Plain Truth About Mass Shootings

04Oct15

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I’m well aware of how horrible and tragic school shootings are. I’ve studied school shootings, trained as a cop on how to respond to school shootings, and trained other cops on how to respond to school shootings. As a father of two elementary-age children, one high schooler and one college student, and as the husband of a former teacher, son of a retired teacher and brother to a current teacher, I’m extremely concerned about the safety of school students and staff. I’m well aware that easy availability of guns is a significant factor in the seemingly endless stream of school and mass shootings. I’m aware that a lunatic pounding on a computer keyboard in his mother’s basement is a simple nuisance, but a lunatic with a grudge against the world and a gun is a guaranteed tragedy.

But I oppose new gun control laws.

The anti-gun side needs to understand something. Pro-2nd Amendment people like me aren’t pro-mass murder. I have a hard time imagining a bigger piece of human excrement than a man who would intentionally murder even one innocent, terrified, defenseless child. One of the hardest things I’ve ever read was a survivor’s account of a little boy’s last words at Sandy Hook: “Help me! I don’t want to be here!”, to which the shooter responded, “Well, you’re here,” before killing him. I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if my child had been in that school.

Unlike many fellow 2A supporters, I don’t blame parents of murdered children for demanding stricter gun laws. They’ve just lost a child, in one of the most horrible ways possible. They’re going to lash out. They’re going to pick the easiest and most obvious target for their rage, frustration and grief. I understand why those parents feel the way they do, and why they say the things they say.

But I still oppose new gun control laws.

Here’s a sad, crappy fact: laws don’t do anything by themselves. Actual humans are required to take actual actions to make people follow laws. For example, any legally-declared “gun free zone” (GFZ) can only be made gun-free if access is controlled by people, usually people with guns, who ensure anyone entering doesn’t have a gun (an airport, for example). But if we declare a school a GFZ, then don’t establish airport-like security, we’re not keeping guns out. We’re simply wishing them away. And no child will be protected by a Gun Free Wish.

Likewise, any suggestion for regulating gun sales, possessions or transfers from this point forward won’t magically eliminate the hundreds of millions of guns already in existence. If a lunatic has a gun today, and a law banning lunatics from having guns is passed tomorrow, the lunatic will still have the gun the day after tomorrow. Legislation doesn’t change the laws of physics. It doesn’t alter reality.

This isn’t just my opinion. Even Vice President Joe Biden, gun control champion, admitted it during the push for new gun laws after the Sandy Hook shooting.

If we’re going to make a real effort to stop mass shootings, let’s at least acknowledge reality. A man intent on mass murder and suicide isn’t going to be deterred by jail time, or signs on walls, or even locked doors (the Sandy Hook murderer easily shot his way through a plate glass window). The only thing that can prevent a mass murderer from entering a school is heavy security and people with guns; if we’re not going to make every school half prison and half airport (and we’re not), then any aspiring murderer who wants to bring in a gun can bring in a gun. If that murderer gets in, and starts shooting, the ONLY sure way to make them stop is the immediate application of overwhelming force.

At Sandy Hook, the shooter shot through this window to bypass the locked door

At Sandy Hook, the shooter shot through this window to bypass the locked door

Police who arrive five minutes after shots are fired can’t apply that force quickly enough. SWAT teams who arrive thirty minutes later can’t do it. Only the intended victims, the people who are eye to eye with the murderer, can react in seconds and put the murderer down.

Antoinette Tuff talked Michael Brandon Hill out of committing mass murder at an Atlanta school in 2013. She was a hero, and Michael Hill was a pathetic loser who wasn’t committed to murder. He had a murder fantasy, found out the reality of facing terrified teachers and being shot at by police wasn’t as much fun as he expected, and gave up. Plenty of wishful idealists rightfully praised Tuff, but wrongfully concluded “you don’t need a gun to stop a mass murderer with an AK-47.” Anyone who thinks we should make a policy of “let’s talk the killer out of killing us”, to put it mildly, is an amazingly dedicated idiot.

Sometimes unarmed people have stopped mass killers, like at the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona. Amazingly dedicated idiots at Slate, Mother Jones, Addicting Info and other sites have repeatedly pointed out incidents where unarmed people took down mass shooters, and concluded victims are better off unarmed against a mass shooter. But untrained and unequipped people sometimes put out fires too. Untrained and unequipped people save lives in medical emergencies. That’s not because it’s better to be untrained and unequipped. It’s because sometimes trained and equipped people aren’t there, so people with no training or equipment have to do something. None of those situations are made better by the lack of firefighters or doctors, and no mass shooter incident was made better by the lack of armed good guys willing and able to immediately fight back.

Hero Chris Mintz, who was unarmed and tried to block the Oregon college shooter from entering a room. Mintz was shot seven times. Bravery is not enough.

Hero Chris Mintz, who was unarmed and tried to block the Oregon college shooter from entering a room. Mintz was shot seven times. Bravery is not enough.

The bottom line is that the only sure way to quickly stop a mass shooter is for the intended victims to draw, take careful aim, and engage until the shooter is no longer capable of committing murder. That’s it. Laws can’t do it. Signs on walls pronouncing “Gun Free Zone” are about as effective as signs that say “Mass Murder Followed by Suicide is Not Allowed on These Premises”. Policemen like me who arrive long after the murders commence can eventually stop a mass shooting, but not before many innocent lives are lost. The only sure way to quickly stop lunatics with guns from committing mass murder – the ONLY sure way – is to allow and expect the innocent to defend themselves.

I have an honest, reasonable message for the anti-gun side: I get your point. I understand what you’re trying to do. I want to prevent murders just as much as you. It sucks that innocent people, especially our children, might be targeted by an armed lunatic. It sucks to think average, decent people in schools, malls, churches and elsewhere need to carry guns to defend themselves and others from the unthinkable. It sucks, and life shouldn’t be that way.

You know what sucks worse? What sucks worse is to look back at a long history of mass shootings, realize that laws and passive measures failed to prevent them, and then demand more laws and passive measures that we already know won’t prevent the next one.

If we’re serious about stopping the next mass shooter, let’s make sure he knows he won’t face a room full of defenseless victims. Let’s not give him total control during the long police response time. Let’s make him fear his intended victims, instead of allowing him to feel godlike power over them. Let’s make sure any pathetic, cowardly loser who thinks he’ll “be somebody” by committing mass murder has to factor in the likelihood of being shot down like a rabid dog within seconds of drawing his gun.

Let’s allow and expect the innocent to carry a gun and protect themselves from a murderer. That’s the only way we can prevent another massacre.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).

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107 Responses to “Plain Truth About Mass Shootings”

  1. 1 Mark W

    Another excellent piece Chris! Just a comment to further. An interesting point and reasoning I heard from a FBI profiler commenting in the media after this tragedy was that among several other mental disorders and dysfunctional behavior, these killing monsters in their sick minds are looking for and wanting “glory and recognition” in the history books. Just as was the case as the first school mass shooting in Columbine. My hat is off to the Sheriff at an early news briefing that the “name” of the shooter would never be used or uttered by any of his officers or staff. But the media did quickly as soon as the killer’s identity was discovered. To hell with Freedom of the Press in these cases. Lets not give these monsters anything but death. No names. How about the anti gun movement take that on for a law on that. Call it the no name law. And that is what these sicko’s can be reduced to. No name!

    • Mental illness as the cause? You got that either from (a) the media, or (b) complete ignorance. Probably a combination of the two.

      • Jared Loughner, James Huberty, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and many other mass murderers would probably argue that mental illness is a huge factor in mass shootings. There are perfectly sane mass shooters (Harris and Klebold at Columbine, for example), but for the intended victims, the response should be the same for a sane shooter as for a crazy one: draw, aim, engage until the threat goes away.

        • 4 Mark W

          Sorry Chris, I believe it would be hard pressed to declare klebold and Harris “perfectly sane” as Klebold’s medical files remain sealed and a friend of Klebold witnessed Klebold taking antidepressants Paxil and Zolof before the tragedy. Harris was taking Luvox which was found in his system during autopsy. Harris was obsessed with suicide weeks before Columbine. Yes I agree draw aim engage is the answer until the threat goes away. If everyone carries and elims the threat, I still believe these sickos do not need to be named in the media….asshole 1 and asshole 2 and so on is fine with me. Reduce them in history to asshole numbers. As far as wholesight comment goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but everyone is not entitled to their own set of facts. Facts are Klebold and Harris were doing psychiatric drugs before the tragedy.

    • I was happy to see the Oregon police response. I thought it was smart, but apparently we’re only as smart as our 24 hour news cycle lets us be.

      • 6 Otpu

        I like the some asshole movement. Henceforth all shooters shall referred to in all reports as “some asshole”. If more information is requested his middle name is Dickless.

  2. “Only the intended victims, the people who are eye to eye with the murderer, can react in seconds and put the murderer down.”

    Wild Wild West thinking.

    Some of us don’t want to live in that kind of world.

    It’s for good reason that people from England, Australia, and other places that are not war zones shake their heads about obsession for gun ownership in the U.S.

    What’s worst is that someone like you, a conservative with a sharp brain, isn’t using it to change the situation in a real way. You are keeping us stuck in the status quo.

    Death + death = death. Same old.

    I won’t comment beyond this because the twain is too big between us. Wish I knew how two sides so utterly opposed could communicate, but at the moment I don’t. I can only say your views make me sad.

    • Here’s a respectful suggestion on where to start.

      Britain and Australia have fewer of these incidents involving guns because they adopted policies of compulsory confiscation decades ago, but they had fewer than 1M firearms in both countries to begin with. The US has over 300M, and a constitutional protection for those firearms. Realistically, that is not going to change. It simply isn’t. The gun genie isn’t going to be put back in the bottle in this country.

      I don’t think any of us live in the world that we would ideally want it to be, but when you ask those who support the status quo to change the status quo, your expectations are setting yourself up for disappointment. You see a clear moral imperative that a majority in this country don’t share. It’s the same moral disappointment that the pro-life movement deals with all the time.

