His name is Charles.
Her name was Clara.
Was. Past tense.
The first and last time Charles saw Clara alive, she was being dragged by her hair through the CNN Center in Atlanta. Clara's tormentor ordered Charles out of the way, and instead of standing his ground to defend an obviously distressed woman, he obeyed the thug's order and let them pass.
Charles' choice was to go in search of a guard instead of personally coming to the woman's aid, and the tragic result is that Clara is now dead.
Going to find "help" turned out to be no help at all.
Could Charles have saved Clara? It's possible he could not. Perhaps Charles would have also been a victim. We can never be sure.
What we do know is that Charles obeyed a thug – refused to defend the defenseless – and two people are now dead.
What would you have done?
What would I have done?
There was a time when a majority of American men would almost surely have come to Clara's aid. They believed in an ethic that said, "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter." (Proverbs 24:11)
It was a day when men, recognizing the reality of evil, carried weapons that enabled them to stand in the gap for those being unjustly tormented and threatened. Virtually any man on the street could come to the aid of a victim like Clara.
That was then; this is now.
Charles is probably a good, law-abiding citizen of modern America. Therefore he knows all too well he cannot carry a weapon to defend people like Clara without asking permission of the government.
Long past are the days of George Tucker, a man wounded twice in America's Revolutionary War, who wrote: The right of self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever … the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
Or again, William Rawle, appointed as a U.S. attorney by President George Washington: "No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction, be conceived to give the Congress a power to disarm the people. A flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if, in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either [state or federal government] should attempt it, [the Second] Amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both."
Most Americans today probably couldn't even imagine living when the laws in Virginia made men subject to prosecution for NOT carrying their weapons with them at all times, even (gasp!) being specifically mandated to bring them to church!
Yes, we're a long way from those days, and I wonder if perhaps we've so lost the ability to govern ourselves that we deserve to be helpless in the face of evil.
Yet, as soon as I write that, I come back to a simple truth: Clara didn't deserve to die. She had a perfect right to expect someone – anyone – with a sense of decency and courage to come to her aid in time of need.
Charles did not. No one else did.
We don't have to guess what George Tucker, William Rawle and the other Founding Fathers would say about our "gun control" laws that restrain only the law-abiding.
All we have to do is read their writings.
And perhaps ponder this horrible truth: Clara is dead.
Bob Allen has worked for more than 20 years as a media producer/consultant and voiceover artist. He lives near Nashville, Tenn.