Have you heard or read about the terrible shooting that took place in Alabama earlier this month? Has this horrific incident been covered by every minor and major news station out there? Have you mourned alongside the rest of the nation at the senseless loss of life? No? Well, that’s because the shooting didn’t actually happen, at least not in the way that the shooter probably intended.
When a deranged man entered a Dollar General, waving his gun in the air and promising to kill customers, his intentions were clear and numerous lives hung in grave danger. So why didn’t you hear about the incident? Unlike other recent gun related tragedies, this one did not result in the loss of innocent lives. A customer in the store happened to be carrying a concealed firearm and ended the gunman’s life before he could end anyone else’s.
If this story doesn’t prove the old argument that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, then I don’t know what does. Guns can be terrifying when they fall into the wrong hands; I will absolutely give the gun control activists that one. I understand that guns are deadly, but the simple truth is that banning them or restricting them doesn’t change that fact; it simply changes who has access to them.
There’s another reason this story hasn’t received much attention: it goes against the anti-Second Amendment narrative pushed by left wing journalists. Gun control didn’t stop a potential killer on a random Thursday in Alabama, but rather a law abiding, gun owning, American citizen did. This story doesn’t align with their notion that guns (and their owners) are inherently bad.
This certainly isn’t the first time an armed citizen was able to stop a shooter from taking numerous lives. It happened in Muskegon, Michigan in 1995 when several men entered a store with the intention to murder everyone inside before stealing cash and jewelry to buy crack cocaine. Unfortunately for them, a store employee with a shotgun halted their efforts. As the men fled, in an effort to avoid the bullets, they were apprehended and are now serving life in prison.
It happened again in 1998. Andrew Wurst entered his middle school dance with .25-caliber pistol and a desire to kill. He succeeded in killing one teacher but before he could end the lives of any of his classmates, James A. Strand, the event venue owner, stopped him. Strand used his personal shotgun to force the teen to drop his gun and lay on the ground.
It happened again in 2009 in Virginia at a store called Golden Food Market. A man entered the store and began firing his weapon. He was able to wound the clerk before realizing he had to reload his gun. As he began to reload it, a permit holding customer was able to shoot and subdue him.
It happened yet again in 2012 in Clackamas County, Oregon when Jacob Tyler Roberts entered a local shopping mall with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and 145 rounds of ammunition. After firing 17 shots, Roberts was confronted by Nick Meli, a citizen with a concealed carry. Meli pointed the gun Roberts forcing him to retreat and ultimately fatally shoot himself in the head. Meli’s actions ended Roberts’ rampage and protected countless lives.
And it will happen again. But you likely won’t hear about it just as I’d assume you haven’t heard about most of these acts of heroism. Why? Because they don’t align with the anti-gun, anti-liberty, anti-responsible citizen twisted logic of modern American liberalism. For the same reason you probably won’t hear that while gun sales have consistently increased over the last 20 years, homicides from firearms have decreased by 39% and other firearm related crimes by 69%. You definitely won’t hear that approximately 200,000 women use guns every year to protect themselves from sexual crime. And it’s unlikely that any mainstream outlet is going to educate you on the fact that while the United States is home to the largest number of gun owners we are only 28th in the world in gun related murders per 100,000 people.
At the end of the day, these facts highlight the compelling interest Americans should have in securing our Second Amendment rights. The bad guys will find guns, and they will enter schools or movie theaters or Dollar Generals with a sick and twisted intention. Gun control legislation will not stop them. The promise of conviction will not stop them. The only thing that will stop them is a good guy with a gun. And thank God there was a good guy with a gun in that Dollar General in Alabama. And because of that good guy we don’t have to mourn a massacre or cry along with parents who lost their children and that is certainly something to celebrate.