It's time for Constitutional Carry
The shooting scene hadn't even been evacuated, a final casualty count determined, or the perpetrators even named when President Obama, former secretary of state Clinton, and a plethora of leftist pundits began their strident cries for "commonsense gun safety laws." Notwithstanding the proven inefficacy of such laws, the leftists continue to promote them. What's worse, not only do these laws not work, but in the case of mass shootings, they greatly increase the casualty count in a mass shooting situation.
There is a reason mass killers choose gun-free zones. They want to murder the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time. In a gun-free zone, governments and sometimes even private entities use the force of law to preclude effective resistance, relying on a rapid response from police forces. However, as the old saw goes, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away."
This was glaringly true in San Bernardino. Police arrived on the scene in minutes, just in time to evacuate the wounded and unhurt and, sadly, to count the dead. The killers? Gone, to be later killed in a shootout with police.
The above is most certainly not to disparage law enforcement. Law enforcement did a stellar job. Like most of the men and women in that profession I have had the privilege to work with, these warriors, despite their own personal risk, "ran to the sound of the guns," one ending up wounded in the roadside shootout. As last reported, he was "going to be OK." Rapid and effective police work led to finding the killers and sending them to their reward. The police and other first responders were heroes, all.
But that's not the point. In mass shootings, the critical issue is time. It is borderline axiomatic that no matter how many gun laws we enact or how many unconstitutional federal regulations the president signs off on, none of these can ever prevent a determined killer from gaining access to a firearm and getting off the first shot – not one or any combination of them. All the president's and former secretary's platitudes notwithstanding, that's the way it is. Period. Full stop.
The critical time element spans from that first shot until the first "good guy with a gun" shows up. The time it takes for that good guy to show up is proportional to the casualty count. On multiple occasions, a speedy arrival has limited a possible mass casualty event to one or two victims. As is self-evident, the quickest a good guy can show up is if he is already there.
There are a couple of ways to ensure such instant arrival of the good guy with a gun. The first is pretty common: armed security officers. You see this at many government facilities. In certain situations, this might be the preferred solution. However, this solution is not universally practical or necessarily even desirable. There is the added expense and, possibly worse, forcing citizens to undergo an airport-style screening in order to go to the movies. Most importantly, it abdicates the responsibility every adult American has for his own protection and that of his family.
The other way to ensure instant arrival of the good guy is lawful concealed and/or open carry by law-abiding adult citizens, who have not been adjudicated mentally incompetent to do so by a judge. Gun-free zones preclude this possibility. By force of law, they prohibit adult citizens from defending themselves; their neighbors; and, in the case of schools, the children in their charge. As in San Bernardino, gun-free zones allow killers to ply their evil trade in a leisurely fashion, even having time to reload in order to continue their mayhem.
It's time we as conservatives publicly and loudly rebuke the liberal left, including the sitting president of these United States and the likely Democrat nominee for that job. We need to call them out in simple, clear language. We need to demand that the left be held accountable for their continued desire to prescribe solutions that not only don't work, but take away our right to self-defense and cause needless deaths. It's time we look them in the eye and, instead of acting as though their policy is a legitimate political position, start ascribing malice to them.
Mike Ford is a former law enforcement officer and also a retired Army officer.