Sorry this is a long rant but everyday that goes by, I feel more and more happy about my decision to carry in pubic and have the ability to defend myself and my loved ones from harm. I live all the way over here across the world in Karachi, Pakistan, a country and city known for its diverse sources of violence and perpetrators thereof.
As a law abiding citizen, I have been held up once already, and due to the failure in governance and state apparatus, street crime is a rampant problem. There have been many cases of vigilante justice by the public who sometimes capture armed criminals and don’t turn them over to police, because they know the BGs will get out somehow or the other. I hate to see the breakdown in the fabric of society, but that is the truth of life here.
Anyways, I would like to narrate two stories that have helped me in strengthening my resolve of not becoming another victim / statistic. I work at a local bank’s head office on a street which is sometimes called the “Wall street of Pakistan”.
It is a hugely busy road with a lot of traffic and pedestrians (both day and night) and contains the head offices of all the banks as well as some private news channels. It is considered to be a more respectable part of town. Anyways, on Friday October 16th, 2010 our bank’s Chief Credit Risk Officer stepped out of the bank at 9:15 PM to go home while talking on his cell phone (oblivious to his surroundings). An armed robber approached him (while there were people standing nearby) and my colleague voluntarily handed over his cell phone, his money (the wallet was returned by the mugger immediately), and his blackberry cell phone as well. Needless to say, my colleague was un-armed and police here suggest that the un-armed citizen should comply with the criminals demands immediately (other than getting into a car with them).
So, after handing over his valuables, the muggers did not leave the scene immediately and kept the pistol pointed at him. This was highly odd behavior. My colleague began sensing that the armed robber was profiling him because of my colleague’s ethnicity and that he might even want to harm him because of that reason (unfortunately there is also a lot of hate crimes). So my colleague grabbed the gunman’s weapon and started to struggle with the robber to defend his life (while people stood by and watched too afraid to intervene due to fear for their own safety). My colleague was successful in pointing the gun away from himself and luckily there were no shots were fired during the struggle. As the robber and my colleague fell to the ground and separated, the robber got up and ran off to the road where an accomplice was waiting for him on a motorbike. Both escaped. Today the same colleague asked me how to get a weapon carrying permit for the second story mentioned below.
Yesterday (October 26th, 2010) my boss, the Group Head of Corporate Banking at our bank, dropped off his guests at the Sheraton Hotel (10:30 at night), which is located in a highly secured vicinity close to the High Court Building, Office of the Chief Minister of Sindh province, the Provincial Governor’s residence, and head quarter of Sindh Rangers (the paramilitary force). The presence of police and paramilitary is extremely high due to the government buildings close by. Also, the hotels themselves including Marriot, Sheraton etc are heavily guarded and have an army of their own private security checking the cars entering their compounds. Due to the time taken for security checks, my boss decided not to take the car inside, and rather drop off his guests on the sidewalk and continue home. In Karachi, the Sheraton is right opposite to another five star local hotel chain known as the Pearl Continental Hotel, which is also heavily secured by private security. Anyways, my boss dropped them off on the sidewalk and as the car moved forward a few meters a gunman on a motorcycle blocked his car to a stand still while another gunman pulled up on a separate motorbike next to the driver’s window. My boss immediately put up his hands in the air to show them that he had no intention of resisting. Then he opened the driver’s side window. The gunman suddenly pistol whipped him on his forehead in an unprovoked attack, broke his glasses, and created a huge gash which required 4 stitches later on. The gunman then proceeded to whip him again on the side of the head a second time and demanded his money and wrist watch, which my boss handed over promptly. Somehow, the gunman did not demand his cell phone and they both fled immediately on motorcycles all in a “heavily guarded” area, while my boss just sat in his car disoriented.
Sorry for the really long stories, but I needed to rant about it to people who know and believe in self preservation and the right to bear arms. I hope and pray to keep my family safe in this environment and that I never have to use by EDC, but in case I do, then I pray to god to keep my hands as steady as possible and give me strength to pull the trigger.