      However, unless you know of a way to amend or repeal the Second Amendment, hopefully with less bloodshed than we’re trying to fix, we have to look within the framework that we have to find ways to deal with these incidents.

      Chris offered solutions within the framework that obviously disappoint you. What are yours?

      • 13 DrewfromOz

        Actually, as an Aussie, I want to jump in on the statistics thing. In 1996, when we had our last mass shooting (35 dead) laws were enacted,heavily restricting self loading rifles and shotguns, and pump action shotguns(lever shotties were left alone, go figure…..) and a buyback commenced of those weapon types. Licensing and storage requirements were increased a lot too.
        Before then, we had way more than 2.5 million firearms – most folks who surrendered their semis immediately went out and bought another, legal weapon to replace it.
        Upshot, by most estimates we have more firearms now, than we did in 96. Over 3 million now. Granted, nothing like the US, but 3 million for a population of 22 million is far from “Aussies gave up all their guns”
        Both pro and anti gunners in the US play fast and loose with the truth of statistics- easy to see when they start talking about Australia.

        • Thanks Drew. I think I conflated the UK and Australia here, and like you said, there’s a lot of poor information being thrown around. I’ll be more careful for my part.

        • 15 Brocky

          I’m glad you straightened that out. Americans usually always don’t get the facts right when they are talking guns and places like Britain, Australia, Canada. Death by firearms, homicide or accident, in those and other countries with gun regulations are far far lower per capita than in the US. And Yes, people in those countries can own guns. Granted, America is a totally different beast but gun control and regulations does in fact save lives. The US has laws and regulations concerning all other things but when it comes to guns it’s like a free for all? As for their second amendment…,just as important as hockey sticks in Canada or boomerangs in Australia mind you, protecting their guns is more important than protecting human lives? It’s like their second amendment is the holy grail or a god or the most precious thing in human history. It is only words on paper… change it, amend it, who cares? The people who wrote that Amendment are probably turning over in their graves right now and saying “Nooooooooooo…we were talking about one shot muskets.”

          • The people who wrote the 2nd Amendment were extremely concerned with the citizenry being able to resist the kind of tyranny they had just overthrown. They wrote about citizens in Europe using “pitchfork against cannon.” It’s highly unlikely they would think American citizens today should only be able to own muskets.

          • 17 Peter

            One shot muskets at the time of the writing, signing, and ratification of the 2nd amendment, were **military grade assault weapons** common in many, many households. Where as the AR-15 may LOOK like a Military Assault Rifle, but that’s it. Military firearms can fire bursts or fully automatically. Hence the Supreme Court saying that the AR-15 is a common use firearm protected by the 2nd amendment.

            They said “Arms”. Not musket. They knew the word musket, but didn’t include it, but why? Could it be that they had a few brain cells to rub together to come to the conclusion that technology might advance? Things might change? But the word “Arms” will always mean weapons. Purposely ambiguous.

    • “Some of us don’t want to live in that kind of world.”

      You already live in that kind of world. I don’t want to live in a world where the sun rises in the east, because it’s in my eyes while I drive to work. Guess what? Nobody cares what you or I want.

      Frankly, I’m surprised you’d even bring up what you “want”, as if that has any bearing at all on life and death issues.

      “It’s for good reason that people from England, Australia, and other places that are not war zones shake their heads about obsession for gun ownership in the U.S.”

      It’s also for good reason that so many of people from those countries choose to live here instead of there.

      “What’s worst is that someone like you, a conservative with a sharp brain, isn’t using it to change the situation in a real way. You are keeping us stuck in the status quo.

      Death + death = death. Same old.”

      So your solution is…what? Pass more laws we know won’t work, implement more passive measures we know won’t work, do nothing to fundamentally change the “mass murderer kills defenseless victims” dynamic, and just hope the same thing that’s happened hundreds of times in the past doesn’t happen again?

      Sorry, Wholesight. You’re arguing for status quo. I’m arguing for actual change.

      “I can only say your views make me sad.”

      Mass murders make me sad. Especially mass murders that could have been prevented by immediate armed resistance. I’ll assuage my sadness by advocating for the intended victims, and against policies that don’t stop the murderers.

      • 19 DrewfromOz

        Mate, “It’s also for good reason that so many of people from those countries choose to live here instead of there.”
        Only legit response to that is, nope.

        Most (maybe 75-85 %) Aussies in the USA live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and New York,(hardly the most 2A friendly US cities) so trying to drag them into a US firearms debate may not always work as you would expect- mainly because, again. US folks have been brainwashed by both sides of the US gun debate.- one that we gave up all our guns, and the country has gone to hell, the other, we gave up all our guns and it DIDN’T go to hell. neither are true.

        In other news, we have plenty of Americans living here, so again, not the best argument to use.

        • Except that I wasn’t referring to only Australians.

          There are huge numbers of Europeans living in Texas, which isn’t exactly the Mecca of gun control. Just anecdotally, I know people from France who want to live in the US partly because of the less restrictive gun laws.

          You’re right that Australia gets trotted out as evidence by both sides. I’ve never cited Australia as evidence of anything, because although I know strict gun laws were implemented, I don’t know what other factors came into play to produce the “no massacres in 19 years” quote that is often injected into this debate. I don’t know if Australia is truly safer now, or if it’s just free of mass shootings but suffering from different types of crime (as my conservative friends often say). Since I don’t know the facts, and even Australians I’ve heard from have made vastly different claims, I don’t throw around Australia as a way to prove anything.

        • I should also add: one thing I do know is that Australians possessed far fewer guns than Americans, both in raw numbers and percentage-wise. And as far as I know Australia doesn’t have gun ownership as a fundamental right from its inception, nor does it have a huge portion of its population, to include police and military, who openly say they would resist gun confiscation.

          America and Australia are not the same, and what may have worked in Australia isn’t going to have the same effect here.

      • 22 Brocky

        “It’s also for good reason that so many of people from those countries choose to live here instead of there.”

        Easy there mate… there are good reasons why huge numbers of Americans choose to live in other places. There are also huge numbers of Europeans living in Britain, Australia and Canada.

        What does gun ownership as a fundamental right from its inception have to do with the gun culture in America today? Could it be that it is the main cause of the all the extreme gun violence? Could it be the sole reason why there is in fact a gun culture in America today? If only the forefathers that thought up such a thing were not taken out into the street and shot before they put such words down on paper. Just imagine the possibility of how America could be today? It could be like many others. But, it is too late to shoot Jefferson or Franklin or whoever it was that did such a stupid thing. Then again, they most likely did that with good intentions and they were only speaking of one shot muskets so it’s not really fair to hold a grudge against them.

        I agree with the idea of armed guards in schools in America. I believe that is now what you will find in places like Sandy Hook CT and probably many other schools. There is a problem, I don’t think anyone will deny that and armed guards in all schools and letting everyone know there are armed guards in the schools will not only be able to respond to a threat immediately but also hopefully be enough sometimes to deter anyone from trying. It can go farther and some backup can be provided for that armed guard, arm and train maybe the principals of the schools and some teachers to use a handgun properly (or should it be a semi- auto assault rifle) The armed guard might go postal one day so armed teachers nearby could prove to be a good failsafe step. Of course training, as you will probably agree, is no guarantee that the guard or teachers will be able to respond without freezing up or appropriately after being shot at for the first time in their lives, lets just hope there are no children within range of any of the guns.

        Guns are protection from other guns, of that there is no doubt in my mind. But, what is wrong with strict rules and regulations concerning owning and using those guns? And rules and regulations on the type of guns and how many are owned by one individual? A gun collector? Fine, what is wrong with that? Rules and regulations and licenses should apply and there should not be a problem. Criminals? Of course they will find a way to get a gun and use it, that can’t be stopped, but 50 years of gun control and non proliferation and the effects from it will eventually bleed down to them … hundreds or thousands of lives could be saved, is that not worth it? Someone like Nancy Lanza? She was not a gun collector. Why was it necessary for her to own such a vast armory? Because of some words written down on a paper two hundred years ago?
        Those words are worthless and have no importance at all when compared to 27 lives lost. Actually the way I see it those words have no importance at all when compared to anything. What would have been wrong with Nancy having maybe only one handgun and the 22 rifle she was killed with? Her son maybe wouldn’t have ever of felt his fake balls if he had never held her assault rifle. She was living in small town Connecticut not some war zone in the Middle east. Did she really need such a weapon and so many others? With only a handgun and a 22 in the house Adam may have never been so confident or empowered to concoct such a hideous crime. He at least wouldn’t have gotten as many rounds off as he did and so many lives wouldn’t have been taken that day. If Nancy owned no guns at all it seems unlikely that Adam would have went to the school with 26 knives. Maybe he was screwed up enough that he would have taken a bomb to the school, and people knew he was screwed up. He had been to see doctors. Rules and regulations concerning firearms can be strict enough to say that if anyone in a family has any kind of mental health problems access to guns in that home and how many are highly restricted. She had open gun lockers and ammunition in his room, or game room. Rules and heavy regulations should be out there to keep reckless and irresponsible people like Nancy Lanza in their place. What is wrong with having a gun for protection and another for sport? Is that not enough? What is wrong with someone like Nancy Lanza and a son with mental health issues in her home not being allowed to own any guns at all?

        Just think of all the rules and regulations that Americans live with everyday. Building codes. Fire and safety codes. Vehicle standards. There was no immediate cure for the air population over cities during the 1970s, emission control in all vehicles was a bad thing? Young drivers have to take driver training and pass a test and where I come from are restricted to things like driving at night and how many minor passengers ride with them and zero tolerance with alcohol. Pile of junk vehicles that are a safety hazard are not allowed on the roads, I think the same applies in America. The same kind of rules and regulations and training apply to gun ownership here. Training, back ground checks, mental health issues, licenses, permits etc.

        More laws, rules and regulations concerning firearms will indeed only save more lives. It’s the same for vehicles and traffic rules, aircraft, firecodes and everything else people live with everyday.

