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Guns—Must Be Present To Win

Guns—Must Be Present To Win

The gun-control nuts are never going to win awards for their ability to suppress emotion and think clearly and critically, but sometimes I have to wonder how they even get along in the world day-to-day. This uncertainty has been flaring in my mind more often of late because of the apparent coordinated campaign to bring the defensive utility of firearms into question by way of a relatively new argument. Their weird excuse for thinking goes like this: Few mass shootings are stopped by armed citizens, so guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are of no use for self-defense. Did the legally armed UBER driver in Chicago save four lives? Seven? Ten?

We will go ahead and set aside the fact that firearms are used defensively in America at least tens of thousands of times each year. Some estimates even exceed the 1 million mark, and at least one gun-control guru who calls himself a scientist has admitted that it is difficult to find fault with these mind-blowing numbers. We will also set aside the fact that mass shootings, while horrific and made for today’s shock-value media, are one of the rarest of events. 

For the record, a number of mass shootings have been interrupted by armed citizens. What would have happened without this intervention will never be known. We will never know who is alive and well today because of it. Did the legally armed UBER driver in Chicago save four lives? Seven? Ten? That event wasn’t even considered a “mass shooting” because the bad guy with the gun had only just started to shoot in the crowded city streets when the good guy with the gun put him down in his tracks with a well-placed shot. 

How many other shootings were prevented from ever being defined as “mass” because of a gun in the right hands? How many other “shootings” were stopped before the first bullet was fired? We will never know, but we do know that the radicals would put the number at zero if they had their way. 

One ironic but unsurprising characteristic of mass shootings is that research on the matter shows that nine out of 10 occur on the specific properties where the gun-control crowd feels safest—places that prohibit defensive firearms from being carried by the law-abiding. Many of the others are committed in political jurisdictions where defensive firearm carry is prohibited for all intents and purposes by the not-so-benevolent political leaders (read, California). 

Who would have ever believed that crazed killers who are set on violating society’s most sacred laws would not be deterred by a relatively minor law or posted sign prohibiting the possession of firearms? It just doesn’t make sense—to those who never make sense. 

Gun-control activists work daily to prohibit the possession of firearms everywhere, including our homes, but they have a particular obsession with schools, universities, hospitals, churches, military bases and workplaces. If their favorite laws don’t do the job, they encourage private property owners to post signs barring gun possession.

Not coincidentally, aspiring mass murders who couldn’t care less about complying with gun possession laws or rules have a similar obsession with these same places. It’s not necessarily that they think they are going to survive the day that makes them famous thanks to our twisted mass media. It’s more that they don’t want to be interrupted by an armed good guy before they do all of the killing they believe they must in order to have their name remembered. They know the places where they are more likely to achieve success.

Almost all of what the gun-control advocates do is perverse by definition, but the whole “guns aren’t good for self-defense because so ‘few’ mass shootings are stopped by armed citizens” thing is laughable. So, let’s get this straight. The gun controllers work tirelessly to prohibit good guys from carrying guns. Then, when mass murders take place and no good guy with a gun is present to intervene, they use the scenario as evidence to indicate something other than the insanity of their proven policy failure? Maybe they can start a new lobby that claims that specific maritime disasters prove life vests don’t save lives on sinking ships—that the vests were locked away in the bowels of the ships at the moment of crisis is irrelevant. Guns must be present in order to have any chance of winning the day when really terrible things start to happen.

It makes sense to everyone I know: Guns must be present in order to have any chance of winning the day when really terrible things start to happen. I’m not sure what the real numbers are with regard to mass killings that have occurred in the past, but I am absolutely positive that 100 percent of aspiring mass killers at an International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) shooting match would be stopped in progress by multiple armed citizens, not just one. Ditto for one trying to do his thing at a Libertarian Party convention in Kansas or an Independence Day parade in Arizona. I’m talking 100 percent here. Guaranteed. 

It’s an undeniable truth. Gun controllers actively make locations vulnerable to acts of brutal, mass violence by advocating policy that disarms good people. Then, when crazed killers are successfully baited to these artificially soft targets to do their evil, the zealots use the incident to argue that their disarmament efforts need to be expanded. How can this be acceptable to anyone under any circumstances? Are so many of us completely blind to abject failure? 

If all of America looked more like the participants at a friendly, weekend IDPA match in San Antonio and less like the crowd at a bitter Hillary Clinton campaign rally in San Francisco, we would all be so much safer for it. The tens of millions of concealed-carry license holders over the last few decades have proven beyond any doubt whatsoever that good guys who are able to carry a gun in public don’t turn into crazed killers. In fact, the vast social experiment that is concealed carry is arguably the most successful in the history of our country. 

The number of Americans who currently hold valid licenses to carry concealed handguns stands somewhere near 13 million. We know that total is growing every day. Importantly, the number of Americans who are no longer required to obtain a license to do what has always been their right is growing, with six states now counted as having comprehensive “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry” laws. 

Just like at an IDPA match, I like more guns around me at all times. They make me safe (notice that I didn’t use the word “feel” here). Unlike those who spend their lives trying to make us all vulnerable to attack—whatever their motivation—I embrace the fact that there are many situations where the gun must be present for good to triumph over evil. 

We should all do our level best to make sure that ours is available and ready to roll if the time comes. The NRA will continue to do its part to increase the number of places where defensive firearm carry is legal. Another way to think about this is that it will continue to decrease the number of places where those who aspire to kill are likely to do their thing uninterrupted.