Recently Garen Wintemute, director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, was quoted saying, “I think most people don’t want to be in a society where people have arms everywhere, particularly since there is no evidence that being armed is a benefit.”
Well, possibly to the surprise of some, I agree with Mr. Wintemute – that is, I agree with half his statement.
I too, as most Americans certainly would, prefer a country where no one has the need or even desire to arm themselves, beyond weapons for hunting. That would be wonderful, and there is a place that has achieved this level of civility, peace, and love for one another.
It’s called Heaven and its inhabitants are angels. In Federalist No. 51, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” A gun is a governor. Or as Alan Ladd’s character told Mirian Starrett in the 1953 film Shane, “A gun is a tool . . . no better or worse than any other tool. . . . An axe, a shovel, or anything. A gun is as good or bad as the man using it.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t heaven, and we are not angels, so we do what we must to try to assure that our loved ones and neighbors don’t get there prematurely.
Mr. Wintemute goes on to say: “There is evidence of good guys with guns stopping mass shootings, but it happens rarely.”
Yes sir – you are correct – it does rarely happen, because “mass shootings” rarely happen. It seems they occur frequently, due to the overwhelming press coverage, but they are actually quite rare.
What isn’t rare is the “benefit” of the armed citizen, who more often than not, is the one we always hear or read about, foiling the lunatic’s plans.
Take the latest “would be” mass killing. It happened just last week at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, where a man with a history of mental illness snuck a revolver into the hospital and shot and killed a caseworker.
A doctor, Lee Silverman, who police think may have been the killer’s eventual target, shot and wounded the killer.
Dr. Silverman carries a weapon regularly for protection. Smart move doc!
As an aside, the report of the incident also mentioned that the killer, who was not himself killed, is facing not only murder charges but weapons charges for not having a license for the gun he used to murder the caseworker. Really?!
That’s like citing me for a faulty taillight after I just purposely ran someone down. Ridiculous!
Anyway, the good doctor shot 10 times at the assailant, hitting him twice in the chest and once in the arm. Surprisingly, the lunatic did not go down. Another caseworker wrestled him to the ground as he attempted to reload. Silverman was hit in the hand and a bullet grazed his head, but he kept firing.
I don’t know what the doctor’s level of training or experience is, but considering the circumstance, the fear factor and the fact that the target was shooting back, that’s pretty good in my book.
Silverman carries his gun despite the hospital rule that no one except “on duty” law enforcement personnel be armed. So far, no weapons charges have been filed against the doctor, but given time, some wacky leftist will demand it.
Meanwhile, chief of police, Donald Molineaux said, “Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives. Without that firearm, this guy [the killer] could have gone out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.”
Now, I’m all for calling 911 and allowing the police, who train for this, to handle it, but as is demonstrated time and again, they can’t be everywhere, nor can they respond instantly.
So despite what Mr. Wintemute says, this is just one more of a string of armed private citizens saving the day.
Maybe someday, one of us “armed citizens” may have to come to Mr. Wintemute’s rescue, despite possibly not wanting to save a pacifist weenie such as him, we would do so every time and without hesitation.
That’s what sets us apart from the cold-blooded killers the Mr. Wintemutes of the world think we are.