Despite frequent stories explicitly showing good guys with firearms obliterating the bad guys, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has a message for her citizens: The radical, oft-times life-saving do-gooding that routinely captures headlines is an illusion.
“This whole concept that a good guy with a gun will stop the bad guys with a gun, it doesn’t hold up,” Ms. Hochul said last week. “And the data bears this out, so that theory is over.”
She went on to deliver a diatribe on why she believes guns have no place in, well, most public locations.
“We don’t need guns on our streets. We don’t need people carrying guns in our subways. We don’t need people carrying guns in our schools,” she said. “We don’t need people carrying in our places of worship. We don’t need them carrying them into bars or restaurants. Because that only makes people less safe.”
The liberal governor uttered these words as New York state cracked down on concealed carry in various arenas deemed “sensitive locations.” This means ordinary citizens won’t be able to bring guns to churches, schools, subways, amusement parks and theaters, among other locations. They also will need to offer up social media accounts over the past three years so officials can do a “character and conduct review,” among other provisions.
Here’s the problem with Ms. Hochul’s “good guy with a gun” claim — it flies in the face of reality. Here are four examples that prove she’s flat wrong on the issue:
1. Armed shopper stops deadly shooting
A highly publicized example of a good guy stopping a bad guy with a gun unfolded in July, when a 22-year-old armed civilian stopped a mass shooting inside an Indiana mall.
Elisjsha Dicken was shopping with his girlfriend when a 20-year-old gunman started firing an AR-15-style rifle. Rather than run, Mr. Dicken pulled out his Glock and stopped the madman. The young man was widely praised for his actions, with some calling him a “superhero.”
“Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of the shooting,” Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said after the incident.
2. Brave woman saves lives
In West Virginia, a group came together to celebrate a graduation party — and they were in for the shock of a lifetime when someone open-fired on the gathering.
One woman in attendance, though, wasn’t willing to cower. She took out her pistol and engaged the attacker, fatally wounding him; that good gal with a gun was credited with saving lives.
“Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night,” Tony Hazelett, Investigative Services Bureau Chief for the Charleston Police Department chief of detectives in Charleston, said after the heroic display.
And the examples don’t end there.
3. Detroit gunman thwarted
Yet another instance showing that Ms. Hochul’s statement on guns doesn’t jive with reality unfolded just a few days ago in Detroit, where a suspect who allegedly killed three people was confronted by a man presumed to be a “good guy with a gun.”
The unnamed man fired his gun at the 19-year-old suspect as he was shooting an 80-year-old man, according to the Associated Press.
“[The gunman] scattered like a jack rabbit,” one witness said. Another eyewitness said she believes the assailant would have continued shooting the man had the good Samaritan not stepped in and open-fired.
4. Good Samaritan intervenes in stabbing
A Texas man was praised for his quick thinking this year when he reacted to a woman being stabbed outside a QuikTrip gas station.
That good Samaritan reportedly took out his handgun to try and stop the madness. The victim later died, but the perpetrator was reportedly captured after being hit by the gunman.
If the argument is that most good guys don’t use guns to stop shootings, consider the reality that not everyone has access to firearms. And, in the case of Ms. Hochul’s newfound regulations, laws prevent some good Samaritans from having access to firearms if and when they need them.
No one is arguing for unfettered gun access. Still, the idea that good guys don’t stop bad guys with guns — primarily when carried into policy — isn’t only inaccurate, it’s also a potential public health hazard.
• Billy Hallowell is a journalist, commentator and digital TV host who has covered thousands of faith and culture stories. He is the director of content and communications at Pure Flix, and previously served as the senior editor at Faithwire and the former faith and culture editor at TheBlaze.
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