At the time of this writing, we’ve had three mass shootings in the last 14 days: Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Las Vegas. It is sickening and horrifying to see how easily people kill others now. Our culture has reached a point where the value of human life is based mostly on what can do for society, not on any inherent value of life in general. We don’t agree with this position, which is why we value both the life of the unborn and those born alike: Even in our old age, we have inherent worth simply because we are all made in the image of God.
So some will wonder then, why we teach people firearm safety and enable them to complete the process to legally carry firearms in public by getting their Minnesota Permit to Carry and Utah Conceal Carry licenses. If guns kill 11K+ people a year, then surely we are hypocrites for advocating more people carry firearms. “You must be selfish enough”, they think, “to want to have your guns at the expense of innocent lives lost to gun violence.” We don’t see it that way and here’s why.
In short, we have disarmed our population to the point where mass shootings can occur with relative certainty on the part of the shooter. The reality is that most who kill others unexpectedly with guns look for places where they know people will be disarmed. For example, this was the case in the Santa Barbara shooting, where Elliot Rodgers, in his manifesto, wrote these haunting words:
“During this Spring of 2013, I began to seriously think about planning the Day of Retribution. My next step towards planning for it was to buy my second handgun, a Sig Sauer P226. It is of a much higher quality than the Glock, and a lot more efficient. In turn, it was also a lot more expensive. My Glock 34 was around $700 dollars, whereas my new Sig Sauer P226 was $1100…….
For a while, I had been deciding on whether I would exact my Retribution in Isla Vista or at Santa Barbara City College. In both places, I had suffered greatly at the hands of everyone there. I have seen attractive young couples walking around in both places, and those were my targets. I wanted to kill as many attractive young couples as I possibly could. After a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that the Day of Retribution will take place in Isla Vista…….
It came to a point where I had to set a date for the Day of Retribution. I originally considered doing it on the Halloween of 2013. That is when the entire town erupts in raucous partying. There would literally be thousands of people crowded together who I could kill with ease, and the goal was to kill everyone in Isla Vista, to utterly destroy that wretched town. But then, after seeing footage of previous Halloween events on Youtube, I saw that there were too many cops walking around. It would be too risky. One gunshot from a cop will end everything [emphasis added]. The Day of Retribution would have to be on a normal party weekend, so I set it for some time during November of 2013……
It was time to plot exactly what I will do on the Day of Retribution. I will be a god, punishing women and all of humanity for their depravity. I will finely deliver to them all of the pain and suffering they’ve dealt to me for so long…..
The first thing I had to consider was the exact date it will take place. Valentine’s Day would have been very fitting, since it was the holiday that made me feel the most miserable and insulted, the holiday in which young couples celebrated their happy lives together. The problem was that Valentine’s Day was only a month away. I needed more time than that. Also, on Valentine’s Day most young couples will be spread out in various restaurants in the city instead of being packed together at parties in Isla Vista. Another option was Deltopia, a day in which many young people pour in from all over the state to have a spring break party on Del Playa Street. I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops [emphasis added]…..
The reality is that one sense, these people are mentally ill – but not in a schizophrenic way. They are not connected and the people in their lives miss the signs of impending violence. But in another way, they are not mentally ill or insane – they are intensely angry, calculating, planning, thoughtful, articulate people who know exactly what they are doing. It’s just that they really don’t care about the morality of killing others. They are filled with evil and they eventually act out their evil in the form of killing others. Elliot had choices and could have realized that the reason no one paid attention to him was due to deficiencies in his personality and character. Instead, he chose to blame women, thinking that sex was the ultimate form of acceptance. He blamed everyone but himself. And his hatred for women grew to the point where he concluded in a twisted logic, that killing others before he was killed was the only way out of his pain and the only way justice would be served on those who had committed acts of injustice against him. Twisted logic, to be sure – but he’s still thinking very clearly about where to carry out his Day of Retribution – in a gun-free zone where he can kill as many as possible. He planned his attack for over 1.5 years – something that is not uncommon for these mass killers.
Santa Barbara has a conceal carry rate of just 0.016%. Out of 337,000 residents, just 53 have a conceal carry permit. No wonder he chose this town in which to commit his killings – who would oppose him?
You see, from our perspective, Elliot Rodgers is an example of most mass shooters – they choose their victim based on when those victims will be most vulnerable. It is a cold, hard fact that the presence of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens who know how to use them is the best way to ensure that mass shootings subside in this country.
In other words, we don’t see guns as the issue – we see people who are deeply disturbed but still able to think clearly enough who are willing to kill innocent people – they are the issue. These demented people are the problem, not the guns. In fact, we conclude that helping more people carry guns in public after sufficient training and background checks as a way to curb gun violence in our society, including these mass shootings.
We predict that Chicago will see a lessening of homicides with firearms in the coming years. Why? Because law-abiding people will be getting their permits and legally carrying firearms to protect themselves and those around them. Everywhere in the US where conceal carry or permit to carry laws have been passed, violent crime has been reduced.
So, we value human life more than guns. But we find that the presence of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens saves lives. It is really that simple for us. See our Armed Citizen stories for how people have used guns to save lives.