A May 15 story in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) serves as a good reminder of how a person’s support for gun control often changes after a personal experience with crime.
State Representative Michael DeBose (D-12) of Cleveland was an opponent of Right-to-Carry, having voted against the measure twice. All that changed on the night of May 1, when he was confronted by two men, one of whom was wielding a gun. On that night, Rep. DeBose’s sense of security in his neighborhood changed, as did his view on lawful citizens being able to defend themselves.
Rep. DeBose was lucky—this time—that his running, screaming, and summons for help prevented him from being harmed. When asked how this recent experience may change the prism through which he views Right-to-Carry, Rep. DeBose was crystal clear: "I was wrong. I'm going to get a permit and so is my wife. I've changed my mind. You need a way to protect yourself and your family. I don't want to hurt anyone. But I never again want to be in the position where I'm approached by someone with a gun and I don't have one. There are too many people who are just evil and mean-spirited. They will hurt you for no reason. If more people were packing guns, it might serve as a deterrent.”
We welcome Rep. DeBose to the growing list of Right-to-Carry converts. While it is too bad it took a life-threatening situation to convert him, we hope he will share his experience, and his newfound respect for the right to self-defense, with his other colleagues who still don’t get it. It is our hope they won’t have to endure a similar experience to do so.