Every time there is a mass shooting, whether here or abroad, pro-gunners are quick to bemoan, “If only someone had been armed.”
We’ve just had two mass shootings within 12 hours of each other, the first at an El Paso Walmart in which 20 shoppers were killed and the second on a street lined with bars in Dayton, Ohio that left nine people dead.
Let me concentrate on the El Paso shooting. There were more than a thousand shoppers in the Walmart store and many more in the adjoining mall. With more than one million concealed carry permit holders in Texas and way more people who carry guns illegally, it stands to reason that a significant number of the Walmart shoppers were armed when the lone gunman started shooting.
So, what did the armed shoppers do when the gunman started shooting? They ‘jackrabbitted’ in every direction just like everyone else did to get away safely. As for the gunman, he gave up as soon as he was confronted by the police.
I’m a pro-gunner and an ardent defender of the right to bear arms, but I have to laugh every time I hear some idiot say, “If only someone had been armed.” There have been instances in which a private citizen with a gun stopped a gunman from killing other people, but those instances have been almost non-existent.
In response to the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the 2015 shooting at a Paris concert hall, I heard the same laments from pro-gunners about the absence of an armed citizen who could have stopped the carnage. I wrote that even if there had been an armed citizen at the venues in Aurora and Paris, he would have to have been within very close proximity of the gunman to have had any chance of stopping him. And I also pointed out that with all the panic-stricken people scurrying in all directions, the armed citizen was more likely to shoot one of them rather than the gunman.
Unfortunately, it looks like we are going to experience more shootings like those in Aurora, El Paso and Dayton. And while some of the shootings will be carried out by home-grown Islamists, almost all of those shootings will be carried out by domestic terrorists of the white supremacist genre.
To stop such shootings, the anti-gunners would disarm America, and barring that, they would ban the possession of semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47 And of course, there is a renewed call for universal background checks despite the fact that Patrick Crusius, the El Paso shooter, obtained his AK-47 style gun legally after passing the required background check..
Crusius issued a 2,300 word anti-immigrant manifest shortly before he began his attack. He worried about Hispanics taking jobs from Americans when automation was eliminating many jobs. He also feared that the growing Hispanic population would turn his ‘beloved’ Texas into a ‘Democratic stronghold.’
As might be expected, the Trump-haters were quick to blame the President for the El Paso and Dayton shootings. Beto O’Rourke directly blamed Trump and Fox News for encouraging mass shootings, saying:
“We’ve got to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing. There is an environment of it in the United States. We see it on Fox News, we see it on the internet, but we also see it from our commander-in-chief. He is encouraging this. He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it, calling immigrants rapists and criminals, warning of an invasion on our border …..”
Although his rhetoric is not helpful in reducing or preventing shootings like those in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump is not to blame for these tragedies!
First and foremost it’s the shooter who is to blame. But if you want to lay blame on something other than the perpetrator for mass shootings where the shooter intended to kill Hispanics like Crusius set out to do, then blame the internet. Yes, I said blame the internet. There are a number of neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites that inspire nutjobs to carry out deadly attacks against people they perceive to be a threat to America.
In his manifesto, Crusius said:
“My death is likely inevitable. If I’m not killed by the police, then I’ll probably be gunned down by one of the invaders. Capture in this case if far worse than dying during the shooting because I’ll get the death penalty anyway. Worse still is that I would live knowing that my family despises me. This is why I’m not going to surrender even if I run out of ammo. If I’ m captured, it will be because I was subdued somehow.”
Yeah, right. Crusius surrendered the moment he was confronted by the police.
And in Dayton, the shooter was wasted by the cops within 30 seconds because they happened to be in the immediate vicinity. He was about to enter a crowded nightclub with a rifle equipped with a 100-round drum magazine when he met his end.
So, when the shooting starts, it’s not ‘If only someone had been armed’ that’s going to stop the shooter, it’s the fast response of the police that’s going to do it.