Professor Reynolds of Instapundit notes that he made the point that I have been trying to make in an article five years ago:
In fact, some mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens. Though press accounts downplayed it, the 2002 shooting at Appalachian Law School was stopped when a student retrieved a gun from his car and confronted the shooter. Likewise, Pearl, Miss., school shooter Luke Woodham was stopped when the school’s vice principal took a .45 fromhis truck and ran to the scene. In February’s Utah mall shooting, it was an off-duty police officer who happened to be on the scene and carrying a gun.
Police can’t be everywhere, and as incidents from Columbine to Virginia Tech demonstrate, by the time they show up at a mass shooting, it’s usually too late. On the other hand, one group of people is, by definition, always on the scene: the victims. Only if they’re armed, they may wind up not being victims at all.
“Gun-free zones” are premised on a fantasy: That murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student, or Bradford Wiles, are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers like Cho Seung-hui. That’s an insult. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one.
In More Firepower, Not Less, I wrote:
In an open society where police can only be in one place at a time and provide deterrence via their presence and investigatory functions after a violent crime, how does such a society guard against a lone actor bent on mass casualties?
There is just no way that police, no matter how many or how good they are, can be everywhere. They simply cannot be expected to protect the public against a random and lone lunatic like James Holmes, Seung-Hui Cho (VT shooter), Jared Loughner (Gabby Giffords) or Nidal Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter).
Legislation only affects the people who obey laws, not the criminals – but that is what we typically do. A criminal uses a gun to kill; the first impulse is to take guns away from those who broke no law. Islamists fly planes into buildings; create a massive bureaucracy to search old ladies and 6 year-olds.
The standard response of the political left is to restrict the rights of all in an effort to stop a few…but examples of this wrongheaded process are legion. In a total reversal of position of an ideology that professes ” better the guilty go free than one innocent convicted”, their position in practice is “better all be determined guilty so that we don’t have to deal with the few who are.”
I’ve noted before that the political left cannot recognize irony…
One such example is from the President’s own back yard – Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws in America, yet over the weekend, three people were murdered and 28 hurt in gun related incidents – not a single one by a permitted gun owner…
To the leftists, the presence of guns is the problem, not the presence of criminals. This is like saying that to stop car accidents, we need to ban gasoline…but we can’t because the cost to society of car accidents has been deemed acceptable when weighing the impacts to freedom of movement and the necessity of transport of people and goods. We don’t ban the activity – instead we do everything we can to reduce the possibility through training, insurance and enforcement of laws on the books. If we have habitually bad drivers or they have been judged a danger to others, we have mechanisms available to take them off the road – we don’t close the highways.
The right to bear arms should be viewed no differently.
It is clear that the left believes that this is an unnecessary right. The incident at Theater 9 in Aurora, Colorado proves once again that they are wrong.