Indianapolis proves precisely why teachers should be permitted to carry
Gun control advocates have spent weeks picking away at the 'good guy with a gun' argument, only to have a 22-year-old good guy blow the debate out of the water
For weeks, gun control advocates have picked at the “good guy with a gun” argument like buzzards pick at a deer carcass on the shoulder of a sun-baked Tennessee highway.
Since the horrific Uvalde massacre in May, when hundreds of armed “good guys” cowered first outside the Texas school and then in the hallway while a madman murdered students and their teachers from behind the safety of a locked door, proponents of gun bans have sneered that “good guys with a gun” can’t stop a “bad guy with a gun,” after all.
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The abject failure of law enforcement officers in Uvalde — whose inaction still baffles the mind of any objective observer — wasn’t a death knell to the “good guy with a gun” argument. It was a complete breakdown of police training and policy. But that hasn’t dampened the glee of gun control advocates who think they’ve found a way to one-up the National Rifle Association’s rhetoric.
Last week, though, the “good guy with a gun” argument was proven true inside an Indianapolis shopping mall, where a rampaging murderer’s attack was cut short after just 15 seconds when a 22-year-old bystander — a “good guy with a gun” — turned the bad guy with a gun into a dead man with a gun. The bad guy killed three and wounded three more after firing 20 shots, but it could have been so much worse. He had much more ammunition to expend.
Most Americans are lauding the 22-year-old savior of an untold number of lives as a hero. But CNN isn’t “most Americans.” An op-ed published by CNN on Thursday attempts to minimize the heroism as just more propaganda by the NRA and conservatives.
Writing for the suspect cable news network, journalist Jill Filipovic claims, “Even with a ‘good guy’ present, the Indiana mall shooter was still able to kill three people, injure two and traumatize many others. That’s not a victory against gun violence; it’s a horrific scenario by any measure.”
The focus, Filipovic says, shouldn’t be on the fact that there was a good guy present with a gun, but on eliminating guns entirely. “The problem isn’t a lack of good guys. The problem is all the guns,” she writes.
It’s a position that is as “wholly bankrupt” as she claims the gun lobby’s argument to be. If it were possible to eliminate all guns from America, she might have more of a point. Alas, it isn’t.
Gun control advocates like to say that strict gun laws in cities like New York or Chicago, or states like California, don’t work because gunmen can easily go across state lines and purchase firearms.
Fair enough. That’s why it’s illegal to manufacture or possess methamphetamine anywhere in the United States: so that meth-users in one state can’t easily obtain meth from… oh, wait.
The same is true with cocaine, heroin, and the list goes on. It’s banned from sea to shining sea, yet it proliferates our streets and our schools.
In what fairytale world would a ban on guns be any different?
Should guns be more difficult to obtain? Absolutely. Are there a lot of people who own guns but shouldn’t? Definitely. But so long as there are guns, there’s also a need for guns that are used in defense — which is exactly what happened in Indianapolis last week.
The heroics of the 22-year-old mall vigilante scare gun-grabbers because they’ve spent so much energy arguing against the idea that teachers be armed as a means of protecting the defenseless children in their care. Their best argument has been to trot out teachers who say they didn’t enter the field of education to be a militant, which ignores the fact that no one has proposed that teachers be forced to go armed; the idea is that teachers who want to be training and obtain a carry license could carry in their classroom.
The outcome of the Indianapolis mall shooting isn’t the failure that Filipovic argues it to be. It is further proof that arming more good guys is a key and missing piece of our efforts to stop mass shootings. If a teacher locked inside with the Uvalde gunman had been armed like the Indianapolis hero, how differently might things have ended? How many lives might have been saved?
Instead of pondering the obvious, Filipovic wants to focus on the fact that the 22-year-old Indianapolis hero was a lawbreaker: “And even the ‘good guy’ with the gun wasn’t exactly following the rules,” she said. “The mall doesn’t allow weapons on its property and he brought one in anyway.”
Wait a sec. You mean guns were banned inside the mall and the shooter got inside with a gun anyway? And not just any ol’ gun that could easily be concealed, but a long rifle?
The fact that the Indianapolis hero technically broke the law is just another damning indictment of so-called “gun free zones.” Gun rights advocates have long pointed out that “gun free zones,” which include all American public schools, don’t work because they don’t stop gunmen intent on doling out harm.
Admittedly, it’s a radical idea, this notion that someone who intends to murder — a crime punishable by life in prison if not death — would ignore a relatively minor law prohibiting him from carrying a weapon into a shopping mall or a school, but it’s true.
And if the good guy in Indianapolis had obeyed the little sign at the mall entrance showing a gun with a red circle around it and a slash through it, how many more people might have died? The people in that mall would have been sitting ducks. We would be talking about yet another Uvalde, with dozens killed by a rampaging gunman.
Instead, we’re talking about three deaths. Of course it’s tragic. But the good guy saved himself and many others.
It’s as good an argument as you can make for the “good guy with a gun” theory, but Filipovic and CNN don’t think so, or at least don’t want to admit it. “Finally, gun enthusiasts found themselves a good guy with a gun,” she begins. “After more than 45,000 gun deaths in 2020 and more than 24,000 already this year, one legally armed bystander … was able to use his weapon to kill a mass shooter.”
That is an implication that is overtly false. Good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns is a relatively common occurrence, in spite of the mainstream media’s insistence on ignoring most of them. Just weeks before Indianapolis, a 37-year-old man in West Virginia began firing an AR-15 into a crowd of people. No one was injured, because a woman at the party pulled her pistol and killed the man. She “saved several lives,” police said.
According to John Lott, one of the nation’s leading authorities on gun research, there have been at least 10 instances this year, and 31 since the beginning of 2020, where mass shootings have been prevented by good guys with guns.
In fact, the National Crime Victimization Survey finds that firearms in America are used in defense of a crime an average of 70,000 times each year — or about once every 7.5 minutes. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck’s famed research from the 1990s found that guns are used in self-defense far more often than that — more than two million times each year, in fact.
Gun control advocates have spent years attempting to undermine Kleck’s research. Yet, they simultaneously over-inflate the impact of gun violence. For example, Filipovic says that there were “more than 45,000 gun deaths in 2020,” which is true, but most of those were suicides — not murder. The actual number of people killed by bad guys with guns in the U.S. in 2020 was 19,384, according to the CDC.
That’s a number that’s far too high, and it’s a number that we have to reduce. But we aren’t going to reduce it as long as we’re attempting to undermine some of the very efforts that could do so.
“Gun-free zones” are a utopian idea that don’t really apply in the real world. “Good guys with guns” are very much a real world solution. No responsible gun owner who is licensed to carry should be prohibited from carrying his handgun inside a shopping mall, if he wants to. The “gun-free” Indianapolis mall didn’t stop a criminal with murderous intent. And no responsible teacher who is licensed to carry should be prohibited from carrying his handgun inside a classroom, if he wants to. The “gun-free” Uvalde school didn’t stop a criminal with murderous intent.
To deny Americans the right to self-defense is to directly contradict the Constitution. Yet every time we throw up a sign telling people “you can’t carry here,” even while knowing we can’t guarantee that a bad guy with a gun won’t ignore those signs, we’re denying the right of self-defense.
No one is suggesting that more guns in the hands of good guys would stop all mass murders. Other measures for reducing gun violence should simultaneously be explored. But when the bullets start flying, let’s hope that somewhere in the crowd is a good guy with a gun. Otherwise, the victims are left at the mercy of help that is minutes — or, in the case of Uvalde — more than an hour away.
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