BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Wednesdayâ€™s mass shooting in northwest England is more proof that restrictive gun laws do not prevent horrible criminal acts, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
Wire service and British news agency reports say 12 people are dead and 25 people are wounded, and suspected gunman Derrick Bird is among the fatalities. It appears he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
â€œIn 1996,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, â€œthe government cracked down on gun ownership, banning handguns and placing severe restrictions on long guns following the Dunblane Massacre of 16 school children by Thomas Hamilton. In 1987, with strict gun laws in place, Michael Ryan murdered 16 people in Hungerford.
â€œAmerican gun prohibitionists have frequently held up the gun laws of Great Britain as their model,â€ he continued. â€œThey have created the impression that English-style gun laws would prevent outrages in this country. Todayâ€™s shooting spree, which apparently left victims in 30 different locations, should forever put the lie to this argument.
â€œLike all victim disarmament laws and regulations,â€ Gottlieb explained, â€œthe laws now in place in England only created a risk-free environment for the gunman to carry out his despicable act. America knows from experience what happens when such killers are confronted by determined armed citizens. A gunman was stopped by an off-duty police officer out of his jurisdiction at Salt Lake Cityâ€™s Trolley Square in 2007. Another shooter was stopped in his tracks at a church in Colorado Springs that same year. An armed customer at a restaurant in Anniston, Alabama prevented a mass shooting in 1999. An armed high school vice principal stopped Pearl, Mississippi gunman Luke Woodham. Two armed students stopped a gunman at the Appalachian Law School in 2002.
â€œWhen armed Americans fight back,â€ he stated, â€œshooting sprees are stopped. The architects of British gun laws, and those who would force such laws on the United States, should take a lesson from that.
â€œWe donâ€™t know why Derrick Bird opened fire,â€ Gottlieb concluded. â€œWe may never know. What we do know is that restrictive gun laws did not prevent him from shooting. From our experience, an armed citizen might have stopped him cold.â€