Armed bystanders can stop mass slaughter

Thank you for including the balanced and insightful response of Liam Madden in the discussion of gun violence in the U.S. Since his column, at least two more incidents of mass slaughter have occurred.

We can continue to breathlessly rant our indignation. We can continue to debate what the Founding Fathers actually meant when they drafted the Second Amendment while also avoiding discussions of what a disarmed citizenry can face from both inside political tyranny, as well as outside threats to a free state.

We can continue to wait precious minutes for the police to respond, then assess the situation, formulate a tactical response, and carry it through flawlessly, all while unprotected innocents are slaughtered like sitting ducks while pleading for help.

We can continue to demand banning “assault” weapons that will not stop mass murder with handguns, long guns, or a can of gasoline in a locked classroom.

We can continue to call for “gun control” without definitions in a unique nation, with a unique history, and a unique Constitution while comparing it to other countries with different cultures, histories, and founding principles.

We can continue to demonize gun owners as “nuts,” “dumb,” and “stupid” white men with small penises.

Or we can begin protecting innocents in public spaces by limiting guns in the hands of mentally ill people and actively guarding public spaces - now - whether it be with armed former Marines or law-abiding, licensed, trained, and experienced citizens who are willing to defend themselves and others.

As Madden suggests, many of us, in most communities, can attest who such people are.

Recently an armed woman at a West Virginia birthday party - like a legally licensed bystander with a gun at a Florida back-to-school event, another at an Oklahoma restaurant, another at a Texas church service, and another at a Pennsylvania mall - stopped or limited a mass slaughter before it happened.

As distasteful as that solution may be to some, it has, in fact, worked in stopping more killing.

I am hard pressed to believe that any of the innocents slaughtered thus far (as well as their grieving families and communities) at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Uvalde, the Pulse nightclub, or any of the more than 200 mass shooting sites this year alone, would not call anyone among them who had had a gun and used it while saving them, or others, a hero.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates