1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

MSSA - Guns On Campus - Op-Ed

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Catherine, Sep 3, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Catherine

    Catherine member

    Mar 20, 2008
    I received this in the mail from Gary Marbut - Montana Shooting Sports Association aka MSSA.

    I have permission to put it up on a board.

    Gary, thank you for all of your hard work in ALL gun issues.

    MSSA Member


    Column - Gary Marbut: Don't mix tactics with strategy

    Post a comment here

    Gary Marbut

    (Re: John Kanelis' column, Aug. 24, "An armed campus isn't always a safer campus.")

    MISSOULA, Mont. - Kanelis fatally confuses strategic issues with tactical issues.

    I am a member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, and I am an instructor certified several ways. I've trained thousands of military, police and civilian personnel in the safe and defensive use of firearms.

    First, I suggest that he looks back on his former distrust of the Texas concealed carry law revision, and the subsequent lesson that the result was not as bad as he had feared and articulated. The lesson is that Kanelis tends to trust responsible citizens too little and rely on professional law enforcement personnel too much.

    Police can almost never interpose themselves between a madman and his victims. The usual response time for a SWAT team to be fully deployed and ready to interdict at a campus shooting will be from 30 minutes to an hour. How many corpses can pile up in that time? And, the standard doctrine for the first-arriving police officers will be to hold and establish a perimeter for the incident, not to intervene. These are the lessons written in innocent blood from Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.

    What about Kanelis' scenario of the armed professor seeking to stop a madman? About any public policy, you can say, "What if?"

    You can create all sorts of challenging scenarios, none of which will be the one that actually happens - that's just the reality of how life works.

    But, not to dismiss your "what if" too quickly, this is a tactical question, not a strategic or public policy question. If I were the theoretical professor, I'd call 911 on my cell phone, describe myself (by size, color and type and color of clothing, etc.) and declare that I am seeking to intervene. This information will be radioed immediately to all responding officers and becomes just a small, additional element in the constellation of information they will take into account as they address the situation.

    Further, police doctrine is not to simply shoot anyone armed. Police are trained to apply continuum of force as needed, and to use lethal force only if they believe themselves or another to be at serious risk of injury or loss of life. They are not trigger-happy cowboys, shooting at anything or everything that moves.

    So, while Kanelis' imagined scenario is provocative, it is not realistic, just as former predictions of shootouts on street corners under more liberal concealed carry laws turned out to be unrealistic.

    The reality is that a madman run amok where armed citizens are present is much more likely to have been neutralized before police ever make entrance to the location, maybe before the first officer arrives to begin establishing a containment perimeter. And, the likelihood is that any such armed response will save (not cost) lives, such as happened in the real-world incidents in the Colorado church and the Utah mall, even if not in the imaginary incidents coming from the fertile imaginations of detractors.

    I suspect that Kanelis has relatively little knowledge about the tactical use of firearms for self-defense. I train lots of people here in Montana (especially men) who think that by virtue of breathing in Montana air they have pretty well gotten what there is to know about firearm use.

    I urge Kanelis to learn more. Take a self-defense class. Learn to use firearms. Learn that you can take responsibility for your own personal security and not be required to depend on others for safety or your life.

    When Kanelis is more familiar with firearms and self-defense, I suspect this picture will look somewhat different.

    Gary Marbut is president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association and is author of "Gun Laws of Montana."

    Comments on this story?

    * Comments using this form will only appear on this story page.
  2. deaconkharma

    deaconkharma Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    Columbia SC
    This is the kind of response that we need to these people. Credible, credentialed, and really well spoken (written). Wish I had the opportunity to use this guy's info when we responded to some police chiefs' comments in the "Island Packet" editorial comments page. unfortunately me and a few others just being average Joe's we didn't have the credibility this guy has.
    I love it! Well written and logical.
  3. Norinco982lover

    Norinco982lover Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    South Central Kansas
    great article:)
  4. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Very well stated.
  5. GEM

    GEM Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Great article but it will fail on deaf ears of most liability concerned administrators who are already biased against firearms.

    BTW - here's the original article:

    Column - John Kanelis: An armed campus isn't always a safer campus
    Post a comment here

    John Kanelis

    ARTICLE TOOLS: Email Article | Print-Friendly Format
    SHARE THIS STORY: I always have considered Jeff Wentworth to be a reasonable, level-headed guy.
    He's a veteran Republican state senator from San Antonio who isn't prone, as near as I can tell, to grandstanding or chest-thumping.

    But now he's offering a proposed piece of legislation that almost makes me question my earlier assumptions about the man.

    He wants to let college students and staffers carry guns onto campus and said he plans to introduce a bill in the 2009 Legislature to make it legal in Texas.

    As sportscaster Keith Jackson would say, "Whoa, Nellie!"

    "Mass murders on the campuses of Virginia Tech University and Northern Illinois University would have resulted in fewer lives lost had a person with a license to carry a concealed handgun been on the scene," Wentworth writes in a recent essay.

    He wants to introduce a bill next year that would "allow persons who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon to do so on a college campus. At first blush, the idea of weapons on college campuses may conjure up images of a university campus filled with pistol-packing students, but this would not be the case," Wentworth writes.

