What has Americans so frightened? Why are they stocking up on guns and ammo?
Fears of crime, a potential crackdown on firearms, social collapse and even zombies have millions loading up as never before.
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Compare those, says Coulter to thwarted massacres in which the shooter was stopped by an armed member of the crowd. “Winnemucca, Nevada, 2008: Ernesto Villagomez opens fire in a crowded restaurant; a concealed carry permit-holder shoots him dead. Total dead: Two.
“Appalachian School of Law, 2002: Crazed immigrant shoots the dean and a professor, then begins shooting students; as he goes for more ammunition, two armed students point their guns at him, allowing a third to tackle him. Total dead: Three.
“Santee, California, 2001: Student begins shooting his classmates; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive. Total dead: Two.
“Edinboro, Pennsylvania, 1998: A student shoots up a junior high school dance being held at a restaurant; restaurant owner pulls out his shotgun and stops the gunman. Total dead: One.”
“If what we care about,” continues Coulter, “is saving the lives of innocent human beings by reducing the number of mass public shootings and the deaths they cause, only one policy has ever been shown to work: concealed-carry laws.”
But aren’t guns the enemy? That was the lesson New York’s Westchester Journal News attempted to convey December 22 when it published the names and addresses of gun owners in its community complete with an interactive map on its website showing who owned legally-registered guns. The story prompted a bitter backlash by local gun advocates, who took to the Internet to publish the names and home addresses of the newspaper’s staff.
In response, on December 28, the newspaper brought in armed guards to stand outside its offices – apparently missing the irony of first lamenting the existence of legal gun owners, then taking refuge behind the same.
Are we foolish to live in fear? No, vigilance is wise, advises Stanislav Mishin in the Russian news outlet Pravda (formerly the official press of the USSR). “Americans, never give up your guns,” he wrote shortly after the Connecticut shootings. “One of the first things [the Soviets] did was to disarm the population,” he noted. “From that point, mass repression, mass arrests, mass deportations, mass murder and mass starvation were all a safe game” for the government.