By Bryan Kingsley

David Liberman’s recent post, “It Should’ve Been A DGU: Luck Runs Out Edition,” raised some interesting questions. As David pointed out, there is indeed a lot of wiggle room, conjecture, and supposition in situations like this. An unhealthy amount of would-a and could-a, not to mention should-a. We can make ourselves crazy over-analyzing these things after the fact. But the fact remains: once again, an act of senseless violence has taken the life of an innocent person. Someone who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone who, when confronted with awful circumstances, in the face of pure evil, did everything “right” . . .

To say that Barbara Preidt could have survived the encounter with an armed robber had she or her husband been armed isn’t necessarily wrong. In fact that’s my opinion and it’s likely shared by most TTAG readers.

But are we any more right to hold this example up than a gun grabber would be in saying that Mrs. Preidt would have walked away unharmed if the criminal hadn’t had a gun in the first place? Think about it — when we make an example of these situations, what differentiates us from the the anti-2A crowd? Maybe we have more in common than we realize.

Look at the big picture. We’re all looking for the same outcome – the good guys win, the bad guys lose and the really bad guys die — or at least rot in jail. We can throw facts, supporting evidence, numbers and statistics back and forth at each other all day long and never make any headway. In the end, we want to see innocent, law-abiding citizens able to go about our lives in peace. And criminals get every bit of what they deserve when they try to stand in the way.

I appreciate Mr. Liberman’s article and I admire him for taking on such a tough subject. As I said before, I know how important it is to report these kinds of stories and to have these discussions. But after reading about Mrs. Preidt and similar stories on TTAG, the thought that always runs through my mind is this: is it right for anyone to make an example of a tragedy? Aren’t we waving the bloody shirt, too?

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31 Responses to Question of the Day: Do We Wave the Bloody Shirt, Too?

  1. it is neither exploitative nor sensationalistic(as in “If it bleeds,it leads” attitude of the news media) to cite examples of actual DGU’s or to point out how things might have gone better. Humans learn from experiance. After-action analysis improves the skills ad expands the knowledge of soldiers , firemen,etc. Were it not for history, we’d constantly be reinventing the lightbulb. Reviewing these events gives us all somethig to build and improve on.
    Though the anti-gun crowd may want the same outcome as we do. Their political bent,preconceptions,personal predjudices(hoplophobia) and willing or unwilling ignorance cause them to consistantly draw the wrong conclusons. Thus we must discuss these incidents with them and take them shooting until, one-by -one, they begin ot see the light. They fear the object (guns), and overdraw the lesson that the weapon and not it’s weilder is the problem. As Mark Twain said,”We must learn what there is to learn from an experience– and no more. A cat that sits on a hot stove lid will never sit on another. But, she will never sit on a cold one either!”

  2. I agree with the statement that Mrs. Priedt would likely have walked away had the assailant not had a gun. However, I also think it more likely that she would have done so had she or someone else been armed.

    The real question is, how does one propose to disarm the criminals? Please, only ideas that haven’t been shown ineffective in the past.

    • The real question is, how does one propose to disarm the criminals?

      by making it so dangerous to commit a violent act upon an innocent person that the criminals willingly find another hobby or line of work.

      The thought of losing their freedom doesn’t affect their criminal behavior, perhaps the though of them losing their lives, or being bound to a wheelchair will change their minds.

      • For some criminals., your last statement will be valid. Unfortunately, in out society today, a significant percentage of violent criminals simply DO NOT CARE.

        This is hard for us to understand when we value our own and others lives.

        This group of criminals, could literally care less if they were gunned down tomorrow. This breed is many times the most vicious.

        • Some men just need killin’. — James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (while he was working as a deputy for Wyatt Earp)

    • It doesn’t stop at taking away guns. You would also have to ban knives, baseball bats, and any other object that could be used to cut, stab, or bludgeon. Effectively, you cannot disarm criminals.

      Anti-gun laws, however, always weigh more heavily on law-abiding citizens. While a criminal only needs to carry a weapon when they are committing the crime and can otherwise discard their weapon and avoid violating any laws, a law-abiding person who wishes to be armed must be armed at all times and are always under the pressure of the laws against their possession of their weapon.

