Carrying a Gun Wouldn’t Necessarily Get You Out of a Shooting
‘If I Only Had a Gun’: 20/20 Examines Gun Violence in America By EAMON MCNIFF April 10, 2009—
America is facing an epidemic of gun violence. Thirteen people were killed last week in Binghamton, N.Y., when a gunman, identified by authorities as 41-year-old Jiverly Wong, executed a mass shooting at the American Civic Association. The aftermath of that bloodshed has raised many questions, including whether armed, everyday citizens could take down such a gunman and save lives. Could you protect yourself if you only had a gun? There are 250 million guns in the United States, enough for almost every man, woman and child to arm themselves. The FBI performed 12 million gun-related background checks in 2008, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. And with more than 50 deaths resulting from mass shootings in the past month alone, the argument for ordinary citizens arming themselves in schools, workplaces and anywhere else continues to grow. But if teachers at Colorado’s Columbine High School or the students and faculty of Virginia Tech University had concealed or open-carry permits, range training and loaded handguns mixed with their school supplies, could they have taken down men armed to the teeth, ready to die and acting under the element of surprise?
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I missed this story on TV last night but I already know that once again, our main stream media couldn’t produce a unbiased report on guns. The basic gist of the story is that we American citizens couldn’t defend ourselves with our guns if we had too, and there is no one but the police that will protect us.
Of course, they based their entire report around a police department that serves some of the most liberal people in our state, the Bethlehem, Pa. police department.
“Video games and movies, they glorify gun fights,” said Chris Benton, a police investigator with the Bethlehem, Pa. police department. “It’s not reality you know and they get that warped sense that this video games is exactly what I can do in real life.”
Chris Benton obviously doesn’t know his history. Back on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, two students, who never had any firearms training, killed 12 classmates and a teacher. We all know the story, it was the basis of piles of gun-control legislation and the PR baby for the Brady Campaign. So, how could two kids that never received training kill 13 people with guns? The answer is video games. It is a proven fact that playing video games improves hand-eye coordination and with the more realistic first-person shooter games, basic marksmanship is easy to obtain.
So, according to Benton, real life gun fights are nothing like video games, unless your the bad guy.
Average Citizens Not Prepared to Handle a Gun in an Emergency
The next section of the ABC story goes into how we ill-prepared we citizens are to protect ourselves. This is the only part of the story that will even get a minor degree of agreement from me. There are way too many people out there that purchase a gun, shoot 50 rounds through it and then strap it on. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with PA requiring, at the very least, the NRA basic pistol course to get a LTCF (license to carry a firearm) similar to Utah and Florida.
That being said, I can also attest to the fact that most gun owners that carry their weapon on a daily basis spend time and money on training and perfecting their basic skills. Carrying a concealed firearm is uncomfortable, limits you to what clothing you can wear, where you can go, and exposes you to a host of legal and moral considerations. People like me that chose to carry a firearm every day make a commitment to do so and most of us back up that commitment with training.
Our government doesn’t have the right to tell our citizens they can’t defend themselves and I think that it is irresponsible of ABC and the law enforcement professionals they interviewed for the story to say that our citizens shouldn’t attempt to defend themselves. Sorry, but I’d rather die fighting than go out like a calf waiting for slaughter. Look at the seven incidents in the past month. Of the seven mass shootings, only two incidents involved police officers at the time of the shooting, and that is because they were the victims. In the other five events, the police showed up after the incident was over. The worst shootings in our history, Columbine, Virgina Tech, the North Carolina nursing home, and the NY Civic Center all had one thing in common, they were all in supposed “gun-free” zones.
One thing that the ABC report completely overlooked are the 2 million gun owners that use their weapons to defend themselves every year. Right here in York, PA we had a lethal shooting involving a legally carrying gun owner just last year. This man came to the defense of a woman being victimized and was able to stop an attack by a crazed man (video of the shooter talking about the attack). Defending yourself with your firearm doesn’t always mean pulling the trigger. Most of the time the crime ends when the firearm is presented. This is because criminals look for easy prey and like us, don’t want to die.
Regardless of ABC’s report, I think the American people are realizing that the police can’t be there to protect us. In fact, they are under no obligation to do so. In this day were our citizens are depending more and more on the government, I’m afraid that many of the 250 million gun owners in this country are going to be willing to give up some of their freedom in order to believe that they will be safer. More gun laws will not fight this problem. Benjamin Franklin said it best.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”