Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Few Observations on the Carjacking of the 81 Year-old DPD Retiree

Believe it or not, I actually read all of the emails that are sent to me. Time constraints preclude me from responding to all of them. However, when I get several communications on a specific topic, it is not uncommon for me to blog about it. After all, as a blogger, it is my function to discuss things that are important to you - my readers.

As such, many of you wanted to discuss and to solicit my feedback and observations on the 81 year-old Detroit Police Department (DPD) retiree who was car-jacked a couple of days ago. Unless you live under a rock, you have heard the reported details on the story in the media.

This past Monday Mr. Moses Baldwin, a 26 year veteran of the DPD, was shot during a robbery of his vehicle as he was leaving a post office on the east-side of Detroit. During the incident, Baldwin was shot in the shoulder at some point in time during the incident.

He was dispatched to an area hospital where his injury was reported as not being life threatening. Additionally, Baldwin managed to discharge his revolver four times. It is known whether his assailant was injured. Baldwin's vehicle was recovered some time later with the bad guy nowhere in sight.

Although, there are many things that we - the general public - do not know about this story, I will share my observations based on what has been publicly reported in the media.

Observation 1: Bad Guys Love To Attack Senior Citizens

Robbers and carjackers prefer easy victims. Many times, those easy victims are senior citizens. It doesn't take a stretch of an imagination to conclude that the bad guy in this story saw Mr. Bladwin, a man 81 years of age, and sized him as a person to be victimized without fear of reprisals. I smirk when I imagine the expression on the face of the bad guy when his victim pulled out a revolver and started shooting in self-defense.

Observation 2: Violent Crime Can Happen In Broad Daylight

Mr. Baldwin was assaulted during the day. The estimated time of the attack was reported consistently in the media as noon. As such, citizens would be well-advised to be alert and vigilant at all hours of the day. Further, citizens should not take any solace and umbrage that there may be bystanders present. Bad guys go about their business of violence, robbery, and pillaging regardless of others being around.

Observation 3: Bad Guys Love Pistol-Free Zones

Post offices are federal property. As such, they are pistol-free zones. There is no better place for bad guys to select targets for victimization. Bad guys assume that law-abiding citizens will obey the law and as a consequence be helpless. After all, bad guys by definition do not obey the law. Incidentally, no one reporting the story's details bothered to mention exactly how the "victim" managed to have a revolver as he was leaving a pistol-free zone.

Observation 4: Armed Victims Can Get Shot During An Attack

Carrying a firearm for personal protection is no guarantee of not being harmed. A handgun is not a good luck charm that causes bad guys to disappear when it is drawn. However, it does afford a victim the opportunity to defend himself. Without it, a victim's fate is left to chance and in some cases the marksmanship - or lack of it - of the bad guy. All things considered, I'll continue to carry my guns and preserve my chances of defending myself as opposed to not being a factor in my welfare.

Observation 5: Emphasis Erroneously Placed On Victim Defending His Car

In several versions of this incident, I read a few quotes in which it was stated that the victim had a right to defend his property. That is patently false in the state of Michigan. A defense being used while under the imminent threat of a carjacking is not a defense of that person's property - the car. Rather, the use of lethal force is a valid and lawful defense of that person's life. A carjack victim is defending his life - not his car.

I hope that many people who had heard of this incident do not make the mistake of brushing it off as something that couldn't happen to them. It is only too easy to come up reasons why it couldn't happen to them as it happened to Mr. Baldwin:

  • It happened in Detroit.
  • It happened on the east-side.
  • It happened because he's old.
  • It happened because he had a nice car.

It can happen to you. Are you going to be proactive about your personal protection? Or are you going to leave it to fate, chance, and poor marksmanship of the bad guys on the street? Whatever you think, you're going to have to live - or not - with your decision.

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