When I stated elsewhere that this was not a “gun rights” issue, I was referring to the actions of the shooter himself. Anti-gun proponents use these awful scenarios to argue the need for greater gun control or the complete eradication of civilian firearm ownership. They contend that if guns were only available to military and law enforcement, these tragedies would not have occurred. Sadly, the root of these heartbreaking events goes much deeper than whether or not someone can legally obtain/possess a gun. The seemingly random and meaningless killings over the past decade may have involved firearms, but they are hallmarks of a culture that is increasingly sick and depraved in both mind and heart. Guns happened to be the tools of choice, but a will always finds a way. Deranged murderers will either secure firearms illegally or devise some other malevolent plot, and ridding the world of all sharp or inherently dangerous objects will neither cure nor assuage this disease of soul that is devastating our nation. On the other hand, for those unwittingly caught up in the madness, this is absolutely an issue of gun rights.
I don’t intend to start an ugly debate, but I must make a point and raise a few questions. I’ve seen lots of news coverage grappling with “how we prevent this sort of thing in the future” and thus far, I’ve heard no legitimate solutions. We obviously can’t predict “crazy” with any degree of certainty, so we can only focus on combatting it when it rears its hideous head. It’s important to note that these deadly rampages are occurring in places where law abiding citizens are not expected (or allowed) to be armed: schools, churches, theaters, etc. So the practical question begged is, what could have stopped this gunman from killing 26 innocent people? As parents around the country are fearfully sending their kids back to school today, what comfort can they be offered that this won’t happen somewhere else? The solution: let them take up arms.
First, there is the “deterrent factor.” When a home or a vehicle is equipped with a security system, that info is clearly posted for any potential burglar to see. I don’t propose that it wards off every malefactor, but thugs will generally choose the easier targets. So can’t we reasonably assume that some shooters might be hesitant to attack a church or school if they knew in advance that they would encounter resistance? Sure, “crazy” doesn’t heed logic (especially if a killer has no expectation of survival), but where self-preservation still exists, a visible warning goes a long way.
When the threat of resistance isn’t enough, it needn’t remain merely a threat. Those opposed to loosening concealed carry restrictions cite the Batman shooter, claiming that even an armed “good Samaritan” could not have stopped him since he was wearing body armor. Well, that debate will never be definitively settled because nobody tried. And he was the exception, as most of the recent shooters have NOT been similarly outfitted, nor have they been firing from defensible positions. What if a few staff members with pistols could have abated this Newtown killing spree? Yet here is another question that will never be answered because concealed carry is currently illegal at educational institutions. You cannot convince me that none of those grieving parents have considered this “what if,” which may have meant the difference between life and death.
Lawful or unlawful, guns aren’t going to disappear. We can’t abolish evil or foresee psychosis, but we can “fight fire with fire” when innocent life is threatened. And no government should be able to rule otherwise.