Sunday, June 19, 2016

There was a "debate" on Fox News the other night involving four pundits, two male and two female, and the subject was Donald Trump and his response to the Orlando shooting massacre which was that if other patrons had been armed that lives may have been saved. 

But, it wasn't really a debate because all four pundits agreed that it's a wacky idea. 

Why didn't they include someone who supports it? Ask Fox News.

But, one guy said something that seemed to score a point. I can imagine that a lot of people thought it made sense. 

He said that bars and nightclubs serve alcohol, and alcohol makes people aggressive. So, if you have people armed in bars, then one guy just has to bump into another, or he just has to get the sense that some guy made an untoward glance at his girlfriend, and it's going to be like the gunfight at the OK Corral. That's the metaphor he used: the gunfight at the OK Corral.

But, let's analyze it. Not just react to it emotionally but analyze it. 

First, it's true that alcohol is known to make some people aggressive. But, it is also true that most people who drink do not get violent. It's the exception rather than the rule.

But, 50 people got killed in Orlando the other night, and the way things are, there is no reason why 50 more couldn't get killed tonight- there or elsewhere.

If anyone feels insecure about going to a drinking establishment where people are armed, they don't have to go. No one is going to make them. But, the way things are now only criminal and deranged people, who are willing to break the law, can be armed in drinking places. So, how is that better, superior to sane lawful people also being armed?

At shooting ranges, everybody is armed. But, rarely is there any violence. The most famous case is that of Chris Kyle, the famed "American Sniper" who survived all those engagements in Iraq only to be shot to death at a Texas shooting range.   

But again, it's the exception, not the rule. Statistically speaking, firing ranges are very safe places- safer than post offices. 

So, what makes them safe? I credit the rangemasters. They are vigorously trained. Most of them are ex-military. Many of them have been in combat. They know what to look for. They know the warning signs of trouble, and they act swiftly at the first sign of it. The result has been an outstanding safety record.

So, let bars and nightclubs hire the equivalent of a rangemaster to observe and monitor the situation in the bar. And he, of course, would be armed. 

There is never going to be a perfect system, but I would be more comfortable with that than with what we have now. 

And anyone who is uncomfortable with it can just stay home. The point is: aren't people entitled to have a fighting chance against criminal madmen? To defend themselves and others in an emergency? Aren't there more good people than bad people? Then if everybody is armed, the good people are going to have the advantage.

The OK Corral guy got nothing but praise from the other three pundits on Fox News. Yeah, that was a good one. But, it really wasn't. What we have now is the OK Corral except only one guy has got a gun, and the other people are running for their lives.   

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