A shooting at a gun store isn’t a common thing. After all, people who work at gun stores tend to both be armed and to brook absolutely zero nonsense within the store. Oh, they may joke around, but that’s different than someone screwing around in a way they shouldn’t.
And yet, despite the rarity of such an event, one happened just this past weekend. It was terrible, but it could have been worse. As expected, people who worked in the store returned fire and put an end to the threat before things could get out of hand.
Now, more gun store owners are saying they’ll do the exact same thing.
Armed retailers at gun ranges say they’ll shoot back if attacked, like the seven employees who returned fire and killed a gunman at a range in Louisiana last week.
“At our range, it would have been met with the same force,” said Danielle Jaymes, general manager of Poway Weapons & Gear in Poway, California, whose employees openly carry Glock pistols.
Workers at gun ranges are eyeing some customers a little more warily as the smoke starts to clear from a mass shooting Feb. 20 at Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie, Louisiana, where a man armed with a pistol loaded with a high-capacity magazine shot up the shop and rampaged through the range, killing two and wounding two. Employees eventually killed the gunman in the parking lot.
“The criminal actions of this suspect took two innocent lives, but the quick reaction of staff and customers likely saved many more,” said Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry group that represents ranges as well as gun retailers and manufacturers.
The fact that the workers shot back and eventually succeeded in killing the attacker as children fled the premises and other customers were in the building taking a concealed carry class is the stuff of legend for pro-gun advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association. They love stories about gun owners fighting back, like the Texas churchgoer with an AR-15 who shot a man in 2017 also armed with an AR-15 who was fleeing after he killed 26 people.
Second Amendment groups love it because we’re constantly hearing about how it never happens. Each instance is a reminder of what an armed citizen can do if they happen to be in the right place at the right time. From Stephen Williford referenced above to Jack Wilson who put down an attacker in a different Texas Church, we know these stores because we’ve been told they simply don’t exist.
And they do. Clearly.
What these gun store owners and workers are saying isn’t surprising. It’s what any of us would say in their position. Those who have decided to carry a firearm have made a commitment to not stand around and allow evil to flourish in their presence. They’re not going to just let innocent people be killed right in front of them without doing something.
For some in the anti-gun movement, they think it’s because we all dream about being Rambo or something, but that’s not it. No one wants to have to take a human life, but we’ve simply recognized that while the odds are slim we’d ever need to fire our weapons, for someone out there, the need will arise. We just want to make sure if we’re in that position, we have the means to do what we need to do.
In gun stores, which are tempting targets for criminals anyway, carrying a gun doesn’t just make sense. It’s a stupid thing not to do.
And one stupid SOB got a pointed lesson in why that is. That lesson lasted the rest of his life.