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The Congressional Baseball Shooting Only Proves We Need Less Gun Control

When attacks like the Congressional baseball shooting happen, many people call for more restrictions. But disarming citizens doesn’t also disarm criminals.


After a gunman opened fire early this morning on Republicans practicing for the congressional baseball game, people immediately—and predictably—started calling for more gun control. But the Alexandria shooting is a prime example of why we actually need less.

The crux lies in a statement from Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who was present at the scene: “[The gunman] would’ve had a tremendous advantage if we didn’t have someone returning fire.”

Because of the presence of Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who is among congressional leadership, an armed security detail was on site. This means that when alleged shooter James Hodgkinson opened fire, people immediately started shooting back.

When tragedies like this happen, it’s many people’s reaction to call for more laws and restrictions. But stopping lawbreakers from obtaining firearms is not possible. Disarming citizens doesn’t also disarm criminals. And the best defense against a gun is another gun.

Being able to take out a shooter quickly and from a distance can stop a massacre in its tracks. Just ask the Uber driver who stopped a gunman in 2015. Or the man who shot a gunman in a bar in 2016. Or the man who killed a shooter after he opened fire in a restaurant in 2008. Or really anyone on these two lists, who used guns to stop home invaders, personal assailants, and even wider gunmen.

This time, it was an official security response that stopped the shooting. This time, people started returning fire. This time, people are okay. But few people have a personal security detail. Not everybody gets a three-minute response time from police. What about them?