Massage Therapists and Manicurists Need Training—But Not Gun Carriers?
“No Training” Laws Make Gun Carriers Even More Dangerous to the Public
It happened at least three times in Walmarts in the last few years—gun accidents. In 2014, a woman was killed in an Idaho Walmart when her two-year-old reached into her purse and retrieved her gun. People who knew the woman said she did not “carry” for self-defense but because it was her “right.”
Six months earlier, a man carrying at a Phoenix Walmart, no doubt also because it was his “right,” shot himself in the leg. Nice. Nine days later, a carrier at a Columbus, Indiana Walmart shot a bystander when his handgun slipped from his holster. Do Walmart customers understand their right to not be shot while shopping is trumped by gun carriers’ “rights”?
Accidental shootings by gun carriers have also occurred at Target, Sam’s Club, Staples, Starbucks (more than once), a Pro Bass shop and at a million dollar wedding at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York city.
Yet despite such frequent gun accidents, an increasing number of states continue to pass laws calling training requirements illegal. Why? Because requiring people who carry lethal weapons in public– threatening us, our co-workers, friends and family–to know how to handle or shoot their weapons violates the Second Amendment. Or as the Wisconsin Gun Owners Organization wrote, quoting the NRA, “The government should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights.” Citizens “are capable of deciding for themselves that attending firearms training is the responsible thing to do.”
Such state laws sound like a joke. If gun training is not necessary to stop bad guys, municipalities are wasting millions a year on firearms training for law enforcement officials. Let’s fund the schools instead.
But of course, firearms training to stop bad guys is non-negotiable. NGVAC tested gun self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George’s County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary’s University crime researchers in 2015 and found even highly trained civilians were inferior to trained police officers. “They didn’t attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy — they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough — they didn’t shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at,” reported the Washington Post which covered our research.
Sadly, even highly trained officers often cannot stop bad guys as the shooting of 18 law enforcement officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge in one week this summer morbidly demonstrates. The element of surprise trumps their training. Nor did the violent records of the cop killers stop them from passing their background checks (as all but 12 of 82 mass shooters have since 1981, according to Mother Jones). The gun lobby says “criminals will always get guns,” omitting that the loose laws it pushes through make sure of it.
Would anyone venture on the roadways if automobile drivers were not licensed and trained but allowed to decide if “training is the responsible thing to do” on their own? Would people even want to visit a hair stylist, manicurist or massage therapist who was unlicensed?
Thanks to gun lobbyists, anyone can and does buy a gun and, increasingly, carry it with no training at all. Which part of a well-regulated militia are they?