20/20 Shoots Blanks

2020-if-i-only-had-a-gunSerious flaws were present with the 20/20 show aired last Friday, April 10, 2009.  This episode was focused on showing the error of private citizens owning guns.  It made a case for the fact that individuals don’t shoot effectively when they are under stress, that children and even teenagers aren’t properly trained to avoid guns, and that gun shows are ideal locations for criminals to buy guns.  Let’s go over their fallacies bit by bit. 

1)     “Individuals don’t shoot effectively when they are under stress”: In actuality this is 100% true.  This is why Women of Caliber emphasizes individuals to not only get training, but to get a specialized form of training that enables a person to automatically defend themselves in a moment of emotional climax.  However, the gross error that 20/20 commits is the insinuation that only if you are expertly trained, should you have the right to defend yourself.  This is 100% false!  Even the police and military require special training in order to overcome their body’s natural reactions in the event of a criminal attack.  The fact that 20/20 was able to contrive shooting errors in the scenario they aired does not negate the fact that citizens have the right to protect themselves from criminals (and even defend themselves from a tyrannical government).  Many monumental wars have been fought to defend this nation by every day citizens who were not trained in matters of sharp-shooting, overcoming tunnel vision, and muscle memory.  Yet the wars were won because so many stood up for their rights to freedom, with an effective tool of influence.  Speaking of influence, over 2.5 million criminal acts are prevented EVERY YEAR as a result of the presence of a firearm in the hands of every day citizens, not Rambo-trained individuals (John Lott, Sr., Research Scholar, School of Law at Yale University and former chief economist for the United States Sentencing Commission).  Having the ability to protect yourself is not only your human right, but it is the law.  And no television show can tell you otherwise.


classroom-shooterIn this scenario, 20/20 had a “shooter” enter a classroom full of undercover participants and one “Exhibit A,” an individual “armed” with a derivative of a paintball gun in a holster on their person.  All of the “Exhibit A(s)” had just gone through a gun safety and target training with professional instructors prior to being put in this contrived situation.  While each “Exhibit A” was attending a training class, the appointed shooter enters the room and starts shooting.  The undercover participants start screaming and running in all directions.  In every instance shown by 20/20, the Exhibit A person was unable to draw their firearm effectively, protect themselves from being shot, and/or accurately hit the offending target.  Can I just say, DUH!  For one thing, just how often does such a scenario as the one 20/20 illustrated actually occur?  Sure the news is full of shootings in public places over the last 6 months, but they are far from being commonplace.  In my opinion, using such a scenario was callused and sensationalizing a horrific occurrence.  Very rarely do mass shootings get stopped by regular citizens.  It is difficult to be sure of your shot and thus difficult to avoid collateral damage due to the ensuing chaos of fleeing and frantic persons all around.  The cessation of such a scenario with a firearm would very likely require either a whole lot of armed private citizens focused on the same outcome, or one very well trained shooting expert.

Secondly, the flaw in this scenario is that shooter knows who “Exhibit A” is, so of course they are going to be aiming for “Exhibit A.”  And sure enough, in each instance, the skillfully trained shooter goes into the room, takes out the instructor and then immediately goes for the “Exhibit A” person.  That does not happen in a real scenario.  Criminals do not expect anyone to fight back.  They intend to intimidate and get their prey to cower and comply.  In mass instances, the shooters do not know who’s armed or who isn’t.  In such mass shootings, the shooters are just as susceptible to tunnel vision due to the heightened emotions as any who would defend against them.  Ultimately the only point that this portion of 20/20’s episode conveyed accurately was the need for legally armed citizens to be trained properly and practice regularly if they want to save their own lives or the lives of others.



gun-safety-children2)    “Children and even teenagers do not handle situations with firearms properly”: Again, another DUH!  This point is 100% accurate thanks to the education that most children receive all of their life at the hands of the media and film industry about guns—not for the reasons that 20/20 attempted to demonstrate.  Most parents do not train their children appropriately about guns nor frequently enough.  20/20 would have viewers believe that gun safety training was ineffective in preventing accidents.  Bottom line is the safety your children employ around firearms is up to you.  Obviously it takes more than a simple 20 minute safety class to train them properly—it has to be a lifetime effort.  Just as you attempt to train them all their life to choose right over wrong, you must train them all of their life to handle a firearm appropriately.  That way they don’t turn into stupid teenagers who mishandle firearms.  By the way, you may want to take a look at the real statistics of children dying at the hands of firearm accidents by seeing my previous expose on children and guns:   https://womenofcaliber.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/children-and-guns%e2%80%94part-ii/



american-flag-freedom3)     “Because of all of the shootings we’ve had, we must make it harder for people to get guns”: See this is where folks really don’t understand what it means to be a nation of Freedom.  Freedom is in place so that ALL citizens can have the unfettered ability to make decisions for themselves.  And in the event that some citizens use their freedom to take away the freedoms of others, then they need to suffer the consequences.  But taking the freedom away from law abiding citizens because there are many who won’t use their freedom wisely is wrong, plain and simple.  This is like the age-old question that people ask, “Why does God let these bad things happen?”  Because He allows us to make choices and to suffer the consequences that come thereafter.  If He took away the freedoms of one to punish another then He would not be a God of Free Agency, would He?  And if our nation takes away the Freedoms of some in order to MAYBE thwart the evilly used freedoms of others, then we are no longer a nation of Freedom.  Our government does not exist to legislate and squelch freedoms.  It exists to support and protect our freedoms and then to dish out appropriate punishments to those who abuse that freedom, and ONLY to those who abuse that freedom.  Yes, it’s easy for criminals to get guns.  And no matter what laws get put into place, it will always be simple for criminals to get whatever it is that they want.  But we cannot punish the criminals in what may be their evil intent (i.e. prevent them from getting guns through standard processes) without surely punishing a free, law-abiding people from carrying out their rights.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

2 Responses

  1. I’m glad that you wrote about this! As soon as I saw the show I wondered what you would have to say about it. The whole thing frustrated me so badly. When they were showing the teenagers that didn’t know how to handle a gun (specifically the boy that looked straight down the barrel to see if it was loaded) I wanted to scream! These kids need to be educated, not sheltered. If they had been educated on how to handle firearms they would have known just what to do in that situation instead of completely falling apart.

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