If you were to believe what this “report” says about private gun ownership, you would believe that the second amendment is an exercise in foolishness or outright endangerment and that firearms should only be wielded by “professionals”. Excuse me, but I don’t feel like leaving my life in the hands of men who only have to qualify their gun handling skills once a year, much less to some nutbar with a grudge.
In fact, this whole thing smells of yet another sample of agenda-driven “reporting”. It’s a well-known fact that the popular media is against individuals holding, much less using, personal firearms, and it’s an increasingly-known fact that the current government headed by the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress aren’t fans of it, either. But the facts of the matter are conveniently glossed over in this report.
You see, the fact is that the key to mitigating catastrophe in a “mass shooting” incident is immediate and direct intervention. Police are always going to be far away from the situation…I mean, how many of these shooters do their deed in a police precinct, for crying out loud? Even a ten-minute gap can be the difference between stopping a gunman and having dozens of filled body bags on your hands. One brave citizen, even lightly armed and against multiple assailants, can avert such a nightmare and save the day.
The primary qualm that seems to be expressed here is that they will only compound the problem. How? Their lives are already in danger. If they’re armed, they can do something to help themselves rather than depend on others, no matter what their qualifications. Five minutes of waiting can be the difference between life and death. No matter how inexperienced or nervous I am, I’d rather be allowed some means of protecting myself than it be denied to me by the very government founded to guarantee the right to do so.
Take the recent pirate incident for instance. Had the crew been allowed to keep and bear arms while on open sea, the four pirates, with their AKs and RPGs, would have been simply overpowered and outgunned and the situation would have been averted. Same with Columbine, Pearl, Binghamton…had there been people there who were armed, despite any inexperience, the situation would have been far less tragic.
Another aspect I take issue with is the rank incompetence assumed in the report with regard to those who do carry. Granted, I wish on one hand that it were required to take a safety course and mandatory range-time to get a concealed carry license (I don’t wholeheartedly, though…it’s my right to carry if I want to regardless, and there’s no such facility anywhere nearby to get such training) in order to assure a level of competance. However, I believe those among us who do carry and haven’t taken any special training have enough on the ball to know how to shoot properly. Responsible owners and carriers of guns who seek such licenses almost have to be of sufficient intellect to realize they need to work on their skills.
A very well-written blog I’ve found on the subject of personal arms is Xavier Thoughts. There are some very instructive things found there, including the four rules of gun use (1. guns are always loaded, 2. never point a gun at something you don’t want destroyed, 3. keep fingers off the trigger until it’s to be pulled, and 4. know what’s behind target) and five rules of concealed carry (1. a concealed handgun is for protection of life only, 2. know exactly when you can use your gun, 3. run if you can, 4. be prepared to go to jail if you draw your gun, 5. don’t let emotion get the better of you). These are incredibly basic, but incredibly important and fundamental to anyone owning a gun. Enough CC people know and practice these rules to make it worthwhile to allow us to exercise what is our right.
I am compelled by law to leave my gun behind when I go to school or church. I realize that, should some nut come in to kill people, I will have nothing to equalize myself to the threat. As manly as throwing a desk or pew at a shooter would be, it would be pretty ineffectual against a handgun, much less a rifle or shotgun. And just because I don’t wear a badge doesn’t mean I can’t save someone’s life. And wearing a badge doesn’t necessarily ensure competence in weaponeering, only permission to do so.