Legal gun owner shoots 5
The flowers were impeccable and the guests were in black tie attire. Velvet ropes separated well-heeled guests and live music wafted. But something went horribly wrong at the formal wedding reception in the marbled-floor East Terrace at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan over the weekend.
Vladimir Gutlbovsky fired into the floor and injured five at the wedding reception, including one woman who was shot in the head. Four people were evacuated to hospitals. Gutlbovsky, who reportedly tried to pawn his gun off on someone else after the shooting, told the police he was a legal gun owner and carrier. Nice.
“Carriers,” people like George Zimmerman and Vladimir Gutlbovsky, on the lookout for “bad guys,” have proliferated since the gun lobby successfully lobbied to legalize carrying of guns by private citizens in public in every state. While claiming “self-defense” and even that they are protecting others–right–carriers are often thinly-disguised vigilantes externalizing their high fear levels onto society and especially people who look suspicious. For example, “cop wannabe” carriers in Florida have killed unarmed men for carrying Skittles, throwing popcorn and playing loud music. Sorry about that. Almost every week a carrier is reported to shoot at another motorist deemed a bad guy because of a road rage incident. Brain scans and reports of people who carry guns for the first time confirm that walking around with a lethal weapon changes the brain and especially the brain’s perception of danger.
One of the biggest myths that carriers perpetrate is that they are protecting the public from criminals. Even police who are trained several times a year in firearms use miss their shots a lot of the time, but poorly trained, self-appointed, crime-obsessed volunteer enforcers are going to stop criminals? Dream on.
In 2009, ABC’s 20/20 tested the myth and found carriers were paralyzed with fear when a faux assailant appeared, some unable to unholster their guns, others shooting wildly, most clearly getting “killed” if a real incident happened. After the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris a gun rights group restaged the event and found the same thing.
Closely linked to their cop wannabe delusions, carriers contend that bad guys choose “gun-free zones” which is why secret carriers like them are necessary. Some day we will thank them, they say. Gun advocates love to characterize unarmed civilians as sheep going to slaughter and to intone that “an armed society is a polite society.”
But the gun-free zone obsession is an insult to the public’s intelligence. Are we supposed to believe gunmen who shot up two Navy Yards, who shot up Fort Hood twice, and the gunman who shot up a Dallas police station two days ago were attacking soft target “gun-free zones?”
And speaking of gun-rich not gun-free zones, Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper,” was killed on a shooting range, Keith Ratliff of the YouTube gun show FPSRussia was killed while surrounded by his own guns, and Frank Petro, owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop was killed in his shop with his own gun.
No, the truth is that grown men who are afraid to go places without their guns have created the armed citizen mythology. It is a dangerous myth. They protect no one and, like Vladimir Gutlbovsky, actually put the public in danger.
Do you patronize any of these businesses? Tell them to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.