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Louisiana carjack law allows justice, not lynching

THERE'S a new law on the books in the great state of Louisiana, one that will be sure to get bleeding heart liberals weeping anew.

Louisiana's law allows carjacking victims to use deadly force against their attackers. The bleeding hearts, ever mindful never to miss a chance to put in a kindly word for carjacking dirt balls, went immediately into moaning mode. The law is "a license to kill," they lamented.

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Then there are those of us who are only too happy Louisiana enacted the law. We don't see it as a license to kill. We consider it simply a good statute, one that will render unnecessary the state of Louisiana having to charge law-abiding citizens who choose to defend themselves against carjackers.

And before the bleeding hearts try to portray carjackers as poor, disadvantaged babies who lack opportunity and are misunderstood, let me cite two recent incidents that illustrate how dangerous these reprobates can be.

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It was 1992. Pam Basu, a Howard County resident, was at a stop sign, driving her 22-month-old daughter to her first day of preschool. Two men forced her from her car and tried to drive off with the child still in it. Basu tried to stop them, her arm entangled in the seat belt. The carjackers drove on even as Basu screamed for them to stop and release her child. She was dragged to death.

Two years later, Julie Lombardi was in her car just outside of Malcolm X Elementary School in Northwest Baltimore. A cheap little thug by the name of Xavier Cornelius Wilson approached her car. He fired several shots from a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol into Lombardi's face, breaking her nose, upper jaw and palate.

Wilson got 45 years for shooting Lombardi. Rodney Eugene Soloman and Bernard Eric Miller are serving life terms for the murder of Basu.

Let's change the scenario. Let's say that Basu and Lombardi were armed with .25-caliber pistols at the time their attackers assaulted them. Let's further say that both women used their guns with deadly efficiency, stopping all three with accurate shots that put them in their graves.

I could live with that. It wouldn't cause me any more discomfort than water rolling off a duck's back. It would have been a case of each of these hooligans getting exactly what he deserved at the precise time he deserved it. Louisiana residents, by their law, are simply putting carjackers on notice that they will carjack now at an increased risk to their worthless, miserable lives.

Some folks won't have it that way, of course. As surely as night follows day, somebody introduced race into the debate. Bernie McCain, talk show host for WOLB radio, asked folks during a show last week what they would do if they were victims of a carjacking and they happened to be armed.

As if to show that all black people don't have muddled thinking on this issue, the first few callers said they would respond by pumping as much lead as necessary into the sorry behinds of their attackers. But one caller said the Louisiana statute was a "lynch law." McCain asked the caller to explain.

The caller elaborated that the law targeted black people because most of the carjackers in question were probably black. Some black folks are of the opinion that any crime measure is by definition an anti-black measure. That's why when someone proposed the "three strikes and out" law in federal legislation, some black leaders reacted as if the proposed law was directed at them personally.

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Curious, isn't it, how some of us leap to the defense of blacks who commit crimes as if being black and criminal were all but synonymous? They admit, in essence, what some conservatives who believe in "rational discrimination" have been saying all along: that black folks are congenital criminals, to the cell block born. It's as if they don't know any black folks who have gainful employment, obey the law, raise families and try to better themselves through hard work and education.

I contend such blacks constitute the majority of the African-American population in America. But what can you say about these blacks who are bent on perpetuating the myth that might be summed up thusly: "Dysfunction, thy name is Negro."

We can tell them to take a hike. We can tell them to wake up and smell the java. We can tell them that carjacking is not a color issue but an issue of right and wrong. We can point out that most of the victims of black criminals are other black people, that the Louisiana law is for black Louisiana residents as well as white.

We can end by saying this: The Louisiana law is not a lynch law. It is simply a law that allows for instant justice.

Pub Date: 8/24/97



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