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Old August 24, 2013, 09:30 PM   #1
lockedcj7
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Answering the Antis

I've recently seen the same disturbing comment in print several times recently. It goes something like this:

"No citizen has ever successfully intervened in a mass killing."

I respond every chance I get with the following: To the contrary, many multiple-victim public shootings have been averted or stopped with little or no loss of life by lawful concealed weapon permit holders or off duty police. Here are just a few examples:

--Clackamas Town Center Mall, Happy Valley, Oregon, 2012: Masked gunman begins shooting patrons. His gun jammed and a CCW holder aimed from cover and verbally challenged him. Gunman runs to a stairwell and takes his own life. Total dead: Two.
-- Mayan Palace Theater, San Antonio, Texas, 2012: Jesus Manuel Garcia shoots at a movie theater, a police car and bystanders from the nearby China Garden restaurant; as he enters the movie theater, guns blazing, an armed off-duty cop shoots Garcia four times, stopping the attack. Total dead: Zero.
-- Winnemucca, Nev., 2008: Ernesto Villagomez opens fire in a crowded restaurant; concealed carry permit-holder shoots him dead. Total dead: Two.
-- Appalachian School of Law, 2002: Crazed immigrant shoots the dean and a professor, then begins shooting students; as he goes for more ammunition, two armed students point their guns at him, allowing a third to tackle him. Total dead: Three.
-- Santee, Calif., 2001: Student begins shooting his classmates -- as well as the "trained campus supervisor"; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive. Total dead: Two.
-- Pearl High School, Mississippi, 1997: After shooting several people at his high school, student heads for the junior high school; assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieves a .45 pistol from his car and points it at the gunman's head, ending the murder spree. Total dead: Two.
-- Edinboro, Pa., 1998: A student shoots up a junior high school dance being held at a restaurant; restaurant owner pulls out his shotgun and stops the gunman. Total dead: One.
(the attacker's deaths are not included in the above)

By contrast, the shootings in gun-free zones almost invariably result in far higher casualty figures -- Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown , CT. (26 dead), Sikh temple, Oak Creek, Wis. (six dead); Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. (32 dead); Columbine High School, Columbine, Colo. (12 dead); Amish school, Lancaster County, Pa. (five little girls killed); public school, Craighead County, Ark. (five killed, including four little girls).

Obviously not all mass killings but...

In 2011 (the last year for which the data is available) there were 201 justifiable homicides by private citizens where "justifiable homicide" is defined as the killing of a felon during the commission of a felony. It's extremely difficult to track how many lawful defensive gun uses occur without a shot being fired but even the Violence Policy Center researchers estimate that it's over 67,000 per year. Pro-gun organizations put the number much higher as you might expect. It's probably safe to say that the actual number is somewhere in between. So even the staunchest anti-gun organization admits, by their own accounting, that a person is 7.8 times more likely to use a gun for self-defense than to be murdered with one in any given year.

What arguments are you hearing and how do you respond?
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Old August 24, 2013, 09:38 PM   #2
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I've stopped responding. Those who show a vague interest I take shooting, the "rabids" I just ignore.
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Old August 24, 2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Answering the Antis

I always take the time to calmly discuss the issue with antis or fence sitters. To date, I have not run into any who were prepared to refute points that I have made, and I have been more than prepared to counter points that they have attempted to make. The facts are on our side, and there are mountains of data supporting us.


When the "no armed citizen has stopped a mass shooting" statement comes up, I ask them if they know what constitutes a "mass shooting" or "spree shooting", and go from there. That question has put me at an advantage out of the gate, every time it has come up.
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Old August 24, 2013, 11:30 PM   #4
locnload
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It is interesting to note that most "mass shootings" happen in "gun free zones" so it stands to reason that there would be no armed citizens to stop the shooter.
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Old August 24, 2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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OP,

I have learned that there is no point in debating this issue. It doesn't matter the potential or intent the person had to start with. What they will respond with is " they only shot..." and somehow it makes it better in their mind.

