30 March 2008

Making The Case For Concealed-Carry On Campus

There is no better argument I can make supporting a student's right to protect themselves than to point out this story:

But Grady has been praised for preparing the campus police department. He boosted the number of training programs for officers and required they all be certified in first aid.

He had plans for various crisis scenarios, including an on-campus shooting. Grady had ordered his officers to go after a gunman immediately.

This police chief is superbly qualified and made sure his officers were too.  Plans were in place and followed.  The only people who could find fault with his performance would be anti-gun, anti-police moonbats who would say he went too far.  As a matter of fact, he moved from his previous two positions for just that reason... resistance to what he believed were necessary minimums for getting the job done.

He has doubts and guilty feelings over losing five people that day, as any good man would question himself after such a tragedy.  The fact is, he did everything he could to minimize the risk to his folks, then ran toward the sound of the guns when the murderer began killing innocents.  He is a hero in every sense of the word.

Contrast this to what would have likely happened if students were allowed to carry their personal weapons for protection.  Knowing the campus policy, instead of considering NIU a "target-rich environment", the killer may have been deterred from even beginning his attack.  If he intended to die, as it appears, then even one student returning fire would likely have limited the killing.  Even if you intend on dying, getting shot at tends to distract you from killing others.  If that student were well-prepared, and/or joined by other students prepared to defend themselves, the killer might have been stopped before fatally shooting anybody.

It's past time to allow students to exercise their right of self-defense.  If it can happen in a setting with Police Chief Grady there, it can happen anywhere there is a "gun-free" zone.  When seconds count, help is only minutes away... unless you can help yourself.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 23:02:30 | Comments (18) | Add Comment
Post contains 358 words, total size 2 kb.

1 If that student were well-prepared, and/or joined by other students prepared to defend themselves, the killer might have been stopped before fatally shooting anybody.

As Touchstone said, There's much virtue in an If.

IRL, that would require at least one student with the training of a military sniper, or the equivalent thereof--the ability not just to shoot correctly and quickly at a (possibly moving, possibly hidden) target, but the ability to respond quickly and efficiently (that is, get the gun out and aimed at a moment's notice), and most of all, the volition to actually shoot to kill.   I submit that such abilities are (except in places where military veterans or off duty police are unusually numerous) rare enough to make such a scenario more a fantasy than a probability.

Posted by: kishnevi at 31 March 2008@13:24:14 (zxjPs)

2 Hey kishnevi,

I carry concealed and practice regularly.  Never having touched my weapon in anticipation of using it while out in public doesn't mean that I'm not ready to use it.  When you carry, you are always aware of it.  It doesn't take a military sniper, just someone well-practiced (a matter of degree).  My son is waiting on his permit now and already is practiced in shooting a handgun.  We've discussed school shootings and I have confidence in his ability to respond.  The ability isn't rare, the situation is.  Rare does not mean non-existent unfortunately and if it did occur at his school, I would want him to at least have an opportunity to defend himself.  The probability of getting shot is much higher when the killer is the only one with a gun.

Shooting to kill?  Yep, I've taught him center-mass and empty the clip if you have to until there's no more threat.  Anyone trying to kill innocents forfeits their right to share atmosphere.  If the shooter lives, so be it... I'll take my son back to the range for more practice.  At least he'd still be around.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 31 March 2008@19:13:22 (tarqT)

3 I submit that the ability is rarer than you think it is, and that there are not (as a percentage of population) very many kids like your son.

Also (perhaps I should have been clearer) knowing the theory of how to kill another human is quite different from having the willpower to do so, and probably can't be assessed until and unless such a situation arises in real life.  Your son know how to kill a man; but until he's in such a situation, he may never know if he can kill a man.  (God willing, he should never be in such a situation!)  I don't own a gun because I know I could never get myself to shoot to kill, and if I can't do that, why  should I own one? (Although, ironically, the one weapon I do own would probably require a concealed weapons permit--a Malaysian sword-cane. )

Posted by: kishnevi at 31 March 2008@21:28:57 (gkwrQ)

4 True enough that until a person is in the situation they can't say for certain how they'd react.  Without a weapon however, their choices of how to react are severely limited.  If he (or I) found myself unable to follow through, then the consequences are no different than if we were unarmed in the first place.  I'm pretty confident that, having been tested in other ways, I would not freeze.

