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One argument I Couldn't Beat

Discussion in 'Activism' started by Special_K, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. Special_K

    Special_K Member

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    O.K. So I just got done with the national protest for conceal and carry on college campuses.

    There was ONE argument that I could give no real good answer to and this was it:

    Friend:"What if a person had a firearm with a conceal and carry permit and something like Virginia Tech happened?"
    Me: "What do you mean?"
    Friend:"What if there was a gunman in a crowd shooting and you decided to use your pistol?"
    Friend:"What happens if you use your pistol and miss, what happens to the people around the gunman?"
    Me: "The only good response I have to that is that the person conceal and carrying will be accurate and calm enough to make sure he/she doesn't miss their target."



    Now to me, that is a terrible argument. How do you argue that accidental crowd shooting if you are trying to defend yourself in that type of situation?
     
  2. Mannix

    Mannix Member

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    Would your friend rather the gunman be the only one armed?!?!?

    If the carry permit holder could at least have a chance to stop the gunman, even if it comes with the risk of hurting an innocent bystander, I think it would be preferable to just letting the gunman continue his killing spree unchallenged.
     
  3. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    An errant shot on the part of an armed individual might injure or kill another bystander. An undeterred psycopath on a killing rampage will surely get more than that.
     
  4. Special_K

    Special_K Member

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    Duh. . . how come I didn't think about that?
     
  5. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

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    It's a stupid hypothetical argument. Why worry about accidental shooting when someone is mowing down unarmed students?
     
  6. up_onus

    up_onus Member

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    well, i would say GUESS (as i have never been or seen a situation like that), there certainly wouldnt be a "crowd" for very long. Another thought on that situation....

    Could you live with yourself knowing you killed an innocent bystander?
     
  7. Hands of blue

    Hands of blue Member

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    "What if there was a gunman in a crowd shooting "

    I am no expert on shooting but when a killer starts killing people I would think any crowd would disappear as most people are not going to stand around waiting to get shot.
     
  8. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    I'm having trouble envisioning such a situation. That a "gunman" is surrounded by so many people that an errant shot may hit someone just sounds implausible. People would most likely be fleeing the scene if possible, just as you should do, or taking some sort of cover. Victims aren't going to be standing next to the shooter. Even in a close quarters situation where fleeing isn't an option I would think the gunman would be standing while everyone else is probably on the ground. Also, if you're cornered and are forced to defend yourself it would probably be a relatively close shot.
    Remember, your job as a concealed carry holder isn't to play swat officer. It's not incumbent on you to take measures to protect others if you aren't in danger yourself.
     
  9. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    What if this, what if that?

    We know what happens when there are no guns allowed. We create a killing field.

    It's time we find out what happens when all Americans are allowed to defend themselves.
     
  10. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    Your friend has an excellent argument. Someone with a concealed carry permit at Virginia Tech who shot at the gunman and missed might have killed an innocent bystander. That would have been awful. It's much better to avoid that risk and let 32 people be murdered by the gunman at Virginia Tech than to take the chance of hurting anyone by accident. Lunatic gunmen determined to be mass murderers are much safer than concealed weapons permit holders: the lunatic gunmen are better shots and more trustworthy too.

    Take, for example, one of CNN's current heroes: "Zach Petkewicz's quick thinking during the Virginia Tech shooting spree probably saved lives," is what CNN says about him.

    Zach is a hero who helped barricade his classroom door when Cho tried entering to shoot everyone there. So Zach probably did save those lives.

    What Cho did, though, was go on to other classrooms and shoot people there. Zach didn't save their lives, and it probably didn't matter to Cho whose lives he took. The reason why Cho was more trustworthy at Virginia Tech than any concealed weapons permit holder is that Cho could be trusted to kill as many people as possible but CWP holders aren't trusted to have judgment and skill. That's why they go to Virginia Tech: because they don't know anything.

    It would have been absolutely awful if Zach had a concealed weapons permit and Virginia Tech didn't prohibit him from carrying a self defense weapon. In that case instead of barricading that classroom door Zach might have shot Cho and stopped him from killing the other people. And since Cho was already outside the door killing everyone he saw there, there probably wasn't any innocent person for Zach to kill if he shot at Cho and missed. But that's just reality. The important thing, as your friend points out, is that Zach might have missed Cho. Then Zach might have thrown down his hypothetical gun in anger, stamped his foot, and said "Shucksamighty Sarah Brady and Nancy Pelosi!"--or he might have used his brain and taken another shot at Cho and stopped him from killing anyone else.

