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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Former Head of Interpol Says Armed Citizens Can Save Lives

Independence Institute Director of Research Dave Kopel had a great piece at the Volokh Conspiracy this week on former Interpol Secretary-general Ron Noble's new video examining the Westgate Mall mass shooting in Nairobi and how armed citizens saved hundreds of lives.  In the post, Kopel says in Noble's video, we see the difference between a "moderate" gun control advocate and folks like Katie Couric, who is making the rounds with a new gun ban film:
As Noble explains, his 14 years of close involvement in global counterterrorism changed his perspective on gun control. This week, he has published a video about the 2013 mass shootings at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. The video, “Armed Citizens Can Help Stop Terrorist Massacres Like Nairobi and Paris,” shows graphic footage of the attack and of the response of armed citizens. During the lengthy and well-planned attack, more than 60 innocent people were murdered. As Noble explains, the death count would have been hundreds more if not for the armed citizens who intervened. As Noble puts it, “This is not an American argument, nor a political argument. In these horrific situations, law-abiding armed citizens have helped protect others and literally saved lives, and the world should be made aware of this reality. . . . In the hands of law-abiding citizens, guns can and do save lives.”

Noble still favors a variety of non-prohibitory gun regulations that I do not. Yet the global question is not about the exact scope of Second Amendment rights in the United States. In Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States, mass shootings have become all too common. The perpetrators may be terrorists, gangs or people with mental illness. (The last category overlaps significantly with the first two categories.) The global question is about reducing the number of innocent people who are murdered. Among the important steps in saving lives is acknowledging that victims of mass attacks are necessarily their own first responders. As Westgate Mall demonstrated, when innocent victims have the tools of defense, innocent lives are saved.
On Tuesday, Kopel appeared on's Cam and Company and discussed his post at the Volokh Conspiracy as well as the new video Noble has posted on Vimeo.

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