January 12, 2013

The Best Way to Stop a Bad Guy...

By now, I'm sure you've all heard the oft quoted, or almost quoted statement by NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre after the Sandy Hook shooting, where he told us something like "the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Folks on the pro-gun side have been vigorously pointing out lots of situations where the media have been ignoring stories where that happens -- someone, either an off-duty cop or just a regular Joe with a gun, is able to prevent or at least minimize a bad situation by stopping the perpetrator before things get really out of hand.  I don't know that these incidents get completely ignored, they're just not getting the same 24/7 coverage that would certainly have occurred had the shooter not been stopped.

However, sometimes the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is actually not a good guy with a gun.  Here are two examples.

In California, at the Taft Union High School, a teacher stood his ground against a 16 year old gunman, allowing other students to escape. According to ABC News,
Science teacher Ryan Heber calmly confronted the teenager after he shot and critically wounded a classmate, whom he claimed to authorities had bullied him for more than year at Taft Union High School.
Closer to home, 50 year old Syracuse resident Anthony Jones is going to prison for a 14 year to life sentence.  Jones, who pleaded guilty to local charges, admitted he was a persistent felon, having some prior convictions out of town back in the 1990's.  What got him in trouble here was a couple of bad acts he committed back in November of 2011.  A few days after Thanksgiving, Jones allegedly robbed two people walking on the North Side around one in the morning; later,  according to this report, he attempted to rob a local head shop:
He was accused of walking into the Twisted Headz store on North Salina Street about an hour later and trying to rob the employees at gunpoint. Authorities said one of the employees grabbed a knife and chased Jones from the store.
Now, clearly these two incidents could have had very different (and potentially tragic) outcomes.  But it just goes to show you that you don't need to fight fire with fire.  Sometimes you can stop a bad guy with a gun using words, and sometimes you can bring a knife to a gun fight and win.

1 comment:

  1. The defenders are to be commended to be sure!

    I won't dispute that "sometimes" a knife (or pleading) can change a perpetrator's mind. Sure it's a possibility.
    That said however, with respect to probability of success if that approach were the highest level of opposing force that could ever be brought to bear upon the threat of a gun I am not liking those odds as the good guy with only the knife... just saying.