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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Armed Citizenry Saves Lives

In case you'd forgotten, it was ten years ago this week that two armed citizens came to the rescue of terrified students at the Appalachian School of Law over in Grundy.

See "Law Students Tackled Gunman, Held Him Down Until Police Arrived."

For the rest of the story, though, you have to go to Dr. John R. Lott's book, The Bias Against Guns. In it he writes:
“The fast responses of two male students, Mikael Gross, thirty-four, and Tracy Bridges, twenty-five, undoubtedly saved many lives. Mikael was outside the law school and just returning from lunch when Peter Odighizuwa started his attack. Tracy was in a classroom waiting for class to start. When the shots rang out, utter chaos erupted. Mikael said, ‘People were running everywhere. They were jumping behind cars, running out in front of traffic, trying to get away.’

“Mikael and Tracy were prepared to do something quite different: Both immediately ran to their cars and got their guns. Mikael had to run about one hundred yards to get to his car. Along with Ted Besen [who was unarmed], they approached Peter from different sides. As Tracy explains it, ‘I stopped at my vehicle and got a handgun, a revolver. Ted went toward Peter, and I aimed my gun at [Peter], and Peter tossed his gun down. Ted approached Peter, and Peter hit Ted in the jaw. Ted pushed him back and we all jumped on.’”
Three people died that day. Countless numbers were saved.

Contrast this with the tragedy that played out on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007.  Where 32 innocent people were slaughtered by a madman, with impunity.  With a pair of handguns.  On a campus that had banned the possession of handguns.

Might the death toll have been less ghastly had someone like Mikael Gross or Tracy Bridges stepped forward and stopped the carnage?  Nobody knows.  But it couldn't have been worse.

We'll never know.  We'll never know.