ABC News has amazingly bad piece on Multiple victim public shootings

The piece on 20/20 last night was really amazingly biased. The main point was to show that having a gun in a multiple victim public shooting would provide no benefit. One student in a class was given a gun. Most viewers probably wouldn't notice that the one student with a gun was seated in the same seat in each experiment so that the attacker (a firearms expert who taught the use of firearms to police) knew which person in the class was the threat to him. If you watch carefully, you will see that the attacker shoots the instructor and then instantly turns the gun on the student with a gun. Possibly there are two seconds between when the first shot is fired and the gun is turned on the armed student. Giving a trained firearms expert the drop on either complete or moderately trained individuals is not a fair test. The attacker (firearms expert) knew who was the student in the classroom that was armed. This defeats the entire purpose of concealed handguns. If you have 50 people in a room and the attacker doesn't know which student might be able to defend himself, that is a big advantage. In the rushing around and confusion, the student with a gun who is unknown to the attacker has an advantage, but that advantage is turned into a disadvantage in this experiment. They might have well have dressed the one student in a police uniform.

The show also tries to tie the Virginia Tech tragedy to closing the gun show loophole even though the killer there didn't get his guns from a gun show. The show even asks "what has been fixed" since the attack and uses a man, Omar Samaha, to buy guns who lost his sister in the attack. Here is something that I have written before on gun shows. (As a side note, New York Mayor Bloomberg will be joining Omar Samaha this week in Virginia to push for the gun show regulations. A copy of the ad is here.)

Labels: , , ,


Blogger kilo4/11 said...

This piece gets to the crux of a long-running argument I'm having with a gun-skeptical old friend. Regarding the recent rise in murders in Washington, D.C., which has added the title of "murder capitol" to its standing as America's "corruption and incompetence capitol", following the gun ban, he denies the ban could have had anything to do with it. It is because there are "more murderers" there, because of the presence of "so many poor and desperate blacks", he says, that there are more murders. The possibility that a few guns in the hands of the law-abiding might have deterred some criminals from attacking in the first place, or have prevented some murders once an attack began, he dismisses as absurd and bound to lead to - what else? - "the Wild West".

What we need in this country, and fast, because the gun-grabbers are sure to capitalize on the recent multi-victim killings, is publicity for those instances where an armed civilian has prevented an attempted attack.

4/11/2009 4:34 PM  
Blogger RightEyeGuy said...

I had thought about the 'shooter' being a trained firearms expert instead of a typical criminal but had not noticed that the 'godd guy' was in the same seat every time. Nothing like stacking the deck in their favor.

4/11/2009 4:42 PM  
Blogger James said...

There were additional problems with the test. Consider the segment where they had another one of the students carrying a gun, waiting for the first gunman to come in so they can subsuquently shoot at the one student who has a gun for defence.

It's a fair trial if we were to assume that all mass shooters have a partner willing to wait in a crowd in order to provide his buddy cover in the event that someone will shoot back.

Also, 20/20 placed great emphasis on the fact that one of the students almost shot another bystander. Almost. Well, almost still results in no accidental hits, but you'd think one of the test subjects had gunned down fifteen other people the way they stated it.

Most irritating about this test is that their theory is that concealed handguns are useless or worse than useless for defending against a spree shooter. If that's the case, then how come the handguns are sufficent for carrying out a spree shooting in the first place? It fails a basic logic test.

Besides, even if one were to assume that surprise threw off the defensive benefits of carrying a concealed firearm, the test also ignores the fact that even if one classroom falls victim to a shooter, people in other classrooms with guns of their own can prepare for an attack, this time with some knowledge of the impending threat.

This was an amazingly bad hit piece, even by MSM standards. The clumsiness of it really just serves to prove the veracity of the opposing argument.

4/11/2009 5:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Bulgier said...

I caught the last 10 minutes or so, and the bias was so thick you couldn't miss it. Two statements at the end of the show: They claimed they could find no studies on incidents of guns being used for defensive purposes, and the ones they found were contradictory. (sounds countradictory, doesn' it?) the second was that the CDC reports that 60,000 "young" people have died from guns in the last 10 years. Although I haven't looked real close yet, the CDC data I found for the last 6 years( their reporting changed in 1999 and no data was available after 2005)does not support these numbers.

4/11/2009 5:28 PM  
Blogger Fiftycal said...

And none of them had any practice drawing a gun from a holster, the holster was not made for concealed carry, the tshirt was big and floppy and would catch when they tried to draw the gun and the gun was a full sized Glock, which is not a good concealed carry gun.

4/11/2009 5:43 PM  
Blogger Raven Lunatic said...

No, that was totally realistic. The expert didn't zero in on the armed student to the exclusion of others who were running between the two or anything...

4/11/2009 5:45 PM  
Blogger Paul Gordon said...

If you have 50 people in a room at the attacker doesn't know which student might be able to defend himself, that is a big advantage.

Also, allowing CHL holders to carry on campus (as a Texas bill is now proposing) means the attacker may have more than just ONE to worry about.


4/11/2009 6:15 PM  
Blogger John A said...

Much more here -


He thinks the police on the show largely gave decent advice, but were out-of-context and otherwise manipulated/ignored. Otherwise, complete junk.

Note that [by hearsay - I may watch later] none of the students appears to have had any training of any sort with firearms. Even so, one managed to put a shot in the attacker's leg...

4/11/2009 6:16 PM  
Blogger Mike aka Proof said...

