Gun-Control Laws Disarmed the Tops Victims

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Once again, with the shooting massacre at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, we are able to see the disastrous consequence of gun-control laws. Ten innocent people dead and three others wounded.

The response of the gun-control crowd is predictable. They say that the shooting shows we need even more gun control than already exists in New York, which has some of the most stringent gun-control laws in the nation. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, those laws did not prevent the Tops shootings. Thus, the question naturally arises: Why would even more stringent gun-control laws prevent mass killers from doing the same thing?

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What we do know is that those ten employees and customers in that Tops store were unarmed and, therefore, unable to defend themselves from the killer. As I was reading the account of what happened, I couldn’t help but grimace over the fact that not one employee or customer had a gun that he could have used to defend himself and the others. 

One man did have a gun. He was Aaron Salter, a Buffalo police officer working security at the store. He fired at the shooter but with no effect, owing to body armor worn by the killer. Salter was one of the victims. Yet, several people who survived the killing spree attributed their survival to Salter’s actions. According to an article on ABC News, one Tops employee, a mother of seven, said that when she saw Salter pull out his weapon, she knew she had to run. According to that article, “While it is not clear how many more victims were saved due to Salter’s actions, [Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph A.] Gramaglia said, ‘We’re sure he saved lives yesterday.’”

Imagine if two or three of the employees or customers were also armed and able to fire at the killer’s head from multiple directions, once they realized that Salter’s rounds had not pierced the killer’s body armor. 

The reason those victims were unable to defend themselves is New York’s strict gun-control laws. In New York, it is illegal to openly carry a weapon. Concealed-carry permits are possible but extremely difficult to attain. I don’t know the specific situation in Buffalo with respect to getting a concealed-carry permit but I would predict that it is not an easy thing to get. 

Simply because people have a right to carry a concealed weapon doesn’t mean that everyone has to do so. If only two or three more people in that Tops store had had concealed weapons, they could very possibly have taken out the killer before he could kill all of those 10 people. At the very least, they might have been able to hold him off until the police arrived. Thus, with concealed carry, everyone is better off, including those who would rather not carry a weapon. 

Moreover, with concealed carry, the killer wouldn’t know how many people were armed in the store, which might well have deterred him from entering the store in the first place and initiating his killing spree. It is not a coincidence that mass killers usually commit their mayhem in gun-free zones like the Tops grocery store instead of, say, at a gun show. Even the Tops killer himself stated beforehand that he chose New York for his killing spree because of its strict gun-control laws. 

No matter how strict a gun-control law is, a person who is set on going on a killing spree is going to figure out a way to get his hands on a gun. The Tops killer is a perfect example. New York’s strict gun-control laws didn’t prevent him from getting a gun. 

Thus, what gun-control laws inevitably do is disarm law-abiding citizens. That’s because few people want to take the chance of a felony conviction and jail time for unlawfully carrying a gun. The law deprives them of their fundamental, God-given right of self defense.

Gun-control advocates are wrong. The response to killing sprees is not to disarm peaceful and law-abiding people even more than they already are disarmed.The answer instead is to repeal all laws that deprive people of their natural, God-given right of self-defense.

The post Gun-Control Laws Disarmed the Tops Victims appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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