Tonight’s horrible terrorist attack in Nice, France, and last week’s murder of 5 Dallas cops by a black racist ties together some common themes that we’ve heard in the media in recent weeks from anti-gun nuts.
First, no one who supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms sees it as a panacea. Having an armed citizenry doesn’t mean that evil people will never be successful in their efforts to kill as many people as they can.
The Dallas Attack
As we saw in Dallas, even having a lot of cops at an event where you know there may be violence is no guarantee that a highly trained attacker will be quickly thwarted.
In the wake of that horrific attack, some anti-gun nuts have pointed out the fact that the Black Lives Matter marchers included several individuals legally carrying rifles, yet those armed citizens did nothing to stop the killer.
Contra the anti-gun nuts, this doesn’t mean that civilian carry of firearms—openly or concealed—is useless or, even worse, dangerous. What this means is nothing more than that people who choose to lawfully carry firearms aren’t the trigger happy morons that the media make them out to be.
None of those marchers open-carrying long rifles were gunned down by panicked police officers. None of those open-carriers unslinged their weapons and started firing indiscriminately at cops and innocent bystanders alike.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand there’s a difference between engaging a terrorist with your firearm when you’re likely the only one around who can stop them, and doing that same thing when there’s a ton of police officers all around you looking for the shooter.
What Dallas proved was that the worst caricatures of armed citizens by anti-gun nuts are false. (It also proves that the worst caricatures of cops by the Black Lives Matter movement are similarly false, but that’s another post.)
Which brings us to this comment on a story that appeared in the local paper a couple of weeks ago about a road rage incident.
A San Luis Obispo man was arrested Sunday night after he intentionally reversed his car into a pedestrian, police said.
Officers said they received multiple 911 calls at 10:22 p.m. saying a car had hit a pedestrian in the 1000 block of Chorro Street. An unconscious man was found in the street when they arrived.
Witnesses told police that a driver, later identified as Scott Johnson, 50, was driving north on Chorro and had been stopped at a red light at Higuera Street. When the light changed to green, he accelerated and entered the intersection, according to San Luis Obispo police. Several pedestrians were crossing Chorro on Higuera at the time and had not yet reached the other side of the intersection. Johnson honked his horn at the crowd, according to police, and continued driving through the intersection.
According to witnesses, a 21-year-old man took offense to the honking and began shouting at Johnson, chased after his vehicle and and slapped the back window.
Johnson stopped his vehicle mid-block, according to police, and accelerated in reverse, hitting the man.
…The victim was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and was being treated in the intensive care unit.
Really? A completely different outcome? I’m sure the guy in the ICU at the local hospital is lying there thinking to himself: “Thank God the guy only had a one-ton car. I would’ve been in real trouble if he’d come after me with a gun.”
The Attack in Nice
At last count, 80 people were killed by a terrorist who drove a large box truck more than a mile down a crowded promenade. When the butcher’s bill is finalized, we’ll know which of the terrorist’s weapons did the most damage: his gun, grenades he reportedly had, or the several-ton truck he drove.
James Cornwall may believe that guns are the ultimate, most devastating weapon available, and, like other anti-gun nuts, should be banned. But I suspect that we’ll find far more people were killed by the truck than by the gun the terrorist somehow still managed to acquire despite France’s restrictive anti-gun laws.
Guns, like trucks and box cutters, are a tool. They can be used for good or ill. All the gun control laws in the world—including outright bans and confiscations—will not stop evil people from carrying out their evil plans.