A gunman walked into the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas on Sunday and fatally shot two people.
He didn’t walk out.
According to White Settlement Police Chief J.P. Bevering, the killer was confronted by armed parishioners who “eliminated the threat.”
The outcome wasn’t unique: across the country, armed citizens have ended mass shootings in churches, businesses, bars, parks, restaurants, and neighborhoods. Sadly, many others aren’t stopped, and there’s usually a simple reason for that: the killer was the only one with a gun.
RELATED NEWS: 10 Mass Shootings That Were Stopped By Armed Citizens
States like Maryland and New Jersey make it almost impossible for ordinary people to legally carry a firearm. And even those jurisdictions that do permit citizens to arm themselves often put tight restrictions on where weapons can be taken.
What’s more, private companies often try to disarm their workforce. In 2017, Walmart even fired an off-duty police officer for violating its weapons policy despite his department requiring him to be armed at all times. That policy makes the store an easy target, something a killer demonstrated in August when he murdered twenty-two people there.
RELATED NEWS: Easy Targets: Walmart Bans Employees From Carrying
Anti-gun activists say letting people arm themselves is dangerous, but the evidence shows otherwise. In 2018 over 1.3 million Texans were licensed to carry a firearm. One was convicted of murder and another three were convicted of manslaughter, giving them a per capita murder rate of 0.29 per 100 thousand–far below the national average. While permit holders often stop crimes, they rarely commit them.
Several months ago, Texas passed legislation that expanded the number of places where people can carry. As this weekend's tragedy illustrates, it was the right decision. Because the fact is, "gun free zones" don't stop murders.
Arming their victims does.
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