Indiana mall shooting and the case against "gun-free zones"

The 22-year old Indiana man who stopped a mass shooting at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana on Sunday evening is getting a lot of praise from local law enforcement, public officials, and even the mall’s management. In fact, about the only group who’ve found fault with his actions are gun control activists.

For someone who loves to call herself “reasonable” and swears she isn’t opposed to the Second Amendment, this is an awfully unreasonable position to take, wouldn’t you say?

Watts and other anti-gun activists like Brady’s Kris Brown, who called the armed citizen in question a vigilante, have focused on the fact that Greemwood Park Mall bans weapons on its property, which means both the mass murderer and the legal gun owner were in violation of that policy.

In a way, that makes sense. What are they going to do, acknowledge that killers don’t really care if they’re intruding on a “gun-free zone,” and indeed may be specifically looking for places where they’re less likely to meet an armed response? That would undercut their message of “gun safety means don’t own a gun,” so that’s off the table. Instead, they’re left trying to defend these victim disarmament zones even though if the 22-year old in question didn’t have his gun on him the man responsible for the attack would likely have been able to continue his killing spree for several more minutes before officers arrived on scene.

Then there are those who, unbelievably are more offended by the description of the armed citizen as a “Good Samaritan” than they are pleased that he was able to stop the attack before more people were killed or wounded.

“The term, ‘Good Samaritan’ came from a Bible passage of a man from Samaria who stopped on the side of the road to help a man who was injured and ignored,” wrote CBS4 traffic anchor Justin Kollar on Twitter Monday. “I cannot believe we live in a world where the term can equally apply to someone killing someone… my God.”

“The Good Samaritan paid for an unknown immigrant’s health care out of pocket,” comedian John Fugelsang wrote on Twitter. “The Good Samaritan did not shoot anyone. Jesus was not a fan of killing for any reason, including self-defense. But if these ammosexuals had ever read the Bible, they couldn’t support the GOP or NRA.”

Well, there is that bit in the Bible where Jesus instructed the Apostles to get a sword, even if they have to sell their cloaks to do so (Luke 22:35-38). I don’t think Jesus was telling his most trusted followers to convert the masses at the point of a blade, but as attorney and Second Amendment scholar David Kopel pointed out in his piece “Is the Best Defense a Good Book”:

Even if we say that Jesus did not care about whether the apostles actually carried swords, bags or purses, and that Jesus was speaking purely metaphorically, the passage still contradicts the rigid pacifist viewpoint. In the metaphor, the sword, like the purse or the bag, is treated as an ordinary item for any person to carry. If weapons and defensive violence were illegitimate under all circumstances, Jesus would not have instructed the apostles to carry swords, even in metaphor. Moreover, stripping the passage of all literal content is inappropriate, for Jesus never spoke so cryptically when he was alone with the apostles. Parables were used only when outsiders were present.

It’s also highly amusing to me to see someone like Fugelsang snark about “ammosexuals” who’ve never read the Bible while routinely ignoring Jesus’ admonition to “love thy enemy.” As for his astonishment that the term “Good Samaritan” would be invoked when it doesn’t involve free healthcare, I’d invite him to take a look at the number of hospitals in the U.S. with “Good Samaritan” in their name that still charge for their services. Granted, I’m not on Twitter much these days, but I don’t recall Fugelsang ever complaining about that bit of biblical appropriation.

The real reason why these anti-gun activists are so intent on demonizing the actions of the armed citizen, of course, is that his deeds upend all of their talk about how we’d all be better off disarmed at all times. I’m sure they’re just as ticked off at the mall for praising him instead of threatening to press charges for criminal trespass.

“We grieve for the victims of yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Greenwood. Violence has no place in this or any other community. We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect,” a mall spokesperson said.

We should all be grateful that this 22-year old had the means and the motivation to step up when seconds counted and lives were on the line. The fact that the gun control zealots are more upset that their argument for “gun-free zones” has once again been exposed as wishful thinking (at best) tells you everything you need to know about how “reasonable” and full of “commonsense” they really are.