      So, no, if the attacker did not have a gun that does not mean that everyone would have walked away alive. A knife, a club, or even a sucker-punch could have led to the death of the victim. However, if the victim or her husband had been armed there is a reasonable chance that at least the criminal would have had his own body bag that night, and in the hypothetical that the husband (or the wife, for that matter) was armed AND trained to remain aware and respond to threats there is a strong chance that only the criminal would have come to harm that night.

  3. I agree with promoting “this senseless tragety could have been prevented if the victim was trained and armed” as well as “look at all these cases where the intended victim survived because they were armed”. Stop taking abuse from the hoplophobes and fight back!

  4. I would say that these stories can be helpful in mentally preparing for what may be coming our way at a later date. But more than that the narrative needs to change in the way our society views gun ownership and use. We allowed the anti’s for decades to paint us with the “gun nut” brush. Our push back needs to be just as pointed. While obviously we currently have no requirement for citizens to be armed, we need to point out that those that refuse to arm are shirking their responsibility to their family, community and their country. By not arming they are helping to make the world a more violent place, they will be leaving their grandkids a disaster to deal with.

    • You make an excellent point. But instead of pushing the horror stories at people, how about a rational attempt to EDUCATE people on firearms.

      Maybe an approach consisting of the responsibilities of firearm ownership, safety training, and all the recreational activities available for shooters. Of course in that “education”, include the benefit of defending yourself and your loved ones.

  5. The difference in the argument is this:

    For the victims to have been armed, all they (should) need to do is go down to a store and buy a gun. Chances would be greatly improved with some training or practice. Any restrictions to that option (licensing, social stigma, whatever) we as a society should be working to erase.

    For the assailant to have been DIS-armed, he would either have to follow the law (something of a big jump to make for a criminal), or we would need a plan to forcibly remove guns from circulation. All guns, everywhere, with 100% success rate. That’s never going to happen (because criminals don’t follow the law, for one, and a lot of pro-2a people would probably become criminals overnight).

    • Plus, even if all guns were confiscated I have no doubt that someone would start illegally producing and selling guns on the black market. So much for prohibition.

  6. We’re talking about people in Chicago or DC who are not able to defend themselves because their rights have been taken from them. In no way should we stop pointing this out.

    And I’d say many of the gun grabbers don’t want the same outcome–they just want to more easily control their subjects.

  7. Yes, I do think that “should have been a DGU” posts are “waving the bloody shirt.”

    We can and should call attention to cases where someone sought to legally carry but were denied because crappy laws impeded that persons ability to adequately defend their life.

  8. If the victim had the choice of being armed or being defenseless, then yes, the post is inappropriate. If we stand for anything, it must be for freedom, and freedom means the right to choose. But if the victim was denied the right to self-defense through the state’s or city’s gun control regime, then the importance of the post cannot be denied. Hammer it home time and again — a populace disarmed by government edict is a populace in danger.

  9. This is a tough one to write.

    That’s the first line from my post. Dan’s right; conjecture is a slippery slope, thin as a razor blade.

    I came across the article on Barbara Priedt while searching for DGU incidents. How horrible, that after the thug took her purse, he shot her. I wanted to write, “THIS IS WHY! This is why there should be no restrictions on good people owning guns for self defense.”

    How should we expose the fact that popular attitudes towards physical assault don’t match the increase in the severity of violence? There’s certainly no honor among criminals, yet so many folks think that if you give them what they want, you can go home safely. That’s just not true anymore, and the Priedt incident provides a sobering example.

    I feel that the general populace, especially in places where their gun rights are limited, have grown accustomed to seeing CGU news reports. Scan any major city’s news websites, and they’re filled with stories like this. There are too many bloody shirts lying around for any single one to be noticed, without occasionally picking one up and waving it.

  10. Why assume that an unarmed burglar is non-violent? He could be physically very strong, on drugs, deranged/hellbent for bloodlust or any combination thereof. The lack of a weapon is no assurance for the safety of break-in victims. The anti-gunner’s argument is pure BS. It is easily proven. Punch him in the face and take his wallet.

