December 13, 2023
“We need Congress to step up’ after UNLV [University of Nevada Las Vegas] shooting,” NewsNation reported, citing Joe Biden’s official statement crafted by White House wordsmiths to exploit the murders to full advantage. “He urged lawmakers to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” He also “urged lawmakers to … implement fast national red flag laws, require safe gun storage and enact universal background checks.”
The problem with those “solutions,” AP reported, are that the killer, bought his gun legally, meaning he’d undergone a background check, and he used “a 9 mm handgun.” Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill added that “the shooter brought 11 magazines with him to the campus, and police found nine of them on the shooter after he was killed.” There goes the objection that magazine bans are justified because having to swap them out gives victims time to tackle their assailant. What happened instead was “Terrified students and professors cowered in classrooms and offices as the gunman roamed the top three floors of UNLV’s five-story Lee Business School…”
Why are supposedly free Americans in then land of the Second Amendment reduced to that pathetic state of affairs? They certainly outnumber the “lone wolf” attackers who carry out most school shootings. So how can one delusional nutjob completely dominate and cow a campus full of predominantly young adults? In this case, it’s thanks to those citizen disarmament edicts the president, the Democrats, and the media are saying we need more of. And Nevada law and university policy agree.
“Nevada prohibits any person from carrying or possessing a firearm on the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education (state university and college system),” Giffords Law Center notes on a state gun laws page. “This prohibition does not restrict the possession of a firearm on the property of a private or public school or child care facility by a: 1) peace officer; 2) school security guard; or 3) person having written permission from the president of a branch or facility of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the principal of the private or public school, or the person designated by a child care facility to give permission to carry or possess the firearm.”
UNLV makes its position clear on its University Police Services “Frequently Asked Questions” page, that bluntly posts: “Can I have a firearm on campus? Per NRS 202.265, the following are prohibited on university property: Projectile weapons. Bladed weapons greater than three inches in length.” The UNLV Student Code of Conduct elaborates, dictating “Without prior written authorization from the President or his/her designee, possessing, storing, controlling, or using a functioning or nonfunctioning firearm...” is “prohibited.”
So, what else could the “terrified students and professors” do besides “cower”?
Campus police, the “Only Ones” who can legally be armed, sum up options for mere “civilians” in three words, adapted from Department of Homeland Security “advice” for citizens victimized twice, once by assailants, and again by government: “Run, hide, fight.” They’ve even made a YouTube video, “Surviving an Active Shooter,” reminding viewers “The phrase Run Hide Fight® is a registered trademark of the City of Houston.”
First, a word about the “Only Ones” is in order. The term arose from a video featuring a DEA agent lecturing on “gun safety.”
"I'm the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry this Glock .40," he told a roomful of school kids before shooting himself in the foot in front of the horrified class while trying to holster his weapon. The phrase was too perfect not to use, especially compounded with example after example of police officers receiving special exemptions from gun laws binding on "ordinary citizens" under the assumption that cops are somehow more trustworthy than the rest of us. But because of their employment, we see officers getting nationwide concealed carry, exemptions for possession and use of firearms forbidden to the masses and being able to "lawfully" go armed into so-called "gun free zones" where the rest of us are forbidden.
While campus police were quick to respond, and reportedly got to the scene, engaged the shooter, and killed him within minutes that recalls nothing so much as the truism “When seconds count the police are minutes away.” Not only did their rapid response do the victims killed no good, had the murderer been intent on mass instead of targeted killing, those nine magazines they found on him would have been fewer and the body count would have been more. As for campus Only Ones’ advice for the real “first responders,” the unarmed victim pool, not everyone is physically capable of running, and no one can outrun a bullet. Ditto for hiding, and assuming a seeker with murder on his mind won’t find you. And their “Fight” directive, as illustrated in the video, comes across as delusional.
