Well it seems I’m going to be the one to get everyone riled up today so hang on- this is going to be a bumpy ride.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, the inevitable happens. Gun control advocates start screaming for more gun control because… well I have no idea why they want to ban semi auto rifles in the US when a country that has completely banned semi-auto rifles is attacked with fully automatic rifles… but it’s what they do. Gun rights advocates in return yell out that if people had been armed then the attacks wouldn’t have been successful.
It is at this point I would really like everyone to chill out. Seriously. Have a drink, rub your earlobes, meditate on the meaning of life, attempt enlightenment… whatever you do to center yourself and make everything right with the universe, do it now.
OK- are you ready?
Even if France allowed its citizens to carry firearms, the outcome would not have been appreciably changed as a whole.
Told you that you needed to chill out.
This does not mean that I do not think citizens carrying arms cannot have a very positive effect on criminal actions. An armed teacher can effectively defend their class against a spree killer. An armed citizen can thwart a robbery or rape. An armed homeowner can stop a home invasion. Armed citizens could have stopped the Charlie Hebdo attack. There are reasons that the above statements are truthful. Armed citizens DO stop crime. A lot of them. Every single day. Crime usually involves a small number of relatively lightly armed individuals who really have no desire to die. Even the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices involved just two people.
What happened in Paris was not crime. It was warfare. Pure and simple.
There is a reason that those who serve in the Armed Forces are issued rifles to go into combat. Rifles can engage targets over longer distances. Rifles are inherently more accurate. Rifles are fully automatic allowing for covering fire. Rifles allow fire teams to engage in fire & maneuver. While many members of the Armed Forces are issued handguns, these people are normally support personnel who will not see combat unless something goes very wrong. Even if it does, the handgun serves to give the individual a chance to fight their way to a rifle.
The events in Paris involved teams of battle hardened fanatics, with no fear of death, armed with actual Kalashnikovs (not just semi auto lookalikes) and grenades. They were operating in confined spaces packed full of innocents. Handguns in general are inefficient compared to rifles at ending a fight.
I am damn skilled with both handguns and rifles. I have seen combat, and taken life. While I do not claim to be some high speed low drag dealer of the blackest death, I can and have held my own in firefights and lived to tell about it while my opponents have not. I speak with the utmost sincerity and honesty when I say I would not have had an appreciable effect on the Paris attacks.
I know this is a hard pill to swallow, especially for us. We stand up every day and (rightfully so) say that armed citizens save lives. Armed citizens are preventing harm every single hour of every single day. As I type this, an armed citizen is having a defensive gun use. Whether that DGU is drawing a firearm causing a robber to choose a different target or putting firing pin to primer in a last ditch attempt to stop a threat to their life- it is happening RIGHT NOW. We want to believe that a couple people with pistols could have taken on and shut down these attackers. While anything is possible, we must, if we are intellectually honest, realize that in this specific case an armed citizenry may have taken out one or two of the assault team before dying in a withering hail of automatic weapons fire and grenade fragments.
These terrorists took out 4 members of one of the best counter-terror units on the face of the planet. GIGN is just as good as our Operational Detachment Delta and Germany's GSG9. The photo attached is the ballistic shield used by GIGN during the retaking of the concert hall.
Do not get me wrong- had I been there I’d have done my best to take down as many as I could. I imagine every single person reading this article would too. How well I would have managed is a different story. Dark open space, loads of terrified innocents running everywhere, confusion… even the best on the planet know that this is a recipe for failure.
I support the right of people EVERYWHERE to be able to defend themselves with the most effective tool available- a firearm. I am also honest enough to say that not every situation can be handled effectively by a couple citizens armed with handguns. A concerted complex attack by a well trained and combat tested fire team armed with automatic rifles and explosives whose goal is martyrdom is not the same as a school shooter or a home invasion. It just isn’t. Pretending that it is is nothing more than intellectual dishonesty of the level heretofore achieved only by the likes of Shannon Watts and Ladd Everitt.
By saying “If France allowed citizens to carry this wouldn’t have happened” is no different than Moms Demand Action saying “If only guns were banned mass shootings wouldn’t happen”. We aren’t like them, nor should we strive to be.
- Mr Decker
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.