On stopping multiple victim public shootings

A couple days ago, I put up a long list of articles, op-eds and editorials on gun free zones. Here are some more pieces that are relevant.

Investor's Business Daily on stopping multiple victim public shootings

Gun Control: Five years ago, armed college students subdued a gunman embarking on a college killing spree. Last year, Virginia Tech applauded the fact that its students couldn't do the same.

On Jan. 16, 2002 , a killer stalked the campus of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., not far from the site of Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. A disgruntled former student killed Law Dean L. Anthony Sutin, associate professor Thomas Blackwell and a student.

Two of the three law students who overpowered Peter Odighizuwa before he could kill more innocent victims were armed. Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges, seeing the killing spree begin, went to their cars, retrieved their guns and used them to disarm the shooter.

As John Lott Jr. tells it in his book, "The Bias Against Guns" (Regnery, 2003), while most were fleeing the gunman, "Mikael and Tracy were prepared to do something quite different: Both immediately ran to their cars and got their guns. Mikael had to run about one hundred yards to get to his car."

Lott continues: "Along with Ted Besen (who was unarmed), they approached Peter from different sides. As Tracy explains it, "I stopped at my vehicle and got a handgun, a revolver. Ted went toward Peter, and I aimed the gun at (Peter), and Peter tossed his gun down." Then the three jumped on the gunman and the killing stopped.

Bernard Goldberg, in his book "Arrogance" (Warner, 2003), reports how the media reported the tragic events of that day. He notes that Lott did a LexisNexis search and found that only four of 208 news reports mentioned the rescuers had guns. James Eaves-Johnson did his own LexisNexis search for the Daily Iowan (University of Iowa) and found that only two of 88 stories mentioned that armed students subdued the killer and prevented more deaths. . . .

Here is a piece by Jack Kelly

What can we do to keep what happened at Virginia Tech from ever happening again?

Nothing. Understanding that is the key to reducing the frequency of such massacres, and the bloodshed when they, alas, inevitably occur.

Little more frightens or angers Americans than when a nutbar kills a lot of people at random, because the act is as senseless as it is evil.

"The effort to shoehorn an event as devastating as this one into a predetermined set of ideas...is an effort to make the unthinkable thinkable," said New York Post columnist John Podhoretz. "Does this massacre seem to be utterly without cause? Well, then, we'll find a cause in order to be able to wrap our minds around it, because when we have a cause we can determine a remedy."

Both supporters and opponents of gun control are shoe-horning the incident into their pre-established templates. Both have ammunition.

On the one hand, Mr. Cho was able to purchase the firearms he used in the murder spree -- Glock 19 and Walther P-22 handguns -- lawfully at a local gun shop.

On the other, the Virginia Tech campus is a "gun free zone," where students, faculty and staff are forbidden to have firearms, even if they have concealed carry permits. Mr. Cho lived in a dorm on campus, where he stored his weapons and ammunition. The school's policy banning guns wasn't very effective in Mr. Cho's case. . . .

Here is a piece by Ben J. Wattenberg

America is no longer a six-gun-toting, slap-leather society. Nor are we particularly violent. Since the civil war we have not afflicted great violence on other Americans. Nor is our crime rate particularly high as ranked among the countries of the world.

Most of our states now have "Right to Carry" laws that lower violent crime rather than raising it. As John Lott has pointed out in More Guns, Less Crime, criminals are afraid of their own injury by a not-so-helpless victim.

And so, perhaps counter-intuitively, after these horrific events, there is not much we can or should do. We are doing fine. . . .



Anonymous Keith said...

Hi John,
what more can I add to that? it pretty much covers it.

Mass killings and attempted mass killings are incredibly rare on a percentage of the population basis but with a population of around 300M, you're going to see them often enough.

In Western Europe, despite some of the worlds more efficient policing and gun bans, the criminals are not short of the most effective mass produced guns.

If the controls had an effect, you would expect to see home cooked guns appearing, after all, many grandfathers made home cooked sten guns during WW2, and as www.thehomegunsmith.com set out to prove, it is not difficult for an interested individual to produce a smg using readily available tools and materials.

Current observations are that the home cooked variety are not in use, so there must be no shortage of AKs etc out there.

Following from an almost ubiquitous supply of guns to people with malign intentions, then the only way to minimise the effect of attempted mass murders, is to have plenty of honest people with concealed carry guns.

If I can pass on some of my thought from the British experience of gun bans to your visitors;

Don't keep "respectful silence", keep respect but do not let the only voices out there be those of the antis.

fight "all for one and one for all" the Brit's associations thought they could gain ground by sacrificing other shooters, naturally they all lost.

apart from the usual sources such as here, Alphecca and JFPO, take a look at www.gunbancon.com to learn from the Brit's mistakes.

Keep up the good work.

4/20/2007 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Pardon my blondeness, but what is a LexisNexis search??? I wish to challenge press ombudsman by emulating what Lott did with this Lexis Nexis search.

4/21/2007 6:51 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, Keith and "Blondness."
A Nexis search is a computerized database of news stories. It allows you to check on news stories in newspapers across the world (I think that there are 389 US newspapers in the file). It also has transcripts of national television shows.

4/21/2007 12:12 PM  

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