Think Progress editor: Conservatives are thrilled a Chicago woman defended herself with a gun

Last Tuesday a 25-year-old woman in Chicago was waiting at the bus stop in the early morning when she was approached by a 19-year-old man with a gun. The Chicago Tribune describes what happened next:

Laavion Goings Jr. was out of jail only two months when the 19-year-old walked up to a bus stop about a block from his home, pulled out a gun and tried to rob a woman on the Far South Side.

But the woman had a gun too and fired first, hitting Goings in the chest, according to Chicago police. The teen ran back to his home and made it as far as a stairwell in the foyer of a building before collapsing in the 400 block of West 103rd Street.

That’s where officers found him shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, just minutes after the shooting. He died within an hour at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Video from across the street apparently captured the incident so police know exactly what happened. The intended victim had a concealed carry permit for her gun so she is not in any trouble with authorities. This is a clear case of self-defense.

Enter Zack Ford, an editor at Think Progress who was outrageously outraged that conservatives at the Dailly Caller were celebrating the fact that a woman defended herself with a gun against an armed mugger. (As I was writing this, Ford deleted all of his tweets, but screenshots exist.)

By the time I saw that tweet it had about 4,000 responses and fewer than 200 had liked it. Truly a ratio for the ages. When Zack was called on this by his own followers he doubled down (from here).

So she shouldn’t have had a gun even in this case where she used it to defend herself against an armed mugger. What was she supposed to do then, exactly? If you guessed ‘not fight back’ then you’re tracking well with Zack Ford’s mindset (from here):

She should have “let him rob her.” That’s a great piece of armchair quarterbacking from a guy who probably hasn’t ever had a gun pointed at him. What happens if, having collected her purse, the mugger decides to drag her around the corner and rape her? Should she let that happen too? What if he’s high and shoots her for no real reason? The point is, Zack Ford has no idea what would have happened next if the woman hadn’t been armed. More importantly, she had no idea either. All she knew in that moment was that a man was pointing a gun at her and making demands.

It’s worth noting that this guy has been in trouble with the law before. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Laavion Goings had been released from Cook County Jail two months earlier after pleading guilty to a drug charge and was on probation at the time of the robbery, according to authorities.

Goings pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to possession of methamphetamine, Cook County court records showed. He had initially also faced six counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer in connection with the same case, but the charges were later dropped by prosecutors.

To be very clear, I’m not suggesting he deserved to die. I am suggesting that he had a record and a history of violent, unpredictable behavior that would make it unwise for a young woman to wait around and see what he decides to do after he pulls a gun. Dana Loesch had a pretty sharp response along these lines:

But if you think it’s just the NRA that supports this kind of self-defense, think again. I watched three different local news reports on this story (two of them are below) and all of the local residents say the woman did the right thing (and many believe the mugger got what he deserved). Note, these were all black, Chicago residents who are probably not arch-conservatives or NRA members. One older gentleman in the 2nd clip below says, “I don’t feel sorry for the guy at all, I feel sorry for her.”

At some point, someone must have gotten through to Zack Ford. He deleted his tweets and posted this apology thread:

Again, Ford is the only person who made this about conservatives. I’m guessing that’s a knee-jerk reaction of his.

He sounds sincere but, needless to say, we don’t live in an ideal world and never will. In the real world, a gun is an equalizer for women who are, on average, smaller and not as physically strong as men.

For myself, I stand with the woman at the bus stop who was out before 6 am to go to work and was put in a terrible position by a man with a gun. She defended herself and that’s good news. I also stand with the neighborhood that is very glad she escaped harm thanks in part to her concealed carry permit.

A young woman in this first clip says, “I’m kind of proud that, like, that’s what she did, cause she stuck up for herself.” An older woman adds, “We don’t owe the offender anything.”

Here’s another clip from the same station featuring more reactions from local residents.