There was a terrible shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville on Sunday morning. A man walked into the restaurant and killed four people with an AR-15 before a hero, James Shaw Jr., tackled him and wrestled his gun away. The final death toll is tragic. It could have been a whole lot worse, if not for the courage of Mr. Shaw.
Of course, it always takes courage to fight back in these situations. But to fight back with your bare hands, against a guy with an AR-15, requires true heroism. It is not something the average person would do, nor is it something we should expect the average person to do.
Some gun control advocates see it differently. The standard gun control talking points do not apply in this case because the shooter’s guns had already been seized by authorities prior to this massacre, so the gun grabbers took a different approach this time around. Many of them immediately pointed to Shaw as proof that you don’t need a gun to defend yourself against an armed assailant. The Parkland activists, in particular, were quick to seize on this idea. As Emma Gonzalez put it:
“The local police say a man at the scene wrestled his gun away – looks like you don’t need to arm a teacher (or a resource officer) to stop a shooting. There goes the sales pitch for @SmithWessonCorp.”
That tweet was “liked” 20,000 times. David Hogg’s tweet making the same argument was “liked” more than 50,000 times. Apparently the gun grabbers believe they’ve really stumbled onto some kind of brilliant point here.
They have not. On the contrary, they have stumbled onto something utterly nonsensical.
A man may use his hands to eat spaghetti but that doesn’t universally negate the need for forks. A man may swim across the English Channel but that doesn’t mean we should get rid of all the boats in the world. A man may sleep outside in a tent but that doesn’t prove that houses are unnecessary. A man may jog from New York to Los Angeles but that isn’t a sufficient reason to abolish air travel. A man may charge into gunfire and disarm an attacker with his bare hands but that is not an argument against the Second Amendment.
It is an argument to give that man a medal for his bravery. As for me, I’d still prefer to have a gun.
The important takeaway from the case of James Shaw and the Waffle House shooter is that a good guy stood up and fought back. The law did not stop the shooting. The gun-free policy at the restaurant did not stop the shooting. The police could not get there in time to stop the shooting. It fell on the shoulders of an average person who decided not to be a victim. Fortunately, he was brave and strong enough to fight even at such a disadvantage. I fail to see how anyone was safer because of that disadvantage. Shaw prevailed in spite of it, not because of it. Most people in the world, however, are not brave or strong enough to bring only their fists to a gun fight. But if the fight were a bit more even, maybe we’d see a lot more James Shaws, and a lot more mass shootings stopped in their tracks.
The only thing this particular gun control argument really proves is that intelligent debate has officially gone extinct in this country. The schools do a good job teaching kids about gender identity and multiculturalism and other useless topics, but they have produced a generation (multiple generations, really) of people who cannot use logic or reason. There is almost no point in engaging in discussions anymore. Most of the people involved in the discussions do not care if their arguments make sense or not.
And this may indeed be the least sensible gun control argument I’ve ever heard in my life.