Here’s Why You Don’t Want to Authorize Concealed Weapons for Everyone in Public

While the notion given by gun advocates assures us that there would be less violent crime, especially that related to guns, the incident at the Empire State Building in NY City demonstrates why allowing people to tote firearms in public is a bad idea.

 

It appears that the main stream media paid little attention to a consequence of the police officers taking down a shooter in front of the Empire State Building last Friday who had just killed a former colleague he had been fighting with after being laid off a year ago.   The fact that a rapid reaction by the police also wounded nine bystanders doesn’t seem to have aroused any interests in how people legally armed and firing in defense of themselves and others can seriously injure others who are in close proximity.

(Reuters) – All nine of the bystanders wounded on Friday near the Empire State Building were hit by police gunfire, six by bullet fragments, when officers fatally shot a man who had killed a former coworker, authorities confirmed on Saturday.

The shooting was a rare example of the drawbacks posed by so-called hollow-point bullets. The New York Police Department started using those 14 years ago to reduce the likelihood of hitting bystanders, even though in this case the use of such bullets may have resulted in the opposite effect.

The bullets have become standard issue for many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, as a replacement for traditional bullets that can pass right through a suspect.   SOURCE     

With the exception of one report by Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway.com, I have yet to see any comments in those reports about the shooting and how the defensive return fire by others in crowded areas can hurt or even kill innocent bystanders when such a shootout occurs.

This incident also brings to mind something that came up in the aftermath of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. At the time, many gun advocates said that one armed person in the theater would have been able to stop Holmes before he caused as much damage as  he did. I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but I’ve got to say that this incident provides some pretty stark proof that those people were, most likely, wrong. Here was an incident out in public where two men who are trained professionally to react to situations like this still managed to misfire enough to cause (minor) injuries to bystanders. Do the people advocating that theory about Aurora think that the situation in the theater than(sic) night would have been any different? At the best, an armed citizen would have ended up in [a] shootout with Holmes, who had far superior weaponry to anything that someone with a Concealed Carry permit would be carrying. Inevitably, people would have been hurt in the crossfire, and possibly killed. In the end, given the protection that Holmes was wearing, it’s unlikely that he would’ve even been injured.  – Doug Mataconis

I was even a little disappointed that the Brady Campaign, one of the preeminent organizations that promotes sane gun control legislation, hasn’t pointed this out yet on their website.  Why this isn’t more of an issue being brought into the public discourse on measures to curb gun violence is incomprehensible to me.

In one of the most comprehensive rundowns available on mass killings over the last 30 years, a report by Mother Jones has demonstrated that “Just under half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings;  … the other 31 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases.”  What would have been the body count of wounded and dead if in all of these tragic events normal citizens, armed with some kind of firearm, would have drawn their weapons in an attempt to down a determined shooter who was perhaps less worried about being killed than anyone else there?

Unlike Doug Mataconis, I am not “a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment”, especially as it relates to private ownership of most weapons.  But I have resolved myself that the Constitution does allow this right, even though I’m sure the extent it has been carried out by many gun advocates exceeds the expectations of most, if not all, of the founding fathers who included this in the Constitution several years after it was originally ratified.

 

I have consistently pointed out that we are no longer the agrarian, frontier society who just defeated the British military forces of a suppressive monarchy or in fear of hostile attacks from native American tribes protecting their ancestral lands.   This would have been the mindset of the authors of the Bill of Rights when they allowed for the right to keep and bear arms as spelled out in the 2nd amendment.  They would have left it up to future civilized American societies to retain this concept or alter it as needed if the social dynamics warranted it.

The notion that private arsenals of assault weapons would reach the level it has today and easily accessible by the criminal element and gangs, would have likely never crossed the minds of those rural farmers of the 18th century.  What is likely though is that if some form of time travel were possible today where these intelligent, rationale men could see how we have evolved, surely they would wonder what sort of insanity would have allowed  gun ownership to go as far as it has and why common sense approaches in our densely populated society are not part of the rationale to prevent a concealed weapon permit for every Tom, Dick and Mary.

