As any gun guy or gal worth their salt knows, the new breed of .380’s offers ultimate concealment with entirely reasonable accuracy at self-defense distances. Combined with the latest hollow-point ammo, a .380 is a sensible choice for everyday carry. Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitpropagandists at The Trace disagree. They spin it this way: Concealed Carriers Have Made a Tiny Pistol with a Sketchy Past a Big Seller for Gun Makers. As always, the subhead tells the tale . . .
Even as .380 handguns have become the height of marketability, questions loom about their usefulness and safety.
Alex Yablon‘s article uses gun gurus’ warnings about the .380’s inherent limitations to do a hatchet job on .380’s, their manufacturers and customers.
I won’t trouble you with the read-between-the-lines history crafted by Mr. Yablon to disparage an entire class of firearms. Suffice it to say, Mr. Yablon’s closing paragraph reveals his true agenda: casting aspersions on Americans’ right — and ability — to keep and bear arms for their own defense, and the defense of other innocent life.
Were that someone armed with a .380, he may find himself unequipped for the role he has taken on. Such was the outcome for one owner of a pocket pistol who tried to stop an active shooter. On the morning of January 7, 2010, Stephen Sharp II showed up to work at a St. Louis power plant right as coworker Timothy Hendron carried out a massacre with an AK-47. Retrieving a Walther .380 pistol from his truck, he opened fire at Hendron, and kept shooting until he had loosed all six rounds from across the parking lot. None struck Hendron, who returned fire, grievously wounding Sharp before returning to his rampage.
Obviously, Mr. Yablon isn’t arguing that Americans should carry “better” guns to protect against active shooters — which isn’t an entirely mistaken proposition. He’s saying that guns don’t say lives generally, and .380’s don’t save life specifically. And here’s an example!
The Trace is not alone is seizing on Mr. Sharp’s gunfight as proof that no one should be armed; The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence covered the same ground in their polemic The Forgotten Guns in the Workplace Tragedy.
While it’s true that Mr. Sharp didn’t stop the spree killer, who’s to say he didn’t have a positive impact? The killer took his own life immediately after Mr. Sharp’s fusillade — a pattern we see in many such incidents (e.g., Sandy Hook).
Besides, in this case (as in so many others), it’s better to have a gun than not. As most defensive gun uses end without a shot fired, we can rest assured that a .380 pocket pistol is an effective form of self-defense, even without considering its accuracy in “untrained” hands or the bullet’s terminal ballistics.
Equally, click here for a story of a pharmacist who used a .380 Kel-Tec to defend his life from armed robbers. Truth be told, a .380 is a perfectly useful self-defense firearm, with limitations. But then all guns have limitations. Not so The Trace, which seizes on any firearms fact it can find to twist to its own purposes.