        “I’m saying we should allow those who wish to carry the right to do so.”

        Allowing all gang members and others in cities like LA and New York to open carry is a good thing? How so?

        I know you don’t include these people but where do you draw the line? There is a line, right? Law abiding citizens are only law abiding until they kill someone.

        • 23 Nikki Rouse

          “If only the forefathers that thought up such a thing were not taken out into the street and shot before they put such words down on paper. Just imagine the possibility of how America could be today? It could be like many others.”

          Well, we would certainly be like the British. Oh, wait…we WOULD be the British! And that, mate, is what it was all about.

          • 24 Brocky

            “Oh, wait…we WOULD be the British! And that, mate, is what it was all about.”

            Would that not be better?

          • Brocky, now you’re just trolling.

            No, we would not be better off being British.

        • The problem with “strict rules and regulations” is that in the US we think all people need to be treated fairly. So, these strict rules and regulations always lead to a double standard, if you have money and influence, you find such rules and regulations as a non-issue. Do you think Hillary Clinton, Gabby Giffords, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, or Shannon Watts would ever have a problem owning guns? However, would you plumber or accountant be able to protect themselves?
          A look at the history of gun control laws in the US takes you back to the end of the Civil War. Democrats were afraid of the freed slaves having weapons, so they passed Jim Crow laws to stop black gun owners. The NRA was the opposition to such laws, as it is still today.

        • 27 Lynn

          Brocky – Thanks for your comments. I do not understand why any mentally stable, law abiding person would be so against stricter gun laws. If more stringent background checks kept one maniac from committing even one murder it would be more than worth the inconvenience of others attempting to legally buy a gun.

          • 28 PeterW

            Lynn….

            It is quite obvious that you have not done your research.

            Firstly, there is no good correlation between the controls that you advocate, and a decrease in the violent crime rate. It didn’t happen in Australia, it didn’t happen in England. Mexico has the laws that you want, and a homicide rate several times higher than that in the US. You can’t point out a single country where such laws have been introduced and resulted in saving lives.

            Secondly…… The “if it saves just one life” argument depends on you callously ignoring the number of attacks prevented and lives saved by guns. Research varies, but there is not a serious piece of research that concludes that firearms are not used to prevent more crimes in the US than they are used to commit. The only real argument is whether they prevent “only” 2.5 crimes for every one they enable, or 10.

            I say “callous” because you don’t seem to care about those whose lives have been saved, or the victims who would die because you denied them the means to save themselves.

            If you genuinely cared, you would do the research.

    • 29 Dan Colgan

      “We, the People” are different from the countries you mentioned, based on history alone. Australia was established as a prison colony. Great Britain, or as you & others refer to it, England, was once the seat of a sort of empire, hence the name”GREAT Britain”. These facts are obvious to most high school graduates, and perhaps to some who have their GED.

      What’s not as obvious is that the citizens of both are, historically speaking, used to being told what to do. The fact that ‘we, the people ‘ are even a separate country is evidence that we do not, least of all, by those who allegedly govern us.

      Another separate question; have you ever heard of the concept behind the phrase, “hard target” ? I think that’s what the author of the piece is getting at; make it not so easy, and anyone who would even contemplate such an atrocity would pick another target. Telling someone they can’t or shouldn’t do something doesn’t stop them from doing it. “Rules only work when people follow them”.

      • 30 Brocky

        Great Britain is not called Great Britain because it was once the seat of an Empire. It’s called Great Britain because it includes England, Wales and Scotland together in one union all on one island.

        Historically speaking no matter it it’s Great Britain, or Australia or America, all are used to be told what to do by those that allegedly govern. “We the people” and governments are no different in any of the free western countries.

        • Just some places do not have “liberty”. Liberty is the ability to choose and freedom is the result of making the correct choice.
          You find that there is still a strong strain of self reliance present in much of the US.
          Even in our legal system, we acknowledge that police/government has no duty or responsibility to protect in individual (SCOTUS)

        • 32 Michelle

          Australia was never forged by war as was the US.

    • 33 Peter

      “Wild Wild West thinking.” The “Wild West” isn’t what you think it was: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/did-the-wild-west-have-mo_b_956035.html

      “Some of us don’t want to live in that kind of world.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

      You live in that kind of world. The Supreme Court has ruled that police officers have no legal obligation to protect you.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/justices-rule-police-do-not-have-a-constitutional-duty-to-protect-someone.html?_r=0

      As an adult, no matter what you think or feel, YOU, and only you, are responsible for your day to day safety. Period. You can pretend there aren’t criminals if you so wish. You can imagine that calling the police will result in other than them drawing your chalk outline while preparing a body bag. You are free to do as you wish.

      I, on the other hand, have decided to take my protection upon myself. I am a free person and it is not just my birthright to protect my life, but my SOLE duty in life. EVERYTHING else is secondary to staying alive. That’s why I carry, because a cop is too heavy to lug around all day.

    • “Wild Wild West thinking.” – maybe, but it works and I have heard no solutions that could work otherwise.

      The same train of thinking was expressed by the Interpol chief back a couple of years after the Westgate mall mass killing. Still true today. Time for the average citizen to wake up and become responsible.

      Interpol Chief Comment (Westgate)
      http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/exclusive-westgate-interpol-chief-ponders-armed-citizenry/story?id=20637341
      http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/interpol-chief-citizens-need-guns/

    • 35 PeterW

      I’m getting very damned tired of ignorant people – particularly ignorant Australians – citing my country as an example of gun-laws “working”.

      To start with, prior to the major confiscations of 1996, the homicide rate was already very low by world standards. Very low and FALLING, and had been for a decade prior.

      Secondly, a comprehensive analysis of the homicide figures in the nearly two decades since 1996 has shown that the long-term homicide rate did not fall any faster.

      There simply is NO CORRELATION between Australia’s gun laws and Australia’s homicide rate.

      What we do have, is far too many politicians and media that support populist policies that give them the appearance of “doing something” but do not actually save lives.
      The consequences have been the destruction of trust and an enormous wastage of Police resources in the enforcement of compliance by the people who aren’t the problem..

      The truth is that the Port Arthur murders in 1996 and the more recent murders by Islamic maniacs would have been prevented if the laws that existed PRIOR to 1996 had been enforced. The problem has never been that the laws were not “tough” enough, but that they were not enforced in the first place.

      There are no free lunches.

  3. 36 Lynn

    I agree with Wholesight.

    Chris, I usually agree with you, but more guns are not going to make us safer. Are we going to arm movie theater ushers?

    We need was stricter background checks and a much longer wait time to acquire a gun. And a ban on all automatic weapons in the hands of civilians.

    • When someone is shooting at you, you are in fact safer if you have a gun and the training to know how to use it. If guns didn’t make people safer, we cops wouldn’t carry them.

      Nobody is going to “arm” anyone. I’m saying we should allow those who wish to carry the right to do so. Nobody should or will be forced to carry a gun.

      Stricter background checks still won’t affect those who don’t go through the background check system. Neither will mandatory wait times.

      And name a mass shooting that was carried out with an automatic weapon. Name just one.

      • 38 Lynn

        Calm down Chris. As I just replied to Mark, I don’t know the difference between automatic and semi automatic. Pretty sure the Newtown killings were done with a semi automatic rifle, a gun that can take out a lot of people very quickly.

        • Gee, I’ll try to calm down. I got so excited I took a nap.

          I’d suggest, if you’re going to advocate passing laws that take rights from millions of people, you take a whole hour or so to do some research and learn just a little about what it is you’re demanding.

        • Lynn,

          Both the rate of fire of which a weapon is capable and its magazine capacity are largely irrelevant in school mass shootings. For instance,
          if a person had only 5 round magazines (half of what many gun control advocates want), took slow deliberate shots 5 seconds apart (also pretty slow) and took 5 seconds to reload when a magazine was empty (a VERY slow reload time), he or she would still fire 10 rounds per minute. In a 5 minute scenario, this means a total of 50 rounds fired and 50 potential victims. The fact is, a person who practices even a little can fire and reload faster than this with a single barrel shotgun.

    • Lynn, Which of the mass murders in the past decade would have been deterred by your suggestions? I don’t they would have applied in any of them. Oregon has robust background checks. These mass murders aren’t spontaneous crimes of passion. Wait times might be beneficial elsewhere, but not in these events.

      BTW, automatic weapons are illegal to own without a strictly controlled license. I assume you’re talking about so called “assault rifles” which in today’s discussions usually means a semi-automatic rifle with a smaller caliber than a deer rifle but possessing scary pistol grips. They are used so seldom in homicides that they are almost an asterisk ranking behind hammers.

      • 47 Lynn

        Mark – Automatic/semiautomatic, all I know is that those weapons are for killing people. Obviously, I’m not a gun person.

        Did I miss something in the Charleston massacre? Thought the murderer got his gun due to a failure in the background check system.

        Longer wait times surely wouldn’t hurt anyone. Might give some moron a chance to move onto some other form of revenge instead of mass shootings.

        • Lynn, I’m a retired intelligence officer. I try to make data-driven decisions. If we look at the usage of so-called assault rifles, they are statistically not the problem. They are the go to answer for the gun control crowd, but it is an emotional call that is not based on the problems reflected in the crime statistics. In 2013, the last year I could find data, rifles (all types including hunting and “assault” rifles) accounted for 285 out of 8,454 firearm related homicides. That constitutes 3.3%, and is fewer than shotguns which are generally considered sporting weapons. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2009-2013.xls

          The thing about Charleston is that there was a background system in place, it was used, and it didn’t work because of communication issues between the feds and local prosecutors. How exactly does a “stricter” background check law change the possibility of human error? BTW, the Charleston shooter bought his weapons weeks in advance.

          I understand the emotional need to “do something.” I get it. I’m just waiting for a control measure that might work, that might apply to the problem at hand, and is consistent with the explicit constitutional protections governing gun ownership.

          As I said above, I think we have to work within the framework we have: Legal weapons, lots of them, and a protected right to own them. Chris offered a framework that I agree with.

