How Many Lives Were Saved Because Someone Had a Gun?

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by Sharon Rondeau

A December 17, 2012 shooting which could have been fatal was stopped by an off-duty police officer with a gun in San Antonio, TX

(Dec. 30, 2012) — A 19-year-old man who began shooting inside of a theater in San Antonio on December 17, 2012 was stopped by an off-duty police officer with a firearm.

While patrons of the theater rushed for cover, an unidentified police officer employed at the theater took aim at the shooter, while at the same time taking “all appropriate action to keep everyone safe in the movie theater.”  The suspect also fired shots at a police car with an officer inside.

The suspect, Jesus Manuel Garcia, was an employee at the restaurant inside of which he first began shooting before running to the theater and shooting outside, injuring a movie-goer, but not seriously.  Two people were injured in the incident, but no one was killed.  The off-duty female police officer followed the suspect into a bathroom in order to stop him from continuing his spree.

The national news media were silent on the incident which followed by three days the rampage of Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, where he killed his mother, 20 first-graders, six school staff, and then himself as police arrived on the scene.  Will Connecticut legislators allow money to obstruct meaningful change so that children will be safe?  Is carrying a gun by trained staff a possibility in a comprehensive safety plan?

Former Libertarian candidate for president Wayne Allyn Root reports that “Armed citizens shoot criminals more than twice as often as police each year (1,527 to 606).”

On December 23, 2012, a Sacramento, CA homeowner used a firearm to prevent three armed burglars from breaking into his home.  The incident occurred while the homeowner’s children were having a sleepover with friends.

One writer has reported that he has read 275 stories of gun-owners fighting off attackers over a 2½-month period in which he considered guns “an amazing force equalizer.”  Many other stories of attackers being stopped by those in possession of firearms abound.  Yet Obama’s solution is to create another government entity and ultimately, to pass laws which restrict the accessibility of firearms, ammunition, or both, to Americans who wish to defend themselves.  The National Rifle Association has accused the press of publishing “garbage” about its objectives in regard to gun ownership, and its CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has accused Obama and Eric Holder of having “cooked up a scheme not seen since Watergate to try to cover up wrongdoing in ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ and the aftermath as the scandalous operation became public.”

Numerous bloggers have compiled lists of incidents in which people saved their own lives or the lives of others because they had a firearm.  Although two people were killed at a recent shooting at a mall in Clackamas, WA, a man with a gun stopped the shooter from committing further damage by pointing his gun at him.

Could ownership of a firearm have made a difference in the Cheshire home invasion?  Why did the Connecticut legislature repeal the death penalty earlier this year?  Dr. Petit, the only survivor of the tragedy, had opposed changing the law.

A Connecticut gun-owners’ group contends that Connecticut law enforcement has seized personal firearms in violation of constitutional rights.  In 1998, county government in Connecticut was abolished, and ballot initiatives cannot be launched by citizens.

In 1990, Congress passed the Gun-Free School Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995 ruled was unconstitutional under the “interstate commerce” provision of the U.S. Constitution.  A law was then passed in 1995 which included language connecting gun-free school zones to “commerce.”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 28, 2012, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was unconstitutional under the commerce clause but upheld it as a tax.

Did Columbine shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris care that the 1995 law stated that it was “unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm…at a place that the individual knows…or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone”?  Did Adam Lanza?

Are there warning signs that someone might commit such a crime that are routinely ignored by parents?  In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton awarded $120,000,000 in taxpayer dollars for school counseling services, security guards and intervention programs for young schoolchildren.  Clinton had advocated the COPS in School program, which is similar to LaPierre’s proposal for which LaPierre has been vilified, even before the deadly attack at Columbine High School in 1999.  Some schools have implemented LaPierre’s suggestion since the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

Is the ownership of firearms for self-defense a civil right?  The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

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