In the wake of the church shooting in Texas which killed 26 people and left 20 wounded, there’s been much debate over what role any armed bystanders may have had in stopping shooter Devin Kelley‘s rampage. Either way, the narrative emanating from the pro-2nd Amendment crowd is that a society with more armed citizens can help prevent massacres like this. But according to NRA member and firearms instructor Mike Weisser, that notion is unrealistic.
In an interview with WBUR, Weisser was asked why he thinks gun control is a such a taboo subject among gun owners. According to him, it’s basically a “defensive reaction” that’s been engrained in American culture.
“What you really have is a gun-owning population which has just become convinced, from a cultural point of view, that anything negative that’s said about guns is going to end up with them not being able to own guns,” Weisser said. “And as much as these poor folks in Texas are searching for answers, the only answer is that the guy who walked into the church had a gun, and shouldn’t have had a gun.”
When asked about the claim that armed citizens can be instrumental in stopping mass shootings, Weisser said that a “small-town Baptist Church in rural Texas” likely had numerous people in attendance who were already armed. The reason why nobody jumped up with a gun is because “people aren’t trained to do that.”
“And if you’re sitting in a church and you’re praying and, you know, it’s a moment of quiet and solitude and everything else, even if you’ve got a gun, and somebody comes in, opens the front door and starts blasting away, you’re going to do what everybody does: You’re going to hit the floor,” he said. “The idea that the average citizen, even if he’s had a little bit of — I don’t want to call it training, just experience in using a gun, because it’s not training — you don’t get trained by just a little time at the range and having some guy tell you, ‘OK, you know, point the gun here. Bang, bang, bang.’ That’s not training.”
Weissner says that for someone to be coherently trained to stop an active shooter, it would take “more training than 50 percent of the sworn active law enforcement officers in this country ever get.”
“And by the way, when you go to the range, of course even if you’re shooting at a target, the target is standing still. A person doesn’t stand still,” he said.
“So, if we don’t even have a minimum standard, not for training, but for performance validation for our law enforcement, how in God’s name is anybody going to say, ‘Well, just because you have a gun in your pocket, you know how to use it in self-defense?’ You don’t.”
You can read/hear the full interview at WBUR.
Featured image via Wolfman Blacque (Flickr)