          I also believe as we move through these debates that we need to look at ourselves as a society. The variables that I would begin with include the glorification of violence in mass media and culture, the retreat from institutionalized treatment of mental disorders, and the widespread proliferation of psychotropic drugs. I know that some see these as psychobabble nonsense, but America’s been a violent place since the frontier. It doesn’t mean we can’t change—the Vikings were hard men, but no one fears the Danes today.

          Guys like the Oregon killer have rage issues, obviously, but they have a compulsion to let everyone know how angry they are before they commit suicide at their own hand or at the hand of a cop. When someone’s like this, a gun is just a medium as is an IED or a molotov cocktail. We need to do a better job identifying these people in advance and the public can play a role — if Stevie Ray Vaughn could convince Texas bubbas to quit throwing beer cans out of their trucks (Don’t mess with Texas) maybe PSAs can help people identify would be killers like this in advance. In the meanwhile, I’m with Chris.

        • 49 imnohbody

          Not to the point of being able to give university degree dissertations on the subject, but in general you should know something about what you’re talking about. In regards to firearms “automatic” has a specific meaning, and not knowing the difference between it and semi-auto is not a non-problem, any more than is not knowing the difference between a manual transmission in a car and an automatic one.

          Yes, the Charleston a-hole (I’m a supporter of the “Some A-hole” initiative, wherein the shooter is just referred to as “Some A-hole” [or the uncensored version of “a-hole”] and not given any publicity) did get his firearms through a failure of the background check system, specifically human error resulting in not entering into the system the record that would have disqualified said a-hole from purchasing firearms. What would more restrictions on legal gun owners have done to stop a screw-up on the government’s part?

          As for longer wait times, all it would take is for one of these a-holes, who by and large are not “impulse shooters”, is to wait a little longer, or use other methods like bombs (the deadliest school attack in US history is still the Bath School bombing, in 1927, with no firearms whatsoever involved) or knives (the knife attack in a Chinese school a while back was not a solo example, the others just don’t get coverage) to kill. And while waiting, those who aren’t prohibited from purchasing a firearm and will never be the aggressor in a mass shooting are restricted from carrying out their legal right, possibly preventing a citizen from preventing a mass shooting or reducing its deadliness. As-is, armed citizens prevent crimes anywhere from 60K to several million (depending on whose numbers you use) times each year.

          “Long story short” version of the above: No amount of further restriction of firearms ownership or government regulation will stop the human will to do evil. The quote often attributed to Edmond Burke, about evil triumphing because good men do nothing, also applies to mass shootings. By further restricting law-abiding citizens from possessing and carrying firearms, you restrict their ability to do something to prevent evil from triumphing.

          • 50 Nikki Rouse

            Lots of excellent commentary here, and for the most part quite civil as well. I really appreciate that. I would be very interested in learning where you resourced the information that armed citizens prevent crimes from 60k to several million times each year. Obviously these citizens don’t get a fair shake at publicity because that’s a pretty staggering number and I’ve never heard it before.
            I’d love to be able to use more than a dozen examples with those I “debate” with. Would you please share your statistics resources? Thanks.

          • 51 imnohbody

            Nikki, for starters there’s a 2013 study by the Violence Policy Center (pro gun control, so they don’t exactly have an incentive to inflate the number of defensive gun uses), based on five years (2007-2011) of statistics from the that puts it at ~68K/yr. http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

            I had more refs at one point, but apparently they went walkabout or I was an idiot who got overly delete-happy when cleaning out some old files. In any case, while not the 2.5M that the NRA has cited in the past, 68K is hardly chump change.

          • 52 Mark W

            Thanks for being a supporter of striking the names of mass murders from the history books and reducing them to A-HOLE #. That what I was hoping to lean into a good debate on is WHY these a-hole sicko’s do it. Not how they do it or what they do it with and how they get away with it until they coward out and end it or end it by suicide by cop. Do not give them any infamy other than what they are…assholes!

        • Lynn…. My sister in law is very much like you. I’ve tried for years to show her facts and statistics but to no avail. Research the history of Prohibition in the US. Banning guns would have the same result as the 13 years of organized crime created by banning alcohol. Read John Lott’s book and website… More Guns Less Crime….. Professor Lott was very anti-gun before he did a years long study into gun violence in America. His facts speak for themselves. Also, you can find the studies on the Australian ban online too.
          One last thing about my sister-in law…… She was very pro public school and anti-home schooling ( which we were doing) until her son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome… She is now a huge proponent of you guessed it…….Home Schooling…………………

          • 54 DrewfromOz

            Online studies of the firearms law changes in Australia are mostly BS- from both sides. Disinformation is rife-the Ed Chanel “Hey Yanks” letter is widely regarded by Aussies to have been written by an American(due to the language style and US spelling, and cherrypicked statistics which had been previously quoted by the NRA folks- make your own assumptions about that coincidence…..) While the anti gunners quote just as much misinformation, and their arguments can be shot down ( 😀 ) just as easily..

        • 55 Kerry

          I’m with you Lynn, a weapon for killing people is exactly what no one else had at the school. Imagine how much worse it might have been had someone shot the scumbag, and, in the thrill of the kill, gone on to kill seventeen more students, before being shot himself by the police who mistook him for the first scumbag, and a few of their shots hit nearby mirrors, the only defense the school had against the threat of vampires, and suddenly, as the lights were also off in the safe rooms, dozens of emaciated bodies, drained of all their blood were found with “two small puncture wound on their necks”.. Um, what was the question again…Oh yes, something about pounds of sanding? That’s what I want for you buddy, Mr. Halcon Azul.

          • Every law a biding American should carry/know how to use a gun. You Kerry and the people like YOU who believe gun control is going to fix any problems with public shootings are completely ignorant and ill informed. If innocent people carried guns and knew how to use them, they would stop the shooting before it could even happen. It’s people like YOU who would be the ones to let some asshole take your life and the lives around you. It’s okay to be afraid. I on the other hand would rather have a fighting chance to save my life and the lives of the innocent people around me. Even if they are like YOU. That is why I conceal carry my firearm EVERYWHERE I GO. I’m not going out that fucking easy. Also I guarantee if I were to stop a mass shooting I think the last thing on my mind would be to kill other innocent people. That is probably the most incredibly fucking stupid thing I’ve ever read. Please explain how I am wrong.

        • Not to pile on, but there are plenty of semiautomatic weapons that are designed for hunting or target shooting, not designed to kill people.

          Lynn, you really should learn something about weapons before you start advocating throwing people in prison for having them.

          • 58 Lynn

            Chris – Never said anything about putting people in prison. Just advocating for stricter background checks, longer wait times and a ban on high capacity weapons.

            Per your advice, I did watch a tutorial on a gun rights site about auto and semi auto weapons, which included hunting rifles.

            I’m not an anti gun nut. I owned a revolver and a 12 gauge when I lived in a very rural area. At that time, a gun was necessary for my personal safety and I was very glad to be able to own one legally.

          • If you advocate making something illegal, you’re advocating imprisoning people who violate that law.

            Or are you suggesting certain weapons be made illegal, but if someone owns one anyway, no action should be taken against them?

        • “Longer wait times surely wouldn’t hurt anyone.” Only if you call getting murdered not getting “hurt.” It’s the individual right to arms, the right to stop your own murder with your own gun.

          • 61 David Power

            In Australia we use to have to wait a minimum 28 day cooling off period before a permit was issued for you to buy another pistol / rifle. In reality by the time you sent the permit in ( snail mail no electronic lodgement) they processed it (2 days to a week) it use to take upto 3 months to get a permit. They did this to prevent someone just going out and buying a firearm on the spots then going and shooting someone. They thought if you couldn’t buy one straight away that by the time you could you would have cooled down and not shoot anyone.
            Common sense prevailed eventually as it was argued that once you already owned one pistol or rifle you were already armed so that logic was flawed so now we have a 7 day cooling off period if you already have a firearm in the category you are applying for or a 28 day cooling off period for your first firearm in the category you are applying for. It still takes about 2 weeks to get a permit in Australia. They have been as fast as 9 days but two weeks is about the normal wait.
            We have a lot of back ground checks in Australia before you can get a licence but sometimes people still get through because records of their problems are not updated in the police computers quick enough.
            Personally I don’t see guns as a problem in the USA. It’s the person behind the gun that is the problem. Shoot a lion and everyone blames the shooter but shoot a human and everyone blames the gun. Work that out.

        • Lynn,

          Looking at what we know about “mass shooters” (the individuals), we can see that longer waiting times probably wouldn’t help.

          Mass shooters are typically long-term, extreme planners. It’s common for investigators to find maps, spreadsheets, time-tables, and other evidence that the shooter has been planning their rampage for an extended period of time. Along with this, there is a statistic called time-to-crime when it comes to procuring the firearm(s), and the actual shooting event. A few shooters have procured firearms as much as a year in advance. Almost none procure their firearm same-day, or even the same week as the event. Longer wait times would be useless for stopping mass shootings as such things are easily planned around.

          The hope that a longer waiting period would make a mass shooter “move onto some other form of revenge instead of mass shootings” is wishful thinking and just doesn’t follow with what we know about the people who commit these crimes.

        • Lynn, allow me to suggest that both the rate of fire of which a weapon is capable and its ammunition capacity are largely irrelevant (BTW, credit for what follows goes to an online article I read recently. Sadly, I can’t remember the author’s name. I’m running his scenario, but with slower times.) Here’s what I mean.

          Let’s pretend, solely for the sake of argument, that we have a person intent on committing a mass shooting atrocity and the following are true:

          1. Ammunition capacity has been effectively limited to only a 5 round magazine or cylinder for all weapons.
          2. Our shooter takes a full 5 seconds between each shot.
          3. Our shooter is incredibly slow at reloading, taking 5 seconds for each reload (5 seconds is REALLY slow).
          4. While many sources tell us school mass shootings can last 9-12 minutes, the one described here will last only 5 minutes.

