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NYT front page 8-24-12
The gunman, dead on the sidewalk

Let's promptly call bullshit on the talk from gun nuts about how the Charleston church shooting deaths might have been avoided if someone in the church had been carrying a gun. (Have you no sense of decency?)

Here's one example of why this talk is disconnected from reality: On Aug. 24, 2012, in the shadow of the Empire State Building, a gunman shot to death a man who had laid him off from his job. Two policemen nearby tried to arrest him. Here's The New York Times account of what happened next (emphasis mine):

From about eight feet away, the officers confronted Mr. Johnson and when he pulled out his gun, they opened fire, shooting a total of 16 rounds. Mr. Johnson was killed and nine bystanders were wounded, perhaps all by police bullets.

Here's the story: (Cops in a tough spot)

As the story points out, the bystanders were not necessarily directly hit by police bullets. And please understand: I am not in any way criticizing what the officers did in this situation. The situation could have been much worse. More people than the gunman could have been killed. My point is that the officers—highly trained professionals forced into making a split-second, life-and-death decision in a crowded space—hit the gunman with just half of their shots.

It's at best difficult to believe that a gun-carrying ordinary citizen with far less training than a New York City cop would be likely to stop a nut with a gun in a church, a school, a workplace, or any other crowded place. These armed citizens could very well claim more casualties than the criminal would, or their ineptitude might prolong the situation, making it even worse.

More to the point: How many stories do you hear about armed citizens shooting criminals and preventing multiple casualties? They would be media heroes. The NRA would make sure of it.

Name one.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC)
All of out freedoms are based on our responsibility to those freedoms and none more so than gun ownership. Historically America has had a history of not living up to that responsibility. Like medical care guns and the right to bear arms is a third rail issue with politicians and in some states of the union one cannot get elected without avidly supporting guns. The past two years have shown us terribly devastating events that some how do not even allow for some moderation to gun ownership. Most frightening of comments heard are that if someone in that church were carrying at the time the killer would have been stopped. How absurd and idiotic is that comment and that thinking. A point made by David Brooks on Meet the Press this morning went straight to the heart of it. Whenever gun control comes up the discussion is never about moderate controls, registrations, limiting certain weapons, It becomes about mental illness, race, the confederate flag, anything except having responsible laws that serve all of America. Holiday
Jun. 21st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
I am by no means a fan of David Brooks—he's too far right and too conservative for my tastes—but he makes good points there.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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