Great article. Despite evidence and logic being overwhelmingly against their position, the gun-grabber cult won't budge from their hardline position, and it really makes it clear that their ideology is based on quasi-religious claims rather than any sort of reasonable argument. Fortunately, more people are waking up and seeing the wide gulf between the gun-control lobby's claims and the true reality. Thanks for doing what you do on this substack to highlight the true reality.

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Jul 20, 2022Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

The question was never whether a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy. Of course he can. The question is whether encouraging the majority of the populace to arm themselves with the goal of stopping bad guys will, statistically, cause more death. How will road rage incidents play out if more people are armed? Will good guys commit suicide at a higher rate.

Is the cure worse than the disease?

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I ignored the media coverage of this even expecting you'd have something to say about it. So thank you!

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Jul 21, 2022Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Yes, this was a case where the armed citizen was a hero, and prevented the deaths of a lot of innocent people. I agree this was a "success". However, from this, you draw what I believe are a lot of unwarranted conclusions.

* You consider the case of the armed rampager and the armed citizen vs. armed rampager and no armed citizen. Important, but it's not the only option. For example, if no AR-15 were available in this (or any other scenario), the "lives saved" count would be different.

* You state that "If you are a rational person...and compare Uvalde to Greenwood...the best alternative is ubiquitous citizen concealed carry. This is indisputable." It's not clear how that would have helped in the case of Uvalde. Are you thinking the children would be carrying? The teachers (more on that below)? If the problem "was due to chicken shit cops", an alternative would be to NOT allow the average person to get their hands on weaponry that outguns police. (No, I don't think bullet proof vests and AR15s are the only things standing between us and the cops.)

* You criticize CNN for glorifying rampage killers. I agree that the balance of reports is notable, and that glorifying killers leads to copycats, although I'm sure you'll find FOX news covering Uvalde just as voraciously. Your solution is to glorify the guy that stopped the killer in Greenwood Park Mall. It might lead to more copycat citizens carrying... be careful what you wish for:

- The number of people that die annually due to rampage shootings is relatively low (under 200/yr avg since 2009) compared to other types of firearm deaths, as proponents of these weapons like to point out.

- The number of deaths related to firearm accidents is at least twice that (over 400/year), about a quarter of which is related just to children getting their hands on one and playing with it.

- If you have your way, with "ubiquitous citizen concealed carry", I'll accept the premise that the number related to rampage killings will go down, however, the number of accidental deaths is bound to rise (including the number of kids that might get their hands on the gun of a teacher), and I would contend it would be a LOT higher than the number saved.

- You're a proponent of glorifying Elisjsha Dicken, which I imagine would lead to copycats. You praise him for having "an 80% hit rate from forty yards with a double stack nine millimeter handgun", which you call "A Tom Brady Moment". I think it's safe to assume that the more there are copycats, the more results will vary, and given that this is such an astounding feat, we can assume it will tend towards "less good". While this event "proves" the benefits of concealed carry, it's only a matter of time until someone wanting to be "just like Dicken" accidentally shoots a child they're trying to save, or shoots the wrong person, "disproving" it. The copycats will be messier, with guns.

- One might argue that part of the point of "ubiquitous citizen concealed carry" is to disincentivize rampage shootings. However, that would ignore the motivations behind such an act. Self-preservation is generally not high on the list of priorities; killing is. The more successful citizens with guns, the more that will be factored into the planning: picking of targets, weapons and defenses will be factored in. Perhaps the result will be more sniper shootings; more use of body armor; perhaps it will be places with more density or unarmed targets (children).

While more concealed carry seems the obvious solution to you, to me it means more chances for things to go wrong. I have personally been in a situation where someone chased thieves and shot at them in a populated street. You give weight to the rational desire for people afraid of rampage shooting, and/or renegade police, to have guns for protection. I have a rational fear, based on experience, of undisciplined people carrying guns. What must I conclude? That more guns means more deadly mistakes. If every carrier were like Dicken, and every armed encounter were like this, I'd have less to worry about. I'm in favor of legislation that raises these standards and requires you to earn your right to carry. This was a picture-perfect event, one to remember, but not one to imitate.

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Overall a great article, but it does ignore the most compelling argument people make against CCW; the risk of people getting caught in the crossfire.

To be fair, even though it's their most compelling argument I still think it's a pretty weak one. While people getting caught in the crossfire is definitely a possibility, especially if you're not as good a shot as Dicken was, (hell, I did 20 years in the Marine Corps and still go to the range at least once every couple months or so, albeit not as often as I should, and I'm pretty sure *I* couldn't have made all the shots he did) when you've got an attacker whose entire goal is to literally kill every person he can, adding a couple bullets to the mix won't change very much; unless you get away or he is stopped, you're dead anyway.

