Last week I ran across an item on Drudge. Rob Port also wrote about it in his Sayanythingblog. A vicious, deadly attack was perpetrated against innocent shoppers in a Salt Lake City store. The attacker went into the store unarmed. Once inside he bought a knife. Then he proceeded to attack at random anyone who came near him. Some were seriously wounded, stabbed in the stomach. Blood ran everywhere. He would have killed them and many more. He was stopped with one bullet. The man who restored order and saved lives was an armed gun owner. How many lives were saved in Salt Lake City? We’ll never know. Probably more than the 12 lost in Aurora last week. If you were there that day, odds are yours was saved. Incidentally, the customers and clerks who had been terrorized by this nutter joined the law enforcement personnel in expressing gratitude for the gun owner’s quick action to stop the attack.
What we do know is that after the initial report, nothing more will be heard about this. The national media will fall silent on the matter. Fortunately for the shoppers in that store, gun control laws were not a factor. Gun control did not stop the violence in Salt Lake City. Gun control, in fact, would have cost the shoppers their lives. The media find, though, that this is not good for sales. Do you even remember the name of the 70-year-old man who chased the attackers out of the internet café a week ago? No? Surprised? But quick – can you tell us the name of the man who shot 80 people in Utoya, Norway? Bet you got that one.
We will have headline coverage of the minute details of every court appearance by James Holmes. We’ll know what he wore, what facial expressions he displayed, what, as Michael Collins said, “he ate for breakfast”. We’ll know what games he played, what relationships he had in school, who described him as a “loner”. We’ll hear more and more from the families of the victims. It’s good press. The media thrive on this stuff. Then they’ll move on to the gun control issue. Those who support our God-given right to self defense will be labeled and libeled. Those who are simple-minded or sinister enough to tell us we’d be safer without guns will be sanctified and lauded as “responsible”. The rest of us will be called “crazy wing nuts”. Just watch. In case you doubt me, please read an article I wrote a year ago, on the occasion of the Utoya shooting in Norway. Does history repeat itself? Just change the names and you could run it today.
The point of that article was, in essence, that examining individual crazy people who commit atrocities is a waste of time and a red herring. We can’t reach an understanding of their thoughts. That is why they are called “crazy” and why their actions are not “sane” or “rational”. There is a danger related to this that those who believe they can fathom the mental processes of these deviates will exploit situations like this to promote aggressive surveillance of all of us. There are people who don’t want to see a crisis go to waste. Chris Matthews actually hinted at this in a recent exchange on his show, where he speculated that maybe some supernatural mind-picking he lifted from a Tom Cruise movie might be employed. That should scare us.
What we can do is control the environment in which they will necessarily appear, so as to make it more difficult for them to act out and harm the rest of us. That means eliminating killing fields. That Cinemark movie theater in Aurora was a oasis for a killer - a gun-free zone in an otherwise well-armed society, providing an audience of sitting ducks for an insane killer (apparently policy for all Cinemark theaters). Does any of this ring a bell? So was Utoya, so was Virginia Tech. So was the mess hall at Ft. Hood. But not the internet café last week. Not the store in Salt Lake City. So no big headlines that go on for months. Maybe this is why the media want gun control? I hate to say it, but they are the big winners when there is a massacre. No one wins but tyrants and a greedy media when a mass murderer makes headlines.
We need to step away from the emotional attraction of these stories and let reason prevail. And it stands to reason that we are safer with gun owners amongst us than with the artificial “safety” of taking them away from responsible people.
What is the average citizen able to do? For starters, take control of your own surroundings. Don’t enter gun-free zones (this was the parting shot of my article of July, 2011, by the way). Don’t risk your safety attending a movie in a theater which does not permit self-defense. If there is a notice posted that you may not take your firearm inside with you, don’t go in. Walk away. See the movie somewhere else. Be sure you let the theater owners and managers know why you are not buying a ticket at their facility. Consider such a venue as one of those potential killing fields. Don’t let your children go there either, of course. If, as is often the case, a single movie theater chain holds a monopoly in your community, check neighboring communities’ theaters. Or wait about two months and buy the DVD. Have your own movie theater party and invite friends to stay away from the theater “events” where guns “aren’t allowed” and host your own event where you control the environment. On the other hand, support those theaters which allow you to protect yourself with your own legal weapon. Same goes for stores and malls. Schools are problematic in that there you have many children. However, there is no reason why a teacher who is safe and sane enough to entrust with your child’s education should not have a firearm. College campuses, however, should not be gun-free zones. There is no reason for that in a free country.
Ultimately it is up to us to ensure the highest degree of personal safety and it is up to us to speak up when common sense and reason so dictate. The bottom line is, gun-free zones and venues are killing fields. All that is needed, is for that one insane person or criminal to enter it. He could walk unarmed into a WalMart, go to Sporting Goods and pick up a baseball bat. He could go to Hardware and procure a box cutter or the Domestics aisle and grab a kitchen knife. You had better hope if he does and you’re there that you have your gun or someone nearby does, because the police are only human and can’t materialize when you need them. And we need to impress upon our Congressional representatives and our President and our local and state officials that we will not tolerate abridgment of our Second Amendment rights because there are crazy people and criminals in the world. Their presence means we must maintain our right to self-protection.
Sally Morris is a member of Americans for Constitutional Government and the Valley Tea Party Conservative coalition. Her article, “REFLECTIONS ON THE TRADEGY IN NORWAY: COLUMBINE TO UTOYA - MADE-TO-ORDER KILLING FIELDS?” appeared in the Dakota Beacon July 29,2011. For more discussion, please read that article.