I recently debated Eliott Fineman, jefe of the Gun Victims Action Council (GVAC). I asked Fineman why he would leave a woman disarmed and defenseless against, say, a rapist. I was more than a little shocked when Fineman argued that a gun would be useless in that situation. When I pointed out that women have done it – scared off or shot potential rapists with a firearm – Fineman denied even the possibility that it could happen. In fact, Fineman wants to run a simulation to prove that a gun would be useless. And therefore OK to restrict or, let’s face it, ban them. In this he’s not alone . . .
Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Jay Bookman inflicted the exact same logic on his readers re: the call to end “gun-free zones” in the wake of the recent FedEx shooting. He’s not impressed with the idea that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun (unless the good guy is a cop).
Unfortunately, that argument does not stand up to scrutiny. Using the situation as described by [critically injured victim Christopher Sparkman’s father-in-law, Russell] Brannen, it assumes that a guard not trained to police standards, armed with a holstered handgun with the safety on as policy would dictate, could have pulled that weapon, switched the safety off, aimed accurately and fired that weapon, all in response to a pre-dawn surprise attack by an assailant who burst in on him with loaded shotgun blazing.
I’m sorry: While I understand the sentiment, that is not a realistic scenario. Such claims grossly underestimate the speed with which such incidents play out, the panic and confusion that ensue, and the difficulty of responding effectively even for highly trained law-enforcement, which Sparkman is not.
So the argument is that gun bans are OK – even for rent-a-cops – because average citizens are incapable of defending themselves with a firearm – despite the fact that Americans do so an estimated 800k to 1.2m times per year. (The lowest estimate of defensive gun uses is 80k.) Nevermind that we’ve already tested that exact idea in a simulation and found the average person to be extremely effective in stopping an active shooter in a school environment.
I plan on taking Eliott up on his offer to run a defensive gun use sim. I highly recommend that Mr. Bookman do the same. What are the odds of the experiment happening? And if they did see with their own two eyes that a DGU is not only possible but desirable and practical what are the chances they’d change their views on civilian disarmament?