When criminals attack
Don’t you just love criminal on criminal violence. Because that’s what happened here — at least, if you believe in the stern and impassioned rules meant to keep us all safe from criminals. Because the truth is, sometimes people have to die in an effort to maintain the cloying symbolism pushed by the effortlessly sanctimonious social engineers. NRO:
More might have died if doctor had not shot gunman” — so read the headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 27. On the previous Thursday, a patient, Richard Plotts, entered the office of his psychiatrist, Lee Silverman, M.D., with his caseworker, Theresa Hunt. Plotts then became very upset and killed Hunt with two shots to her head. While this was happening, Dr. Silverman tried to take cover, drew his handgun, and shot the attacker three times. The doctor suffered slight wounds from bullets that grazed his head and hit his thumb. Staffers then succeeded in subduing the wounded Plotts. He was hospitalized in critical condition and now faces murder charges.
District attorney Jack Whelan said: “If Dr. Silverman did not have the firearm and did not utilize the firearm, he’d be dead today. And other people would be dead.” In fact, the doctor had breached the facility’s “no firearms” policy by carrying a weapon with him to work. The facility released a statement saying that it looked forward to his “return to serving patients at our hospital.”
— Wait, what? Uh, time out. Dr. Silverman knew he wasn’t allowed to carry a firearm. The hospital had a clearly-stated “no firearms” policy. And yet not only was he carrying one, but he used it — and another human was harmed! How dare they so casually allow that they’ll let his transgression slide and take him back with such open arms. After all, how many students, eg., in zero-tolerance zones have been expelled for having butter knives in their backpacks? As well they should be! Rules are rules are rules are rules!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m OUTRAGED here. Since when do the ends justify the means?
Plotts had a previous record of violence, including suicide attempts, and he has been involuntarily committed twice to psychiatric care, most recently last year. He was a convicted felon, with two gun-related convictions, and he had served time in prison for bank robbery. His violent behavior had led a local homeless shelter to fban him, and he had caused previous trouble at the hospital. In another article, Plotts’s ex-wife described him as abusive and violent, and she also has said that she remains afraid of him 15 years after their divorce. What was he doing with a firearm? Oh, of course: It was illegal. Convicted felons are prohibited by law from owning a weapon.
Theresa Hunt, by all accounts, was a dedicated, caring woman who made it her life’s mission to help those in need of mental-health care and social services. She recognized the risk she faced from unstable patients. She probably died instantly.
In deciding to carry a loaded handgun at his workplace, Dr. Silverman judged that he would be wise to ignore the hospital’s no-guns policy. No one should fault him for this. Perhaps he recognized that it was more important to protect lives than to trust in the false promises of safety offered by “gun-free zones.” Every year mental-health professionals are assaulted by clients, and some are killed. Psychiatrists are the physicians most likely to encounter unpredictably dangerous patients. With the exception of threats and one knock-down, I have been spared so far. But I do know a colleague whose patient shot himself dead in the psychiatrist’s office, and a patient of mine slashed her throat in the waiting room of my clinic. Contrast Dr. Silverman’s experience with that of Kathryn Faughey and Kent Shinbach, two doctors who were unarmed when attacked by a delusional schizophrenic patient in 2008. In that assault, Dr. Faughey was killed and Dr. Shinbech was injured.
The hospital’s announcement that it will welcome Dr. Silverman back once he recovers is amazing compared with the usual treatment of employees who choose self-defense over death and end up being fired for breaching no-gun rules. Dr. Silverman and the staffers exercised a good dose of ordinary, self-preserving common sense — and in doing so they became extraordinary heroes.
Heroes? This “doctor” shot a man. He forgot “first do no harm,” and he also forget “and second, don’t you dare ever make the liberal ‘no gun zone’ abominations look bad.” For this he should be excommunicated from the community of the scolding, secularly pious, and disinvited to any and all future galas in which the right kinds of people attend.
Is it okay that he’s not dead? Sure, fine. But that doesn’t mean he should be allowed to stick around with those who’ve never faced the real threat of a gun — but know it to be small, and certainly not a problem severe enough to justify a supposed ongoing right that was originally meant for farmers carrying muskets to scare off raccoons and the like — to drink their wines or eat their fois gras and bacon-wrapped scallops.
The man has blood on his hands and when he decided not to become a symbol of the need for ever more “gun control,” he hurt the cause of progressivism. And that simply can’t be forgiven.