by Patrick Appel

Brian Beutler reflects on getting shot and nearly dying back in 2008:

[T]he moment I woke up in the hospital I promised myself I wouldn’t let what happened change the way I approached life. I wouldn’t flee the city. I wouldn’t start looking over my shoulder. I wouldn’t let it affect my views on race or crime or guns, both because I liked the way my life had been taking shape, but also because at a fundamental level I knew I’d just been profoundly unlucky. Even in a high crime city like D.C. most people going about their business on any given day or year or decade don’t get shot. Mugged, maybe, not shot.

The experience hasn’t made him a supporter of racial profiling:

You can’t tell victims how they should react to the crimes committed against them. That’s wrong, and anyhow it’s largely out of their control. But to anyone whose instinct is to crouch defensively and treat everyone who resembles their attackers like criminals, I’m living proof that there’s another way.

Everyone who’s ever shot me was black and wearing a hoodie. There just aren’t any reasonable inferences to draw from that fact.