Not criticizing, just curious... if you wouldn't kill to protect yourself, why have a sword-cane?  Same principle to me, just a different method of self-defense.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 31 March 2008@21:45:56 (tarqT)

5

People with concealed carry permits are generally good shots. Probably better than your average cop.

How many times do you hear of 5 cops emptying their 15rd, 9mm mags at somebody and the guy being hit like 2 or 3 times? Some 75 rounds go downrange and 2 hit.

For CCW types, it's their hobby. They fire their gun often and they don't mind paying for the ammo, it's fun for them. For many cops, it's their job and they don't feel like spending their money on ammo. Shooting guns is expensive. Depending on your weapon, an hour can cost you $50+.

And besides, one of the points is that the reason murderous iceholes go to a campus is because they are ensured a captive, unarmed audience. If they know that there might be guns there, they'll figure out some other way to get their jollies. After all, you can't top the Columbine killers' score if you get shot dead by the first guy you encounter.

And my personal favorite is, "Oh, so you want a crossfire?"

"Well, isn't that better than the rounds only going from the bad guy toward the good guys?"

 

Posted by: Veeshir at 01 April 2008@08:39:04 (ThMnZ)

6 There's a lot of truth to that.  Even in the military where you'd think most people would be able to shoot, if you're job wasn't as a trigger-puller, you seldom got to the range.  Lots of admin, medical, JAG, etc... have trouble even qualifying.

When I was teaching at the Army's Practical Nurse Course, I had two targets taped to the file-cabinet in my office... one from 50 feet and one from 75 feet using my 9mm Ruger.  Just for effect of course. 

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 01 April 2008@13:04:17 (tarqT)

7

And my personal favorite is, "Oh, so you want a crossfire?"

I usually ask for one example of this happening.  Ever.  Nobody has come up with one, but even if they did, the fact that it's so hard to find kind of negates that argument anyway.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 01 April 2008@13:07:14 (tarqT)

8 I got the sword cane because I found it in an antique shop, it's nice looking cane, and I thought it was a neat thing to buy.  The legalities/illegalities of concealed weapons didn't hit me until I got home with it. 
Also, in more direct answer to your question, it's actually easier to disable but not kill with a sword than with a gun.  With a gun, you need to make sure you're aiming at the limb and not the torso or head to disable but not kill.   With a sword, you don't need to quite so careful.  You can also, of course, use the flat of the sword instead of the edge, or keep the edge blunted (as is supposed to happen with ceremonial swords).
Plus, if the person is not expecting it, or not used to it, the sight of cold steel  flashing at them from within arm's length can be somewhat intimidating. 
I've had a little amount of training with swords and fencing, certainly enough to be effective against anyone who hasn't been trained,  even if they have a gun (you go for the hand, of course, in that situation.  Unless there's two blokes with a gun.  Then you run.)
I've tried target practice with a gun once, with my stepfather.  After noticing half the other shooters were laughing, and the rest were taking cover, when they saw my lousy aim,  he swore never to take me back.   (He was a gun nut in more than one sense: made his own bullets in the living room closet.  He enlisted underage for the last year of WWII in the Marines, then re-enlisted as a medic for Korea. The Chosin Reservoir left him with frostbite,  a very real case of shell shock, and after a four decade delay, a Silver Star. My mother divorced him after eight years because she couldn't stand his craziness.)

Final benefit to swords vs. guns: you get more exercise practicing with a sword.

My overall contention remains: I don't think there are enough people capable of effectively using (or capable of being effective threats) a gun in such a place to make your idea realistic.   And these killers go to these places because they have a connection with the place where they go on their spree.   I suspect the inability of their intended victims to fire back is much less of a concern than you believe.

Is there anyplace I can locate how many people (as a percentage of population, or whatever) have CCW permits?  That might give an actual number to determine if I'm right or not.

BTW, isn't it true that every member of the Marine Corps has to requalify every year as a sharpshooter, from the  Commandant on down?

Posted by: kishnevi at 01 April 2008@13:31:52 (0gB9X)

9 I got the sword cane because I found it in an antique shop, it's nice looking cane, and I thought it was a neat thing to buy.  The legalities/illegalities of concealed weapons didn't hit me until I got home with it.

Cool thing to have, I've wanted one but never got around to it.

I suspect the inability of their intended victims to fire back is much less of a concern than you believe.

I don't think it can be proved either way since an attack deterred is not an attack.  I'm sure there are stats on CCW demographics someplace... whether they can be trusted or not might depend on who is posting them.  I'm not sure I'd take the NRA's numbers any sooner than I would an anti-gun group.