It is extremely difficult to measure what is actually averted. What if someone turned around and there was no shot fired, let alone a physical presence beyond turning around in the parking lot, because they saw a marked patrol car. Is that a mass shooting averted or not? To the anti's the answer would be NO, since there were no casualties. Hard to have a mass shooting when it was stopped before it happened for whatever reason. These events aren't counted in stats.
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Old August 25, 2013, 07:20 AM   #6
lockedcj7
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I also think it's important to provide a counter argument that is based on facts, statistics and logic. I recently had a heated discussion with a family member who stood in my living room and loudly announced that assault weapons should be banned and that nobody had any business owning one. I asked her why she felt that way and it was on like Donkey-Kong. Every point she made was based on misinformation, misconception, emotion, fear and ad hominem attacks.

I'm especially interested in the topics of arming teachers so that's what I've been reading a lot about lately.

The reasons for not allowing armed, trained staff are hollow at best and there are easy solutions to all of them. The convenience of responding officers and shooter ID issues are easily solved. The shooting will likely be long over by the time law enforcement arrives and the staff will have made their weapons safe. If not, the armed staff should be trained to drop their weapon and lay down like everybody else when LEOs enter the building. The armed staff will be the adults in dress clothes and the shooter will be the guy dressed in all black, a tactical vest, carrying a backpack and RANDOMLY SHOOTING PEOPLE. The armed staff will be moving like they have some training and carrying their weapons safely.

Children could be hit in a crossfire but their injuries are much less likely to be fatal than if they were deliberately shot in the head by a madman. Even when the police accidentally hit people, the bystanders are rarely killed. Would you rather have a body count of 2 or 22?

"What if a kid gets hold of a gun?" Simply require teacher to keep the weapon in a retention holster, completely hidden in a smart-carry holster or locked up. They could even be required to keep it in condition 3, (loaded magazine inserted, chamber empty).

"What if a teacher just snaps?" When was the last time you heard of a teacher slapping a student or stabbing one with a pencil or pair of scissors? Why would it be more likely that s/he would draw their weapon?

I'm not in favor of just allowing any teacher or staff with a CWP to carry in schools but all of the issues raised can be overcome with equipment, training and coordination.
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Old August 25, 2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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It is hard to have those "discussions" w/o coming across as condescending, but I don't care.

I usually ask if they think people should be allowed to own semi-automatics. They say no and I ask them to define semi-automatic. They can't. After I define it, I just hang on to that like a pit bull - "you want to ban something you can't even define! You make me laugh!"
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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You might also point them to news reports like the one today (I don't do links), where an escaped convict shot a deputy (twice, with a semiautomatic handgun), stole his car, broke into the home of an elderly couple and held them hostage for 4 hrs, until the 71 year old got his shotgun, and killed the criminal.

Much as I hate anything that seems to credit Joe Biden, in this case, a shotgun was enough. But unlike the rest of Biden's "advice", he didn't shoot it in the air. He shot the man who was threatening his family with a gun. Once. In the chest.

Then was able to get a call to the police (the report mentioned the felon disabled the phones in the house), and ended the manhunt. The deputy is expected to recover.

Now, the next time you find an anti, or just someone who is genuinely ignorant spouting the talking points about the evils of guns, and gun ownership, ask them, what if that had been their house?
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:44 AM   #9
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Some of you just won't bother to debate the nitwits and that's understandable.

But I'll usually try to put in my 2¢ worth, depending on the venue. Even if I can't change the mind of the author, I write a response for others who read the comments. When the fence-sitters read rational responses with facts they can verify, some of them start questioning the rhetoric.

I also think that by challenging the anti-gun assertions with facts and, when appropriate, anecdotes, we show there are more sensible solutions and differing opinions to "ban them all".

Quote:
"No citizen has ever successfully intervened in a mass killing."
When I see quotes like that, I generally do the same thing as the OP. I point to several shootings where people intervened and indicate that in too many cases, the information is later dropped by the media.

One guy tried that challenge with me and disputed events like Pearl, MS because the school official stored his gun in the car and was thus not actually carrying CCW. I had to remind him that the inside of the school was a "gun free zone". But that's their tactic - switch the criteria when you prove them wrong.

But sometimes I can get a little snarky when the author comes off as arrogant, condescending or tries to sound morally superior. On one site devoted to family matters someone commented that not a single citizen took a shot at three gunmen who opened fire in a New Orleans parade. The writer went on to say that it showed CCWs were worthless and should be revoked.

My response was to tell the author that I've never known any advocate for gun control to be worth a tinker's damn in a life or death crisis so why should everyone be defenseless because you're afraid of guns? Then pointed out that any permit holders present acted responsibly and by not shooting and endangering hundreds of bystanders.