    But as your friend argues, it's much better for 32 people to have been murdered than to risk having one shot by accident. It's why the police never shoot at anyone (they carry toy guns) or if they do shoot they never miss (they use guided missiles that never fail) or your friend is a brainless idiot who knows nothing except how to flap his mouth.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. With that one qualification your friend could become the next president of Virginia Tech and many other colleges and universities in this country. He's a thinker.
     
  11. Warren

    Warren Member

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    Robert wins the thread.
     
  12. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Not arguing the excellent points made here at all, I agree completely, but ponder this for a moment.

    Say someone(non-LEO) at VA tech did shoot the deranged maniac. He empties his gun, dropping attacker and stopping the slaughter at just 5 victims. However, one shot misses, overpenetrates, whatever and hits a fleeing student who just happened to run away in panic at the very wrong time and place (yea, freak accident for sure). The student is mortally wounded and dies later.

    Now, because this is an alternate reality or whatever, 32 students were not killed and the media and public would never imagine that could happen (they certainly didn't before it happened). All they know is this guy shot five people and one was accidentally shot by a CCW holder. Imagine the negative media spin that would bring. You'd probably read some BS about how he was done with his spree and was about to give himself up or some other excrement.

    Now, is that an argument against CCW? No, not in my opinion. However, it would be a RKBA publicity S-storm. Again, not that avoiding that would be worth the lives of 26 people. Just painting the political reality of the situation.
     
  13. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    But now the media DOES know that could happen. From now on, EVERY mass shooting stopped by a CCW holder has "prevented 32 deaths", no matter what. Even if the CCWer puts down the attacker and no one else dies, that's "32 deaths prevented". In DMK's scenario, that means 26 deaths prevented.
     
  14. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    That's the responsibility you take onto your shoulders if you decide to get involved; you're completely accountable for every bullet that you fire.

    A good argument for advanced training, no?
     
  15. Guitargod1985

    Guitargod1985 Member

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    I think Robert's point about the Police missing their target and inadvertently hitting another is an excellent one. I offers a simple rebuttal to such a ludicrous argument.

    I don't remember the exact statistic, but I do recall that CWL holders have a lower incidence of hitting an unintended target than police do.
     
  16. ProficientRifleman

    ProficientRifleman Member

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    I asked the question in EMT school, as we were discussing heart attacks and flail chests and such...

    "What If I...and the patient sufers more harm than when I started?"

    The reply from my instructor was..."You can't kill him any deader than he already is."

    Your response should have been...

    "What if YOU are in the mad gunman's sights? Would you rather have a friend at hand? A friend who you KNEW was armed and capable with his weaponry? Or would YOU be content to just sit there and die while WAITING for your benevolent government servants to arrive?
     
  17. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    Most self defense shootings happen at ranges of 10 yards or less. A classroom is usually no bigger than this if that large. Most people can make a body shot at 10 yards. A COM hit at that range is almost too easy with most guns. Even under stress a COM hit is not hard. Even more reason to do IPSC.
     
  18. SDC

    SDC Member

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    The answer is that an ordinary citizen who goes through the trouble and expense of obtaining a CCW permit is, in fact, LESS likely to shoot someone by accident than THE POLICE are.
     
  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    This particular argument comes from liberal Progressives who firmly believe that only authority figures such as police officers or (maybe) someone in the military can possibly be capable and competent enough to handle firearms. The rest of us; be we anything from airline pilots to university students or staff are (or must be) complete dubs, who in any sort of shooting will certainly hit the wrong person. Otherwise their belief falls apart.

    So I suggest you invite them to visit a shooting range with you. There they will see “ordinary people” shooting guns and hitting what they are shooting at. Some of them might actually be women.... :what:

    Reel out a target, (distance doesn’t matter) and shoot out the center. Reel it back and hand it to your now dumbfounded guest. Then ask him/her if they’d like to try... :evil:
     
  20. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    The danger of hurting or killing someone by accidentally shooting an innocent person pales in comparison to just letting the murderer keep on shooting. If it didn't, why would the police carry guns?

