Media Deceived by
"Stop Handgun Violence" Lobby
By Eric Darbe
April 26--At a press conference by "Stop Handgun Violence" in Newton the media received a list of school shootings that occurred in 1997-98. But the media weren't told that two of these shootings were stopped by law-abiding citizens using guns long before the police arrived on the scene.
An assistant principal in Mississippi, for
example, used his own handgun to stop a student from shooting other students.
The principal then, with his gun, held the shooter to the ground for five
minutes until the police arrived.
Rosenthal released a statement at the press
conference that mentioned the Mississippi and Pennsylvania cases. But it
left out the facts about the law-abiding citizens who used handguns to
stop the shooters. Rosenthal spent most of the conference calling for more
national gun-control laws similar to Massachusetts’ laws.
"It’s impossible to push a button and make firearms disappear in this country," he said. "Furthermore, so far as we are aware, this crime was committed mainly with long-guns—not handguns—and home-made explosives [pipe-bombs] that no gun law can eliminate. ... We could eliminate all automobile accidents by getting rid of all automobiles."
Federal Gun Laws Help Criminals
Part of the problem with national gun laws
is that they usually aid criminals and hinder law-abiding citizens, John
Lott, Jr., an economist who teaches criminal deterrence and law at the
University of Chicago, told Massachusetts News.
More Guns Equal Less Crime
Lott is the author of the 1998 book, More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press). It’s been praised as one of the best research books on concealed-carry gun laws and their effect on reducing crime. "[Lott’s research] will—or should—cause those who almost reflexively support the limitation of guns in the name of reducing crime to rethink their positions," said Steve Shavell, professor of law at Harvard Law School.
Some of Lott’s findings include:
Media Ignore Law-Abiding Gun Users
The only thing that limits damage in mass-shootings, as happened in Colorado, said Lott, is the passage of right-to-carry laws. "Those states that pass these laws have about an 82% drop in the rate at which these multiple shootings occur—and a 90% drop in the rate from which people die from those shootings," he said.
There are many cases where citizens have stopped multiple shootings and public bombings by using their legally-concealed handguns, said Lott. "But this hardly ever gets mentioned by the media," he said. "It’s amazing. One news story said that a passerby persuaded a shooter to drop his gun--as if he talked him out of it. The newspaper report didn’t mention that the passerby used a gun to talk the shooter into putting his gun down."
Rosenthal spoke to the media from his group's headquarters in Newton's Meredith Building. Reporters from the Boston Herald, CBS Channel 4, NBC Channel 7, New England Cable News, and Massachusetts News covered the event. (In its April 22 story, the Boston Herald didn’t mention that law-abiding citizens used handguns to stop student-shooters in the Mississippi and Pennsylvania cases.)
National Gun Controls?
"We know steps we can take nationally to prevent this from happening," said the gun-control group’s press release. "Yet legislators still struggle to pass reasonable legislation to stop concealed-weapon carry, unlocked guns in the home, gun trafficking, and gun shows."
Michael Yacino, president of the Northborough-based
Gun Owners Action League, told Massachusetts News that he has no
intention of responding to Rosenthal’s blood-on-their-hands remark. But
the gun-control lobby "thrives on tragedy," said Yacino. "Their cause is
to take away people’s ability to make their own choices."