The Continued Action Hero Fantasy
Representative Roger Williams (R-TX25) as quoted in the DMN (Ballfield ambush ‘might’ve been a little different’ had congressmen been armed, Texan says):
“He had rifles, he had guns, pistols. All we had were bats and balls,” Williams said. “Frankly, if we would have been able to carry arms, it might’ve been a little different.”
First, is he really suggesting that people practicing baseball should be armed? Setting aside any issues of policy, that seems like a practical impossibility. Who wants to slide into third base or dive for a fly ball wearing a gun?
Second, even if they were armed whilst practicing, their attention would have been on practice, not preparing for an attack. So, an approaching lunatic with a gun would likely have had roughly the same affect on armed persons engaged in practice versus unarmed ones (i.e., using the element of surprise to shoot several of them). Even if the players had been armed, it seems likely that law enforcement role would have been roughly the same, and the outcome not that much different.
Without getting into any discussion of gun policy, this notion that armed civilians are all going to be sureshots who can go from normal activity to action hero level gun play in these situations is a total fantasy–especially if their attention is wholly engaged in another activity out in the open.