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VICTOR JOECKS: How more guns can prevent school shootings

The Nashville, Tennessee, shooter is just one of many mass murderers who avoided areas with too much security. There’s a lesson here.

On Monday, the nation suffered another horrible school shooting, this one at a Christian school in Nashville. A 28-year-old woman shot and murdered three students and three employees. Police responded quickly and heroically. Officers, including Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo, ran toward the gunfire. They shot and killed the shooter.

The public dialogue around tragedies such as this is all too predictable. If it’s possible to tie the shooter to conservatives, critics argue the right broadly is responsible. If the victims are from a minority group, it’s a reflection of conservative or American racism.

You saw this after the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York. The national media rushed to tie the shooter to Republicans. For instance, NBC News said the shooting “was the result of a toxic stew of growing right-wing racist ideology.” The media leveled a special fury at Fox News host Tucker Carlson, though the shooter’s manifesto never mentioned him. Moreover, the shooter attacked both Fox News and the conservative movement in his writings.

Even Democrats and the media will have a hard time doing that here. The shooter identified as transgender. She shot students and staff at a Christian school. She left a manifesto that has yet to be released. Transgender activists had planned a “Trans Day of Vengeance” for Saturday at the U.S. Supreme Court. As of this writing, that event is still scheduled. If the political roles were reversed, the coverage would be quite different.

This shooting, however, shows the limits of worldviews, such as critical race theory, that blame society’s evils on systems of oppression. A transgender person, a supposed member of a victim group, murdered mostly white Christians, who are supposed to be the victimizers. This could be interpreted to indicate that people are individuals with agency, not amorphous members of competing groups.

When the crime doesn’t fit the narrative, the left shifts its focus to gun control. President Joe Biden has renewed his call for an assault weapons ban. There is a surface-level appeal to this position, especially when emotions are high. If the shooter didn’t have access to a gun, she couldn’t have become a shooter.

But when you take a step back, it’s easy to see the flaws with this reasoning. Start with the empirical evidence. Gun control hasn’t worked. The 1994 assault weapons ban didn’t stop the shooting at Columbine High School. California’s onerous gun control laws haven’t stopped recent mass shootings in that state.

That shouldn’t be surprising. Murder is illegal. If someone is willing to break that fundamental law, another statute limiting guns would be of little deterrent. But there is something that does seem to discourage mass shooters — armed guards. It didn’t get much attention, but look at what happened in Nashville.

“There was another location that was mentioned, but because of a threat assessment by the suspect of too much security, they decided not to,” Nashville Police Chief John Drake said after the shooting.

If you want to “do something” to prevent another mass shooting, there’s your answer. Increase armed security and publicize it. More firearms in the right hands could prevent future shootings.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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