Armed Americans have no legal obligation to stop a spree killer or any other person committing a violent act. While many gun owners would feel morally compelled to use their firearm to intervene, morality is a personal issue. There are many good and entirely justifiable reasons to move away from an active shooter, whether you’re armed or not. In any case, The Trace‘s decision to name John Parker, Jr. [above] as one of 10 Americans Who Shaped the Gun Debate This Year highlights the anti-gun agitprop propagators’ abject amorality. Like this . . .
On October 1, as a student opened fire on a classroom at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Oregon, another student named John Parker, Jr., decided not to intervene. At the time of the shooting, the Air Force veteran was elsewhere on campus and carrying a concealed firearm, making him the proverbial “good guy with a gun,” whom Second Amendment advocates often imagine saving the day in the event of an active shooting. “Luckily we made the choice not to get involved,” Parker told MSNBC. “We were quite a distance away from the actual building where it was happening, which would have opened us up to being potential targets ourselves.”
Again, chef don’t judge. Mr. Parker chose not to enter the field of fire at Umpqua. So be it. But The Trace is using Mr. Parker’s decision to suggest that there shouldn’t be any “good guys with a gun” (i.e. armed civilians) because they can’t do squat to prevent or stop a spree killing. Yes, well, click here for 12 Times Mass Shootings Were Stopped by Good Guys With Guns [via controversialtimes.com]. Meanwhile, file this one under willful ignorance . . .
Groups like the National Rifle Association have long argued that a heavily-armed society is a safer one, allowing civilians to protect themselves from a host of ever-present dangers, including, but not limited to, “home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and … campus killers.” Yet a recent study by Harvard University’s David Hemmenway suggests that owning a gun does not make you any safer. The study shows not only that so-called “Defensive Gun Use” rarely protects a person from harm, but also that such incidents are much more rare than gun advocates claim.
I’m not going to besmirch Mr. Hemenway’s eminently besmirchable reputation to refute the assertions made above. Suffice it to say, common sense tells us that NRA jefe Wayne LaPierre’s famous post-Sandy Hook pronouncement – “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” – is correct. If nothing else, the police are “good guys” who arrive at the scene of a spree killing, equipped with guns, to do that very thing.
To which gun control advocates reply: the police are trained. Civilians are not! Regardless of thousands of well-documented examples of armed Americans stopping violent attack, gun control advocates say it’s better to wait for the police than it is for armed “amateurs” to act in their own defense, or the defense of others.
As commentators have pointed out below, there’s no winning with gun control advocates. If a “good guy with a gun” intervenes in a violent attack, he’s an untrained vigilante. If he hangs fire, it’s proof that he didn’t need to be armed. If people die, well the bad guy should have been able to get a gun. Society is responsible.
Anyway you cut it, that’s an extremely amoral position. The Trace and its ilk are, in effect, condemning innocent people to death. And they’ve decided to make Mr. Parker the poster child for this position.
Parker’s statement, coming from someone devoid of a political agenda, demonstrated one of the reasons why a civilian concealed carrier has stopped only one active shooting from 2000 to 2013, according to an FBI report. As Parker explained to the MSNBC reporter, “Not knowing where SWAT was on their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were, and if we had our guns ready to shoot they could think we were the bad guys.” Without intending to, Parker was embodying a new definition of a good guy with a gun: someone who exercises common sense in the face of danger. —Mike Spies
With full understanding of his intentions – civilian disarmament – Mr. Spies is attempting to redefine “a good guy with a gun” as someone who fails to act in his or her own defense, or the defense of others. For the last time, Mr. Parker should not be criticized for his decision to keep clear of the Umpqua killer. But lionizing him, as The Trace does, shows true cowardice. And worse.