A St. Louis Alderman, tired of seeing law abiding citizens in his district victimized, is calling on them to arm themselves:
Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe’s neighborhood has seen nine homicides in 10 months this year, more than all but one other section of the city.
With gunplay wreaking havoc on his ward, Troupe thinks he has found an answer: citizens arming themselves.
The alderman is pleading with constituents to get guns of their own — and learn how to use them. Troupe, who represents a swatch of north St. Louis, is encouraging residents to apply for concealed weapons permits so they can start carrying a firearm.
Sounds like a common sense solution to me, but predictably, not everyone is happy with the idea:
Gary Brooks, 64, who was shopping at a produce store down the street, suggested that Troupe is “out of touch with society right now.”
“People are scared, they are nervous, they are angry,” Brooks said. Bringing guns into the equation, he said, “isn’t going to do anything but add fuel to the fire.”
The view is shared by Police Chief Dan Isom, who took office in October. Though Isom says he “can understand Alderman Troupe’s frustration,” citizens arming themselves is “not something I necessarily support.”
There could be, Isom says, unanticipated consequences, such as arguments that escalate into shootings because of the presence of guns.
“I don’t really want a society where everyone in the city of St. Louis is carrying a gun,” Isom said. “That, I don’t think, is a recipe for a less violent community.”
But Troup is undeterred:
Troupe is hoping to recruit residents from his 1st Ward and around the area to take a firearms safety course, a requirement to qualify for a concealed weapons permit. He has even made his pitch at City Hall — and he says several aldermen have expressed interest in obtaining a permit.
For now, he says he has a list of around 40 residents who have indicated they would like to take the weapons safety course. About 30 of them, he said, are women.
“They are being terrorized by this criminal element out here,” Troupe said. “Their No. 1 priority is trying to keep their children alive. Their black, male children. And that’s a Herculean task.”
One north St. Louis woman who already has her concealed weapons permit — and a 9 mm handgun to go with it — is Vivian Jones, who knows Troupe and supports his gun push.
She has been robbed at gunpoint in her daughter’s home in Troupe’s ward. Just recently, she witnessed a gunfire exchange outside her business, a dry cleaners, in the city’s Baden neighborhood, where she lives now.
For her 53rd birthday in June, Jones bought a handgun and began target practicing regularly — and she has the bull’s-eyes to prove it.
“I pray to God that I never have to use this,” Jones said, pointing to her waist holster. “But if I do, I’ll have it.”
I’m with Vivian. In fact, a handgun is what I want for Christmas, (besides the Shamwow! I’ve been begging for). It’s gonna be a bang-up Christmas for me!
Hat tip: Crime Scene KC