The loony South Dakota Gun Owners had to come out of the woodwork sooner or later. SDGO chief lobbyist Zach Lautenschlager issued a press release yesterday praising House Bill 1010, this year's retread version of his group's effort to eliminate permits, background checks, and sensible police searches of folks carrying concealed weapons. Much like Lautenschlager, this bill is dangerous and unnecessary.
In his press release, Lautenschlager makes this dubious claim about the history of guns saving lives:
On the other hand, hundreds if not thousands of lives have been saved by armed citizens. For example, attempted shootings at the Appalachian School of Law, the Pearl High School in Mississippi and New Life Church in Colorado were all halted by ordinary people [Zach Lautenschlager, press release, South Dakota Gun Owners, 2013.01.14].
- Appalachian Law School: the three students who subdued the shooter in this 2002 incident were a sheriff's deputy, a former police officer, and a former Marine and former police officer. One of these three men retrieved a gun from his car, but another (corroborated by the police report) says the assailant had already laid his weapon down when they approached him and subsequently tackled him.
- Pearl High School: in this 1997 incident, assistant principal Joel Myrick subdued a student who killed two and wounded seven. Myrick was a commander in the Army Reserve. He wasn't carrying a concealed weapon; he ran to his truck to retrieve a gun after the shooter ceased fire and tried to escape. The gun did not stop the shooting; it stopped the escape.
- New Life Church: in this 2007 incident, Jeanne Assam shot an armed assailant several times. The wounded assailant then killed himself. Assam was a trained police officer; as a volunteer on the church's security team, she identified herself as a police officer to the assailant. She rarely takes that gun out of its case anymore.
Good examples, Zach... of trained military and law enforcement personnel using firearms. Now, would you care to provide even a single example of "ordinary people" whose self-defensive capacity would be enhanced by your useless HB 1010?
Pat Powers, dwelling as usual on the personal instead of policy, says Lautenschlager's prickly personality guarantees HB 1010 goes nowhere. I suggest Lautenschlager's failure to offer a honest assessment of recent history should just as effectively tank this concealed-weapons bill.
Bonus Zach Zap: Don't be fooled by Zach's John Wayne fantasies: folks who carry guns are more likely to get killed than those who don't. Plus, the person you're most likely to kill with your gun is yourself.