    The anti-gun crowd loves to argue from the extreme (if keeping an arm is an individual right, should people be allowed to own nukes?).

    The rebuttal to this arguement is to argue that the citizenry needs to have access to the same weapons the police and criminals have, since the citizenry have a right and a duty to ensure the security of a free state. The criminals in society are the same criminals the police have to deal with, so if the police need machine guns, so do the citizenry. If the police do not need nukes, then nukes can be restricted, etc, etc.
     
  21. esq_stu

    esq_stu Member

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    If it's any consolation, when a good guy gets shot by another good guy in the course of stopping a bad guy, the bad guy is charged with the murder. It's called the Felony Murder Rule - any death that that occurs in connection with the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies is blamed on the person committing those felonies, even if the felon did not pull the trigger.
     
  22. george_co

    george_co Member

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    This is a very real question and it is a question that everybody who carries a gun must consider, and which every adult should consider.

    Since I haven't been a student for a very long time, I won't likely face that scenario, but my personal nightmare is the food court at a mall. I am there with my family and a madman (woman) begins shooting people, what do I do?

    I grab my family and take them to safety and wish everyone else in the mall good luck, but you aren't my responsibility. Or,

    Do I take out my pistol, knowing full well that I could miss or the bullet could go through the bad guy and hit someone behind them.

    As a father my greatest fear in a case like this is not what the courts would do, but what would I tell the mother, father, or other loved one of the person I hit accidently? My conclusion is that I would ask their forgiveness, but say that if I had failed to take the shot more would have died than would have been saved by not taking the shot.

    If you are a Star Trek fan it is the Spock question (slightly paraphrased): Does the safety of the many outweigh the safety of the few? Or, do you sacrifice the many to save the one? It would be a good question for an ethics & morals class.

    Perhaps you should ask them your own question? If you were at VT and Cho was in the classroom with you and had just shot three people, and you had a device (doesn't have to be a gun) that would stop the attack, but by using it you would kill Cho and one other other person would you be morally right to not use it and condemning 29 other people to death? Why or Why Not?

    In my own case I have developed my own answer, yes I will intervene if at all feasible. While I may be haunted by hurting or killing someone I didn't intend too, I would certainly be haunted by the 29 I could have saved. I just pray that I never have to step up to the plate and take a swing at this particular pitch.

    These are the kind of moral questions that the sheep hire the police to make, and take the responsibility for, and then scream at them for whatever decision they do make.

    George
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  23. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Statisticly, cops go looking for trouble. Since their job is to find and stop/neutralize said trouble, police naturally have a higher draw probability. It has been reduced quite a bit since less and non-lethal methods have come about, but almost every officer will be forced to draw his gun, and some of those result in shoots. So many cops, so many days, there's going to be a miss, and maybe an innocent killed.
    How often do carry permit holders have to draw on someone? How many of those result in shoots?

    I think the biggest lesson we can take from VT is the same damn lesson we said we've taken from Flight 93. "We will not be victims. We will decide our own futures."
    Well, I guess the American memory IS really that bad. If we can look at the graves of 32 innocents killed by a nut, see the lack of police or security response (not their fault, they're only human, they can't read minds or be everywhere), and still think that preventing everyone from being able to do anything about a gunman is the best way to make everyone safer, then honestly, maybe we deserve, as a society, to have tragedies happen every few years. Maybe that's out of line, but I can't think of any more accurate way of saying it.
    Our biggest flaw as a country is that we refuse to see what is around us. An entire religion based around killing everyone who is not of their exact beliefs, crime of epidemic proportions in places where the cops are the only ones allowed to protect themselves, and we sit here, as a nation, and ignore all of it so we can watch some no-tallent singers try to make it big on TV.

    Forgive my rant, and I know I'm preaching to the choir. There has got to be some way of making the blind see. :banghead:
     
  24. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    George_co, DMK, and all, I appreciate this discussion.

