During Tuesday night’s gubernatorial debate between New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, the Democrat tried to convince voters that cracking down on legal gun owners is the same as getting tough on violent criminals; touting her move to ban the sale of so-called assault weapons to adults under the age of 21 and highlighting the new concealed carry restrictions that she helped ram through the state legislature in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen striking down the state’s “may issue” permitting process.
While Hochul was trying to make the case that preventing responsible gun owners from being able to exercise their right to carry is beneficial to public safety, however, an incident in Largo, Florida that unfolded just a few hours before the debate in New York once again proved the value of the right to bear arms; not only for self-defense but for the defense of others as well.
A bystander drew his gun on a man accused of beating and stomping on his pregnant girlfriend outside a Publix super market, ending the “brutal” attack, Florida deputies say. The incident occurred around 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, in the parking lot of the Largo grocery store, according to an arrest affidavit. The woman told Pinellas County deputies that her boyfriend, Cole Danisment, 27, got angry and punched her in the face repeatedly. She fell to the ground, and Danisment is then accused of stomping on her head and upper body.
The woman told deputies that Danisment knew she was 14 weeks pregnant with his unborn child. A man who witnessed the attack said he feared for the woman’s life, prompting him to intervene. Danisment didn’t stop brutalizing the woman until the witness pulled a gun on him, according to the affidavit.
According to police, Danisment had a no-contact order issued just last week after another domestic violence arrest that prohibited him from being anywhere near the woman he allegedly assaulted. That court order didn’t stop him from allegedly carrying out the brutal assault of his girlfriend, obviously. It took a stranger who was lawfully carrying concealed to bring the attack to a close without it escalating any further.
Under the concealed carry restrictions imposed by Kathy Hochul and her anti-gun allies in the New York legislature, that armed citizen would have been committing a felony offense if he’d saved that woman from being assaulted in a grocery store parking lot in Albany or Westchester County. Private property is considered a “gun-free zone” by default under New York’s new laws, and unless the grocery store had explicitly posted signage allowing concealed carry on the premises the armed citizen’s life-saving actions would likely have been “celebrated” with his arrest and prosecution.
The sad truth is that Kathy Hochul’s “public safety” measures have largely been aimed at restricting the public’s ability to protect themselves and others. Even now she and her buddies like Attorney General Letitia James are fighting in court to prevent responsible gun owners from exercising their right to carry, including pastors who were previously able to carry at church, arguing that by making it illegal to do so the law will somehow stop determined killers from invading the sanctuary and targeting the parishioners inside. In Hochul’s view, no one is really responsible enough to carry a firearm for self-defense, so their ability must be curtailed and criminalized as much as possible.
As we once again saw in Florida on Tuesday night, that kind of mentality puts good people at risk. Armed citizens save lives, and I hope that voters across the country reject the anti-gun ideology offered by Democrats like Hochul on Election Day.