Brian Beutler Shot in DC Mugging

Brian Beutler, Circa July 2007, From FacebookBlogger Brian Beutler was shot in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood Monday night, Greg Sargent reports for TPM.

Brian Beutler, a well-known progressive blogger, was shot and seriously injured during a mugging last night in Washington, D.C.

One bullet damaged Beutler’s spleen, and he had it removed during surgery this morning at the Washington Hospital Center. He’s expected to make a “pre-trauma” recovery, which is to say, a completely full recovery.

[…]

It’s unclear as yet what happened, but the man fired several shots at Beutler. One bullet hit him in the spleen and he was hit twice in the shoulder. A D.C. police official said he wasn’t aware of any arrests made in connection with the shooting.

Brian’s friend and colleague Adele Stan reports that he’s in good spirits and cracking jokes.

Other friends in the close-knit DC blogger-journalist community are weighing in as the news filters out. Megan McArdle, who lives nearby (as is well documented in media accounts, all DC bloggers live in flophouses with, or within close proximity to, Matt Yglesias) isn’t surprised given the deplorable state of crime control in the city.  Julian Sanchez resists the urge to profanity and limits himself to noting Brian’s awesomeness and adding his best wishes.

Most of his friends are joining in Brian’s cheerful response to this incident now that it’s clear he’s out of the woods. Dave Weigel titles his post “Now They Call Him 30 Cent” and notes that there’s a Chuck Norris-style list of “Brian Beutler Facts” being collected, including “Lance Armstrong wears a Brian Beutler bracelet” and “Meatloaf would do that for Brian Beutler.”

Steve Clemons is soliciting financial contributions.

I’ve met Brian but probably don’t know him well enough to inquire as to whether he’s now a conservative, which is purportedly what happens to liberals who get mugged.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. John Burgess says:

    That was indeed the very question I was pondering.

    I’m not familiar with his writings, but would love to know if there’s any shift in attitudes.

    Also, this sounds like a good excuse for concealed carry in the District. As is, only the criminals (and police) have guns. There are more criminals than police. That’s a bad ratio for the law-abiding.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ve met Brian but probably don’t know him well enough to inquire as to whether he’s now a conservative, which is purportedly what happens to liberals who get mugged.

    Contrary to popular belief, liberals aren’t usually in favor of being mugged. I suspect Brian’s feelings on that issue have only been reinforced.

    Also, this sounds like a good excuse for concealed carry in the District. As is, only the criminals (and police) have guns. There are more criminals than police. That’s a bad ratio for the law-abiding.

    How exactly would having a gun in a holster help you when you’re getting mugged? Once the other guy has his gun pointed at you, you’re not exactly going to get the change to pull yours. I suppose if the mugger doesn’t discover your weapon and take that too, you’d have the opportunity to shoot him in the back as he’s running away with your wallet, is that what you where proposing?

  3. John Burgess says:

    Sorry… I clearly neglected to point out (I thought it was obvious) that situational awareness should also be in action. That allows one to avoid many unpleasantnesses, of course, but it also allows one to be ready to defend oneself when required.

    DC government’s promise to be a protective mother ot all has separated a large proportion of its population from common sense. That might also be construed as a flight from personal responsibility for even the most basic of needs. Especially since the DC government cannot fulfill its promise, common sense and personal responsibility should be playing hightened roles.

  4. Michael says:

    Sorry… I clearly neglected to point out (I thought it was obvious) that situational awareness should also be in action. That allows one to avoid many unpleasantnesses, of course, but it also allows one to be ready to defend oneself when required.

    I’m still trying to imagine a situation where one would be aware of the threat early enough to make carrying a weapon useful, and yet remaining unable to avoid that threat after realizing it.

    The only situation I can think of is when you yourself are not the victim, but rather a witness who can intervene on behalf of the victim. I’m not sure how often this would ever be the case during a mugging, I would assume muggers avoid an audience.

  5. JKB says:

    No need to imagine. Here is a recent example of a 71 year old man who turned the tables on two armed thugs and saved his own life as well as the store employee’s life.

    According to Plantation police, two armed men barged into the Subway at 1949 Pine Island Road shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday, demanding money from the employee behind the counter. When they tried to force John Lovell into the bathroom, he pulled out a gun and shot both men, police said. link

    Carrying a weapon gives you capability. The capability to not be at the mercy of a sociopath. The capability to respond to being forced into a bathroom where you are probably going to be shot in the head.

    Imagine yourself not totally dependent on the good graces and compassion of the scum of society.

  6. Boyd says:

    I’m still trying to imagine a situation where one would be aware of the threat early enough to make carrying a weapon useful, and yet remaining unable to avoid that threat after realizing it.

    It happens every day, Michael. While I can understand that you may not be aware of how often it happens, how can you say it’s not useful? Do you plug your fingers in your ears whenever someone talks about a regular, law-abiding person using a gun to protect themselves? It’s rarely reported, but hardly never.

    Just so you’ll know, the low-end estimate of defensive uses of a firearm (which includes merely showing (uncovering) it, pulling it from a holster or other storage location, or actually firing it) is hundreds of thousands of times a year. Yes, that’s the low-end estimate.

  7. Bithead says:

    Michael;

    If you know carrying a gun is against the law, you have a pretty fair idea that the a victim won’t respond by shooting you. Therefore you feel a bit more free about mugging someone. If, OTOH you know that a high number of people are armed, you’re less likely to try to mug someone.

