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Good Guys With Guns

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The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

That statement, from NRA president Wayne LaPierre, was immediately turned into a laugh line by the press, deemed everything from “deadly spin” to “delusional” to “paranoid.” The New York Daily News proclaimed that anti-gun cranks—oops, I mean “mental health experts”—who had never met LaPierre had diagnosed him as crazy.

As someone who went to journalism school and has worked in media for years, I’m used to this. Left-leaning editors and reporters declare what “everyone” knows and “everyone” thinks, while pretending to be objective. Their preferred method of slanting the news is covering stories that bolster their worldview while completely ignoring others. Because whether the “good guy” is a police officer or a private citizen, LaPierre’s statement is absolutely true—and several incidents ignored by the media prove it.

Two days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a San Antonio man burst into the Mayan 14 movie theater and began shooting, “sending panicked moviegoers rushing to exits and ducking for cover,” according to MySanAntonio.com. But instead of becoming the next James Holmes, the suspect was shot by an off-duty cop. Unlike the Aurora theater shooting, the incident ended with only two wounded—thanks to a good guy with a gun.

How many of you have heard the name “Mayan 14” before today? Is it any surprise that a network like CNN, which employs Piers Morgan, let this story slip under the radar?

When most Americans hear “school shooting,” they think Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. They’re all incidents where the gunmen took a dozen lives or more. We rarely think of Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Pearl, Mississippi; or the Appalachian School of Law. Why? School shootings there were all halted by good guys with guns. They also had dramatically lower death tolls—one, two, and three, respectively.

At the Appalachian School of Law, the gunman was tackled by three men, two of whom had rushed to their cars to retrieve their guns. The media covered the story—but selectively edited the details.

“What is so remarkable is that out of 280 separate news stories in the week after the event, just four stories mentioned that the students who stopped the attack had guns,” wrote economist John Lott in his book More Guns, Less Crime. “In the other public school shootings where citizens with guns have stopped attacks, rarely do more than one percent of the news stories mention that citizens with guns stopped the attacks.”

The media deemed LaPierre’s “good guys with guns” line as a delusion of wannabe cowboys everywhere, who fantasize about Wild West-style shootouts with cartoon villains. Maybe they should go back and read one of my favorite Townhall columns of all time: Chicks Carrying Guns and Kicking Tail by Mary Katharine Ham.

Ham’s examples aren’t fantasies or hypotheticals. They’re true stories of women who chased away thugs, rapists and thieves with guns. The potential victims included elderly women and a pregnant mother of two, who shot an armed gunman who kicked in her door. A woman named Charmaine Dunbar was accosted by a rifle-toting gunman and shot him twice with her handgun. It turned out he was a suspect in six sexual assaults in her area.

As Ham put it, “This is the kind of women’s empowerment that gets me going.”

The mainstream media might have a bigger audience and more influence, but the conservative media should refuse to ignore these stories and countless others. Instead of letting the anti-gun camp control the debate, let’s turn “Mayan 14” into a household name.

 

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