Merry Christmas, Nanny

By Kimberley Jane Wilson
Featured Rightgrrl May 1999
December 23, 1999

What do you get for the person who has everything? That question has bothered me this Christmas, just like it has every Christmas for the last several years. I have a relative -- I'll call her Nanny -- who has just about every gadget, knickknack, and objet d'art ever imagined.

As she's fond of telling me, after more than 70 years of hard work, Nanny has just about everything she's ever wanted. I ended up sending a food basket, but that's not what Nanny needs. The one thing I want to buy her, the one thing she really needs is a gun. Yes, you read right. Nanny needs a gun.

Nanny lives in a neighborhood that was once home to black professionals and proud working class people. Now, except for the elderly residents and a few brave young folks, it's darn close to being a slum.

Ironically, the decline started with desegregation. When the residents were no longer forced to patronize neighborhood stores, they didn't. The few business people who managed to hold on were burned out in the 1968 riots. Nanny's neighborhood boasts entire blocks that look like the proverbial war zone. Smart women no longer walk the streets after dark unless they're accompanied, and if you want to buy crack you won't have to look very hard. Junkies have been known to use people's gardens as bathrooms, and needles and spent bullets litter the flower beds.

No one on Nanny's block has any kind of lawn ornament any more. The crack heads will steal anything that's not too heavy to carry away. Instead, the neighbors all have guard dogs or ADT security stickers in the windows. So far, this seems to be working. Frankly, I'd like nothing better for Nanny than to move away, but this place is her home. She and her late husband lived there for more than thirty years. An alarm system has been installed in her house, but I'd feel a lot better if Nanny had a revolver sitting by her bedside. Why don't I just buy it for her? Gun control. Nanny lives in Washington, DC, a city that has one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. If Nanny is caught with a gun in her home she could go to jail. A few years ago, an elderly DC man used his illegal gun to save his life and the life of his wife when two thugs forced their way into his home. The old man shot one of the bad guys and this persuaded them to leave as quickly as they came. The police arrested the criminals and to the dismay of everyone announced that the brave home owner was to be charged with the possession of a firearm. The neighborhood rallied around him and the story made it into the Washington Post. The image of the frail, frightened looking couple was broadcast on every local news channel and citizens across DC were outraged. The embarrassed police backed off -- this time. DC has a ridiculously high crime rate. It's easy to get mugged and it's even easier, depending on what neighborhood you're in, to get killed. Until Baltimore and later, Detroit took over the title, the District of Columbia used to be known as the murder capitol of America. The criminals obviously are not impressed by the gun laws that bind honest citizens. These predators are not cruising the suburbs where many Congressmen live or through Georgetown or upper Northwest, where the city's rich and mostly white citizens make their homes. No, these guys are busy in neighborhoods like Nanny's. After all, who would a criminal rather attack? An old woman on his own block or a hardy suburbanite who just might be packing a weapon? The fact that she and thousands of fine, upstanding people like her can't legally defend themselves is a miserable shame. All I can do this year, just like every other year, is pray that Nanny will never end up as a victim of gun control. Merry Christmas Nanny. I wish you peace.

(Kimberley Jane Wilson is a member of Project 21 and a conservative writer. She and her husband live in Virginia.)

This article copyright © 1999 by Kimberley Jane Wilson and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.