    DO we really need to explain this kind of basic to you?

  8. Michael says:

    It happens every day, Michael. While I can understand that you may not be aware of how often it happens, how can you say it’s not useful? Do you plug your fingers in your ears whenever someone talks about a regular, law-abiding person using a gun to protect themselves? It’s rarely reported, but hardly never.

    No, I’m saying that in this case it would not have likely helped the victim if he were carrying a gun.

    JKB’s example is inline with my supposition that it would be useful if you yourself were not the one at gun point, but rather are a witness to someone else who is.

    For what it’s worth, I support gun ownership and concealed carry laws, though I myself do not own one.

  9. Michael says:

    If you know carrying a gun is against the law, you have a pretty fair idea that the a victim won’t respond by shooting you. Therefore you feel a bit more free about mugging someone.

    Do you have studies showing that gun crimes are higher in locations where it is illegal to carry? I’m skeptical as to whether these criminals perform a risk assessment before choosing their actions.

    If, OTOH you know that a high number of people are armed, you’re less likely to try to mug someone.

    If you are going to mug somebody regardless of risk, which again I think is the case more often than not, it only makes you more likely to consider the potential victim a threat to your life, and maybe you just shoot first and then rob. Again, I don’t know what the studies say on this, do you?

  10. James Joyner says:

    I’m skeptical as to whether these criminals perform a risk assessment before choosing their actions.

    Actually, you’re not:

    I would assume muggers avoid an audience.

  11. Amy says:

    The studies show no statistical difference in gun-related violent crime rates when cities and localities change their gun laws. Some studies show slight upticks in certain kinds of crimes in some localities, some show slight declines in certain kinds of crimes in some places, but the overall picture is that changing the availability of guns to law abiding citizens does not make criminals more or less likely to use guns to commit crimes.

  12. Michael says:

    Actually, you’re not:

    I’m skeptical that they do a risk assessment before deciding to commit a crime, but not in their choosing of victims or locations. Picking the victim and the location won’t change whether they assume nobody has a gun, or that everybody has a gun.

  13. James Joyner says:

    I’m skeptical that they do a risk assessment before deciding to commit a crime, but not in their choosing of victims or locations. Picking the victim and the location won’t change whether they assume nobody has a gun, or that everybody has a gun.

    But, presumably, one robs people in dark alleys rather than, say, knocking off banks, because they’ve done a risk/reward calculation. One imagines that they likewise chose comparatively weak victims over apparently strong ones. Why wouldn’t they prefer to take on unarmed vice armed victims?

  14. Michael says:

    But, presumably, one robs people in dark alleys rather than, say, knocking off banks, because they’ve done a risk/reward calculation. One imagines that they likewise chose comparatively weak victims over apparently strong ones. Why wouldn’t they prefer to take on unarmed vice armed victims?

    But again, if you must either assume that everybody is, or that nobody is, the decision factors don’t change.

  15. Bithead says:

    Do you have studies showing that gun crimes are higher in locations where it is illegal to carry?

    Sure.

    There have been many studies and papers published in academic journals regarding the effects of various concealed carry laws on crime rate[27]. Academics have also taken the discussion to books, blogs, and oral debates.

    In his book, More Guns, Less Crime, pro-gun scholar John Lott’s analysis of crime report data has shown some statistically significant effects of concealed carry laws. One major conclusion was that locations which enacted more permissive concealed carry laws had a decrease in violent crime but an increase in property crime. The possible reasons for this rise in property crime are twofold:

    * Property crimes include trespassing, and concealed-carry statutes that include prohibited-area laws introduce the possibility of trespass where the individual would otherwise be in violation of a weapons law by carrying concealed (e.g. unlawful carry) or would not carry and be lawful.
    * Concealed carry allows potential victims of violent crime to prevent such crime; as a result, the assailant, if not fatally shot, is instead charged with a property crime such as burglary instead of homicide.

    In both cases, crime is reduced overall, and criminal activity that does occur is recategorized as to type and severity because of the effects of the change in law.

    Don Kates summarizes the consensus reached by criminological research into gun control thus:

    “Unfortunately, an almost perfect inverse correlation exists between those who are affected by gun laws, particularly bans, and those whom enforcement should affect. Those easiest to disarm are the responsible and law abiding citizens whose guns represent no meaningful social problem. Irresponsible and criminal owners, whose gun possession creates or exacerbates so many social ills, are the ones most difficult to disarm.”[28]

    Regardless of the interpretation of statistics, the trend in the United States has been towards greater permissiveness of concealed carry[citation needed]. In Florida, which first introduced “shall-issue” concealed carry laws, crimes committed against residents dropped markedly upon the general issuance of concealed-carry licenses,[29] which had the unintended consequence of putting tourists in Florida driving marked rental cars at risk from criminals since tourists may be readily presumed unarmed[citation needed]. Florida responded by enacting laws prohibiting the obvious marking of rental cars. In 1991, the Luby’s massacre prompted Texas lawmakers to pass a concealed carry law that came into effect in 1995.[30]

    Research comparing various countries’ violent crime rates, murder rates, and crimes committed with weapons, have found that legal ownership of guns, including concealed carry guns, generally reduces crime rates.[31][28]

  16. Michael says:

    So, one pro-carry guy’s non-scientific book is enough evidence for you?

  17. Bithead says:

    Hardly, and you should know better than to ask.
    The pattern has been noted years before that particular book came out.