“Oh come on, Vin,” someone will protest at this point. “It wouldn’t matter even if these places did allow people to carry guns. Hardly anyone goes armed, so how often would a plain old non-policeman with a gun really save lives?”
Pretty often, it turns out.
1) In 1997, Luke Woodham slit his mother’s throat, grabbed a .30-30 rifle and headed to Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss. — another gun-free zone — to start shooting people.
The moment Vice Principal Joel Myrick heard the first shots, he took off at a sprint for his truck. (Because Mr. Myrick kept a handgun in his truck for just such an eventuality, a deadly stupid federal law required him to park it far from campus.)
Woodham shot until he heard sirens, then ran to his car. His plan, authorities subsequently learned, was to drive to nearby Pearl Junior High School and shoot more kids before police could show up.
Joel Myrick foiled that plan, positioning himself to point his gun at Woodham’s windshield. Woodham swerved and crashed the car. Myrick held the killer at gunpoint till police arrived, stopping the killing spree.
2) In 2002, as Mr. Lott reported in The National Review, “Two law students with law-enforcement backgrounds as deputy sheriffs in another state stopped the shooting at the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. … The students ran to their cars, got their guns, pointed their guns at the attacker, ordered him to drop his gun, and then tackled him and held him until police were able to arrive,” thus saving many lives.
3) At the Trolley Square attack in Utah this year, “Possibly the ban there was even more noteworthy because the off-duty police officer who stopped the attack fortunately violated the ban by taking his gun in with him when he went shopping,” Mr. Lott reports.
4) Fortunately, we saw the way it works when citizens are armed, less than a week after the Omaha shootings. Shortly after midnight on Dec. 9, Matthew Murray, who had been rejected from a missionary school in Colorado, shot and killed two staffers there. Twelve hours later he drove to the parking lot of the related New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where about 7,000 people were present for the midday service, and opened fire in the parking lot, killing two young women.
Jeanne Assam, 42, a member of the congregation who used to work as a police officer, volunteers to guard the church.
Assam hid. She waited until Murray — carrying a rifle, two pistols and a backpack with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition — entered the church. Then she “came out of cover, identified myself and took him down,” she told a packed news conference Monday.
The coroner later reported the wounded assailant took his own life — but not till Assam had blown him to the ground.
Authorities and her minister say Assam saved untold lives — lives that would have been lost, had Murray attacked in a disarmed-victim city like Los Angeles, New York or Washington.
“There are plenty of cases every year where permit holders stop what would have been multiple victim shootings, but they rarely receive any news coverage,” Mr. Lott protests. “When will part of the media coverage on these multiple-victim public shootings be whether guns were banned where the attack occurred?”