During a May 13 appearance on NBC’s Today, Katie Couric said the claim that armed good guys stop bad guys is “just a specious argument.”
The journalist-turned-filmmaker was on the Today show to promote her upcoming gun control documentary, Under the Gun.
“There’s a very common expression out there that says the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Today host Matt Lauer prompted Couric. Lauer then used an anecdotal example of a concealed carry permit holder who was unarmed during the July 2012 Aurora theater attack and who believes that being armed would not have made any difference.
This particular concealed permit holder was dating Jessi Phillips, a 21-year-old woman killed in the Aurora attack. The concealed permit holder was interviewed for Couric’s documentary.
I thought that was one of the most impactful moments of the film. One of the first things they asked him, because he had a concealed carry permit but because he traveled from Texas to Colorado to visit Jessi he didn’t have his gun. One of the first things they asked is, “Would it have made any difference if you had had your gun?” He said, “Absolutely not.” There was so much chaos, they were trapped, more innocent people would have died.
Couric added that the so-called “good guy with a gun argument” is “perpetrated by the gun lobby, but most public health experts and gun safety experts say it’s just a specious argument.”
In other words, the effectiveness of armed citizens rests on the testimony of one concealed permit holder who does not believe being armed could have helped at Aurora. By seizing on this example, Couric overlooked the concealed permit holder who used his gun on June 19, 2015, to stop an attempted mass shooting in Chicago. She also ignored the concealed permit holder who stopped an attempted mass shooting in Ohio on July 26, 2015, the permit holder who stopped an attempted mass shooting in a Georgia liquor store on May 31, 2015, and the permit holder who ran toward the sound of gunfire and stopped an attempted mass shooting in a Philadelphia barbershop on March 22, 2015.
Couric’s approach also overlooks the good guy with a gun who ended the October 22, 2014, terror attack in Ottawa, Canada and the good guy with a gun who stopped the knife-welding attacker in a Taunton, Massachusetts mall on May 10, 2015–not to mention the myriad examples of good guys with guns who defend their families from multiple home invaders on a regular basis in the U.S.
Couric told Lauer during the same interview that a “silent majority” of gun owners want more gun control.
Couric’s documentary, Under the Gun, premieres Sunday, May 15 on Epix.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.