    • Just look at England/Wales they have draconian gun control but more people are injured in violent crime per year there then in the US (1.2mil vs. 1.1mil) and we have 6 time the population. I’d also say some of these stories need to be told. Mothers Against Drunk Driving tried for years to fight DUIs with stats but it wasn’t until they started a media campaign that showed the personal impact of DUIs that they had a impact. The reason antis are trying the same strategy is because it works. However I would change the titles to “I’m alive today because of my gun” and “I’m a victim of gun control” and only report these types of stories.

  11. We can’t play on the same field as our adversaries, and try to win using different rules. The Japs and the Nazis were defeated by killing them right back, not by playing nice and being cordial. Argue all you want about civility, the Taliban and their friends love hearing that crap. Their, and our, enemies understand nothing but force. To believe otherwise is whistling while walking through the grave yard of history. Marxist, Stalinist, collectivist govt. and media have no such delusions, and ALWAYS use our civility and restraint against us.

  12. OK. I’m beginning to realize two things from all the posts above.

    1. Both sides (pro-gun and anti-gun) “wave the bloody shirt”. The fact is that it works.
    2. Therefore we should stop vilifying the anti-gun crowd for “waving the bloody shirt” after a shooting tragedy. We should attack their arguments and their motives, but not their poor timing.

  13. 1. Look to Western Europe, with their long-standing, strictly-enforced bans on weapons of any shape or size. The law-abiding populace in some areas lives in constant fear of the armed thugs who sneer at the control laws. Legal prohibition works on us in an incremental fashion. For someone who has violated no other law, being arrested for possession and then being punished is a huge, life-changing thing. For someone who, on Thursday, commits five separate felonies using his gun as a tool of his trade, the extra threat added by a possession charge is hardly worth noticing. Additional laws simply do not affect criminal behavior.

    2. You cannot unring a bell. There are millions and millions of weapons out there. Technology has given us all the ability to make decent weapons in our home shops. No law is going to make weapons disappear from society, but that’s exactly what it would take for a ban to actually work.

    3. We don’t need, or want, every person to carry a weapon. The biggest impact on crime comes when criminals have a constant and realistic fear that their victim is armed. It’s easier and cheaper and more realistic to prevent crime through fear of an armed population of victims than by blowing away the criminals one by one. Thus, the DGU stories become one of our greatest protections against crime, and we need for them to be told.

    4. When the EPA, arbitrarily and against the expressed will of Congress, decides that miners ought to all be unemployed, that my backyard is a “wetland” and thus no longer mine, and that Texas will be made into the poster child for “don’t talk back – we’re the Feds!”, I’d like for the EPA folk to have some small niggling fear in the back of their minds that maybe they can’t have their way with all of us, all of the time, at their pleasure. DGU reports can’t hurt that particular effort.

    • Drugs are banned yet get manufactured illegally and smuggled. Guns are stolen and smuggled. If need be they could be manufactured as well. Banning all guns would necessitate removing them from all military and law enforcement inventories on a global basis. Don’t expect cooperation from communist countries or the moslems.
      If guns are successfully banned it would only be a recognition that governments have found something better with which to control the population at large… and you peons won’t be allowed to own that either.

  14. “But are we any more right to hold this example up than a gun grabber would be in saying that Mrs. Preidt would have walked away unharmed if the criminal hadn’t had a gun in the first place? ”

    Emphatically yes! Our position is supported by dozens upon dozens of cases with a positive out come – while grabbers can present no credible scenario for disarming a criminal population.

    In other words, we are hypothesizing based on actual evidence and a rational discussion of the realities of this word. They, on the other hand, are hypothesizing based on a fantasy of world firearm disarmament, and worse, ignoring that many many crimes/murders are not committed with firearms.

    We maintain that firearms level the field for survival against brute strength, aggression, harmful intent. They maintain that with firearms gone everyone just gets along due to mutual inability to cause harm. Again, its fact vs. fiction.

  15. I’ve had a problem with this Should’ve Been a DGU series from the start precisely because of this: You DO wave the bloody shirt. It’s pretty simple: hold yourselves to the same standards as the hoplophobes, and you will see that you are quite two-faced on this issue. In that respect, it makes you no better than they are.

    Sorry. Tough love.

  16. I do not know what NY politicians would say about this situation. But I say they are the cause of these deaths.

    As for the people that voted them in, in spite of their track records, you deserve what you are getting. CA, CT, MD, VA, VT and others take note. Take back your rights!

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