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I have to say that I was disappointed in Ms Sawyer and the piece "If I only had a gun".
Others on the forum have pointed out the fact that the "Shooter" in the demonstrations was a trained instructor with years of experience, so we need not rehash that.
While the demonstrations were compelling, there was not a mention of when someone who owns a gun has stopped a shooter in the middle of a spee, saving uncounted lives. It is a sad commentary that these things occur in our society. And it is true that while not everyone should own a gun, a vast majority of them are law abiding, up standing people with no wish to engage or otherwise use deadly force unless pressed to.
I beg to ask the question:
If someone at Virgina Tech or Columbine had carried a gun legally onto the campus, would more or less people have died? I submit that in the worst case, the exact same number of people would have died, and nothing would have changed. In the best case, many less would have died, and perhaps none at all. Not even the perpetrator. In an average case, roughly half the people who would have died did die . While still not acceptable, armed citizens would have at least had a chance to defend themselves. As it were, the unarmed citizens had none.
I submit that neither the tragedies of Columbine or Virginia Tech might have even taken place at all, if those misguided youths had thought that they might be intercepted and taken down by an armed civilian who could be anyone, anywhere. But they knew that nobody, NOBODY would have a gun. They knew that they had at least tens of minutes until someone with a weapon showed up to confront them. They took advantage of that knowledge, and the power that it gave them, and acted without reason or regret. When enough time went by, and the Police did show up, those troubled young men heard the sirens and committed suicide in both instances.
The trail of bodies led to a question that could never be answered:
So instead other questions were asked about the easy access to guns, unanswerable questions turned to anger over our inability to stop this tragedy (After all, it IS illegal to carry a gun to school), and finally calls to law makers to restrict guns and ban them. In fact, guns were banned in places like Philadelphia and Washington DC, and gun crimes were way down, right?
If people really want them, guns will be available, even if they are illegal. Unfortunately, those that want them most are usually not the average citizen who would follow the law and not own one.
I am not calling for a return to the Old West, with all us Men-folk walking around with our shooting irons on our hips. I am not interested in the task of managing a gun on my person along with all the other paraphernalia that I carry around every day. I keep a gun safely locked away at home, in the event that I need it. I also keep a torque wrench in my tool box in the garage for the exact same reason.
I used to not feel this way. I used to feel that I would never need a gun, and that violence happens to "Other People". After the complete breakdown of civilization in New Orleans, I was not going to be caught without protection.
And so, in the unlikely event that someone kicks in my door at 3AM, I want something more than harsh words to defend myself with. Even if I were to become a casualty, at least I had a chance.
In the equally unlikely event that I need to torque down the head of a Chevy small block, I've got something for that, too.