Last Friday, 20/20's Diane Sawyer had a segment titled “If I Only Had a Gun.” I was lazy and never blogged a refutation of the inaccuracies and obvious bias of this show. Thankfully, John Lott did it for me.
I've read Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime. It's excellent, well documented and informative. I wasn't aware, until today, that he has a website.
In his Op-Ed piece on Fox News, he lists 3 websites that report cases of armed Citizens using handguns in self-defense situations. [See here, here and here.]
I had already been visiting Clayton Cramer's site every other day. Now I'll be visiting John's and Keep and Bear Arms sites, too.
Some glaring omissions from Sawyer's inaccurate report that occurred to me as I was watching it were:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice is stressed by every responsible firearms instructor. It's only through regular practice that “muscle memory” can be acquired. Muscle Memory is your body's ability to draw quickly,and aim accurately when confronted with a threat.
2. ALWAYS remember the 4 rules of gun safety:
a. All guns are always loaded until you check them for yourself;
b. Always know your target and what's behind it;
c. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot;
d. NEVER allow the muzzle to cover [point at] something you're not willing to shoot, i.e. something that can't stand to have a hole blown in it.
3. ALWAYS keep your weapons in a place they cannot be accessed by small
children not old enough to understand how to safely use them.
Teach, from a very young age, gun safety to your children. Start early and repeat often.
4.Carry your weapon in a manner you can quickly access it.
Lott points out the 4 students in Sawyer's experiment were wearing unfamiliar gloves and long tee shirts that weren't easily moved to access the weapons. I wear a shooting gun when I practice due to an old injury and surgery, but I also practice w/o the glove. I also carry in a holster at my waist with cover garments that can be quickly raised or swept back allowing me to quickly access my weapon.
I also thought having the students wear those bulky head protectors was a big handicap. They restricted vision and mobility and gave the aggressor a major advantage.
I participate in Real World and Personal Protection matches at a local gun club. In these scenarios the shooter must shoot from behind cover, in standing, kneeling and crouching positions. Shooters also must shoot while moving and in some cases shoot at a moving target. There are also “targets” close to the intended targets that represent “innocents.” Shooting an innocent is a MAJOR penalty, and is an important skill to acquire. NOT shooting innocents, that is.
Stationary paper targets at set distances are fine for acquiring and maintaining basic draw, aim and shoot skills. However the “Real World” scenarios prepare a shooter for an ACTUAL crisis situation.
All in all Sawyer's report wasn't journalism, it was anti-gun propaganda. I would not be surprised if Handgun Control, Inc. [the Bradyites] had a behind the scenes consultant role in the program.