On September 21, the editorial board of Bloomberg View claimed that the example of Jason Falconer — the armed man who shot and killed the Minnesota mall mass stabber — does not prove the NRA’s claim that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”
Moreover, the View contends that such justifiable gun uses are “rare” and suggests that attempts to use Falconer as an example overlook the fact that he is not a firearms novice.
Regarding Falconer, the View stresses his experience as a police chief and his extensive “firearms training.” They even point out that Falconer is an “NRA-certified” firearms instructor. For the View, this means that Falconer cannot be considered “a good guy with a gun” in the sense that the NRA uses the phrase. Rather, they suggest that he must be described as “a guy who’s good with a gun.”
The View suggests the NRA does not encourage such expertise when looking for everyday, average American Joe’s who are ready to be “a good guy with a gun” in their daily lives:
The NRA is not suggesting that every aspiring gunslinger become an expert. Quite the contrary. The organization talks a lot about gun safety and runs training programs. But its priorities lie elsewhere — such as its demand that virtually every American have immediate access to firearms, without training or qualification or cause or background check, and that they be authorized to carry those firearms in public no matter how unskilled or reckless they may be.
Their failure to note the NRA’s focus on safety and training speaks for itself. And the hyperbole about the NRA and “aspiring gunslinger(s)” only amplifies the disconnect.
But the biggest error in the View’s piece is the claim that it is “rare” for “a good guy with a gun” to intervene with a lifesaving outcome.
Here are a few of those “rare” examples:
- September 17, 2016 — Jason Falconer shot and killed the mass stabber in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Crossroads Center mall.
- September 16, 2016 — A Gwinnett County, Georgia, woman killed one of three home invasion suspects in her home; the living suspects fled the scene.
- September 15, 2016 — A pastor’s wife shot an attempted robber after he demanded money and beat her husband over the head with the butt of a rifle.
- September 14, 2016 — Police said a home invasion suspect kicked in the door a Jacksonville, Florida, apartment then fled the scene when the 19-year-old woman inside shot him in the leg.
- September 11, 2016 — A “Good Samaritan” with a gun intervened by shooting and killing an attacker who struck a mother on the back of the head while she was loading her infant into the car at a Kansas Walmart.
- August 22, 2016 — A 91-year-old concealed carry permit holder used his gun to save his own life by shooting a robbery suspect in the neck after being confronted in a drugstore parking lot.
- August 1, 2016 — A Glendale, Arizona, woman managed to pull her own gun and shoot and kill an assailant who allegedly had the barrel of his gun pressed against her head.
These are just some of the more recent examples of good guys with guns doing what the View claims they rarely do. And these examples are but a minute portion of the at least 760,000 annual defensive gun uses (DGUs) that Florida State criminologist Gary Kleck posits occur each year.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.