The tragedies of last year have renewed national gun-control efforts as well as efforts in many states. Gun-control advocates are asking for a national conversation on gun crime saying that we must do more to reduce the senseless deaths. We agree and would like to pose one question.
How would things be different in Newton, Connecticut if just one person in the Sandy Hook Elementary School were able to meet that madman with tools of equal force?
|Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School shown in 2010, has been referred to as a 5’2″ raging bull.|
Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, who has been referred to a “5-foot-2-inch Raging Bull,” lunged at the shooter in an attempt to disarm him. Her efforts, though valiant, were fruitless. How more effective would she have been if she were able to possess a tool of equal force?
We can’t say for sure. But we can point to several instances where armed resistance has helped to minimize tragic loss of life in situations like the one that day.
- A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi, was halted by the school’s vice principal, Joel Myrick, after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck.
- A 1998 shooting at a Parker Middle School dance in Pennsylvania ended when the owner of the restaurant hosting the dance, James Strand, retrieved a shotgun and apprehended the shooter.
- A 2002 shooting at the Appalachian School of Law, came to an abrupt conclusion when two students confronted the shooter after retrieving firearms from their vehicles.
- A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.
- A 2009 home invasion planned massacre was stopped by a college-aged concealed weapons permit holder
- A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colorado was stopped by an off duty officer in attendance.
- The Clackamas Mall shooting was cut short when a college-aged concealed weapons permit holder trained his gun on the shooter.
Mass shootings just don’t occur in carry-friendly zones.
With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every mass shooting (which the FBI defines as one with four or more victims) has occurred in a location where firearms were banned.
The Aurora shooter chose the barrel in which he shot his fish victims with care. There were seven theaters inside a twenty mile radius of his home showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with that night. Choosing a theater that banned firearms ensured he wouldn’t meet any of the 4% of Coloradoans possessing concealed weapons permits. The Cinemark Theater with a policy and signs banning firearms was the perfect choice for him.
In fact, a recent study on the subject of mass shootings and concealed permit laws by Dr John R. Lott, Jr. and William M. Landes of the Chicago University School of Law, concludes “that the only policy factor to influence multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws.”
Evil exists. We are not going to legislate it away. We are not going to counsel it away. We are not going to medicate it away. It has been part of the human experience since the beginning of time and it will remain part of the human experience until there is no human race. The fact that we will never eliminate it is a hard pill to swallow.
But it is one we must swallow if we are to address crime. Instead of looking to our lawmakers to make more laws that will only empower criminals, we need to demand they restore our right to self-defense. Concealed carry works. Elimination of gun-free zones, including college campuses, needs to be part of our discussion.