Op-ed over mall shooting misses key points

Op-ed over mall shooting misses key points
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Greenwood Park Mall shooting is one of those topics that we should be talking about for weeks or months to come. However, we won’t be. It’s entirely likely the media has said all they’re going to say on this one because the overall story undermines the preferred narrative.

However, for now, people are still talking about it. Unfortunately, some are saying some stupid things.

Take this op-ed, for example:

A “good Samaritan” killed the shooter.

That phrase alone immediately evoked mixed feelings for me.

And your reaction to that phrase in this instance evokes a strong desire to dismiss literally everything you want to say going forward.

This is a young man who ran toward the sounds of gunfire, putting his life on the line, and put an end to a deadly attack, and you’re griping because people call him a “good Samaritan?”

Yeah, you’re someone who should be taken seriously.

But the writer continues:

I had just driven past the Greenwood Park Mall on Sunday right before a man with a gun killed three people. He was stopped when an armed bystander shot and killed him.

My home in Greenwood, Indiana, not even 5 miles away from the mall, is halfway between the city of Indianapolis and the rolling Indiana countryside. While of course I am thrilled lives were saved, I can’t help but imagine that the events that occurred will be fodder to further loosen gun regulations. I can’t be the only one who feels split in two on this contentious issue.

Like many Hoosiers, my dad hunted deer, so I grew up with guns in the house. By college, I was a pretty good skeet shooter. And, when my family passes my great-great-grandfather’s gun onto me, I’ll take it into my home.

But I am also a social scientist – I collect data and analyze research. I know that gun-related suicides and homicides are up – the highest they have been since a quarter of a century. I know that about 430 people die every year in the United States from accidental gun deaths. Sadly, I know that those accidental gun deaths happen disproportionately to children and young adults. And I know that women who are abused by their partners who have access to guns are five times more likely to be killed than other women.

In other words, “I’m a gun owner, but…”

I don’t care that you’re a gun owner or someone who grew up shooting. I don’t care that you’re a social scientist.

After all, if you were the expert you claim, you wouldn’t even begin to talk about 430 accidental gun fatalities when we live in a nation of 330 million people because you’d know that amounts to statistical noise more than anything else. You also know that the whole “five times more likely” is a rhetorical trick to overstate the danger without actually lying.

Frankly, it’s no wonder you take issue with the term “good Samaritan.”

The facts on the ground are very clear. A maniac walked into a shopping mall on a Sunday evening with the intention of killing as many people as possible. The idea that anyone could view this ambiguously in any way, shape, or form is beyond ridiculous.

You see, our social scientist here is torn, but she shouldn’t be. In and amongst the statistics she spouted off, she failed to note 2.5 million.

That’s the total estimated number of defensive gun uses each year. The Greenwood Park Mall shooting is just one of them. It just has the added benefit of being high-profile.

The author missed that and a number of points, hiding behind her identity as a “social scientist”–which generally means she’s not actually a scientist–and, as such, should probably be dismissed in general.