The 4/10/09 episode of 20/20 only proves that the media gets the result they seek. The center of this investigative news piece is an experiment at a college. ABC recruited students who where given firearms training using Simunitions. They didn’t say how much training the students got just that it was more than most gun owners or concealed carry permit holders get. Select students are then placed in a classroom under the guise of classroom training in protective gear. The scenarios included one and two shooters with the second shooter hidden among the students.
One or two students in each group are given weapons. A shooter enters and the students react. Five students go through the scenario. Two of the five, both female, get their guns out of their holster and return fire. Another gets his out but is shot without engaging the shooter. The others die, but the key here is the shooter. He’s a police firearms instructor and a member of the Bethlehem Police Department’s Emergency Response Team [ERT]. That translates to someone who practices continuously with the tools of his trade: guns. He made good hits in all cases as you would expect. What I wouldn’t expect would be for the typical shooter to have that level of training. That any of the students managed to perform to the level they did against this shooter is amazing. You get the result you seek in these experiments and I consider the results here engineered. I’d have liked to see the results if the shooter had the same amount of training as the students. The result might have been a bit different.
Valid points were made about the danger to others in the classroom when the good guys shoot at the bad guys. But would those students be in any less danger if the only one shooting was the bad guy? At Virginia Tech would it have been worse if a student had been able to engage the shooter. Maybe they would have died too, but maybe an armed student could have taken the shooter down and fewer would have died.
Valid points were made about the necessity for training. You can’t just buy your gun and then rarely practice. You need to practice with not only static targets but while moving. You have to practice with you holster and your draw. It needs to be constant.
Other segments include the standard hearty stings bits. And of course we get a
“Every other day in America a kid is shot and killed“ claim. Studies that claim this define “kid” broadly and fail to mention that many are killed while engaged in criminal activity. The problem is that doesn’t justify taking guns away from the law abiding.
Valid points were made about irresponsible adults not securing their weapons properly but I’m sorry I can pay much attention to scenarios involving an agent provocateur, a producer, under the guise of peer pressure urging kids to engage in activity they might not normally. Also we get the usual crap implying that guns go off by themselves. With the admitted exception of some cheap models, guns today require that you pull the trigger before they fire. Lot of bad gun handling by kids, but no indication they’ve ever been taught better. Might training be a cure?
Then there is the “how many guns can you buy with $5000 in just one hour” segment. The segment is filmed at a Richmond Virginia gun show. This is a gun show loop hole bit. The buyer’s sister was killed at Virginia Tech. and he’s an activist. Toward the end of the piece we get comments on the failure of politicians to follow through on promises made after Virginia Tech . There is a video clip with a lady asking what we are doing to keep felons from getting guns. Since it’s shown during this segment the clear implication is gun shows are where felons come to buy their guns. No proof. No statistics. It’s just an implied fact. There is no mention that federal law prohibits felons from owning firearms. The segment did say that the Virginia Tech shooter bought his guns from a licensed dealer, but by designing this segment as they have alleged gun shows are at fault.
The buyer gets a Glock, the civilian AK variant [an assault weapon], a pump shotgun, a lever action rifle, an AR [another assault weapon] and two other rifles. The money quote is “It’s that easy”. It’s also, as the former ATF agent on hand says,”perfectly legal” My response, yes and Thank God. These are private sales and in some States we still are allowed to dispose of our property, firearms, as we see fit. If it’s mine I’ll do with it as I please.
As to the question how many guns can you buy in an hour with $5000. I think he got seven. I daresay I could do a bit better than that, but my tastes are a bit more expensive. On the other hand if I wanted to go cheap I could have bought a hell of a lot more than he got. If ABC wants another go at it I’ll volunteer as long as I get to keep the. They gave their up to the local PD. Also we got a comment that the “nation’s mayors” are demanding that something be done about assault weapons.
There was a short segment on what “experts” on self-defense recommend. This advice amounts to call for help on your cell phone, run away, hide or play dead. In short be sheep.
In the end this was an anti-self-defense, anti gun hit piece and about what I’ve come to expect from ABC.