“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”
– Wayne LaPierre, NRA
“I never see a ‘good guy with a gun:’ I see a human more likely to exacerbate a tragedy than to stop it.”
– Charles Clymer, HuffPost Blogger
I find it interesting that one of the things that consistently seems to happen in the media is that defensive gun uses, where a concealed carrier or home owner uses a firearm to stop a violent or criminal enterprise, is vastly underreported, yet every other shooting is magnified and followed by puff pieces like the one above by Charles Clymer. Clymer asserts that because of his “infantry training” and the Army’s strict training protocols, only monotonous training, repeated ad nauseum, can prepare a person to shoot to kill.
Pardon me while I laugh out loud at this ridiculous joke! Putting aside for the moment the fact that human life is not precious to the criminal class, and adopting the idea that Clymer seems to suggest that us “normals” are squeamish about shooting people, let’s deconstruct this nonsense.
There are two components to taking a human life with a firearm. The first is marksmanship, the ability to hit what you aim at. While it indeed takes a few days to master the M-16, as Clymer says, remember that it is a weapon capable of automatic fire (though now in burst mode). Still, it is not some complex machine that requires 18 full days of training to be able to use effectively. I taught my wife how to shoot it in about two hours. Also of note, Adam Lanza didn’t have that training and he certainly mastered his AR-knockoff while killing dozens. So don’t give me a bunch of crap about “normal people” being unable to operate a sporting rifle. That’s just crap. Clymer knows it, which makes it worse.
With handguns the training required to aim, shoot and hit a target can be done in 8 hours according to pretty much every state that issues handgun permits. While I do not think that is an appropriate amount of time personally, and believe that true safety comes from repetitive training and a dedication to mastering responses to stressful situations, I am not crazy enough to believe that someone willing to carry a firearm is somehow incapable of deploying it successfully, even under stress, because deploying it doesn’t always mean firing it. Moreover, great training programs for civilians, like this one, exist. They teach fundamentals as well as tactics in an integrated environment, and perhaps most importantly, simulate a defensive shooting situation for the students. Yes, that’s right, to complete the course you have to demonstrate that in a defensive encounter you have the skills to perform the tasks necessary to save your life. But again, the marksmanship aspect of defensive shooting is pretty basic, and most gun fights occur between 6 and 10 feet (and in most cases, even with trained law enforcement, half the shots miss).
Skills are perishable and require practice. But they can be learned. Clymer is hiding the facts by using the M-16, a fully automatic rifle, to mask his hidden agenda on gun control.
Clymer’s second assertion is that the psychological aspects require long monotonous training to make killing second nature. Again, lets put aside the gang-bangers from MS-13 who view life as cheap, and the thugs who shoot down children and old people. They are not a part of this discussion because Clymer doesn’t want (or is afraid to take) their guns.
He says normals are not capable of becoming killing machines. Uh, yeah. And THANK GOD!
We are not at war in America. Killing does not need to be second nature. It needs to be a last resort. We do not want people desensitized to taking human life. If we have to shoot, we shoot not to kill another human being, but rather, to protect our life or the life of another. We are not a nation of shoot-first-ask-questions-later Neanderthals, we are a nation of laws. Clymer doesn’t get this, principally because his a liberal and principally because he would be happiest when all power is concentrated in Democratic hands.
The idea that “the good guy with a gun is a myth,” however, is debunked almost daily with stories of people defending themselves or others, and many times without ever firing a shot. Consider the case of Derek Meyer. Meyer was driving along, minding his own business when he saw a crazy man kicking the living shit out of a cop. The officer had to be hospitalized with a fractured eye socket. We’re not talking love taps here. This is Brutus giving Popeye the no-spinach treatment!
Meyer is a lawful concealed carrier. He gets out of his car, points his gun at the criminal, and orders him to stop the attack. The bad guy runs.
Here is where the story gets good, and Clymer’s point gets totally destroyed. If killing were truly second nature, Meyer would not have issued an order, he would have shot the guy. In that limited situation he might have been justified if he believed shooting was necessary to prevent death or serious injury to the police officer only.
But he didn’t shoot. He used words first. Yes, like a civilized person, he told the guy to break off the attack. And the guy did.
What happened next? The bad guy ran. And what didn’t happen next? Our hero did not shoot him.
Why? Because the bad guy presented no threat, and because Meyer was trained to react defensively, not like Hitman 47. No shots fired. Bad guy arrested afterwards hiding under a trailer. Cop got medical treatment. A happy ending.
Interestingly the police lauded Meyer saying that the event could have ended badly for both the criminal and the cop if Meyer had not acted.
This is what happens time and again. The cops on the street do not fear civilians who legally conceal and carry. They fear those who break the law, because if you won’t obey a law that requires you to get a permit to carry a firearm (or that forbids you from owning a firearm) a law against shooting a police officer is not going to stop you either.
So, the next time you hear that the “good guy with a gun” is a myth, direct them to this article where they can see for themselves that the good guy with a gun is not a myth, it’s the duty of law abiding citizens who choose to undertake it.
Here are a few more “good guys with guns” stories I found on Google in about 15 minutes.
- Dakota Meyer article
- Amarillo Pizzaria Shooting
- Phoenix Pharmacy Robbery (“That probably would have been much worse if there hadn’t been a customer in there armed.”)
- Detroit Street Robbery
- Twin Cities Cell Phone Store Robbery
- Carjacking in Chicago
- Attempted Mass Murder in Dallas (A concealed carry holder is being heralded as a hero by Arlington police for preventing mass murder by killing an “incoherent” gunman at a sports bar Wednesday evening.)