Eugene Volokh has a giant list of would-be mass shooters stopped in their tracks by (you’ll never guess) . . . people with guns. Number seven blew my mind. (Not really; I’m just practicing my BuzzFeed-style clickbait phrases. This one weird trick prevented a mass shooting!) In all seriousness, though, here is number seven:
7. In Colorado Springs, Colo., in 2007, Matthew Murray killed four people at a church. He was then shot several times by Jeanne Assam, a church member, volunteer security guard and former police officer (she had been dismissed by a police department 10 years before, and to my knowledge hadn’t worked as a police officer since). Murray, knocked down and badly wounded, killed himself; it is again not clear whether he would have killed more people had he not been wounded, but my guess is that he would have (UPDATE: he apparently went to the church with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition).
That’s a lot of rounds of ammunition. Volokh also notes:
Many mass shootings happen in supposedly “gun-free” zones (such as schools, universities or private property posted with a no-guns sign), in which gun carrying isn’t allowed.
Indeed. As I have noted, the Oregon community college was a de facto gun-free zone — and any argument that the student code of conduct allowed guns ignores several facts:
1. Even the hacks at Raw Story admitted: “Beyond the veterans’ community, however, other students said they were convinced the campus was in fact gun-free, citing the school’s code of conduct and the broader culture among the roughly 3,000 full-time students.”
2. The university president thought it was a gun-free campus (watch the video at 3:07). Why wouldn’t the students?
3. The folks who point to the language in the student code of conduct stating “except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations” as a loophole ignore the fact that there is nothing in state law that expressly authorized guns on campus — particularly in buildings. That court decision we heard so much about — the one that invalidated one regulation on narrow grounds of pre-emption — “didn’t directly address community colleges like UCC” even according to the plaintiff. What’s more, the decision itself says that a concealed carry permit does not constitute authorization to carry a firearm on campus — in particular in campus buildings — saying: “We reject the contention that a statutory exception to criminal sanctions for the possession of a handgun in public buildings indicates an intention to require public educational institutions to permit concealed handguns.” (This has confused many people who have read news stories but not the court’s decision.) And the Guardian has written that: “The following year [after the court decision], the Oregon state board of higher education approved a policy that banned guns from being brought inside campus buildings.” You’d have to look pretty hard to find anything “express” in the court decision. Simplistic citations to the concealed carry law cause people to say wrong things that are at odds with the language of the court decision itself.
So you’re left with the following:
- A bevy of anecdotes from Volokh in which people stopped mass shootings with guns;
- Statistics showing only 8% of mass shootings since 2009 occurred in places where people can defend themselves with guns; and
- A clear policy at Umpqua that guns were prohibited on campus.
It’s a shame. And it will keep happening as long as the leftists respond to every such shooting with a call to confiscate firearms outright.
It’s the ultimate in leftist thought: policy based on FEEEELZ, and the facts be damned.
P.S. As for Vox (see last link) saying we need to confiscate guns to bring us to European levels of mass gun violence: I don’t think we want European levels of mass gun violence. Adjusted for population, they are worse.