The April 3rd multiple victim public shooting in New York was an insurmountable act of pure evil. Sadly, public shootings like this are nothing new and when another one happens we aren’t really surprised. Activists try to use these tragedies as examples of why we need more gun control or why we need more citizens carrying concealed weapons. Public shootings are for the most part random events, we don’t know when they will happen, but we can most definitely narrow down where they do and do not happen.
Let’s take one hypothetical situation, tweak the parameters a few times and see what effect the different parameters have on the outcome of an event like a public shooting.
- 1 large room with 1 door and no windows
- There are 20 people in the room
- A man enters the room armed with two semi-automatic pistols and extra loaded magazines with the intent of murdering everyone in the room (public shooters are overwhelmingly male so that was intentional)
- The gunman has the element of surprise and has a pretty good idea about who will be occupying the room
Situation #1: All 20 people in the room are members of law enforcement armed with Glock 21 .45 semi-automatic pistols.
Result #1: The gunman enters the room and begins firing immediately. By the time officers identify the gunman as a threat and neutralize the threat, several of them have been struck.
Situation #2: All 20 occupants of the room are normal citizens. 2 of the occupants have concealed weapon permits and are carrying semi-automatic pistols concealed on their person.
Result #2: The gunman enters the room knowing that someone could potentially have a concealed weapon. He cautiously opens fire as he does not know who might be armed. Both armed occupants draw their weapons and neutralize the threat. Several occupants were struck including one of the armed occupants.
Situation #3: All 20 of the occupants are normal citizens. State law either prohibits all weapons in the building and the surrounding area or concealed carry is explicitly illegal everywhere. The gunman, who has premeditated the murder of everyone in the room, breaks this law when he pulls into the parking lot with the firearms.
Result #3: The gunman enters the room and begins methodically murdering the occupants of the room. The gunman is confident that he will not encounter armed resistance. Several occupants attempt to rush the gunman, but are killed before disarming him. After killing the resistive occupants, the gunman orders his hostages against the wall. He moves to each one and shoots them in the head. After making sure everyone in the room is dead, he turns the gun on himself.
- Which situation sounds the most familiar?
- Which situation is the most tragic?
- Are gun free zones like a university safer than areas saturated with legally carried firearms like a police department?
- Does concealed carry by law abiding citizens increase or decrease a murderer’s effectiveness in carrying out a multiple victim public shooting?
- Would someone intent on murdering innocent people go where he will meet zero armed resistance or where he might encounter armed resistance?
Common sense questions that have common sense answers.