Here’s one thing we can all agree on in this polarized political climate: The shooting in Aurora was an unspeakably horrible tragedy. What many Americans disagree on is what can be done to stop such events. The proposed solutions couldn’t be more dissimilar. Anti-gun politicians say the shooting proves the need to restrict gun rights. Meanwhile pro-gun activists argue that a good guy with a gun could’ve stopped the Aurora shooter, if only the movie theater didn’t ban concealed carry.
Ted Nugent weighed in with the following tweet: we pray for all victims&lovedones of demonshooter in CO& we SALUTE the brave warriors who saved lives IF only they would hav had a good gun.
Anti-gun politicians scoff at the idea. They can’t cite any examples, yet they insist that somehow a good guy with a gun would only make the situation worse. Could someone with a concealed-carry permit have stopped the Aurora shooting? I’m as pro-gun as they come, but the truth is I don’t know. However, I also know that if a man intent on evil enters a room and starts shooting, if I have a gun, at least I’ve got a fighting chance.
I argue this not merely based on hypotheticals, but actual events in which armed citizens stopped would-be mass killers.
For instance, in 2002 a disgruntled former student opened fire at the Appalachian School of Law, killing two professors and a student. The incident, though tragic, would have been far worse if not for the actions of two brave students, who ran to their vehicles, obtained personal firearms and immobilized the gunman–all without firing a shot. And in the midst of a 1997 shooting spree at a high school in Pearl, Miss., the assistant principal retrieved a gun from his car and held the shooter for police, preventing further tragedy. More recently, a hero with a concealed-carry permit used his gun to stop a knife-wielding man who had already stabbed two random people and sought further victims.
Lawful, armed citizens have squashed similar attacks in Tyler, Texas, at a church in Colorado Springs, Colo., a mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, and elsewhere. In all aforementioned incidents, good, law-abiding people met force with force, and they saved lives. They exercised their rights to self-defense, a basic human liberty that’s all but neutralized by “gun-free” zones.
So, I won’t argue that an armed good guy would’ve stopped the Aurora shooter. But it’s possible.