After the attacks in Paris, I’ve never seen the media more enthusiastically pushing the meme that civilians will just form a circularÂ and kill a lot more people, rather than accomplish anything useful. Every town and their media enablers must be aware that the Paris Attack will likely further drive gun sales, and that concealed carry classes are going to start getting a lot busier. Let me turn to Brady board member Joan Peterson, who captures much of the arguments floating around out there:
Predictably there are Americans who actually believe that if only French residents were allowed to carry guns in public, lives could have been saved. These delusional people have an alternate view of the world not shared by most. If someone can explain how a gun could have been used to take out guys wearing suicide vests when there is no expectation that someone will blow themselves up in seconds, then go ahead. Enlighten us. If someone can explain how a pistol in a waistband holster would save innocent citizens from men armed with AK 47s, (maybe automatic type weapons) then go ahead- enlighten us.
Of course, Mrs. Peterson’s blog is her safe-space, so it’s closed off to differing viewpoints. She’s asking questions that she in no way, shape or form wants answered, so I’ll do my best to enlighten.
First thing I would say is that if I were to find myself in such a situation, I am not anybody else’s hero. I carry a gun to protect my own ass and the asses of my loved ones. That it. If I can beat a hasty retreat to an exit, I’m going to do so up against those odds. Absent that, I’m figuring I’m going to die anyway, so I might as well take a few of the buggers out with me. That’ll be a few less for the cops.
Here are a few of the myths gun control proponents like to peddle:
You won’t be able to tell who the bad guys are.
Generally speaking, if a person is shooting at me, they are a bad guy. But in this case, they were armed with Kalashnikovs, so target identification is even easier. Normal people don’t carry Kalashnikovs to theaters, so I feel pretty safe in using that as a determiner (yeah, sorry rifle OC guys, this is why it’s a bad idea). It gets a little harder if someone else is shooting with a pistol, but even here, if he’s shooting at the guys with the Kalashnikovs and not shooting fellow theater goers, he’s a good guy, don’t shoot.
You’ll just kill more people because the bullets will just set off their vests.
Those vests are going to go off anyway, becauseÂ that’s why they call them suicide vests. I’d much rather it go off not at a time and place of their choosing, where they can maximize body count. If two of them are close together, you might even be able to get a two for the price of one bonus. In this case they were wearing vests made with TATP explosive, which is very unstable and shock sensitive. If it’s a more professionally made vest, most common plastic explosives aren’t sensitive to shock. Even if I get killed or taken out of the fight by the vest going off, that’s still one less terrorist for the cops to deal with, and one less terrorist continuing to shoot at people. When the cops come in, what do you think they are going to do? They are going to shoot the people wearing the vest, because there’s no better option available. The anti-gun folks must assume the police have some special magic that relieves them of having to shoot the bad guy wearing the vest.
A person with a pistol could never successfully take on a person with a Kalashnikov.
This is complete nonsense. First thing to do if you can’t find an exit? Find cover. Theaters often have hefty support columns that would make good cover. Unlike the bad guys, who have given up their element of surprise, you still have yours. They are not going to be expecting people to shoot back. If you do engage them, while they are focused on you, they are not killing other people. At the least, you’re buying time for others to escape, even if you yourself fail to beat the odds.
As to the automatic weapons issue,Â I would fear attackers taking aimed shots on semi-automatic a lot more than I would attackers spraying automatic fire all over the place. The former signals attackers who are well-trained and know how to use their rifles. The latter signals poorly trained people who are going to empty their magazines quickly and give an opportunity for return fire when they have to reload. It also is indicative that they are using spray-and-pray tactics because they do not actually know how to accurately employ their rifles. Spray and pray may work to rack up the body count in a crowded theater, but it’s not as effective at dealing with a single target who is shooting at you.
I want to be clear that having a gun in a situation like this is no guarantee you’ll come out on top, and everybody lives. News reports are that there were three attackers inside the Paris theater. Reports also indicate they were quick with reloads and seemed pretty competent in employing their rifles. As one person armed with a pistol, I already don’t like my odds. But I like them a lot better with my Glock 19, or even a 7 shot pocket pistol, than I would with nothing to offer but harsh language.
The media and gun control advocates (but I repeat myself) seem to believe we live in some kind of fantasy world. We don’t live in a fantasy world any more than they do, because unless you’ve actually been in a situation like happened in Paris, speculating on tactics and outcome is just a mind exercise. The difference is when they do this, they do it without the benefit of knowing their own capability with a gun (or knowing it’s non-existing), the limitations of what different guns can do, and the limitations of individual shooters. It’s not some Rambo fantasy: if a defender is sufficiently well trained, and the attackers make mistakes, there’s no reason a single person with a pistol could not take out three attackers armed with rifles. Is your average licensee that well trained? No. But neither is your average police officer. And like police officers, there are licensees out there who are that well trained, and our country is better off and more secure for it.