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16 responses to “Here’s Why You Don’t Want to Authorize Concealed Weapons for Everyone in Public

  1. Every time there is a shooting people say “if only someone had a gun and could have taken the guy out.” But everytime I think “gee, if a bunch of people got up and started shooting, they wouldn’t know who the bad guy was and start shooting at each other.” Gun violence is a problem, but a bunch of armed amateurs definitely isn’t a solution! Good post.

    • Agreed Scott. Panic is the first impulse when rounds are being fired at you and nerves aren’t exactly steady in time for you return accurate fire, not even for the professionals most times, much less the casual gun holder.

  2. Scott’s point is well taken even if people were “good shots” which many would not be in a crisis. Yes, excellent post. Like the new header too.

  3. An amusing anecdote. A asst. prosecutor in Wayne County Michigan who fancied himself a man’s man, carried a concealed weapon. On the street on day, he witnessed a purse snatcher. He whipped out his firearm, and was immediately disarmed by the criminal who proceeded to pistol whip him before leaving the scene with the purse and with the gun. I can of course tell you more stories about how cowboys shot innocents by “mistake” but you know it already. We need reasonable and rational gun laws in this country. If people want to “target” practice, let them go to ranges and rent the weapon of choice.

    • That is somehwat amusing and fortunately the purse snatcher didn’t put a bullet through his head. In our fantasies we always think we will react in some cool, machismo style but in reality, we are caught off guard and think more first to duck and run away (sometimes the best idea) rather than “stand your ground” and fire off precision responses.

    • I have known a couple of guys who have shot themselves in the foot. As for rational gun laws, the 2nd Amendment is the most rational.

  4. Looks like Gun Control is the ‘third rail’ in politics these days. Nobody wants to touch the issue, despite the fact that there’s a mass shooting just about every week.

    • There are sane and practical policies that can reduce some crime but one side is paranoid about anything being done for fear it will be a slippery slope to denuding the 2nd amendment and the other side are mostly just chicken-shits not wanting to be portrayed by the gun industry as someone who wants to deprive their constituents of their constitutional rights.

  5. The purpose of the 2nd Amenment was for self-defense against criminals and tyrants. Occasionally, people get killed and that makes the news and people imagine gun violence to be a bigger problem than it really is. Meanwhile, the criminal DOJ Operation Fast and Furious, implemented with the intention that hundreds of Mexicans be killed in order to justify more stringent gun control laws here in the US, doesn’t make news and people don’t give any thought to it.
    When Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was asked, “Do people have a right to self-defense?”, she would not answer the question. I submit that it would safer to give a machine gun to every man, woman, and child, than to have judges like her.

    • “Meanwhile, the criminal DOJ Operation Fast and Furious, implemented with the intention that hundreds of Mexicans be killed in order to justify more stringent gun control laws here in the US, doesn’t make news and people don’t give any thought to it.”

      Your facts are a little skewered Patrick. there were those within the DOJ that approved this plan but there is no evidence that this was a plot by the top brass in the DOJ. And the paln that was laid out sure wasn’t ” implemented with the intention that hundreds of Mexicans be killed in order to justify more stringent gun control laws here in the US”.

      This plan, that was indeed ill-conceived was intended to track those guns to drug lords so they could ferret them out and destroy their operations. Sometimes good intentions go afoul. But there are those who would make this out to be a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of the Obama administration with Obama using Executive Privilege to shield Eric Holder and others in this investigation. There just simply isn’t anything out there that supports this other than the baseless charges being tossed out by those on the right.