BTW, isn't it true that every member of the Marine Corps has to requalify every year as a sharpshooter, from the  Commandant on down?

I know it's technically true for the Army, so I'd assume the same for the Marines.  As I said, in the Army that may be the only time someone goes to the range (no practice in between qualifications) and some of the more pathetic shooters (**cough**cough**many doctors**cough) might get a "pity-pass" after three attempts or so at qualification.  I failed to qualify Expert (the highest general qualification) once and had to settle for Sharpshooter... in 24 years of shooting the M16, the .45 cal (M1911), the 9mm (M9), and the M60 machine-gun. 

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 01 April 2008@14:49:01 (tarqT)

10 There's always Google.
I found the following links:
http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/stats/licensetypecount.html
http://www.bci.utah.gov/CFP/CFStat.html (you'll need to click on PDF links to get the actual stats).
Approximately half a million CCW permits in Florida, for a population estimated at 18 million plus.  Approximately 100k permits for Utah; at the moment I don't know what Utah's population is.  Also, I don't know how many of those other licenses allow the holder to carry concealed without needing a separate CCW permit. If all of them can, we're talking 627k.  But overall percentage is approximately 3% of the state's population.
However, that may be an overestimate.  I found these links through a site that offers to teach and help arrange Utah and Florida CCW for people who don't live in either state, but want to take advantage of the widespread reciprocity offered to holders of those state's permits (http://americanccw.com).  So we have to assume that some of those half million CCW permits are for non-Florida residents, shading it down some. 

But assuming the 3 percent figure is halfway valid,  that's a higher number than I expected, so my initial contention may well be wrong.

Posted by: kishnevi at 01 April 2008@16:10:25 (0gB9X)

11 And there's always Wiki. 
Utah's population is approximately 2.7 million.  The 100k CCW Utah permits then represent just under 4 percent of Utah's population.

Posted by: kishnevi at 01 April 2008@16:14:59 (0gB9X)

12 I've honestly never looked before.  I'm more concerned with what the local laws that apply to me are than the demographics.  Having a permit with reciprocity is convenient, but knowing the local laws are still very important.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 01 April 2008@16:18:39 (tarqT)

13 SQueaK! Hello, Major. I'll bet Gentle Mac could give you website and stats right off the top of his furry little head. There are a couple of good blogs that track stories and stats of civilians using their gun to stop crimes.
Good discussion, as usual. Thank you, Sir.

...see, I did it! Thanks for making this LamerFriendly, Stash

Posted by: sillyblindharper at 02 April 2008@06:24:16 (5+XEL)

14 So glad you could make it Gentle Lady.  Yes, Mac is a fount(font? New Times Roman is my favorite... I take that back, I now have a Buffy the Vampire Slayer font thanks to kishnevi.  ) of information.

One of the best for stories is the "Civilian Gun and Self-Defense Blog".  They cover stories of people using guns to defend themselves whether it goes right (goblin loses) or wrong (innocent loses).  The vast majority of times, the goblin loses... self-defense works.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 02 April 2008@10:30:25 (tarqT)

15 Thank you, Sir. I hope you are well today.

Posted by: sillyblindharper at 02 April 2008@13:33:09 (5+XEL)

16 I guess I need a haircut. That should be fuzzy head. I think Prof. John Lott's study is the most comprehensive that I know of but as far back as the 60s the FBI Uniform Crime Reports showed that of the most populous cities in the country the ones with the strictest controls had the most violent crime and the ones with the least gun control had the lowest rates of violent crime.

When the Sullivan Act was passed I believe the crime rate in London was higher than New York. That changed.

The figures in England are deceptive because of the way they report them. If I kill twenty people there that is reported as one crime. It is the same if I break into fifty homes. England and Australia both showed dramatic increases in violent crimes when they passed their latest gun confiscation measures.

Gun control laws can only be based on wishful thinking in terms of crime prevention. Facts show it has the opposite results. In terms of preventing a population from resisting government taking power it is more effective. Perhaps that is the real motive.

Posted by: Machinist at 02 April 2008@15:01:07 (yFIK0)

17 Perhaps?  Who are you and what have you done with our Mac?

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 02 April 2008@15:05:51 (tarqT)

18 I'm keeping a low profile. I misplaced my tinfoil hat. 

Posted by: Machinist at 02 April 2008@15:16:38 (yFIK0)

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