          The question becomes, how many people can this person potentially shoot in the 5 minutes before the police arrive and deal definitively with him or her?

          This doesn’t become an active shooter situation until the first shot is fired. Shot #1, then, starts the clock at “0′”

          0 1 shot
          5 1 shot
          10 1 shot
          15 1 shot
          20 1 shot
          25 reload
          30 1 shot
          35 1 shot
          40 1 shot
          45 1 shot
          50 1 shot
          55 reload
          60 1 shot (and the “0 second” for the second minute)

          This means, that with a 5 round magazine, slow and deliberate shots and slow reloading, this shooter will potentially shoot 50 people – all without the benefit of a truly automatic weapon (or even a semi automatic weapon if the shooter is using a revolver) or even the dreaded “high capacity” magazines of which we hear so very much.

          • Actually it means your hypothetical shooter can fire 11 shots in one minute. Not all the shots fired will result in a death or a hit. Still, it’s an excellent example of why banning magazine size and semi-automatic (or auto loaders as they are sometime known) will have very little impact. Even if we work our way down to single action revolvers we need to remember how people solved that problem. They carried two or more revolvers.

            It’s not the tool that causes the problem, it’s the destructive mind set that determines the killers actions. SDA will always find a away to kill helpless people.

    • Lynn, I share your desire to save innocent lives, but you are profoundly ignorant of the reality of the cause of murders in America, and more importantly the tools used to commit them. All murders by rifles are outnumbered by murders with knives, and even by murders committed by hands and feet. “High capacity”, magazines, depending on your definition, are used by a minuscule number of those murderers to commit their crimes. If you could magically make all large capacity magazines and rifles disappear, you would affect the murder rate in America less than the weather influences it. I welcome you to the debate, after you take the time to join it with something more than your emotions… After all emotions are often the root cause of crime, but information and intelligence almost never do.

    • 66 Peter

      I’d like to point out that automatic firearms are SEVERELY controlled by the BATFE. You can own one, but they are ridiculously expensive and you have to wait half a year or more sometimes (after paying for the thing) before you are allowed to posses it, if then.

      Also, these firearms are not the problem. Looking at the FBI crime report shows that knives has more murders in 2012 than shotguns and rifles combined. Combined! Knives! Both blunt objects (baseball bats, clubs, and similar) and personal weapons (hands, feet, fists, etc) have more murders than rifles.
      https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_11_murder_circumstances_by_weapon_2012.xls

      Handguns are the main problem you would think, right? But even then, it’s not the legal handguns that are the problem, as the VAST majority of legal handgun owners never shoot anyone. The black market for firearms is extensive.

      Then on top of that you have to factor in WHERE the crimes occurred. I guarantee you inner cities have more violent crime than suburban or rural areas.

      We can’t take one possible cause and attribute all of this to it.

      “Correlation proves causation (post hoc ergo propter hoc) – a faulty assumption that correlation between two variables implies that one causes the other.”

      Not all gun owners kill. “Ecological fallacy – inferences about the nature of specific individuals are based solely upon aggregate statistics collected for the group to which those individuals belong.”

      Maybe there are other causes like education, racial tension, wage poverty, mental health, social breakdowns. “False dilemma (false dichotomy, fallacy of bifurcation, black-or-white fallacy) – two alternative statements are held to be the only possible options, when in reality there are more.”

      The US has had, since the 90s: population increase and increase in total number of guns.

      The US has had since the 90s: roughly 50% reduction in violent crimes and murder.

      But DC and Chicago seem to be racing each other with gun crime and murder rates.

      hmm.

    • “arm movie theater users” – not needed since the audience is armed.
      No one should ever go to a movie theater that is a “No Gun Zone”, not safe.

  4. 68 roy in nipomo

    In about 2002 I was the dispatcher in a near school shooting incident. A 16 yr old kid, armed with a 9mm pistol and two magazines (31 rds total) took a classroom (30 students & teachers) hostage. The armed school resource officer was back at the station dropping off paperwork. Units were on-scene within three minutes. Suspect was subdued and taken into custody without shots being fired, not through the actions of the police, but because he was jumped & disarmed by two of the male students present. The kid claimed afterwards that he was just going to commit suicide in front of the class, but couldn’t explain why he needed reloads for that.

    We got lucky, and the national news didn’t bother with the story (no blood).

    • Three minutes is a long damn time when someone is holding you at gunpoint and threatening to kill you. It’s even longer when they’re actually shooting at you. Three minutes is a lightning fast police response time, but it’s all the time a mass murderer needs to create a gigantic tragedy.

      It’s a good thing that kid was inept/untrained/scared/uncommitted/whatever it was that stopped him from shooting, because 31 rounds inside a classroom in three minutes equals a lot of dead kids.

      • 70 roy in nipomo

        It was longer than that in the classroom, that was just our response time *to* the school. One of the boys who jumped the kid almost broke his own finger jamming it behind the trigger when they were wrestling on the ground as that was the the first way he could think of to make sure the kid wasn’t going to be able to pull the trigger. This was shortly after 9-11(incident occurred in January) and they weren’t going to be passive (as Glenn Reynolds was saying, “Be a pack, not a herd”). The little a-hole had chosen them seemingly at random (one was in the “surfer” crowd and the other was in the “druggy” crowd) to close the blinds on the windows so no one could see in and then got close enough to one of them for them to grab him.

  5. As a public school teacher, father of 2, and gun owner, thank you Mr. HERNANDEZ for writing this. I will be sharing it with my friends, family, and co-workers.

  6. 72 Leo Daher

    Chris Hernandez, another great piece.

    If we don’t want our basic individual rights and our property taken from us by cowards and authoritarians such as those trolling this page, we need to be proactive. Join the NRA, if you haven’t already. Contribute to their Institute for Legislative Affairs. Do not vote for big government, gun banning candidates, even if they have learned to lie about having “respect for the Second Amendment.”

  7. 73 Joe in PNG

    If you follow the news of the world, mass shootings are also increasing around the world, even in countries with super strict gun control. Meanwhile, the US State Dept has warned of a coming increase in ‘franchise terrorism’.

    • You’ve been listening to propaganda, not news, if you believe the mass murder rate, or even the murder rate is on the rise. What is on the rise is mass public shootings, whereas historically most have been family related or related to prior felony acts. The tools haven’t changed, but the motives of the murderers have. Why do we obsess on the tools, and not the motives of the men using them. We all want to believe that all murder is senseless, but the reality is that we can more easily accept it when it makes sense. When the motive is greed, jealousy, vengeance or some other motive or emotion that we can relate to, we feel that we can better control it because we can at least understand it.

      On the other hand, these public mass shooting where the shooter doesn’t even know his victims, and has no motive that we can know, or even remotely relate to scare the hell out of us. Because it’s senseless, it’s pure evil, and there seems to be nothing we can do to prevent it.

      But what amazes me most is that when faced with pure evil, many of us would choose to remove from ourselves the best means to defend ourselves from it, and fully embrace being completely powerless and at the mercy of a madman with no motive beyond evil.

      • ” these public mass shooting where the shooter doesn’t even know his victims, and has no motive that we can know, or even remotely relate to scare the hell out of us.” – is this not what terrorist is all about? A way to change peoples actions by means of violent events. 911 killed a lot of people, but it also changed the way we live. Would we have accepted the NSA surveillance without 911? Would we have allowed TSA to have the intrusive scanners used at some airports?

  8. WE are Franciscans and don’t do guns, except hubby for hunting. HOWEVER, if they take away the guns, we are toast . . . hostage to the government. Our forefathers, the founding fathers of this once great country new this.

  9. 80 Nikki Smith

    We are not going to be able to stop every shooting that may take place in the future but having more gun laws isn’t going to do anything either. We aren’t going to be able to arm every, usher, mall officer, or put an officer at every school. I wish we could but that isn’t the case. We need to find a solution to the delayed response of officers. Possibly having some teachers or other school officials secretly armed at school to defend our children. I also do no agree with school lock-down policies when there is an active school. When I was in college, we practiced active shooter drills and a classmate (a marine) and myself (amry military police) completely disagreed with the procedures. Our professor asked us what we would do differently and within seconds we devised a plan to get our entire class out of the school safely. We also both agreed that we would go back into the school to help others if there was an active shooter because we felt it was our duty to help those who do not have the military experience. I also knew what the response time was for my local SWAT team and law enforcement was if there was a shooter at my children’s school. I would not hesitate to enter a school with an active shooter to save my children or the children of a complete stranger, even if it meant loosing my own life. I took an oath to defend my country against ALL enemies and I will continue to uphold that oath until the day that I die.

    • 81 Brocky

      Why can’t an officer or at least an armed guard be placed at every school? There are many vets that know how to use a weapon and have possibly killed before and perhaps have grandchildren of their own and are in need of employment. Retired cops that are bored and are looking to get back into the workforce but at a less stressful job? And shorter hours. With the summer off. Part time, one could have the morning shift and another the afternoon. Schools have millions of dollars of overhead costs each year, one more payroll cost, perhaps it could turn out to be the most important of all, isn’t going to break them. There is also the idea of volunteers… to protect children? Former military and police?

      Having teachers secretly armed is a poor idea. Having teachers armed and the public and SDAs fully aware of it is a good idea. There could even be annual teacher marksmen competitions, well televised, State and National finals. SDAs that take multiple weapons to schools to kill children are cowards. Cowards are easily deterred.

      How can you get your entire class out of the school safely when there are two shooters with assault rifles and 30 round magazines taped together in pairs end to end in the corridor waiting for you? Do you have air support in college? Do elementary schools have Marines in class with them? Perhaps.

      • 82 Nikki Smith

        We had windows in our classroom and 2 dumpsters outside the Windows. I DO NOT appreciate you smart remarks. I AM A VETERAN AND HAVE SERVED MY COUNTRY. I’ve done more than you can possibly fathom. My training has taught me how to evacuate buildings safely, how to disarm someone holding a gun directly at me without being harmed, hand to hand combatives and numerous other things.

