The thought that everyday people carrying concealed weapons and stopping a terror or any other type of attack is unlikely and is not the total answer. (I’m not addressing stopping a robbery rather I’m focusing on serious active shooter situations) I am a huge 2nd amendment supporter, I personally carry my firearm everywhere I go and believe in the right to carry and bear arms. However, the proficiency that is required under pressure to stop an attacker is more skill then 98% of the civilian population currently possesses.
Translation, there is high potential of missing the intended target and shooting innocent people (collateral damage), getting themselves shot and killed by the attacker, or not having the intestinal fortitude to actually engage and fire on the attacker if they get them in their sights. The actual consequence would probably include more than one of the above outcomes.
As an example, the current debate about teachers carrying fire arms. I have been a professional shooter for over 15 years and rarely (never) see teachers out at the local shooting range. I know I’m painting with a broad brush but knowing plenty of teachers their main focus isn’t weapons proficiency. (I do understand there are plenty of teachers that go to the range and are “proficient” so this statement isn’t for them)
I would question if a teacher was involved in an active shooter attack would they, could they, engage and terminate a student, especially if they may know them? Or is it more likely they will try to pled and negotiate with that student? This action would more than likely result in their own death and the death of any students under their charge and give the attacker another weapon to use.
Lastly if a civilian is successful stopping the attacker most don’t train or think about their actions once first responders arrive. This may also result in being shot and killed by the police.
Reference Joseph Wilcox Las Vegas 2014. I don’t use him as an example in order to talk bad about him or actions, rather to bring to light the reality and use him as a learning point. By doing so his death is not in vain instead his actions can be used to inform others.
Are guns a deterrent, yes of course however the consequences need to be considered. I’m only addressing the reality of the debate, again I’m a everyday carry individual. I have years of training and maintain a level of proficiency because I have the mindset that my training may, one day, be called upon.
So what can be done to be better prepared. There are common phrases, almost clichés now, that we all hear such as “Situational Awareness”, “See Something, Say Something”, and “Run, Hide, Fight”. These are great in theory however it is rare for someone to really know what these terms and phrases mean.
In my assessment individuals and organizations can’t truly understand these theories without having the right mindset. If people don’t believe an incident will happen to them then they are less likely to be open to learn the concepts of “Situational Awareness”, “See Something, Say Something”, and “Run, Hide, Fight”. Instead they will just continue to use the argument, this wouldn’t happen if everyone had a gun.