Authorities have identified the two victims in yesterday’s shooting in a Maryland mall, as well as as the shooter. News outlets are pretending to know the shooter’s motives. I suspect they’re simply bluffing, asserting that they know more than anyone really does at this point.

What we do know is that the 19-year old male shooter used a simple, commonplace Mossberg shotgun in the attack.

Based upon a reported eyewitness account, the two murders occurred within seconds. The single known eyewitness inside Zumiez suggests that the gun was unseen until the moment the first killing shot was fired into the female store manager. The male store employee was cut down a moment later.

Virulent anti-gunners are blood-dancing after this killing, but the simple fact of the matter is that there is next to nothing that could have dissuaded such a crime, short of armed guards manning metal detectors at every mall entrance, effectively turning the mall into a “shopping prison.” If the mall was so protected (imprisoned) and this was a targeted killing instead of a random act of violence, then the shooter would have simply waited for a more opportune time and place. If it was a random killing, then the shooter might have simply chosen another “gun free zone” other than this mall, as they almost always seem to do.

The reality is that society could ban all guns (which is unrealistic, unconstitutional, and violates our natural rights), or go fully the opposite (and more intelligent) route and allow constitutional carry in all 50 states, and murders with firearms and other objects will still take place.

Firearms make killing (and stopping someone who is killing) more efficient than many other man-portable weapons.  The fact remains that man is an apex predator, designed with a mind and body capable of designing tools and methods to kill.

Citizen control advocates operate on the theory that if laws are used to constrain enough citizens, usurping enough liberties, then the most brilliant and cunning animal on the planet won’t be able to find alternative methods for violence. This is frankly delusional, and overlooks the historically proven fact that when citizens give up their natural right to force, their governments can and will commit horrors upon the citizenry on a scale that boggles the mind.

Second Amendment supporters have the (only realistic) view that acknowledges mankind’s ability and aptitude for violence and the inevitably corrupting nature of government, and suggests that the best counter for someone (or some government) intent on violence is allowing members of society to defend themselves with the most efficient tools possible.

Neither approach would have made much difference in yesterday’s attacks, but over the long term, data (not anecdotes) suggests that as our society is more uniformly armed, violent crime decreases.

We’re better off with firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens. They can’t hope to stop all crimes, but they do give good people a fighting chance against the bad, evil, criminal, and corrupt.