The attack by a mentally-ill mass shooter in the The Grand 16 movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, killing two and wounding nine, has only reinforced the truism that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Despite cries from the anti-gun media that more guns will only contribute to more violence (a claim not born out by facts, as gun sales have surged and violent crime has diminished), Louisiana residents are responding to this senseless act of violence by purchasing more firearms for concealed carry.

Area gun sales outlets may be doing a brisk business of late, but few store representatives were willing to discuss it Monday.

Tim Heinzen, president of Barney’s Police Supplies, was the exception.

Heinzen, a former police officer, said gun sales typically rise in the wake of high-profile crimes, such as Thursday’s shooting at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette that left two people dead and nine wounded.

That’s been the case at his Carencro-based site, which principally serves law enforcement but does about 20 percent of its business with the public.

“There’s always been a spike in sales over the years anytime you have situations similar to this,” Heinzen said, citing the increase in gun sales after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and news about serial killers or rapists.

“From what I see, it’s a similar situation here. People want to protect themselves and their families.”

What people saw in The Grand 16 was that someone, anyone with a handgun and decent training might have been able to oppose the murderer. The overwhelming public sentiment of “if only there was someone there with a gun” resonates with people far more than the argument of gun control supporters who futilely claim that being an unarmed victim is somehow morally preferable to defending yourself and others.

Hopefully, those who are obtaining these concealed carry handguns and who are similarly filling concealed carry classes will go on the take more advanced firearms classes.

We now live is a “Golden Age” of firearms training in the United States, where high-end training—often provided by the same military and law enforcement instructors who train SWAT officers and military special forces units—is both affordable and widely available across the nation. You are limited in your training only by the amount of time and money you are willing to invest.

I know of many people who have become so dedicated to becoming “students of the gun” that they take several weekend courses to focus on specific skills with a certain kind of firearm during the course of the year, then spend an entire vacation week taking advanced courses in disciplines ranging from long-range marksmanship and snipercraft to small unit close quarters battle (CQB) in shoot houses.

Of course, you don’t have to put that kind of time and effort into your training, and unless shooting becomes your hobby, you probably won’t.

You can however, dramatically increase your basic skills with your rifle, shotgun or pistol in affordable 2-3 day courses offered locally, and the best instructors will also provide you with the skills to maintain and increase your skills on your own after the course.

Embrace your liberty and your basic human right to bear arms, folks. Become a well-trained shooter, and give yourself the ability to defend yourself and those you love if the need ever arises.