“Look around right now and find areas where you may hide or items you may use as weapons,” they advise, and then showed some poor, desperate slobs holding chairs, getting ready to snag an attacker with a jacket, and noticing a fire extinguisher in a wall-mounted glass case. All that happens under the assurance that “help in on the way,” and that students can further prepare themselves for a one-sided death match by downloading UNLV’s “Rebel Safe” app (assuming another petition isn’t launched by “woke” students and faculty to distance the school from a mascot “inextricably connected to a failed regime whose single aim was to preserve the institution of slavery”).
Perhaps they could rename themselves The Fightin’ Extinguishers…? But that still doesn’t solve the problem of the main option being cowering. How different things are from another incident within the lifetimes of many Firearms News readers, in 1966, when sniper Charles Whitman atop the University of Texas tower was pinned down by students with rifles.
“Students waited and waited for the police to arrive,” Texas Monthly recalled. “At that time, the Austin Police Department had no tactical unit to deploy. Its officers had only service revolvers and shotguns, which were useless against a sniper whose perch was hundreds of yards away … Some officers went home to get their rifles; others directed traffic away from campus. In the absence of any visible police presence, students decided to defend themselves.”
Graduate student James Damon retrieved his $15 M1 carbine and helped keep the murderer pinned down. Senior Cliff Drummond recalled “Students with deer rifles … firing like crazy back at the Tower.” There are plenty more recollections, but perhaps the most powerful comes from Bill Helmer, who admitted “I remember thinking, ‘All we need is a bunch of idiots running around with rifles.’ But what they did turned out to be brilliant. Once [Whitman] could no longer lean over the edge and fire, he was much more limited in what he could do. He had to shoot through those drain spouts, or he had to pop up real fast and then dive down again. That’s why he did most of his damage in the first twenty minutes.”
Compare that to killings like were enabled by policy at Virginia Tech, where students with concealed carry permits were forbidden to be armed on campus. This is part of what I discussed when The New York Times asked me to participate in a panel on the anniversary of the shooting (and just to keep the fight fair, ganged half-a-dozen antis up against me). Nine months before the shootings, graduate student Bradford B. Wiles wrote a letter to The Roanoke Times in response to a campus manhunt for a murder suspect.
“I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Wiles wrote. “However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech’s student policy…”
The published response from University Vice President Larry Hincker was one of ridicule.
“[I]t is absolutely mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles,” he wrote, using terms like “out of touch … inane [and] absurd” to underscore his points.
“Guns don’t belong in classrooms,” he concluded. “They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same.”
We saw the carnage that resulted from that “very sound policy.”
And we’ve seen results in places like Columbine, Parkland, and Uvalde, where police held back and made sure they were safe.
Meanwhile, the blood dancers are out in force, tweeting (xing?) about UNLV and exploiting the killings to demand even more citizen disarmament and even more “gun-free zones.” The thing is, if you look at the responses they’re getting, the majority aren’t buying it, and in many cases are not just defying them, but doing so by throwing 60s leftist organizer Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals “Rule 5” back in their faces. (“Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It's hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.)
Don’t look for UNLV to be a gamechanger in terms of being the catalyst for more gun bans, as much as Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, and Hank Johnson of “Tip Guam over” notoriety are milking it for all it’s worth. The killer, a career academic, wasn’t trying to slaughter random student victims, he was targeting faculty in an act of apparent revenge for not getting hired. He didn’t use an “assault rifle” with “high-capacity magazines, he used a handgun. He went through a background check and got his gun legally. He wasn’t a MAGA “extremist,” and in fact, considered George Soros one of the “Great Minds of the Twentieth Century.”
That is, he didn’t fit the profile to advance the preferred narrative to spook “moderate” Republicans into caving on a semiauto ban. Gun owners “dodged a bullet.” This time. But let a Beslan-style massacre happen, where more than 330 people, 186 of them children, were killed, and expect a Democrat/media feeding frenzy, and Republican career politicians to make holding on to their place at the trough their number one priority. If such a large-scale massacre is carried out, what do you think the chances are it would be by enemies welcomed into the country after allowed to illegally jump the border? Now what do you think the chances are it will happen on a campus that prohibits ordinary citizens from being armed?
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.