In the wake of the unthinkable massacre in Chattanooga, Tennessee, pro-gun ideologues are once again calling for ordinary citizens to arm themselves as a solution to mass shootings. If only the the slain marine’s had been able to carry their M16A2 rifles while recruiting our children to fight in these unjust wars of late, they could’ve stopped the killer. This latest twist on a long-running argument isn’t just absurd on its face; there is no evidence to support it. As recently reported in an in-depth investigation, not one of 62 mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years has been stopped this way. More broadly, attempts by armed individuals to intervene in shooting rampages are rare—and are successful even more rarely. (Two people who tried it in recent years were gravely wounded or killed.) And law enforcement overwhelmingly hates the idea of armed citizens getting involved.
WISHFUL THINKING ON DAKOTA MEYER’S PART
Just a few hours ago Chattanooga, TN was struck with tragedy as four United States Marines were shot and killed and one Law Enforcement Office was wounded in attacks on a Navy/Marine Corps recruiting office and Navy Reserve center. First and foremost my thoughts and prayers go out to the families those four Marines left behind. This incident IS an act of domestic terrorism, regardless of how Washington spins it, regardless of what nationality, color, creed, or otherwise the shooter was. This was a planned attack on the United Stated Military on United States soil. Now is not the time to come out waiving photos of bullet holes in the glass calling for more gun control and spinning the story to yield a further separation of peoples in the Unites States. Now is the time for a call on the American people to finally realize the state of the world we are living in and the enemy that we face. Now is the time to call on the on the American people to ignore the propaganda that special interest groups have been shoving in our faces and unite as a country so that we may become our neighbor’s keeper. Evil is not just over seas, but also here at home. Moments after this tragedy had occurred ISIS sent out via Twitter that they were responsible for the attacks and that the shooter, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was one of theirs. ISIS said recently that they were coming to American soil to kill members of the United States Military and now that threat has come to fruition.
I, for one, do not plan to give away by ability to defend myself and those I care about. I carry a firearm with me at all times legally under the conceal and carry laws in the area that I am in. I do not call for a disarming of American but instead a full institution of the 2nd Amendment so that we may defend ourselves as a country from all threats, both foreign and domestic. The threat is here, this is real, and this will not be the end of it.
Dakota Meyer’s Waco Facebook Post
Don’t seem to the stop the “arm America more!“crowd from pressing the argument with alleged examples of successful armed interventions. The problem is, the few examples they keep using—in which they depict plain old folks acting heroically and with definitive results—fall apart under scrutiny.
WHAT ABOUT CASES
In which citizens try to use their guns and things go terribly wrong? There are at least two examples of ill-fated attempts that you won’t see mentioned by those arguing for your kid’s teacher to start stashing a loaded Glock in her classroom:
Shopping mall shooting in Tacoma, Washington
As a rampage unfolded in 2005, a civilian with a concealed-carry permit named Brendan McKown confronted the assailant with his handgun.
The shooter pumped several bullets into McKown, wounding six people before eventually surrendering to police after a hostage standoff. A comatose McKown eventually recovered after weeks in the hospital. I happen to personally know the attorney (great guy and even better advocate)
Darrell Cochran who argued the case for Mr. McKown that arose out of this incident:
Courthouse shooting in Tyler, Texas
In 2005, a civilian named Mark Wilson, who was a firearms instructor, fired his licensed handgun at a man on a rampage at the county courthouse. Wilson was shot dead by the body-armored assailant, who wielded an AK-47.
Such actions in chaotic situations don’t just put the well-intentioned citizen at risk, of course. According to Robert McMenomy, an assistant special agent in charge in the San Francisco division of the FBI, they increase the danger for innocent bystanders. (Exhibit A: the gun-wielding guy
who came really close to shooting an innocent person as the Tucson massacre unfolded.) They also make it more difficult for law enforcement officers to do their jobs. “In a scenario like that,” McMenomy told me recently, “they wouldn’t know who was good or who was bad, and it would divert them from the real threat.”
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