After a video of law enforcement officers acting like utter cowards at the Uvalde school shooting was released, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., claimed that the incident “puts to bed, forever, the question of whether the way to deal with bad guys with guns is to make sure there are more good guys with guns.”
Well, “forever” ended this weekend, when a 22-year-old fatally shot a man armed with an AR-15 who had opened fire in a mall food court in Greenwood, Indiana, killing three. We don’t know all the specifics — and we’ll never know how many lives the Good Samaritan saved — but it is clear Murphy’s assertion was incorrect on two counts: Cops who stand around while children are being slaughtered aren’t “good guys,” but real good guys with guns do exist.
Gun controllers assure us they don’t oppose the Second Amendment, they merely want to pass “common sense” gun laws that take “weapons of war” out of the hands of bad guys. Yet their policy proposals and rhetoric tell us something very different. Anti-gun zealots are so singularly focused on guns, they refuse to even acknowledge that the right to personal self-defense exists. Indeed, they can’t even concede that a person carrying a gun legally (as, it seems, the hero in Indiana did) or obtaining a concealed-carry license — and these people are less likely to engage in criminality than cops — might serve a positive use, like mitigating the tragedy of a mall shooting.
If you think I exaggerate, here is Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, noting that, “when a 22-year-old illegally brings a loaded gun into a mall and kills a mass shooter armed with an AR-15 after he already killed three people and wounded others is not a ringing endorsement of our implementation of the Second Amendment.”
It says something about Watts’ beliefs that she is under the impression the Constitution needs “implementation.” It also says something about her views on public policy that she seems to believe a “loaded gun” is always “illegal” (it wasn’t). More telling is the fact that Watts is unwilling to allow that an armed man saving numerous lives is preferable to having civilians sitting around in a gun-free zone waiting for the police to arrive as a madman shoots at them.
Kris Brown, president of Brady, called the act of civilian self-defense a “vigilante safety net.” Vigilantism is law enforcement “without legal authority.” Does a citizen who has undergone an FBI background check and been fingerprinted by local police have the legal and moral authority to defend themselves, their family, or their community? Brown does not seem to believe that is the case.
The argument forwarded by “experts” that good guys with guns make only a negligible or no difference in mass shootings is highly misleading. Most planned mass shootings target gun-free zones where there is no one to stop them until the police arrive. It is impossible, unless one is a mind-reader, to quantify how often the presence of good guys with guns dissuades murders. It is likely that shooters, suicidal or not, prefer soft targets that allow them to make the most gruesome impact, which is one reason I simply can’t understand why we wouldn’t want to train (willing) teachers to use firearms.
Jack Wilson, a 71-year-old congregant and security volunteer at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, took mere seconds to stop a potential mass murderer a couple of years ago. And Jeanne Assam, a security volunteer at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, dropped a murderer armed with an arsenal, including grenades, who had already killed four people in two churches. There is a woman in West Virginia who stopped a shooting in her apartment complex. A quickly buried Obama-administration CDC study in 2013 found that almost “all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals.”
More concealed carry isn’t a panacea to stop deranged people from shooting up churches, schools, and malls. There is none. That said, those who carry have likely done more to mitigate these tragedies than any gun measure passed or championed by Democrats. Then again, for gun-control advocates, anyone with a weapon is a “bad guy.”