But weak argument or no, it's the strongest one they have, and should probably be addressed.

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For those of us who aren't running CNN the solution is simple: stop clicking on articles about mass shootings that aren't stopped by civilians. If the clicks shift, the coverage will shift. CNN and the others of its ilk are slaves to the clicks.

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I read your prepper math article years ago. It made a strong impression on me and a month ago it came to mind and I wanted to share it with a friend. I'm glad I found this substack during that search. This is a well reasoned article and I enjoyed reading it. I too would love to see responsible gun ownership normalized again.

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@sam Fortunately we don't have to design some theoretical model to test the hypothesis. By my count, 42 U.S. states already allow Constitutional carry, encompassing approximately 80% of the population. I'm not aware of any research showing a dramatic increase in gun violence in those areas. From what I understand, some studies show a marginal increase, some a marginal decrease. Maybe BJ can chime in with more info on this?

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P.S. I'll probably have to explore this on my own but one of my interests is traffic injuries and fatalities mostly in the context of bicycling.

The media and academia cover these, in my mind, as poorly as they cover gun issues. Both the identity politics wokies (look up "mobility justice" for example) and the climate change is the end of the world wokies have also taken hold of this domain too.

There's also this fantasy called Vision Zero, which reminds me a lot of the fantasy to get rid of all guns. Vision Zero seeks to completely eliminate all traffic fatalities whether it be motor-vehicle occupants, bicyclists, or pedestrians. But it too would need a magic wand and far more money or trade-offs than most people are willing to pay.

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Good post, though I think you should acknowledge the one scenario that gun free zones might defend against. A legal carrier enters the area not planning to shoot anyone, but changes plans within the zone. Maybe they get into an argument, maybe the voices in their head overwhelm them.

That is the only scenario where a gun free zone could make a difference. If someone is already planning to shoot someone they are not going to disarm themselves because of the gun free zone. The gun free zone may even present a more attractive target because the odds of armed resistance are lower.

My intuition is that unplanned offensive gunfire is rare. Arguments very rarely escalate to gunfire outside of gun free zones. Maybe gun free zones could make sense in bars and nightclubs where people have lowered inhibitions and poor judgment, but even then they tilt the advantage in favor of planned attackers.

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I am in the UK and the Uvalde shooting was all over our news for days.

In comparison I had not heard about this Greenwood shooting at all.

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Also, if I'm ever in the Atlanta area, I'll take you up on that offer!

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Additionally, the armed citizen's attorney, Guy Relford, released a statement noting that the citizen does indeed possess an Indiana Lifetime License to Carry. It's referenced in this NRA article - https://www.nraila.org/articles/20220725/another-good-guy-with-a-gun-stops-the-bad-guy - and I've seen the license pic Relford posted (with the sensitive info redacted). So, this particular incident isn't the poster child for constitutional-carry it was thought to be in the first day or 2.

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I know that the initial reporting on this cited the "40 yards" figure, and it has been repeated, but I think we will find that the actual distance was more like 25-ish yards (i.e. 76 feet).

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NYT quoted an eyewitness seeing Dicken immediately after at 25-30 FEET.  Didn't claim distance for shots, maybe he advanced after.  Maybe witness doesn't know foot from yard. 

Kind of a minor point all in all, but the 40 yard claim is so hard to swallow given circumstances.  And the bias of the outcome leans toward the pro gun folk narrative wanting that to be true and really only pro gun media talking about this case.  Was the distance verified unequivocally video/sheriff, etc. or is 40 yards all echo chamber? 

(Cuz 50%, on a pizza platter, at 12 yards, from the bench, is a challenge to some folks I've watched at the range.) 

You covered the more CC less CC pretty well on risk reward for the low frequency crazed mass shooter. But regarding intentional gun crime/violence:

Do cops in permitless

constitutional carry have fewer tools to investigate whether random gun is illegally possessed than a DC cop?

Suicide rate is hard to lower and far less threat to public at large, since it's an inward act.  Whereas criminal gun violence is an outward act with more imperative for public safety.  It's the lower hanging fruit in reducing gun death which both sides claim to want.

Long wind up to a perhaps more relevant question.  Does permitless carry give cover to illegal possession and the gun violence that goes with it?

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An event/investigation with two months of reporting had 25 times more media coverage than an event with three days of reporting?

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