Remember, you're not only arguing with the author, but also trying to educate the fence-sitters who read the comments.
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Old August 25, 2013, 12:00 PM   #10
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How do they know the successful interventions weren't about to become mass killings?
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Old August 25, 2013, 01:47 PM   #11
RBid
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Answering the Antis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Microgunner View Post
How do they know the successful interventions weren't about to become mass killings?
This is exactly the point in asking if they know what constitutes a "spree shooting" or "mass shooting". These events require determining that a shooter was not targeting specific people, which means shooting at enough people to demonstrate that selection was indiscriminate.

According to the FBI, "mass murder" requires 4 or more victims.

By definition, neither of these events are categorized until criteria is met, meaning that any event that is prevented or stopped early is not "stopping the event".
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Old August 25, 2013, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
I've stopped responding. Those who show a vague interest I take shooting, the "rabids" I just ignore.
Same here.

Debated the anti-gunners for decades; wish i had gone hunting or fishing instead; my time was wasted. i finally reached the conclusion that debating an anti is akin to wrestling a big muddy hog in his pen. You get covered with mud and hog poop and the hog loves it.

i would rather teach a kid to shoot.
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Old August 25, 2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
i finally reached the conclusion that debating an anti is akin to wrestling a big muddy hog in his pen.
If I know someone's mind is set, there's not much point in trying to convince them. However, in a public debate, it's not so much about convincing that guy as it is allowing the audience to hear our side of the argument.
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Old August 25, 2013, 06:23 PM   #14
RBid
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Part of the point of making time, to me, is to demonstrate something beyond the facts:

It's about disproving the stereotype of us.

Every time we respond with warmth, patience, and a willingness to converse in a calm way, we prove that what they are told about us is false. It opens up their eyes to the fact that "gun owners" are normal people who happen to own firearms. It personalizes "us".

The less intimidating we are, the less intimidating the firearms we carry become.
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Old August 25, 2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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The Anti's are beyond convincing. They wish to remain blissfully ignorant. Hey...more ammo for us, lol.
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:51 PM   #16
BillCA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
If I know someone's mind is set, there's not much point in trying to convince them. However, in a public debate, it's not so much about convincing that guy as it is allowing the audience to hear our side of the argument.
I wish I'd had said it that concisely. Thanks Tom.

Gun Control has three enemies: History,Logic and reason.

Some quick counterpoints to the type of arguments anti's use.
  1. Compliance is safer than resisting
    You can give them stats that say otherwise but they can't feel numbers so it's ineffective.
    Instead, say Just give them what they want? But what if what they want is your life?
    .
  2. Mass killings & armed citizens
    The 1991 Luby's Cafeteria shooting was the 2nd worse mass shooting in the U.S. It could have been stopped quickly, but the only other person with a gun was a law-abiding citizen who obeyed Texas law and left her gun in her car. In this case, it wasn't guns that killed, it was citizen disarmament laws that killed 23 people.
    .
  3. Only the police and military should have guns.
    I saw a movie about a society like that. It was called Schindler's List.
    .
  4. Arguments against handguns, semi-auto pistols and/or large magazines
    I often use the example of my mother who was still living alone at age 77 to personalize the response. You can use your own circumstances or reference seniors in general like this:
    How dare you! Do you actually hate seniors and the disabled? Why do gun control advocates talk about their right to feel safe, but when it comes to the rights of others, like our senior citizens, or the disabled, to actually be safe, their rights are of no concern? Many senior citizens prefer a small or lightweight semi-auto pistol for home defense. It's lightness is easier on arthritic hands and weaker arms. Think about those in wheelchairs. How do they flee? For most, reloading a revolver after 5 or 6 shots won't be an option. But a 12 or 15 shot magazine allows them enough shots to make up for very limited mobility.
    .
  5. What if the person with a gun "snaps" and goes on a shooting spree?
    Do you worry the car driver next to you will want to drive off the bridge and take you with him? What about airline pilots? What about that cop writing traffic tickets? He's armed and under a lot of stress too. It rarely happens that someone "snaps" out of the blue. Usually there are warning signs that precede such a violent outburst days or weeks ahead of time. Well over half and perhaps as many as 80% of mass shooters had been, or were, taking psychiatric medications, which means they were already being treated.
    .
  6. No one needs to carry a gun / Why do you need to carry a gun?
    You wear a seat belt while driving because you can't predict when an accident will occur. Likewise, I can't predict when I might be the victim of a crime. Random chance may sneak up and put me in danger even in a "safe" neighborhood.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:06 AM   #17
RBid
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Answering the Antis

