Gun control advocates aren’t demanding background checks for hatchets like they do for guns even though a man attacked his family with a hatchet in a movie theater.
So far there’s been no nationwide call for “hatchet control” after the man, 29-year-old Vincente Montano, swung a hatchet at his family during a theater screening of Mad Max: Fury Road in Antioch, Tenn., Wednesday night.
“This guy, this shady looking guy, stood up with like two bags and walked to the back of the theater and he pulled out a hatchet and started attacking this family,” the 911 caller told police. “And then he pulled out a [pellet] gun and we all ran out of the theater.”
Police shot and killed Montano, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, as he attempted to flee the theater.
Despite the attack and Montano’s mental condition, gun control advocates have been noticeably silent when it comes to demanding background checks for hatchets like they do for guns after a mass shooting.
In fact, many of them are actually demanding more gun control in response to the hatchet attack, even though the unarmed theater-goers were completely defenseless against the schizophrenic who could have chopped them up.
“Let’s be clear [about] what happened here — a man without a gun attacked some people and hurt them mildly but was killed by police before he could inflict real damage — is infinitely preferable to what conservatives propose, which is shootouts in crowded spaces between wannabe heroes and mass shooters,” Raw Story’s Amanda Marcotte wrote. “The shootout model just ensures that said wannabe heroes will accidentally hit innocent people, make no mistake.”
Her argument relies on too many fallacies and assumptions.
First, police did not arrive on the scene for at least two minutes, according to Reuters, which gave Montano plenty of time to attack theater-goers and police didn’t kill him until AFTER he attempted to leave the theater.
The fact that no one was seriously injured wasn’t due to Montano lacking time.
Secondly, who’s to say a long-distance shootout will occur between a concealed handgun license (CHL) holder and an attacker?
“I’ve had 64 students involved in defensive gunplay,” handgun instructor Tom Givens said in an interview. “…92% of our student-involved incidents took place at a distance of 3 to 7 yards, with the majority occurring between 3 and 5 yards.”
“The rule of thumb then is most civilian shootings occur within the length of a car.”
In other words, the assumption that there’s going to be a long-distance shootout between an attacker and a CHL holder with dozens of people between the two of them is based more on what people see in movies than in real life, especially considering that CHL holders are generally well-aware of the legal ramifications associated with long-distance shootings.
And who’s to say there’s always distance between a violent attacker and a CHL holder anyway? What if they’re sitting near each other in a theater?
Gun control advocates also claim that we should just rely on police to stop an attacker, although it’s already been mentioned that police took at least two minutes to respond to the hatchet attack.
And when two New York police officers shot at a gunman in Sept. 2013, they hit nine bystanders even though they were less than 10 feet away from the gunman.
“Records from major police departments like New York and Chicago clearly show that the ‘hit rates’ (percentage of shots fired by cops that actually hit suspects) are nothing short of abysmal,” John Caile with the U.S. Concealed Carry Association wrote. “Cops typically hit offenders less than 20% of the time, often at distances of 10 feet or less!”
But aren’t police officers “highly trained” experts in the use of firearms? The short answer is, NO. Contrary to the fantasy world of television, where law enforcement characters spend endless hours at the gun range honing their skills, in reality most police officers go to a shooting range only once or twice a year! And when they get there, they seldom shoot more than one box of ammo.
True, there are exceptions – some of my cop friends practice regularly, including participating in “combat” shooting competition. As a result, they will likely be more effective than most of their fellow officers in an actual shooting confrontation. But the problem is that they are exceptions.
Compare that to civilian handgun permit holders, many of whom practice monthly, if not weekly, and firing hundreds of rounds at each session. I am a professional firearm instructor, and I can attest to the fact that I often run into my students at the range, and they are not alone. As a result, civilians seldom hit innocent bystanders.
Simply put, if you had a choice between facing a hatchet-wielding lunatic with your bare hands or with a gun, which would you choose? Which do you feel would give you a better chance at stopping the attacker without injury to yourself?
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