The attacker (firearms expert) knew who was the student in the classroom that was armed
John: If the game wasn't rigged, they couldn't guarantee they'd get the outcome they wanted, now could they?

4/11/2009 6:54 PM  
Blogger jr said...

Thank you for commenting on this piece of "journalism." Even from the commercials, it was obvious that the piece was nothing but a piece of propaganda against guns.

Will you be doing a more thorough coverage of it at some point (of course, it's probably a stretch that it merits such time and effort)?

4/11/2009 7:25 PM  
Blogger Harry Schell said...

TV of course is entertainment, not reality, no matter at all what anyone says. Even the weather people...

4/11/2009 8:12 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Thanks for pointing this sham out John. Going over the fine points of the show that were inaccurate is pointless, because the show never intended to show gun owners in a good light. They just want to feed the beast of anti-gun hysteria. I would have given it a partial pass had they mentioned ONE statistic in favor of law abiding, responsible gun owners, but alas, NO.

4/11/2009 9:57 PM  
Blogger Genesis said...


My rather long, detailed rebuttal.

4/11/2009 11:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

They had that "experiment" so loaded against the kids that I doubt Massad Ayoob or any other expert (no offense against the experts) could have survived that scenario. It was just a 1000% hit piece.

4/12/2009 12:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What the "experiment" lacked was a "control". To determine if having a concealed firearm present represented any kind of advantage, and after running several tests where the "perp" enters the room and zeros in on the known student carrying the concealed weapon, they should have run a few more tests in which no concealed-carrying student was present and just had the shooter run into the room and start freely blasting the bejesus out of eveybody without any hinderance what-so-ever. I wonder how the kill-counts would have compared and what they would have said about the possible advantage of having even a minimally trained concealed-carry presence.

4/13/2009 7:53 PM  
Blogger Columbia Packer said...

Recently in Columbia, SC we had 2 cases where someone with a CWP use it to prevent crimes. In the first, a pizza delivery man was making a delivery when approached by 4 teenagers who wanted to rob him. They started beating him. He tried to flee, and they followed him. He pulled his gun and shot 1 of them. The others backed off and ate the pizza while their friend laid dying. In the other incident, someone entered an AA building, produced a gun, and demanded money. A CWP holder shot him multiple times. Thus here are 2 cases of people carrying that prevented crimes. Incidentially, I am enrolled in a required class the beginning of June in order to obtain a CWP. There will be 1 more armed citizen on the streets of Columbia to help make them safer.

4/14/2009 10:38 PM  
Blogger drdave said...

Where do you start with such a biased and poorly excecuted piece of "journalism." The issue of the students training citing that "they have more training than is required by many states for a CPL" is misleading without some context. It seems that the firearms expert goal was to train to basic competency in marksmanship. Many CPL courses rely on NRA publications for their course material. The publication "Personal Protection in the Home" is I believe the most used reference. There are many chapters on firearm safety, safe storage, avoidance techniques, mindset issues, shooting skills, defensive tactics including the use of cover, and the social, psychological and legal consequences for even a justified defensive use of a firearm. Should these issues had been addressed by the training, and the fact that the students would be judged not just on their markmanship skills (a goal oriented result of take out the bad guy) but rather on their responsible and justifiable use of their firearms, the results may have been a little different, more meaningful but unfortunately for television not quite so sensational. As a study in human behavior under stress this story is laughable. First and most obvious is that the trainer or any other expert shooter was involved in the experiment. Obviously live ammunution can't be used so simmunition rounds were used. Now, if you place a student with a firearm and protective gear in a room expecting something to happen, and with his or her training dealing with only shooting skills, knowing that there are no consequences for their actions or poor judgement, at an obvious disadvantage as being targeted by an expert shooter and being expected to "pass the course" (the goal of all college students), in this scenario, what result do you expect. This "study" is designed more like a video game, which is not only unrealistic but unconscionably biased to the point that the journalist involved should be censured and her motives defined and exposed. Certainly this is not a journalistic expose of any consequence.

A few side issues:
The point that only highly trained police officers have the ability and psychological and mental state to perform under stress and therefore have the right to carry a firearm, some are also notorious for spraying fire and poor markmanship and judgement skills.

I believe the statistic in police shootings is that only 20% of their shots hit their targets. Where do the others shots go? Know your target and what is beyond.

Ouch, the cop shooting himself in the foot is a priceless but painful lesson.

Poor Eddie Eagle is even maligned. How many times do you have to tell a child to not touch a hot stove, not to poke things into a wall socket, look before you cross the street, don't talk to strangers. This is a valuable NRA program and the real issue is that the NRA should be invited into schools more often. Repetition is important in the learning process for children. Any opportunity to take a cheap shot at the NRA.

Child death statistics:

The loss of any innocent child to an avoidable gun accident such as access to an unsecured firearm is a senseless tragedy but you can't legislate common sense.

The death of a child by suicide is a tragedy but it is more than a gun issue.

An innocent child being shot on the street is a tragedy. It is a crime and punishment issue in need of more forceful use of our laws.

The death of any child is a tragedy but I believe that the statistics cited include those up to the age of either 19 or 21 certainly someones child, but not a child and include deaths of those shot committing crimes or involved in violent acts themselves.

Statistics without an explanation are meaningless numbers. They make for good copy but do they honestly represent the issue.

The sinister goal to disarm the masses continues, and towards what end.

4/15/2009 1:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home