    He said that because Texas' concealed-carry law is restricted to people 21 or older, most college students would be unable to pack heat legally into their classrooms.

    So, with a legally armed segment of a college student body standing by to deter would-be assassins, our college campuses would be safer than they are at the moment, Wentworth reckons.

    Wentworth is right about the consequences of the state's concealed-carry law. He said that in 1995, when the Legislature approved it, critics - such as yours truly - feared that the permits would result in gunfights at intersections.

    I was wrong about that fear and I have come to accept the concealed-carry law for what it is: a reasonable effort to assure Texans of their right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution.

    I also remain wedded to the exceptions that lawmakers wrote into the legislation - with one of them being that guns don't belong on college campuses, just as they don't belong in church sanctuaries or government buildings.

    State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, who has a concealed handgun permit, said he supports Wentworth's idea "from a legalistic standpoint" and says he could vote for a bill that allows firearms on college campuses. But first, he said, "We need to work out some problems before we approve it."

    Sen. Seliger's campus nightmare scenario goes something like this:

    Shots ring out in a classroom. An armed college professor reaches under his jacket and pulls out his pistol and goes "loping down the hall," as Seliger put it, intent on stopping whoever has begun shooting.

    But wait just a doggone minute. Someone else has called the police, and Special Weapons and Tactics team members arrive. One of the heavily armed SWAT guys sees the gun-brandishing professor racing down the hall. He hollers at the prof, "Stop right there!" Professor Rambo - adrenalin racing through his veins - doesn't hear a thing. Instead, he gestures in a manner the SWAT officer perceives as a threat.

    What does the SWAT officer do? Well, he is trained to shoot the armed "intruder" and to, um, "neutralize" any possible threat.

    That's the kind of tragedy that could develop by allowing guns on campus, Seliger said.

    One such incident is too heavy a price to pay for putting guns in the hands of college students and faculty.

    The state's concealed handgun-carry statute has worked well, as Wentworth has stated. He notes that only about 1.2 percent of the state's 24 million residents are licensed to carry firearms.

    "This group appears to be very law-abiding," he adds.

    I have no problem with that. But the theoretical college professor rushing to save the day would be law-abiding as well.

    He also might end up dead.


    The problem with the analysis is that the professor (now who would be such a person) has to decide if they want to take the risk to rush to the sound of gun fire. They might very well decide to defend the classroom full of kids that they are in. At VT, a professor died holding the door shut. Might he have been better served if he could defend himself. At the University of Montreal, the males were ordered out of the room so the females could be killed. Might there have been a better outcome?

    It is not a trivial risk to be shot by oncoming SWAT. Not to denigrate the original article but that happens. Police shoot each other. I've been 'shot' as a innocent victim in a FOF rampage drill by an officer who mistook me for a BG. It is part of the game. The other side is the loss of 30 innocents on the average. Let the armed civilian make the decision of what action to take.

    I do know that a professor's options now are limited to those of serendiptious efficacy under current rules. Cowering, using your body as a bullet sponge, suicide charges with a pencil or the flying laptop of death aren't attractive actions.
  6. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    And how is that any different from the same thing happening in a mall and the SWAT guys seeing an armed citizen rather than a professor?

    Answer: It isn't - unless one is to believe that a professor is worth more than a citizen. (and a member of the elite media may very well believe that)

    Add to that that any real threat would be dealt with and over long before the police arrive - let alone - SWAT in most cases and you've got a non-issue on your hands.

    Or he could be right, allow guns on campus and who knows, blood could run in the hallways, the sky could turn pink, bunnies could turn blue and sprout wings with yellow polka dots, cats could marry dogs, obama could become president and the universe as we know it could come to an end. Maybe...
  7. GEM

    GEM Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Professor Rambo - adrenalin racing through his veins - doesn't hear a thing. Instead, he gestures in a manner the SWAT officer perceives as a threat.

    In training, when the law arrived - this prof through up his hands and yelled Good Guy!, Good Guy!

    Although, honesty compells me to say that I was once 'shot' doing this. It is part of the risk I would take if I decided to be active.

    To be an academic - studies on morality indicate that one heuristic is:

    Do not kill an innocent person, even if this is necessary to save others.

    So the death of an innocent seems to be so horrendous that the potential good that might entail the death of an innocent precludes that action.
  8. SCKimberFan

    SCKimberFan Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    South of the Mason-Dixon Line
    The article written by Marbut deals with reality, ie: the way things are.

    The article written by Kanelis is nothing but what ifs.
  9. JCMAG

    JCMAG Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    That's an unlikely possibility. So an unlikely possibility is going to make us pause and proceed with the safest possible action -- nothing at all?

    Better that a man may killed -- maybe, it's a long shot, but it theoretically could happen -- than to allow college students to still all be open and vulnerable to vicious slaughter.

    Cowards. :fire:
  10. stampsm

    stampsm Member

    Aug 31, 2008
    would you rather pull your ccw and take out a crazy before he gets the chance to kill 10 other people and possibly you included and risk a very slight chance of getting shot by a officer(after the bad guys body is done with and venting heat you should put down the gun anyways), or do nothing.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page