Dec
20
2012

Megan McArdle, fighting back, and the detractors of both.

Pejman Yousefzadeh reminded me today of this Megan McArdle column where she cataloged all the conventional wisdom of What Do We Do About Mass Shootings, and found all such wisdom to be pretty much ineffective.  Which it would be; Megan’s not the first person to notice that the primary goal of a lot of rhetoric about gun control seems to have as its primary objective the goal of making the person who is using the rhetoric feel better.  Whether this is psychologically healthy or not is beyond my ability to diagnose… but I did notice a bit of, well, Lefty screeching about this suggestion of Megan’s:

 I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.  Would it work?  Would people do it?  I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.

Pejman noted in his post that this strategy is actually in line with various local, state, and federal advisories on how to deal with someone trying to commit mass murder*, which weakens liberal derision at the concept of people fighting back against their would-be murderer; I will add that if the passengers in United 93 had decided not to mass rush their murderers then we probably would have lost the Capitol Building on 9/11.  Not quite the same thing – guns are ranged weapons, after all – but it is instructive to see who out there instinctively recoils at the very thought of bravery.

Instructive, but usually not very surprising.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*While noting – and I agree – that there are a bunch of issues with adapting this strategy, starting with “Who goes first?” and “Do you really want to tell kids to charge their attackers?” Of course, Megan was probably thinking more generally in terms of advice for adults caught up in this sort of situation; equally of course, there’s nothing wrong with taking a contrary position on said strategy and hashing it out.  Resorting to instant derision, on the over hand, usually just confirms to everybody else why the person doing the derision is typically not deemed trustworthy on national security issues.

8 Comments

  • jbird says:

    I’m convinced that liberalism’s main goal is to make it’s adherents “feel” better by doing something, anything about a problem, particularly if the “something” is knee-jerk, superficial, and mostly ineffective with a myriad of unintended consequences.

    • Darin_H says:

      Or the “something” makes the entire situation more likely to happen aka gun free zones.

    • AHLondon says:

      Yes the do something urge is strong and often counterproductive.
      As for rushing the shooter, that’s what you are supposed to do if unarmed. But you have to train for it. You have to make up your mind that you will do it long before you need to do it. (Same for shooting someone if you are armed.) You need to coordinate the attack if others are with you. And you will have to do all of this in seconds. This is easier said than done and a real problem for the no guns set who’ve likely never considered any of this.
      I noticed this back during the London Riots when it took days for people to realize that they might need to defend themselves. They were just locking doors and then noticing that wouldn’t necessarily keep them safe. In a no guns allowed culture, one just doesn’t think about self defense because the police will do that. Contrast the Arizona shooting when the shooter got tackled by 2 men and a grandma pulled the clip out of his hand. In Arizona, self defense isn’t a foreign idea. When the threat appeared, some had the presence of mind to take action.

  • myoda176 says:

    As soon as the “gun-free zone” advocates volunteer to be the first to pile on the guys and actually prove that they will do it, I’ll think about listening to their arguments. Since they have no shame genes, I highly doubt they have any courage/honor genes either.

  • Cameron says:

    The image of a shooter getting bum rushed and held down by a bunch of grade school kids has a lot of appeal. And when word got out to the prison where he was staying, his life would be even more interesting.

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