The New York Times has editorialized hysterically in favor of more gun control measures for years. Operating in an antiseptically-sealed liberal milieu, the Times editorialists seem not to understand why their position keeps losing at the polls. So maybe a couple of their reporters were trying to give them a clue with this story: “Common Response After Killings in Oregon: ‘I Want to Have a Gun.’”
A week has passed since J. J. Vicari huddled underneath a desk while gunshots exploded in the classroom next door. Now he is thinking about guns. Not about tightening gun laws, as President Obama urged after nine people were killed at the community college here. But about buying one for himself.
“It’s opened my eyes,” said Mr. Vicari, 19. “I want to have a gun in the house to protect myself, to protect the people I’m with. I’m sure I’ll have a normal life and never have to go through anything like this, but I want to be sure.”
The Democrats are always talking about “common sense” gun restrictions, although what those might be is rarely made clear. Many people, I suspect most, would say that Mr. Vicari is exhibiting common sense: this probably won’t happen to me again, but if it does, I want to be able to defend myself.
Some families touched by the violence and students who fled gunfire said they now feared that the kind of bloodshed seen inside Classroom 15 of Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College could happen anywhere. Some said they were planning to buy guns. Others said they would seek concealed-weapons permits. Others, echoing gun advocates’ calls for more weapons on campus, said the college should allow its security guards to carry guns.
Why are “school shootings” a thing? The Sandy Hook shooter had no strong connection with Sandy Hook Elementary, and the Roseburg murderer had little or nothing to do with Umpqua Community College. Nor did the Aurora, Colorado murder have anything in particular against the movie theater he shot up. It seems blindingly obvious that deranged would-be mass murderers might be crazy, but they aren’t stupid: they go for the gun-free zone nearly every time. As my son once observed while we were leaving a local shooting range, no one ever tries to shoot up a Gander Mountain store.
A community college student has started a petition to allow concealed weapons on all campuses, echoing hotly disputed arguments from national gun groups that mass shootings could be stopped by more “good guys with guns.”
Is it really “hotly disputed” that if someone starts trying to commit mass murder, it would be good to have armed citizens on hand to stop him? What else are policemen? How can anyone deny that “good guys with guns” are the antidote to murderers? That is what stopped the Roseburg murderer, and virtually every other mass shooter, although, sadly, in many instances too late, because no one on the scene was able to fight back. That is the nature of a “gun-free zone.”
So the concept of self-defense starts to dawn at the New York Times, but slowly and haltingly, and against fervent opposition.
NOTE: The image that accompanies this post on the main page is a Sig Sauer P938, a 9 mm. pistol that I frequently carry. For a small gun it is highly accurate, and I recommend it–although, as we all know, a wide array of excellent firearms are available, and everyone has his or her favorites.