        Many schools around the country are closing or cutting different programs (music & band, art classes, etc) because of budget issues so many school won’t able to afford to hire someone. I didn’t say my idea was perfect, it was only a thought I had. Just because you may not agree with it doesn’t make it a bad idea, that’s your opinion.

    • One of the strengths of Concealed Carry is that the people that take part in the activity are “self chosen good guys”. That is why when looking at the stats on crime, CCW people just do not commit crimes. My point is that we do not want to “force” anyone to carry a gun, but to “allow” for that choice.

  10. 84 Edohiguma

    Here in Austria we don’t even know how many firearms exist in the country. The interior ministry made an official guess a few years back that said 10 million (we’re 8 million people.) We don’t know because the only weapons that require registry under Austrian law are class A and B weapons, because they require a permit.

    Class A are basically military grade and banned weapons (though there are still over 7,000 permits in the country, most are for pump action shotguns, but there are a few automatic weapons in private hands.)

    Class B are semi-automatic rifles, all handguns and lever action shotguns and there are tens of thousands of those.

    Classes C and D, and that’s the massive bulk, are repeating rifles, smooth bore double or more barrel shot guns, bolt action rifles, etc. They don’t require a permit and, under Austrian law, don’t require registry (under EUSSR regulation class C now does require an entry into the EUSSR’s firearms registry, but it’s a complete failure, most people don’t register.) Yes, that’s right, actually high powered rifles do not require permits in Austria. That does include rifles in .338 Lapua Magnum (my hunting buddy just bought himself one of those.) And yes, hunting rifles, designed to kill big game, are high powered compared to the standard AR platform that uses an intermediate cartridge.

    To get a B class weapon you need to have a permit, which requires jumping through a couple of hoops and you need to state a reason for owning it.

    To own a C or D class weapon all you need is to be of legal age (18) and have no criminal record. That’s it.

    The pump action shotgun was dropped into class A after a series of extremely brutal robberies in the 80s, committed by a perp commonly called “Pumpgun Ronnie”.

    And yes, the AR platform is legal in Austria, so are all “assault weapons”, so are “high capacity magazines.”. Why is that? Because gun laws here are largely based around how a weapon WORKS, not how it LOOKS.

    It goes even so far that the Austrian postal service ships C and D weapons without a requirement for insurance.

    So what do we see in Austria’s crime statistics?

    We see that the legal firearm is the least used tool for violent crime. Even the illegal firearm isn’t that popular among our common thugs, but they sure love their knives (organized crime, however, loves the pewpew and kaboom.) The knife is the most used tool for violent crime in Austria, rolling in to a whooping 44% of all violent crime committed with a knife.

    Austria has had the occasional mass shooting in the past, but those were usually not random targets. The last was in the 1990s, but as a result the firearms laws were not made stricter.

    There have been a lot of shootings recently, yes, like the famous Annaberg Standoff, but those were all committed with illegal firearms (usually Eastern European models.) Those come from the black market and that one is not the legal market. Many of these incidents have been linked to organized crime and family feuds among immigrants. The exception is, of course, the Annaberg Standoff, but in that case the perp was a poacher (poaching is a crime) who had dozens of stolen firearms in his basement (stolen from Austria, the Czech Republic, etc.) He didn’t own the weapons legally.

    There are people who seem to think that having no guns means no mass killings. Then they always bring up Japan as if Japan was gun free. Japan is not gun free. Handguns are hard to get, yes, but hunting rifles? There are over a million licensed hunters in Japan. They all have firearms, some have more than one. I had to go to Japan to shoot a Arisaka Type 99 rifle (a friend of mine owns one over there.)

    As for mass killings?

    Osaka school massacre. The attacker had no firearms, he had simple kitchen knives. He entered the school and attacked the children. He killed 8 of them (age 7 to 8) and injured 13 more, plus two teachers.The attacker had a history of mental illness.

    Akihabara massacre. Again, no firearms. The attacker rented a truck, drove it into the crowd, jumped out and quickly attacked the people around him. He killed 7 and injured 10 more. This attacker had at least one failed suicide attempt on his account.

    The problem here is not that someone, who wants to kill people, can get a firearm to do so, which is what the anti-firearms lobby seem to believe.

    The problem is that there is someone who wants to kill people and if he’s really dedicated to his insane goal, he will find a way to do so, even without a gun.

    More laws will not change that. Less guns will not change that. Actual enforcement of existing laws can help, but we all know that it’s easier for the Beltway Mafia to whine and make new laws than being bothered to enforce the laws that already exist.

    As for myself? I carry concealed privately and open at work. I’m a LEO. I have no issues with law abiding gun owners and, in all honesty, going by what I see every day? We should be more restrictive with driving licenses than with gun permits. Legal drivers are a lot more dangerous than legal gun owners.

  11. 85 frownbuzzy

    How about we start asking why it’s a fad to shoot up a school?

    How about we start asking why America’s pharm-based mental health system isn’t held more accountable for the direction they’ve taken the treatment of mental health?

    My guess? Because those are harder questions to answer, and because meds for mental health (whether you really need them or not) are a much bigger industry than guns and ammo.

    I honestly do believe we have more ‘lunatics’ walking around among us today than in decades past.

  12. 88 David Power

    Australia is often touted as the model for gun control. People say there has not been a mass murder in Australia since Port Arthur and whilst that is true that no mass murder using Guns has occurred there has been a number mass murders using other implements such as knives, fire etc. The use of Firearms for any criminal act was on the decline in Australia before the Gun Buy Back and peer reviewed studies into this buy back concluded that the 750 Million spent on it would have been better spent on mental health as the buy back achieved nothing. Yes semi auto’s were all but banned but ,as someone stated, people just went and bought a new bolt action to replace it.
    Remember the Port Arthur shooting was undertaken by a non licenced man using a illegal rifle that was handed in for destruction some time earlier but slipped into this mans hands. This resulted in law abiding firearm owners ( LAFO ) paying the price for an illegal act carried out with illegal weapons.
    The Pistol buy back in 2002 after the Monash University shooting ( which was carried out by a student here on a student visa and should never have been given a licence to have a pistol here as he is not a citizen) also achieved nothing. The pistol he used ( S&W 357) is still available here but calibres higher then this were banned as being too dangerous. That’s right. A 40 cal is deadlier then a 357.
    Again people just went and bought another pistol.
    Currently there are more rifles and pistols in the populous then before the buy back and I’m talking hundreds of thousands more and yet gun crime with a legal registered firearm is 0.7% of all crimes with a firearm.
    Every day in Australia someone is being shot, shot at or having their house peppered with bullets in a drive by. Criminals can get guns on the black market quite easily. So easy in fact in some shooting the guns are tossed away at the scene of the shooting.
    Recent we have seen the Lindt Cafe shootings involving an illegal shotgun and a few days ago a Police Officer was Gunned down and killed by a 15 year old outside Parramatta Police station, again with an illegal weapon.
    People will also throw at you that suicides using firearms has also dropped since the buy back. Again that is true but suicides themselves have increased. The methods used has shifted from guns to hanging, drug over doses, cutting wrists etc.
    So you can see it’s not all sunshine and lollipops in Australia after the buy back.
    Again the main stream media has you believing that Australia is a Gun Control paradise when the reality is far from it.

  13. Forty years ago I asked a Chicago cop if more gun control laws would make it safer for him. My father said, “Son, they have enough laws now. They just need to enforce them.” He was right then and he’s still right now.

    Most of us break laws almost everyday. It may be speeding, smoking or littering. What stop us the presence of someone who can hold us accountable by force. It maybe a police officer or a clerk with a video from a traffic cam.

    No sign ever made a criminal not engage in criminal activity when they thought it was in their best interest to commit that crime. You want to have safe zones? Make it so that it is not in their best interest to commit a crime there.

    And as an aside, I’m not sure anyone really needs to know the name of some dickless asshole. I know I don’t. What is a name but some designation. Call ’em SDA-1 if you feel the need to distinguish him from some other SDA.

  14. 90 Milo Mindbender

    We allowed the seeds of this to be sewn, when we allowed “Big pharmaceutical” giants to tell us that we needed to addict our children to SSRI type meds.
    When schools, and parents stopped teaching coping skills and started issuing happy pills, we created a ticking time bomb. In the US you can not enlist now if you took these type of meds as a child, but we still give them out like skittles.
    What does the military know.that we are not being told?, and why are we not tracking on this clear connection. IIRC all of the shooters including both Ft Hood gunmen were avid users of heavy psychotropic medications, and these give warning about severe side effects like violent or suicidal thoughts as if that was no big deal.

  15. 91 Raoul Duke

    I knew this would be a lengthy list of post-replies. I’m gonna say I agree with the author on this one. Almost in every case the people who are proposing putting limitations on an individual’s ability to respond to violence with violence are the people who don’t really understand violence in the first place. Most don’t understand it for good reason, there is a natural human aversion to it. I’m not a high speed operator of any kind, but I have been studying, training, and instructing the application of armed and unarmed force in a defensive capacity for almost 30 years. Naturally the nature of human violence tends to be a gravitational nucleus for all these studies. Not to wax on too much about it, but the fact is once high level violence ensues, there is really no rewind button on it. The only thing that will stop it is either the presentation or application of superior violence. Period. That being said, the only other point I want to make about all of these instances of mass shootings is that the implement is irrelevant. If you waved a magic wand and all guns on the planet disappeared, it would simply force these dickless A-holes to adapt to a different method of what I consider to be terrorism. This is the reality, that as long as that desire exists there will be a way to implement it. It is my opinion that the true problem is that what was once an anomalous tragedy is now a part of our cultural fabric. It has become a “thing”, an acceptable outlet for “SDA” to impose his/her own personal BS on innocent people. This is the truly disheartening issue I think we are now facing. These “garage-band terrorists” (not trying to make light of the issue, just feel it describes these wanabees), these cowards who aren’t ambitious enough to make any real statement. Not that I want them to be ambitious or think they are capable of making any statement that matters by harming innocent people. It’s just that because this paint-by-numbers amateur terrorism is now “a thing”, it is going to result in a far greater proliferation of the phenomenon. That is something we are going to have to deal with as a national and global culture. The concept of human on human violence has always been the crux ever since the days of the thigh-bone club. Until we get to the heart of that, there will always be offshoots of that root to deal with. And as we continue to evolve as a human society, we are going to have to rely on good people having the means to combat the misguided ones in order to survive and continue our evolution. Sorry for the diatribe, kudos to anyone who made it this far.

