Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 683, August 12, 2012

"The United States...exercises lax firearm
possession control, causing rampant gun ownership."

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The Right to Self-Defense Applied to Mass Shootings
by Paul Koning

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal of August 6th, town officials in Houston have released a video in which they discuss how people should respond if they are caught in a mass shooting situation. Among the suggestions is "run, hide, or fight" and the idea to "...fight back as a last resort by using makeshift weapons such as a fire extinguisher."

What about firearms?

The article reports "But Houston officials said they decided not to include a segment advising people who might be armed to use their guns because the video is meant to address the widest possible audience; they said fewer than 3% of Texans have a permit to carry a concealed weapon."

It adds that "Some law-enforcement agencies agree with Houston's decision. 'To recommend firearms when the majority of the public don't carry concealed weapons is a political issue the video was not designed to address,' said Lt. Andy Neiman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department."

To hear such words from a minion of the Los Angeles government is hardly surprising, but you would think Texans would know better. This only serves to confirm that government officials everywhere are hostile to the human right of self defense.

But what about this notion that only 3% have a carry permit so that isn't a case worth considering?

It's absolute nonsense. Here is why.

According to, 524,000 Texans have a carry permit, which translates to 2.1 percent of the population. (The whole population—I should probably have used the number of adults instead.) That means a crowd of 33 people has better than 50/50 odds of having a permit holder in it. (No, it's not a crowd of 50 people; the right way to calculate it is to look at the probability that no one in the crowd has a permit.) Similarly, for Colorado, the percentage of permit holders is 2.8 percent, so on average, any group of 25 people has 50/50 odds of a permit holder in it. For the nation as a whole the numbers are 3 percent and 23 people.

How many people were present at any of the recent mass shootings? I don't know how many were at Aurora, but probably several hundred—there were 70 victims, after all. The same goes for Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, Columbine, and so on.

In other words, in EVERY mass shooting in recent memory, if it weren't for victim disarmament, it is a very safe bet that at least one or two people would have been armed, able to stop the shooter. And in fact, ANY gathering of people large enough to be a possible scene of a "mass shooting" is large enough to have armed citizens in it—except when you're in a disarmed victim zone (or a disarmed victim state).

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