Needless to say, it is easy to see how things can go badly when anyone draws a firearm defensively. But when an armed man enters an office building, restaurant, or school for the purpose of murdering everyone in sight, things are going very badly already.
Imagine being one of the people in the Houston video trapped in the office with no recourse but to hide under a desk.
Would you really be relieved to know that up until that moment, your workplace had been an impeccably gun-free environment and that no one, not even your friend who did three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, would be armed?
If you found yourself trapped with others in a conference room, preparing to attack the shooter with pencils and chairs, can you imagine thinking, “I’m so glad no one else has a gun, because I wouldn’t want to get caught in any crossfire”?
Despite what the New York Times and dozens of other editorial pages have avowed in the weeks since Newtown, it isn’t a vigilante delusion to believe that guns in the hands of good people would improve the odds of survival in deadly encounters of this kind. The delusion is to think that everyone would be better off defending his or her life with furniture.
This reminds me of a case I investigated at a Howard Johnson restaurant on route 3 in Boston.
Two killers walk in its office carrying shotguns and demanding that the safe be opened.
The terrified cashier did open it then dived under a desk cowering in fear...
One of the killers, then stuck his shotgun into her face and pulled the trigger.