Claims peddled by those who back the constitutional carry law that will take effect later this year amount to nothing more than pure speculation with regard to deterring gun violence and public safety.
Allowing practically anybody older than 21 years to carry a firearm in public without prior safety training is dangerous enough. Putting the idea into the heads of those who plan to add a firearm as an accessory that could be called upon at any moment to protect innocents from a mass shooter is a recipe for disaster.
Those who lobbied lawmakers and the governor to pass a short-sighted and ill-considered law say a legally armed civilian “could have stopped the carnage before the nutjob” in El Paso, Texas, killed 22 people who were inside a Walmart. This “good-guys-with-guns” argument promoted by firearms manufacturers, lobbyists and advocates they have recruited is a theory that has been proven false.
Police in Dayton, Ohio, where a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine killed 10 people and injured 26 others, were in close proximity and took him out in 32 seconds. An armed citizen at the El Paso Walmart told police while he drew his weapon, he turned his attention toward the children and tried to rescue as many as he could instead of identifying and targeting the shooter.
A Stanford Law School professor whose research includes gun violence and public policy, told Time Magazine that armed civilians who intervene during a shooting in public places usually “add more to the body count than you subtract.” Oklahomans who plan to carry a firearm come Nov. 1 should heed the message.
While it would be best to have sensible laws that actually reduce — or better yet, prevent — gun violence. If state leaders won’t do that, at least discourage those who plan to carry firearms from trying to play the hero during a mass shooting.