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Hold the Sarcasm Congressman Swalwell, Good Guys with Guns Do Save Lives

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

Some anti-gun liberals think sensationalistic crimes trump logic and common sense when it comes to the right to bear arms and their efforts to restrict them. 


In the recent West Texas shooting, the insane criminal started his spree by shooting a police officer during a failed traffic stop. At least in their fevered imaginations, the gun grabbers think this proves that “a good guy with a gun” can’t stop “a bad guy with a gun.” They imply civilian gun ownership brings about only carnage with no offsetting societal benefits.

Failed Democrat presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted: “Big shout out to all the civilian ‘good guys with guns’ who saved lives in Odessa. You know who you are. Thanks a million.”

But the reality is that except where the bad guy commits suicide under fire, a good guy more often than not ends the attack, silences the threat and saves lives.

Do anti-gunners like Swalwell really think that because a police officer (a good guy) – with a gun – was shot by a known criminal in West Texas, that guns don’t save lives?

Do Swalwell and the others imagine that an ordinary gun owner is going to interfere in a police traffic stop? Do these people think that having a gun means you can’t be ambushed or harmed?

Having a gun doesn’t guarantee you will get the bad guy every time or even survive if attacked. If that were true, we wouldn’t have mourned the death of nearly 50 police officers who were fatally shot in 2018 alone. They were well trained. They all carried guns.


What Swalwell and the anti-gunners don’t understand is that action always beats reaction. This means the bad guy almost always has first mover advantage against any defender, the good guy.

Guns aren’t a magic talisman. They don’t make you a super hero, or give you super powers. Being armed gives you a fighting chance. Not a silver bullet.

Ask the husband of Kate Nixon, the Virginia Beach woman who wanted to bring her gun to work because she was worried about a fellow employee. She didn’t bring a gun because she worried about losing her job for violating the city’s gun-free-zone policy (Translation: No self-defense-allowed policy.) Kate Nixon was fatally shot by the city employee, DeWayne Antonio Craddock, on May 31, 2019. The anti-gunners had taken away her fighting chance.

But what do our betters on the left in academia, in politics and in the mainstream press think?

“It’s likely to make things worse if armed civilians intervene when shootings erupt in public places . . . [Y]ou usually add more to the body count than you subtract,” says John Donohue, a Stanford Law School professor, reports Time. Really? Looking forward to the evidence on this point, Professor!

Let’s be clear. Unlike law enforcement, civilians who carry a gun have no duty to the public to intervene and they have no sovereign immunity if they accidentally shoot a bystander. Nor are they immune from prosecution by an aggressive district attorney or, for that matter, from a lawsuit brought by the bad guy himself. Overall, the millions of Americans who carry a gun work hard to avoid situations in which they would ever need to draw their gun.


But there are countless examples (rarely, if ever, reported in the national media) of bad people being stopped by “good guys with guns.” Think of the former cop in 2007 who saved the day at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado when, as people exited Sunday services, she ran toward the shooter killing him. And a madman’s rampage stopped by a businessman who used his personal firearm to wound the assailant. Or the failed jihad massacre in Garland, Texas, when police and security killed two gunmen who opened fire outside of a Prophet Mohammed cartoon drawing contest in 2015. The list of guns saving lives is a long one.

Beyond these few, but not rare examples, we have the FBI’s own data. As Attorney David French previously reported, during the period of 2014 to 2018, the FBI recorded “no fewer than 19 times in a five-year span when active shooters were stopped or repelled by citizens.”

The anti-gunners, and their mainstream media handmaidens, tirelessly talk about the victims of so-called “gun violence,” which should be called “criminal violence,” arguing that nobody should have a firearm. They say they want to ban (“buy-back”) assault weapons. That’s likely to lead to a ban on all semi-auto rifles, and from there it will only be a short walk to banning semi-auto pistols, too. After all, they were used in the Virginia Beach and the Virginia Tech attacks. And why not also ban pump shotguns? They were used in the Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Fe, Texas, attacks. Ultimately, you’ll be left only with Joe Biden’s old double-barreled shotgun. And the left will tell you to be grateful you’re allowed to have that.


The anti-gunners want ordinary law-abiding Americans, like you and me, to live in a world where only the bad guys get to keep their guns. But even Congressman Swalwell seems to have recognized that today, more than ever, we need more good guys and gals with guns. 

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