After someone shot eight people in a local mall, the mayor of Wauwatosa, Wis., Dennis McBride (D), actually said, “Guns have no place in shopping malls or other places in which crowds of people gather. Mayfair (mall) has a strict no-gun policy. If the shooter had complied with that policy, no one would have been hurt yesterday.”
This comment went viral, as a lot of people mocked the mayor’s naiveté. But, in his defense, this mayor was merely saying out loud what anti-Second Amendment groups and politicians often advocate for, as they often argue that “no-gun zones” somehow save lives. They argue this even though most mass-murderers seem to purposely choose to commit their atrocities in such zones.
Police described the incident as “the result of an altercation between two groups of people,” but have stopped short of saying it was gang-related. At least four of the victims were simply bystanders to the fight. As this was being written, all of the victims were recovering, and police had announced a 15-year-old boy had been arrested as the alleged perpetrator.
The mall’s “strict” policy says firearms and illegal weapons are prohibited, and that “guests who do not act responsibly may be asked to leave.” (There’s no word on whether mall officials asked the shooter to leave for not acting responsibly.)
Mayor McBride later tried to clarify his remarks by saying, “There are people who break rules and laws. I see a deeper problem in society. Children shouldn’t have guns. Mayfair has a strict no-gun policy. People should not bring guns to malls.”
In fact, according to research from the FBI, out of 50 mass-shooting incidents in 2016-2017, 10 were ended by civilians, including four where lawfully armed civilians thwarted mass shootings. “Their selfless actions likely saved many lives,” the FBI report notes.
An earlier report, conducted from 2000 to 2013, noted that 26 out of 160 active-murderer incidents (16%) were ended by civilians, including five incidents where the civilians were armed.
Records of civilian intervention in 2018 show five of 27 shootings featured citizen intervention, two by armed citizens. In 2019, civilians intervened in five of 28 mass shootings, two by lawfully armed citizens. (Some research indicates these FBI totals are undercounted.)
Tellingly, Joe Biden’s benighted “gun-control czar” Beto O’Rourke was confronted on this issue a year ago. While promoting his confiscation schemes, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota challenged Beto: “You expect mass shooters to follow the law?” After an awkward five-second pause, Beto said, “Our fellow Americans will follow the law, yes.”
While considering government restrictions on carrying arms, 18th century Italian philosopher and criminologist Cesare Beccaria observed ( later quoted by Thomas Jefferson), “Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
Responsible politicians owe it to their constituents to own these manifest truths rather than indulging in deadly fantasies that ultimately render victims defenseless.
(David Burnett is an ICU nurse based in Detroit, Mich. He holds degrees in business, nursing and law and is a frequent contributor to America’s 1st Freedom.)