Why The Gun-Control Narrative on Armed Citizens is Plain Wrong

posted on August 30, 2023
man reaching for holstered gun
Photo: Peter Fountain

A recent incident in Las Vegas proved once again that armed citizens save lives—and sometimes many, many lives.

On June 23, a man wearing a helmet and armed with a rifle and other firearms charged into the Turnberry Towers luxury condominiums in Las Vegas and began firing shots in the lobby area. Humberto Garcia, an armed front-desk employee carrying a concealed firearm, quickly shot the attacker, putting an end to what could have been a mass-murder situation.

Lt. Noe Esparza with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department tried to calm the public by saying, “I want to dispel any reports of any active assailant or any activeshooter situations; that was not the case here today.”

But, had the attacker not been stopped, it could have quickly turned into an “active-shooter situation.” Some residents who were near the site of the attack called the desk employee a “hero” and believe he saved their lives. The incident was briefly in the news, but once the armed citizen aspect was discovered, gun-control advocates and much of the so-called mainstream media simply chose to ignore the story.

This “lie of omission” is nearly as telling as the outright untruths they regularly claim about armed Americans. Here’s where they’re wrong.

1. Armed Citizens Do Stop Crimes
Many gun-control supporters try to ignore or play down the fact that armed citizens use their firearms frequently to protect themselves and others. The most-recent data available on defensive gun usage is quite telling. The 2021 National Firearms Survey, conducted under the supervision of Georgetown University professor William English, estimated 1.67 million defensive gun uses annually in the United States. That comes out to about 4,575 a day!

Further, armed citizens frequently stop mass-casualty attacks. According to Dr. John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), in 2021, “49% of active-shooting attacks were stopped by citizens with permits to carry.” “If you don’t count ‘gun-free’ zones, the number is closer to 60%. Imagine how much higher those percentages would be if every state had constitutional carry and banned gun-free zones.”

That’s something you won’t find on the Brady Campaign or Everytown websites or in The New York Times or The Washington Post!

Even when an armed citizen stops a mass shooting in a way that is too fantastic to ignore, gun-ban advocates often go out of their way to find a reason to criticize the situation. When Elisjsha Dicken successfully used his gun to stop a murderer at an Indiana mall food court, a Newsweek story lamented: “The good Samaritan who shot and killed the gunman who opened fire in the Greenwood Park Mall in Indiana on Sunday afternoon reportedly broke the property’s policy against weapons.”

2. Semi-Automatic Firearms Are Nothing New
When President Joe Biden (D) and gun-control advocates of all kinds malign a certain type of firearm—namely semi-automatics—they’re actually twisting the facts to make those who are ignorant about guns believe there’s something new and sinister about this type of action. In truth, there’s not.

Semi-automatic firearms have been around for well over 100 years. Additionally, semi-automatic firearms—rifles, pistols and shotguns—are commonly used by lawful Americans to protect themselves and others.

Biden has even implied multiple times times that he favors banning semi-automatic pistols even though millions upon millions of these firearms are owned by lawful Americans. These are actually the pistols that the vast majority of gun owners use for concealed-carry and self-defense purposes, yet the media and politicians like Biden say they are too dangerous for “civilian” ownership.

With more than 400 million firearms privately owned in America today, banning semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns or all three would not stop criminals who want to do harm. What such a ban would do, however, is put lawful citizens at a severe disadvantage, as it would take away their ability to protect themselves and their families from those criminals who wouldn’t follow such a law.

In their zeal to demonize guns and gun owners, gun-control advocates also ignore another very important fact: The right to keep and bear commonly owned firearms is a sacred right enumerated in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. With last year’s Bruen decision now over a year old, we’re seeing this right respected and upheld more frequently in courtrooms throughout the country.

3. The Vast Majority of Armed Citizens Are Good, Responsible Americans
Those who advocate for more-restrictive firearms laws would like you to believe that concealed-carry practitioners and other armed citizens are lawless, reckless and dangerous; however, just the opposite is true.

Right-to-carry permit holders have been proven to be far more law-abiding than the average citizen. According to CPRC research, in the 19 states with comprehensive permit-revocation data, the average revocation rate is one-tenth of one percent. Usually, permit revocations occur because someone moved or died or forgot to bring their permit while carrying. Further, CPRC even found that in Florida and Texas, permit holders were convicted of firearms-related violations at a rate one-twelfth of that of law-enforcement officers!

“You rarely hear an instance where a CCL holder is using their firearm in an unlawful manner,” said Lt. Matthew Boerwinkle, a spokesman for the Illinois State Police in 2018. “And most of them, they understand what the requirements are to use force to defend themselves.”

Knowing the facts here is critical because blaming and otherwise going after armed citizens for the actions of criminals gets in the way of solving the problem of violent crime, which is prevalent in some areas of America’s large cities. Such an emphasis diverts resources, undermines what could be honest discussions that could lead to better policy and alienates the more than 100 million lawfully armed Americans who need to be a part of the solution to stop the bad guys. ​


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