    • 92 Raoul Duke

      *I just wanted to clarify something I said in my rant. When I said these acts of terrorism are an “acceptable outlet”, I meant that in the minds of the SDA they are acceptable. They are a quick prefabbed solution when they contemplate how to implement their desire of forcing their problems on the world. Not suggesting they are acceptable outside of the mind of SDA.

  16. 93 DirtyJobsGuy

    I’m old enough to remember the hoopla over the Texas Tower Sniper in the 1960s (followed by the Richard Speck stabbing murders of seven nursing students in Chicago). My impression is that mass school shootings were extremely rare in the 1930’s to 1960’s. After Sandy Hook I did a little looking and found that this was true. In the late 1960’s shootigs started and rose in frequency with the general population increase of the country. Now gun control rules in most areas were much less stringent before the 1960’s so the absence of laws doesn’t appear to be an issue. It isn’t an increase in media exposure as most everyone remembers the “St Valentines Day Massacre” in Chicago of 7 mobsters by other mobsters with real automatic weapons. Most likely is the progressive deinstitutionalization of mental patients (and the reduction in the use of hospitalization of seriously disturbed individuals). I did a quick check of fatal ‘subway pushers’ in New York city where deranged individuals push victims off the subway platform in front of trains. The pattern is the same.

    Do you pick up hitchhikers anymore? I don’t. I used to find most hitchers were legit guys with no car but today almost all have some pretty weird mental issues.

    A misguided crusade to end mental hospitalization has made life horrible for parents and friends of the seriously ill.

  17. 94 azbuddyboy

    If only we had armed resistance here. Too bad the 8 year old didn’t have a gun to stop the 11 year old. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2014/08/07/many-americans-renounce-citizenship-hitting-new-record/

  18. 98 Keith

    Something interesting to think about is why there has been a sudden increase (over the last 20 years or so) of mass shootings. In 1946, right after WWII, one could purchase for about or less than a modern AR-15 costs an M1 Carbine with 15 and later 30 round magazines. However despite the easy availability of this semi automatic rifle with it’s “high capacity” magazines, mass shootings simply did not exist at that time. Whitman had one with him during his 1966 shooting spree, but apparently did not use it. Something has changed between then and now, and it’s definitely not the guns.

    • 99 Priscilla

      Because we abandoned the truth.

      • 100 priscilla

        Before we consider new gun control legislation, why don’t we take a look at the obvious?
        “If anyone is at all serious about changing any of this, they must address the root problems, and those are cultural decay, the glorification of evil, the devaluation of human life, the breakdown of the family, and specifically the complete abdication of fathers.”
        http://www.redstate.com/diary/bobbyjindal/2015/10/06/fill-culture-garbage-reap-result/
        You can’t legislate a quick fix when you’re dealing with societal breakdown. What does one mass shooting per week since 2013 tell you?

  19. 101 Steve

    Do we know that the likelihood of running into other people with guns is a part of the shooter’s thought process when he picks his target? If we’re going to assume that, we’re assuming they’re rational people. By definition, I’d think that anyone who commits such a crime is not a rational person.

    • While I have a fair bit of professional experience leading groups and providing counseling in psych/mental health, my wife has far more. She is a psychologist whose focus is spree and serial killers. Spree killers typically pick their target areas pretty carefully, so they’ll have time to make their final, violent and bloody statement of their own worth and unappreciated value. In many cases, they plan their attacks for many months. This typically means, among other things, an area where the likelihood of encountering an armed person capable of effectively neutralizing them is pretty low. So, if by rational you mean capable of a certain kind of logical, cunning planning, then they are rational.

  20. Chris, with all due respect (and my respect for you is significant) while I agree wholeheartedly with many of the points you make, I cannot agree with your conclusion—that being: “But I oppose new gun control laws.” In fact, that position seems not to follow from the points you make.

    You write: “The anti-gun side needs to understand something. Pro-2nd Amendment people like me aren’t pro-mass murder.”

    First of all, this is not a debate between an “anti-gun side” and a “pro-gun side”. When we reduce it to that, we put ourselves out of reach of ANY solutions or ameliorations of this (or any other) problem. It’s tantamount to saying that finding a solution is just too damned hard so we’re going to keep the issue strictly polarized so we can just argue it through eternity on opposite sides of an impermeable barrier.

    So, the so-called “pro-gun side” needs to understand something, too. People like me who are willing to consider new gun legislation (or at least a systematization of current effective practices) are not anti-gun or pro-gun grabbing. We don’t want to disarm everyone in America, or everyone but the police and national guard or anyone who is physically, mentally and emotionally capable of conscientiously keeping and bearing arms. Yeah, there are fringes on both ends of the continuum and they skew the dialogue we could and should be having.

    Ignore them if you feel they have nothing to contribute to the dialogue. I do.

    We do have a gun violence problem. That much is clear. One aspect of it (and only one) is this: Since 2013, as has been pointed out by folks who’ve researched the timeline, there has been at least one mass shooting (involving 4 or more victims) every week. Most do NOT take place in “gun free zones”. One week in July the number was in the teens. The day of the Umpqua College shooting there was another shooting in another state that was eclipsed by the Oregon massacre. It took place in and around a private residence. Because of this, a significant number of gun owners and 2A supporters and even NRA members have indicated they are interested in removing this problem from the realm of polarization and dogmatism and actually trying to solve it consultatively.

    But that means not taking a particular element (legislation, in this case) off the table before the dialogue even begins.

    You wrote: “Here’s a sad, crappy fact: laws don’t do anything by themselves. Actual humans are required to take actual actions to make people follow laws. For example, any legally-declared “gun free zone” (GFZ) can only be made gun-free if access is controlled by people, usually people with guns, who ensure anyone entering doesn’t have a gun (an airport, for example). But if we declare a school a GFZ, then don’t establish airport-like security, we’re not keeping guns out.”

    I completely agree. If we are going to have gun free zones, they must be zones in which only authorized personnel may have weapons or people within those zones are going to be at the mercy of shooters like Lanza and Mercer. Umpqua College was not a gun free zone, by the way. Oregon state law makes it illegal to declare gun free zones. The college set some limitations on people who carry, but they could not ban guns completely. A number of people were packing heat at the college that day and thought better of being out with guns drawn when the police (or other good guys with guns) showed up.

    You wrote: “Likewise, any suggestion for regulating gun sales, possessions or transfers from this point forward won’t magically eliminate the hundreds of millions of guns already in existence.”

    This is an odd argument to make. The regulation of gun sales from this point forward is aimed at curbing the number of sales to people who ought not to be able to purchase guns *from this point forward*. It’s about the status quo not continuing into perpetuity. What that regulation looks like (i.e. something similar to the way we regulate drivers in this country), can be arrived at through consultation by people of goodwill and mature reason who are dedicated, not to a political ideology, but to the safety of their fellow human beings.

    You wrote: “The only thing that can prevent a mass murderer from entering a school is heavy security and people with guns; if we’re not going to make every school half prison and half airport (and we’re not), then any aspiring murderer who wants to bring in a gun can bring in a gun. If that murderer gets in, and starts shooting, the ONLY sure way to make them stop is the immediate application of overwhelming force.”

    A better prevention method is to keep the shooter from having the desire, opportunity, and resources to go into the school (or wherever) in the first place. But this is not just about the resources (guns) or just about the opportunity (no overwhelming force present) or just about the desire (whether mental disorder or garden variety rage.) It’s about all of those things. There are two elements in these crimes—the human and the gun. We need to deal with both of these elements. Some aspects of this take time and education and attitude adjustments about—hell, a number of things, including an individual’s sense of self and identity. There is no silver bullet, pardon the phrase.

    However, a national system of information collection and sharing coupled with effective and systematic background checks for ALL gun transfers, and education/training and licensing, for example, can address both the human element (rage, mental disorder, criminal behavior) and the resource element (access of these humans to deadly weapons.)

    You wrote: “Only the intended victims, the people who are eye to eye with the murderer, can react in seconds and put the murderer down.”

    Can react in seconds … if they’re not frozen like deer in the headlights. Many, if not most, people who own guns are not military-trained to use them in life or death situations that send the average human in to flight or fight land. Recently, *unarmed* good guys have had more luck putting shooters down than have armed good guys. In fact, I can’t recall an instance of a GGWAG foiling a crime or taking down a mass shooter. I do recall that several years ago a Texas couple that was not only armed but who had told their stalker they were armed and ready for him were killed in their home despite their supposed readiness. The question of what potentially happens when a good guy with a gun opens fire is the topic of Jim Wright’s article at Stonekettle Station this week—I hope you’ll read it and think about the questions he asks. He’s also ex-military, and a gun owner, by the way.

    “…no mass shooter incident was made better by the lack of armed good guys willing and able to immediately fight back.”

    I’m not sure that’s true. It’s entirely possible that the presence of a good guy with a gun who actually USED the gun might have made things much worse (take the recent case in which a GGWAG fired at carjackers and hit their victim instead. He compounded the injury by cleaning up his casings and disappearing, leaving the victim for someone else to deal with. Consider what might have happened in Aurora if a GGWAG had opened fire in the dark and confusion. Or consider the case of the fellow who almost shot the man that took down Jared Loughner when he saw him standing over Loughner with a gun in his hand. He made the split second decision NOT to shoot. But what if he had made a different decision?

    Read Jim’s article at Stonekettle. I’d be interested to know what you make of the situations he mentions.