    What's being demonstrated in this thread is the complexity of issues generated by a real deadly force situation, the utter failure of Virginia Tech's (and other colleges') simplistic approach to such situations, and the careful thought everyone here gives to the responsibilities assumed by people who carry a concealed weapon. This is not the caricature of gun owners depicted by the Brady Campaign or imagined by people who are uncomfortable around them. There are no cowboys or ninjas here.

    Please take a minute to view the video I noted of Zack Petkewicz talking about his experiences. The young man breaks down at the end. I think it's obvious that he is conflicted by confronting these same issues we've been discussing. Zack did help save his own life and the lives of other people in his classroom. That's undeniable. But so is his obvious heartfelt sense of frustration and grief that he could do no more than keep the madman from murdering those in that one classroom. Zack couldn't prevent Cho from continuing on his way to murder others because Virginia Tech denied everyone that possibility by depriving them all of the means to overcome the disparity of force there and then. (I don't think that someone is a hero because he has saved his own life and coincidentally saved the lives of others. It strikes me that Zack doesn't think so either.)

    That's what we're all circling around in frustration: the essential immorality of depriving even tested and proven people of the means to level the playing field in a deadly force situation. Virginia Tech and other colleges--and, for that matter, employers and property owners and businesses too--deny everyone a last best chance to survive. It is foolish to assert that Cho would have been stopped dead by the first Concealed Weapons Permit holder he encountered. No one can know that. We all are talking about possibility, and it is indeed frustrating to confront educational institutions that are supposed to open or create possibilities but close the most vital possibility.

    Did you know that Virginia Tech posthumously awarded degrees to all the murdered students? It's true. What an obscene gesture that was. Virginia Tech made it impossible for all of those students to survive. The posthumous degrees are of no use to them because their deaths ended all their possibilities. It is Virginia Tech's final insult to those dead young people it sent to their graves.

    The decision to take the life of another human being, under any situation, isn't easy and shouldn't be made lightly. It must be especially difficult in the midst of chaos such as prevailed at Virginia Tech when Cho went on his rampage, and must be horribly difficult when there is any possible risk to other people. What's striking about this discussion is that everyone here has thought about those issues from various points of view and recognized their complexity.

    There's no way to know in advance what any rational, responsible Concealed Weapons Permit holder would have done at Virginia Tech or would do in another such situation. The reason, I believe, is that holders of Concealed Weapons Permits tend to be a fairly carefully selected subset of the general population. Filtered out are the very young and likely most immature people, all people who have been convicted of felonies or who have debilitating mental or emotional illness, people who are active alcoholics and abusers of other drugs, and so on--all the factors that we know disqualify people from obtaining a Concealed Weapons Permit. No one should argue that permit holders are saints, but it should be clear that they most certainly are not devils, irresponsible demons, or witless imps.

    This discussion is evidence that permit holders tend to be thoughtful people who are especially mindful of their exceptional responsibilities.

    I doubt that many of Virginia Tech's administrators, faculty, and other employees have had their backgrounds scrutinized as carefully and their lives monitored as continuously as any of the people here--the people they have judged and found wanting. Please resist the temptation to argue that the background checks and monitoring aren't stringent. Gun owners tend to blow them away as insignificant. But they aren't at all insignificant and they are much greater testimony to a person's character than the hiring practices at universities. A permit holder who comes to be known as an alcoholic, a drug abuser, or even an habitually unsafe driver will lose his permit immediately in the states I know. Not so an administrator, faculty member, or other university employee: at least some of us have seen faculty members go to class tipsy, smelling of alcohol, or with a readily-admitted hangover. None of us would tolerate anyone in that condition with a gun.

    My guess is that what they fear is the projection of their own irresponsibility and lack of character on other people. Because they cannot control themselves and don't believe that they would behave responsibly, thoughtfully, and competently in a deadly force situation, they can't imagine that anyone with a Concealed Weapons Permit would behave any better. Theirs is a failure of the imagination, the intellect, and the character.

    In the end they are pathetic creatures who nevertheless exercise far too much control over the lives of other people. That's the problem, and it extends into many other areas of academia as well. For centuries an honored institution, higher education has fallen to the point at which it is an embarrassment and has earned contempt. Its attitudes towards firearms are perhaps the smallest of its sins. It has stopped being a life giving and life enhancing force.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2007
  25. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    Robert: well said.
     
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