Various politicians and pundits have shared their opinions in recent days on whether or not Frances restrictive gun laws played any role in this past Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. Clearly, restrictive French gun laws were no impediment to the eight terrorists who were able to acquire firearms and explosives, but supporters of gun control would make the argument that keeping everyone disarmed is safer.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump declared Paris would have been “much, much different” if some victims had been packing. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted, “Imagine a theater with 10 or 15…concealed carry” guns. “Evil men have to be killed by good people.”
But some reject the premise.
Anti-gun activist Colleen Daley said those who fire back at attacking gunmen have accidentally hit hundreds of innocents in recent years, including in one notorious incident at New York’s Empire State Building.
“Eight other individuals went to the hospital. Those individuals were all shot by New York City police officers,” said Daley. “What we do know factually is more guns in those type of situations lead to more tragedy.”
I called Daley at the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence to find out where she got her data that “who fire back at attacking gunmen have accidentally hit hundreds of innocents.” She of course did not have any data supporting that claim at all, but vaguely alluded to “studies” before suggesting that all she really had was the incident where the NYPD shot innocent bystanders, which didn’t include concealed carriers at all.
After Daley struck out, I called an actual expert, Gunsite Academy’s Chief Operating Officer and retired Boone County (Indiana) Sheriff Ken Campbell, and spoke to him about a couple of courses that they announced earlier in the year, Emergency Medical Preparedness, and Active Shooter/Terrorist Response for Civilians.
Campbell said Gunsite began developing these and several other courses over a year ago in response to emerging threats.
The Active Shooter/Terrorist Response Class is focused on concealed carriers armed with handguns, and will give concealed carriers the tools to respond to both “lone wolf,” incidents and mutiple-attacker, multi-venue attacks, like Paris and Mumbai.
Campbell notes that in a crowd, a properly-trained concealed carrier has a tactical advantage over the relatively poorly-trained active shooter or terrorist, or even a small team of terrorists
“If you have 50 or 100 good guys and 2-3 bad guys, you have the tactical advantage as a concealed carrier if you pick your moment.”
Active shooters tend to be cowards, and will often chose to commit suicide as they perceive a threat either from police or armed civilians, as we saw at New Life Church in 2007 and Clackamas Town Center Mall in December of 2012.
Of course, merely having a concealed carry permit doesn’t make you prepared for these or another other self-defense training. Campbell cited Gunsite founder Jeff Cooper in noting, “Just because you own the piano doesn’t make you a musician.”
Get good, vetted training on how to use a concealed handgun and you, too stand a chance of ruining a terrorist or active shooters plans.