I'm of the opinion that our rights are worth the time and patience put into a talk with any anti or fence sitter who will talk to us. Even if we convert 1/10, we've gained ground.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob228
I've stopped responding. Those who show a vague interest I take shooting, the "rabids" I just ignore.
While I understand not going to the trouble, responding does serve a wider social purpose. It establishes or supports a custom in which a foolish assertion can be politely contradicted.

There are all sorts of things that might have been perfectly ordinary to hear about some sorts of people until the assertions about them were socially stigmatized. As a consequence, those sorts of assertions are rarely voiced, even by people who believe them, and are less likely to be propagated. The stigma surrounding some words is so strong that ordinary suburban people never use them.

When you take the time to respond that quite a few killing sprees have been cut short when an individual with a firearm intervenes (not even counting when that individual is a uniformed police officer), you lay one stone in the foundation of a social stigma against that historical ignorance.
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Old August 27, 2013, 07:41 AM   #19
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I really think that for most anti's its not a logical position or rationally decided position, but an emotional position based upon fear of violence and guns. Since most people never get into a situation where a gun was needed, they think that a gun is never needed. I often just repeat that "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away".
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Old August 27, 2013, 08:13 AM   #20
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The sad thing is, that may work for or against us I fear. Many take that response as us being a vigilante or having a happy trigger finger.

At least that's how I've seen it play out in debates on the topic.

I usually try to reason with the ones I feel I may be able to sway, the ones I can't I agree to disagree with them and go about my day as usual.

As others have said in the end though, sometimes it's not about convincing the rabidly anit gun guy/gal. It's about presenting a calm and concise rebuttal to their arguments for all others, who may or may not be listening on the sidelines. The ones sitting on the fence, and who can look at the situation objectively. Facts and data are on our side, it's up to us to present it to those who are ignorant of those facts (thanks to media misinformation/deliberate media bias)
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Old August 27, 2013, 09:03 AM   #21
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I don't shy away from debating with antis. But, the truth is that antis avoid asking me any gun related questions or debating with me. The antis are not interested in facts, truth, learning, or real statistics. Their anti-gun rants are irrational and emotional.

I suppose if you really got down to with them (which I doubt is possible), the mere existence of guns crushes their Pollyanna view of "what the world can become". To them its guns and not the dark side of human nature that is destroying their vision of a better world. The antis that I've encountered simply refuse to believe that any person or people revile in committing truly evil acts upon others.
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Old August 27, 2013, 07:22 PM   #22
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I think that it's wrong to lump all antis into one big group. In my experience there are some that you just have to walk away from, but there are many who share our goals- less gun violence. We don't all fit into one broad group, neither do they.

What works for me? I explain that my town doesn't have a police force and I know that I have to wait at least half an hour for help. Simply explaining that the police aren't at my disposal has opened some minds.
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Old August 28, 2013, 08:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
"No citizen has ever successfully intervened in a mass killing."
Aside from the incidents listed, here are some possible responses:
  • "If I have a gun, perhaps I have a small chance of successfully fighting back. If you take away my gun, my odds go down."
  • "That sounds a lot like 'The Gambler's Fallacy.' Even if no one ever has, a statement with which I disagree, it doesn't mean that no one ever will."
  • "So? I didn't think my right to own the means to protect my family was based on statistical odds."
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Old August 28, 2013, 09:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainah
I think that it's wrong to lump all antis into one big group.
Indeed. Part of being an effective advocate involves correctly assessing the object of the advocacy. If one assumes that everyone who asks a question is immovably hostile to Second Amendment rights, he may miss a genuine opportunity.

One downside of having the same argument over and over again is that one may become inattentive and listen insufficiently, simply assuming that one is responding to the same argument he heard the last hundred times. Fairly responding to the argument made or question posed is more productive.
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:18 PM   #25
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There are people who are simply ignorant, and are willing to learn. There are people who are deliberately ignorant, and are unwilling to learn. Some of them are the living embodiment of the comic's line "You can't fix stupid".

Figure out who you are dealing with, and act accordingly.
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