The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Recently someone (a good guy?) fired off some celebratory shots at a birthday party in a house crowded with teenagers. Someone else (another good guy) took it upon himself to open fire in response. Result: 2 dead and more than a dozen injured. By a good guy with a gun.
With so many guns per capita in the U.S. you’d think good guy vigilanteism would stop most of the mass killings. But, no. A survey of mass murders over the years reveals a surprising number of “bad guys with guns” kill themselves.
2013: A bad guy with a gun opens fire at a Naval Yard, kills a dozen people before he is killed.
2012: Sandy Hook Elementary; 27 killed; gunman commits suicide.
2012: Aurora, Colorado; 12 killed; gunman dressed in head-to-toe protective gear is taken into custody.
2011: Seal Beach, California; 8 killed; gunman wearing body armor is arrested without incident trying to leave the scene.
2010: Manchester, Connecticut; 8 killed; gunman commited suicide.
2010: Appomattox, Virginia; 8 killed; gunman surrenders to police the next morning.
2009: A bad guy with a gun kills 13 people at Ft. Hood. Lots of good guys with guns. Bad guy not shot, is sentenced to death. Hmmmm….the death penalty didn’t stop this guy.
2009: Binghamton, New York; 13 killed; gunman commits suicide.
2009: Alamaba; 10 killed; gunman commits suicide.
2009; Carthage, North Carolina; 8 killed; gunman convicted of second degree murder, sentenced to 141 to 179 years in prison.
2007: Virginia Tech. 32 killed; gunman commits suicide.
2007: Omaha Nebraska; 8 killed; gunman commits suicide.
2005: Red Lake High School, Minnesota; 8 killed; gunman commits suicide.
1999: Columbine High School; 13 killed; gunmen commit suicide.
1999: Atlanta, Georgia; 12 killed; gunman commited suicide.
1993: San Francisco; 8 killed; gunman commits suicide.
1991: Killeen, Texas; 23 killed; gunman commits suicide.
1989: Louisville, Kentucky; 8 killed; gunman commtis suicide.
1984: San Ysidro, California, McDonnalds; 21 killed; Police sharpshooter kills gunman.
1984: Manley Hot Springs, Alaska; 8 killed; gunman is killed in a shootout with police.
1982: Miami Florida; 8 killed; gunman shot in the back by a witness who pursued him.
1982: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; 13 Killed; gunman committed to mental institution.
1973: New Orleans; 9 killed; police snipers kill gunman.
1966: University of Texas; 18 killed; police officers killed gunman.
So there we have it. Of the 20 deadliest shootings in U.S. history from 1965 to now, only once has a good guy with a gun taken out a bad guy with a gun (not counting the police, who are supposed to be the good guys with guns).
What’s the solution? Some throw up their hands in despair, there’s too many guns out there, there’s no way to stop it. Others point to Australia, that decided after one horrific incident that enough was enough, and had a massive gun riddance campaign. Others wrap themselves in the flag and flack jackets and openly brandish their firearms, threatening to use them if anyone dares impinge upon their “Second Amendment Rights.”
We’re coming up on the anniversary of Sandy Hook. Nothing has changed. Not enough kids have been slaughtered yet for Americans to say “enough is enough.”