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Bloomberg's Texas shooting take: Only the government should have guns

Bloomberg's Texas shooting take: Only the government should have guns

Longtime gun control advocate and 2020 Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg's response to last week's shooting at a church in Texas — the one that was stopped by pistol-packing hero Jack Wilson — is really something to behold.

"It may be true -- I wasn't there; I don't know the facts -- that somebody in the congregation had their own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people, but it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot," Bloomberg said while speaking in Montgomery, Alabama, on Monday, December 30. "You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place."

We just can't have regular people with guns in crowded places? Really? A private citizen who was not present as a member of law enforcement but with a privately owned gun was exactly who saved lives in the situation he's referring to.

Gun control is Bloomberg's most defining career issue up to this point, so that he would try to spin the White Settlement attack to fit a pr0-gun control narrative isn't surprising at all. It does, however, demonstrate how detached from reality his gun control position really is.

In a situation where innocent people are threatened by a bad guy with a gun, the only way to stop it is with an armed response. We all have a natural right to defend ourselves and others from harm, and plenty of people do that legally with guns every single year. The kind of setup Bloomberg is arguing for doesn't take away that right; it merely makes sure that law-abiding people are less likely to be able to immediately defend themselves against the lawbreakers who won't comply with gun control efforts in the first place.

Rather, in Bloomberg's envisioned world, the law-abiding would be at the mercy of how soon the nearest law enforcement officer can arrive and respond to the threat. And just for reference, the National Sheriffs Association said that the average police response time was 18 minutes in 2016, while a 2013 story at the Wall Street Journal placed the average at 11 minutes. Either one of those is a long time to wait while facing an active shooting threat.

Given the scenario that played out in White Settlement — where the gunman shot two churchgoers before being shot in a matter of seconds — one shudders to think how many innocent lives could have been lost if the parishioners had been unarmed and the shooter had been given even an extra minute to carry out his wicked intentions. It's a terrifying thought, to be sure, but it's just the kind of scenario Bloomberg is asking for.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct the name of Jack Wilson. It originally read "Jack Phillips." CR regrets the error.

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