For people on the pro-gun side, we often cite the “good guy with a gun” as the ultimate deterrent to mass shootings. If enough people were carrying firearms lawfully, we wouldn’t see so many mass shootings.
To say it’s a controversial point is putting it mildly.
In fairness, while I truly believe it, we’re also having to do a fair bit of speculation. Yet it’s speculation born out of observations of times when a good guy with a gun did stop an attack.
Yet according to one writer, those times apparently didn’t happen. At least, that’s the implication in his story about a study saying more guns cause more problems.
There’s compelling new data out to support my longstanding argument that guns make everything worse.
A recent study found that when you allow people to carry around guns in public like it’s the Wild West, you encourage more Wild West showdowns. It’s potentially High Noon at every hour of the day.
<remove writer’s pathetic begging on behalf of Lucy McBath’s campaign>
The gun deaths I’ve linked to so far all took place in Florida, home of the despicable stand-your-ground law. It’s fitting then that an assistant professor at Florida State University, Emma Fridel, would author the study debunking most of the NRA myths around gun ownership.
From Business Insider:
[Fridel] measured the effects of gun ownership rates and concealed-carry laws in all 50 states from 1991 to 2016. She controlled for other factors that might influence mass shooting and homicide rates, like unemployment rates, poverty levels and states’ mental health expenditures.
What she found wasn’t shocking but still terrifying: Lax concealed-carry laws increased a state’s gun homicide rate by 11 percent, and higher rates of gun ownership in general was associated with a 53.5 percent increase in the likelihood of a mass shooting.
Guns make everything worse.
Now, I’m not delving into the study right now because, well, I haven’t had a chance to really look at that study and see much about it. What I did see showed that the researchers “corrected” for things they believe may contribute to violent crime like unemployment, etc. While that makes a fair bit of sense, we don’t know definitively what all contributes to violent crime, so their adjustments may have no basis in fact.
Anyway, our intrepid author, Stephen Robinson, doesn’t really care about that. He found a study that supports his beliefs to some extent. As a result, he glomps onto it and continues:
But, what about the good guys with guns? Gun rights groups mention them all the time, although most are fictional like Dirty Harry, who we know is a good guy because his nickname is “Dirty.”
“In popular culture, you hear people saying, ‘Oh, if I had a gun and I was at that Wal-Mart, I could’ve stopped that shooting,’” Fridel told Business Insider. “But that’s probably not true.”
It is definitely not true.
Really? It’s definitely not true? Tell this guy.
For a different twist on the story, try telling that to the man whose wife didn’t carry a gun to work one day and she didn’t come home because of a mass shooting.
Those are just three examples out of any number of examples out there, most of which have nothing to do with a mass shooting but all of which involve someone protecting human life with a firearm, such as this guy. And this one. And this one as well.
Robinson has his own list of examples, to be fair, including Philando Castile, who was shot by police and not an armed citizen, essentially negating at least part of his premise. (He automatically chalks the shooting up to Castile’s race, not poor officer training or any other potential cause. Shocking, I know.)
The difference is, I’m not the one talking in absolutes. I’m not the one stating definitively that an armed citizen won’t stop a shooting from happening. He is.
And he’s horribly, spectacularly wrong. Demonstrably so, as I’ve already pointed out.
Yet for anti-gunners like Robinson, none of that matters. As he’s shown, he can just ignore any inconvenient facts and pretend they simply don’t exist.