensible restrictions, such as mandatory background checks everywhere, and jailing straw purchasers.

 

I don’t think of myself as “pro-gun.” I don’t think everyone should have them. People like Plotts, certainly not.

 

Stu Bykofsky Daily News Columnist
About this blog
Stu Bykofsky has been a columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News since 1987. Prior to the column, his assignments included theater critic, TV critic, copy editor, general assignment features reporter. He supports civil-rights and animal causes, he opposes political correctness, bicycles on the sidewalk and most other forms of selfishness and stupidity.
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Reach Stu at stubyko@phillynews.com.

Stu Bykofsky Daily News Columnist
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