      Rep. Darrell Issa House Oversight Committee chairman “is investigating an operation that took place from November 2009, when it was launched, to January 2011, when the indictments it resulted in were unsealed. Obama only asserted privilege over “post-February 4, 2011 documents.” Documents generated after Fast and Furious was shut down. He’s not claiming any privilege over documents created while Fast and Furious was running (though Attorney General Eric Holder is attempting to withhold documents that could interfere with ongoing investigations). If any documents exist showing a connection between the White House and Fast and Furious while it was running—and Obama has claimed publicly that he only became aware of it after it was shut down—no one is claiming executive privilege over them. SOURCE

      There is also this report from Ryan J. Reilly over at TPM that shows it was Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer who heads the Justice Department’s Criminal Division that initiated Operation Fast and Furious project and did so without telling anyone above him.

      “Breuer, … apologized in October for not telling other Justice Department officials that guns were allowed to “walk” during the Bush administration when Congress first raised questions about Operation Fast And Furious in early 2011.

      Breuer said in a statement last that he “did not draw a connection between the unacceptable tactics used by the ATF years earlier in Operation Wide Receiver and the allegations made about Operation Fast and Furious, and therefore did not, at that time, alert others within Department leadership of any similarities between the two. That was a mistake, and I regret not having done so.”

      Emails show that Breuer was aware that the tactics were used during the Bush administration and met with ATF officials to discuss the matter.

      “At the time, I thought that dealing with the leadership of ATF was sufficient and reasonable, and frankly given the amount of work I do, at the time I thought that was the appropriate way of dealing with it,” Breuer testified last year. “I thought we had dealt with it by talking to the ATF leadership.”

      And I’m not sure how you derived the notion that gun violence is NOT a bigger problem than it really is. Please share your source of information that validates this claim. You may want to to start by refuting these finding in an article from Scientific American:

      “While everyone agrees the blame should ultimately be placed on the perpetrator of this violence, the fact remains that the United States has one of the highest murder rates in the industrialized world. Of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. ranks fifth in homicides just behind Brazil (highest), Mexico, Russia, and Estonia. Our nation also holds the dubious honor of being responsible for half of the worst mass shootings in the last 30 years. How can we explain why the United States has nearly three times more murders per capita than neighboring Canada and ten times more than Japan? What makes the land of the free such a dangerous place to live?”

      • Guns did not walk in the Bush Administration. The operation under Bush was done in partnership with Mexican authorities, the guns were properly tracked, the malefactors were apprehended, and the guns siezed. But that’s a big lie from this regime of lies. Lies! Obama is one big lie. It’s mind boggling that so many people can’t see that.

      • “But that’s a big lie from this regime of lies. Lies! Obama is one big lie”

        Oh yes, forgive me. I forgot what is the correct perspective on Obama. He IS the big liar. He lied about his birth. He lied about his parents. He’s lied about his religion and his academic credits. Mercy, what was I thinking. I had forgotten the wisdom of our feckless fearless leader, Supremo Limbaugh, who has taught us that Obama is one who “hates this country” and has been “indoctrinated as a child” by his “communist” father and his “leftist” mother.

        Thanks for bringing me back from sanity and into the fantasy world that all Obama haters dwell in.

  6. If Operation Fast and Furious did not have the approbation of Holder and Obama, justice would have been served already. The guilty parties would be in jail already. But, if the guilty parties are Holder and Obama, then they would not cooperate with the investigation, and that’s what they’re doing, not cooperating, obfuscating and stonewalling.
    Obama belongs behind bars and so does Holder, especially Holder, and their queer media friends too. They all belong on a rock pile in a pick and shovel brigade.

    • patrick,

      I was under the impression you were a sensible reader of my blog. Clearly you’re not. I don’t tolerate people who make baseless charges along with mean-spirited comments regarding the character of people you have chosen to hate. We have enough hateful commentary in this world. I don’t care to be a part of it. Anyone who categorizes people as “queer media friends” is irrational in my opinion. You are hereby blocked to post anything in the future on my blog unless I see that it is making a serious attempt to have an intelligent, informed conversation. Have a nice life.

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