The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Except when the bad guy is heavily armed, 1000 feet away and 32 floors up. Without knowing every detail of the SWAT response to Stephen Paddock’s shooting spree in Las Vegas on October 1st, it’s still fair to say that he had plenty of time to rain terror down on 20,000 defenseless people.
There are plenty of circumstances and examples of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy. But what happened in Las Vegas proves that simply learning how to shoot paper with your daily carry isn’t enough to prepare you to respond to a threat.
The tired rhetoric about arming everyone to stop crime often neglects the very important truth that training is just as important, if not sometimes more important than just carrying a pistol. Training, when done right, prepares the brain to think and survive in a crisis. Hundreds, if not thousands, of concert goers in Las Vegas dropped to the ground as gunfire rained down, paralyzed with fear and with no plan to escape to safety. Granted this was a difficult situation to respond to, but it’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that many people were injured or killed because they froze in fear instead of taking effective action.
In addition to not having an escape mindset, many people were forced into the position of being first responders to the injured and dying. Help can be slow to arrive when crowds are large and chaos is rampant. If more people understood the value of first aid and trauma training, I’m sure that more people would have survived their wounds.
Self defense training, including medical training, helps cultivate a mindset that is responsive and decisive in a crisis. Your concealed carry handgun would have done nothing to help you in Las Vegas. But a survival mindset could certainly have better prepared the victims to get to safety faster and preserved more lives during this horrible tragedy.