Despite the abject failure of existing laws to keep guns out of the hands of someone who was clearly mentally unstable, many people are reacting to Sunday’s shooting by calling for more laws to disarm law-abiding citizens, not even recognizing the irony that they would put everyone into the same position as James Shaw Jr. and the other unarmed Waffle House customers.
It’s especially dumbfounding considering that Sunday’s tragedy is nearly an exact repeat of a notorious mass shooting in Killeen, Texas. On October 16, 1991, George Hennard entered a crowded Luby’s Cafeteria and began methodically shooting the customers. By the time police finally arrived and Hennard committed suicide, he had killed 23 people and wounded 27 others. "Assault weapon" laws were irrelevant: he had two pistols and repeatedly reloaded. What mattered was that all the customers were unarmed because people could not carry their legally-owned firearms inside.
One of the victims was a woman named Suzanna Huff. She survived, but both her parents were murdered before her eyes. All the while, she was thinking that she had a pistol for self-defense, but she’d left it in her car for fear she’d lose her chiropractor’s license if she was caught carrying it (you see, such laws prevent law-abiding people from being armed, not criminals, who by definition do not obey gun laws). She kept thinking that she could have stopped him and saved her parents and all those other people, but her gun was 100 feet away, and it might as well have been on the other side of the world. I’ve talked with her personally, and I could see that the pain and recriminations she felt during that horrific experience still haunt her to this day.
Afterward, Huff also became an activist for changing Texas gun laws, and she succeeded. But not in the current, politically-correct, logically-incorrect way. Thanks to her, an existing move to pass gun control laws that would have hampered innocent people from defending themselves was halted. Instead, Texas passed its concealed carry law, a movement that’s now spread to all 50 states, although some states make it so hard to obtain a permit that it’s virtually meaningless. However, anyone in Texas who wants to launch an attack has to consider that someone might be able to shoot back – which is why such attacks only seem to happen in “gun-free zones.”
The Luby’s massacre is hardly the only example of how blanket anti-gun laws only disarm the law-abiding. Last week, former President Obama wrote an op-ed for Time magazine promoting more gun control laws, and predictably trying to blame gun violence on the NRA and other defenders of the right to self-protection (he apparently still hasn’t talked to any actual gun owners since his infamous slander about racist Americans “clinging” to their guns and religion, nor spotted the irony in claiming guns don’t make you safer when he’s been protected by armed Secret Service agents for over a decade.)
That op-ed sparked a powerful response from Nikki Goeser. In 2009, she had a gun permit because she’d been threatened by a stalker. But she and her husband Ben were in a designated “gun-free zone,” so she left her gun in her vehicle. Not coincidentally, that’s when her stalker appeared and murdered her husband.
Goeser’s message to Obama, in part: “I followed that law, but my stalker did not…Despite this horrific experience, I never blamed the object that was used by an evil man to kill my husband…I didn't blame guns. I blame the murderer and those lawmakers who thought a 'gun-free zone' would keep us safe. All it did was prevent me from defending us.”
You can read her full story at the link. If the media want us to listen to victims of shooters in making gun laws, then let’s listen to all of them, not just the ones who agree with a particular preconceived agenda.
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