  21. “First of all, this is not a debate between an ‘anti-gun side’ and a ‘pro-gun side’. When we reduce it to that, we put ourselves out of reach of ANY solutions or ameliorations of this (or any other) problem. It’s tantamount to saying that finding a solution is just too damned hard so we’re going to keep the issue strictly polarized so we can just argue it through eternity on opposite sides of an impermeable barrier.”

    It shouldn’t be such a polarized debate, but in effect it is. We on the pro-gun side are demonized and often portrayed as desiring criminal violence, or “loving guns more than children” (I’m guessing you’ve heard that before). People on the fringes of the pro-gun side accuse the other side of faking massacres in order to confiscate guns. I agree that we should talk, and that’s one of the reasons I write about these issues. The problem is, too many people on both sides are more concerned with victory than dialogue.

    “So, the so-called ‘pro-gun side’ needs to understand something, too. People like me who are willing to consider new gun legislation (or at least a systematization of current effective practices) are not anti-gun or pro-gun grabbing. We don’t want to disarm everyone in America, or everyone but the police and national guard or anyone who is physically, mentally and emotionally capable of conscientiously keeping and bearing arms. Yeah, there are fringes on both ends of the continuum and they skew the dialogue we could and should be having.”

    *I* understand that, and I’m not dead set against any new laws. I am, however, against any law that will criminalize the innocent while not affecting actual criminals. If a law is proposed that will accomplish the dual tasks of protecting the innocent while disarming the criminal, I’m all for it. Thus far, I haven’t heard any ideas that would accomplish those two tasks.

    “Ignore them if you feel they have nothing to contribute to the dialogue. I do.”

    That’s good advice, but it’s a little difficult since I’m one of their targets. 🙂

    “We do have a gun violence problem. That much is clear. One aspect of it (and only one) is this: Since 2013, as has been pointed out by folks who’ve researched the timeline, there has been at least one mass shooting (involving 4 or more victims) every week. Most do NOT take place in ‘gun free zones’. One week in July the number was in the teens. The day of the Umpqua College shooting there was another shooting in another state that was eclipsed by the Oregon massacre. It took place in and around a private residence. Because of this, a significant number of gun owners and 2A supporters and even NRA members have indicated they are interested in removing this problem from the realm of polarization and dogmatism and actually trying to solve it consultatively.”

    No argument that we have a gun violence problem. That problem is actually in decline, but mass shootings aren’t. And agreed that not all mass shootings are in GFZs, but many of the worst have been (Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, etc). You’re right that gun violence is a serious problem that can happen anywhere. I don’t know of any law that would remove the threat of gun violence without criminalizing people like me, or leaving people like me defenseless while empowering criminals.

    “But that means not taking a particular element (legislation, in this case) off the table before the dialogue even begins.”

    Again, I’m not dead set against any possible legislation. I realize I did a poor job of explaining that in my essay.

    “You wrote: ‘Here’s a sad, crappy fact: laws don’t do anything by themselves. Actual humans are required to take actual actions to make people follow laws. For example, any legally-declared ‘gun free zone’ (GFZ) can only be made gun-free if access is controlled by people, usually people with guns, who ensure anyone entering doesn’t have a gun (an airport, for example). But if we declare a school a GFZ, then don’t establish airport-like security, we’re not keeping guns out.’

    I completely agree. If we are going to have gun free zones, they must be zones in which only authorized personnel may have weapons or people within those zones are going to be at the mercy of shooters like Lanza and Mercer. Umpqua College was not a gun free zone, by the way. Oregon state law makes it illegal to declare gun free zones. The college set some limitations on people who carry, but they could not ban guns completely. A number of people were packing heat at the college that day and thought better of being out with guns drawn when the police (or other good guys with guns) showed up.”

    Agreed on GFZs needing armed people enforcing compliance. Also, understood about the UCC campus. I know some concealed carriers were there and chose not to take action. That’s a judgment call, and while I disagree with it, I get that many concealed carriers are carrying for their own and their families’ protection. Legal concealed carry doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a mass shooting any more than gun control does. However, if one person in the targeted classroom had been a concealed carrier, the end result of the UCC shooting would likely have been very different.

    “You wrote: ‘Likewise, any suggestion for regulating gun sales, possessions or transfers from this point forward won’t magically eliminate the hundreds of millions of guns already in existence.’

    This is an odd argument to make. The regulation of gun sales from this point forward is aimed at curbing the number of sales to people who ought not to be able to purchase guns *from this point forward*. It’s about the status quo not continuing into perpetuity. What that regulation looks like (i.e. something similar to the way we regulate drivers in this country), can be arrived at through consultation by people of goodwill and mature reason who are dedicated, not to a political ideology, but to the safety of their fellow human beings.”

    I understand that point, but I don’t think limiting sales from this point forward will really make much difference. Just my gut feeling.

    “You wrote: ‘The only thing that can prevent a mass murderer from entering a school is heavy security and people with guns; if we’re not going to make every school half prison and half airport (and we’re not), then any aspiring murderer who wants to bring in a gun can bring in a gun. If that murderer gets in, and starts shooting, the ONLY sure way to make them stop is the immediate application of overwhelming force.’

    A better prevention method is to keep the shooter from having the desire, opportunity, and resources to go into the school (or wherever) in the first place. But this is not just about the resources (guns) or just about the opportunity (no overwhelming force present) or just about the desire (whether mental disorder or garden variety rage.) It’s about all of those things. There are two elements in these crimes—the human and the gun. We need to deal with both of these elements. Some aspects of this take time and education and attitude adjustments about—hell, a number of things, including an individual’s sense of self and identity. There is no silver bullet, pardon the phrase.”

    I agree with that. Ideally, we’d be able to identify what drives mass shooters, what the signs of an impending mass shooting are, and take action to prevent it. How that can be done is beyond me, but then again, that’s completely out of my fields of expertise. If it can be done, I’m all for it.

    “However, a national system of information collection and sharing coupled with effective and systematic background checks for ALL gun transfers, and education/training and licensing, for example, can address both the human element (rage, mental disorder, criminal behavior) and the resource element (access of these humans to deadly weapons.)”

    Agreed on the information sharing to a certain point; mental health issues should definitely be shared, but I have a legitimate worry about how much personal information is shared with who. Training/certification, well, I don’t know of any other right which requires training and certification before a citizen is allowed to exercise it. Universal background checks are something I wouldn’t fret about, but I don’t think they’d stop most of the illegal gun proliferation.

    “You wrote: ‘Only the intended victims, the people who are eye to eye with the murderer, can react in seconds and put the murderer down.’

    Can react in seconds … if they’re not frozen like deer in the headlights. Many, if not most, people who own guns are not military-trained to use them in life or death situations that send the average human in to flight or fight land. Recently, *unarmed* good guys have had more luck putting shooters down than have armed good guys. In fact, I can’t recall an instance of a GGWAG foiling a crime or taking down a mass shooter. I do recall that several years ago a Texas couple that was not only armed but who had told their stalker they were armed and ready for him were killed in their home despite their supposed readiness. The question of what potentially happens when a good guy with a gun opens fire is the topic of Jim Wright’s article at Stonekettle Station this week—I hope you’ll read it and think about the questions he asks. He’s also ex-military, and a gun owner, by the way.”

    Not all these incidents happen in seconds. The San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre lasted over an hour. Training is required for anyone to be able to fight proficiently with a gun, but the kicker is that almost no mass shooters have any training at all. The reason they’re able to so effectively kill so many people is that nobody fights back. It’s extremely easy to kill defenseless, unresisting victims. It’s not so easy to kill someone armed and ready to fight back, and it’s just about impossible to focus on killing people who aren’t a threat while you’re being shot at.

    There are many documented and videotaped incidents of GGWAGs stopping crimes. There aren’t many incidents of GGWAGs stopping mass shootings, mainly because they haven’t been present at mass shootings. The UCC shooting was unique in that any concealed carriers were anywhere around. There were none at Sandy Hook, or Virginia Tech, or the South Carolina church, or the Killeen Luby’s, or the Fort Hood Readiness Center, etc. There has been one incident where a church mass shooter was shot by a churchgoer in Colorado, but that incident is usually dismissed because the churchgoer was a former cop (she is often described as a “security guard”, but as far as I can tell she was just an armed parishioner).

    Guns don’t make anyone bulletproof. People can be armed and still get killed. But being armed prevents me from being a defenseless, helpless victim of someone who has zero ability to actually fight.

    “’…no mass shooter incident was made better by the lack of armed good guys willing and able to immediately fight back.’

    I’m not sure that’s true. It’s entirely possible that the presence of a good guy with a gun who actually USED the gun might have made things much worse (take the recent case in which a GGWAG fired at carjackers and hit their victim instead. He compounded the injury by cleaning up his casings and disappearing, leaving the victim for someone else to deal with. Consider what might have happened in Aurora if a GGWAG had opened fire in the dark and confusion. Or consider the case of the fellow who almost shot the man that took down Jared Loughner when he saw him standing over Loughner with a gun in his hand. He made the split second decision NOT to shoot. But what if he had made a different decision?”

    I can’t imagine a situation where you prevent crime by being a better victim. And you’re doing what I see most gun control advocates do: imagining a worst-case scenario for every situation where a GGWAG uses his gun. Most people without a background in firearms imagine the only thing to do with a gun is draw and fire wildly in the general direction of a threat. That’s not the right thing to do, and the anecdote you described isn’t a fair representation of what a trained concealed carrier would or should do. There are videos of concealed carriers drawing, carefully engaging and hitting only the criminals; while those events don’t prove all CCers will do the right thing, your anecdote doesn’t even suggest every CCer will do the wrong thing.

    And I really, really don’t understand how anyone can think they’re safer unarmed when an untrained coward is shooting at them. I mean, I really don’t see how anyone could ever possibly come to that conclusion.

    “Read Jim’s article at Stonekettle. I’d be interested to know what you make of the situations he mentions.”

    It’ll take a little time for me to get to it, but I’ll check it out. Thanks, Maya. 🙂


  1. 1 Unpleasant realities | retiredmustang

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