Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Reader Writes... So When is Enough, Enough - Part 1

In response to the 9/1/2015 post, “So When is Enough, Enough,” a LYSer writes:

Wayne LaPierre (NRA Executive Vice President) surely misspoke, no doubt.  In his quote the word "only" is an absolute qualifier, and the World seldom works in absolutes.

What is true is that in virtually every active shooter situation, the event stops once someone who is armed confronts the shooter. One of three things usually happens: the shooter retreats, surrenders, or commits suicide.  I know of no exception, although I will not fall into the absolute territory.  In fact, because of the above very probable outcomes, police training has changed regarding active shooters.

What is also true is that virtually all active shooters choose "gun free zones" in order to carry out their evil.  I don't recall ever seeing a police department chosen for an active shooter location.

In the past we saw shootings from those who appeared to have mental problems: Columbine, Sandy Hook, and the like.

Now we see shooting related to terrorism: Ft. Hood

And shootings related to twisted political agendas: Deputy in Houston

Obviously your Plan C is sarcasm, so lets look at your Plan B.

Point one, just because one heavily arms oneself does not make that person a danger.  Whether we like it or not, the 2nd Amendment protects buying guns.

Point two, better firearms safety requirements?  Not sure what you mean, but if you mean smart technology so that only the rightful owner can shoot the gun, OK.  But it should be noted that in many, many of the shootings we have experienced the firearms were legally obtained.

Point three is very valid. Carter attempted this during his Presidency. But as it is on many issues the government was both well intended and misguided. But yes, doing a better job with mental health care will almost certainly help reduce violence committed by the mentally ill.

As to terrorists, people with political agendas, and people seeking revenge, nothing will stop them.  That's where having a firearm and a good sense of situation awareness gives you an edge, but not a guarantee.  

Disclosure: I was an active police officer, I maintain a police officer license, and I am a veteran.  I have been through the experience of having fellow brothers shot and killed, a horrible event.  I truly hate what I see too.  As a Law Enforcement Officer I dealt with the mentally ill a lot, and that is an issue that really does need to be addressed. 

I don't believe your first two points have any possible way of making a difference.

SC Response
I would argue that based on words, actions, and advocacy, LaPierre believes exactly what he said, or else he is the absolute worst kind of hypocrite and opportunist.

I will also argue that there is a huge difference between a trained soldier or law enforcement officer and a typical civilian when it comes to handling a firearm in a crisis situation.

My sarcastic Plan C is not that outlandish of a response to Plan A at scale. And once armed, untrained civilians begin to engage “Barney Fife” vigilante style with criminals, a Kevlar vest under my shirt becomes a very real possibility.

I agree that being heavily armed does not automatically make one dangerous.  I’m just pointing out that becoming heavily armed does not have to be an easy process.  There are reasonable hoops to jump through to vote, there are reasonable limits to free speech, and a vetting process to purchase a firearm is not unreasonable.

I just don’t believe that, "Arm everyone and pray for the best," is a reasonable or rational policy/practice.

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