St. Louis, Missouri Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe has been named CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for February.
“Alderman Troupe has called upon citizens to arm themselves to protect their lives and property from violent, predatory criminals,” said John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director. “For stating this in the face of an anti-gun political establishment and for the support his statement provides generally for gun rights, we think he truly deserves this Award. Joe Waldron, former CCRKBA Executive Director, and now CCRKBA Legislative Director, nominated Alderman Troupe for this distinction.”
Alderman Troupe’s action comes in the midst of the ongoing controversy over gun rights.
For quite some time now, gun rights activists and other supporters of the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms have been engaged with gun control advocates and firearm prohibitionists on a number of fronts.
One of the most significant of these areas of conflict revolves around the question of whether or not in this day and age the private possession of firearms, especially handguns, is necessary.
Many gun grabbers maintain that, while firearms historically may have served a useful purpose, that historic time is long since past. Guns, and the private possession of firearms, they say, no longer serve a useful purpose, and their private possession ought to be severely restricted or outright prohibited.
We gun rights activists, on the other hand, reject that view as erroneous, if not downright ridiculous, and point out that the individual right to keep and bear arms is as necessary today as it ever was.
We know that only armed citizens can protect themselves and other citizens from perpetrators of criminal violence, especially violence from armed criminals.
We know that, in order for innocent individuals and civil society to be protected from those who prey upon the innocent, law-abiding citizens must be free to arm themselves. It’s really a matter of common sense, although a number of academic studies, such as those by John R. Lott, Jr., outlined in More Guns Less Crime, demonstrate statistically that this is true.
Alderman Troupe, 72, certainly seems to agree. He said he was frustrated with the police response to rising crime when he called upon residents early in December to arm themselves to protect their lives and property.
Alderman Troupe said police are ineffective, outnumbered or don’t care about the increase in crime in his north St. Louis ward, according to the Associated Press. AP reports St. Louis had 157 homicides in 2008, as of the time of Alderman Troupe’s statement. That was 33 more than in 2007 as of the same time of the year.
“The community has to be ready to defend itself, because it’s clear the economy is going to get worse, and criminals are getting more bold,” Troupe said.
Troupe said that when he and residents approached a district police commander in 2007, they were told “there was nothing he could do protect us and the community…that he didn’t have the manpower.”
For 24 years, Troupe was a state legislator from the city of St. Louis, serving in the General Assembly. He was forced out of his seat by a terms limitation provision in state law. While a state representative, Troupe was a member of the Health Facilities Review Committee, Certificate of Need, in the House of Representatives. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA).
Troupe, an African American, says he made a point of fighting against discrimination against rural and urban poor of any race, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Troupe is Vice President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788.
Troupe’s call for citizens to arm themselves for self-protection, even agreeing to the advisability of obtaining permits to carry, is engendering some opposition from gun control advocates who point out that Troupe has filed for reelection.
Troupe, however, says he’s been running for office for 30 years now, and his pro-right to self-defense opinions, now getting national attention, are opinions he’s expressed publicly for years.
While leading a KSDK news crew on a tour of his ward recently, Troupe said he’s fed up with crime in the north St. Louis neighborhoods he represents.
He says the issue is one of self-preservation.
“I don’t think more guns are going to make north St. Louis any more dangerous,” says Troupe. “I think if the citizens are armed it’s going to make north St. Louis more dangerous for the criminal element.”