Backstops Are Important

By Ryan Jairam

Mental Health
Our mental-health system simply can’t be the last line of defense. There are just too many mistakes. Potential victims need to be able to defend themselves…
Citizens for a Safer New Jersey
Citizens for a Safer New Jersey

New Jersey – -(Ammoland.com)- When I did the range orientation at my home range – ANJRPC Cherry Ridge (a great place to shoot), we were told to ensure that we aimed so that the bullets hit the berm, and not to aim too high so that they’d go over the hill and end up somewhere they don’t belong.

This drummed in to new shooters the concept of a backstop. The backstop is a central component of gun safety – ensuring that any bullet leaving the muzzle of your gun has a  safe place to come to a stop.

With the recent mass shooting in Isla Vista, California, home to America’s strictest gun laws (tiny.cc/2dxlmx), the focus has once again shifted to mental health by ensuring that mentally ill people do not have access to firearms. But as Arthur Berg and John R. Lott discuss in this opinion piece in the New York Post, we should not depend solely on mental health reform to stop spree killers. While mental health treatment and care is important, it is not a magic spray that one pulls off their utility belt to make all violence and evil dissolve and go down the drain. In fact, in nearly all of the recent mass shooting incidents, the killers were already receiving mental health treatment.  They were either overlooked by law enforcement or simply went around them and procured firearms illegally.

This is where the backstop comes in. As Lott and Berg point out:

“Our mental-health system simply can’t be the last line of defense. There are just too many mistakes. Potential victims need to be able to defend themselves.”

This isn’t just unfounded opinion. This has been tested and proven by recent incidents such as the recent Colorado school shooting. This particular incident was over in a record 80 seconds, stopped by an armed Sheriff’s Deputy. A few years ago, a mall shooting in Clackamas, Oregon was stopped by concealed carry. Even as far back as the 1990s, when horrific incidents such as Columbine made world headlines, one school shooting in Perl, MS was stopped by an assistant principal who retrieved a firearm stowed in his vehicle and used it to subdue the shooter.

The most important and effective backstop is you, the armed, trained, responsible citizen.

About Citizens for a Safer New Jersey
Citizens for a Safer New Jersey includes individuals from all walks of life and from all across the State of NJ pulling together to create an avenue to address a huge void whereby New Jerseyans can help themselves to feel safe and be safer in their everyday lives. Visit: www.c4snj.org

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    Chuck

    Mental health isn’t the issue. The only reason these people are doing this is the free fame the media and cops are giving them on the CBS Evening News. Nothing wrong with their minds to plan something like this and carry it through. Mental illness, like guns, is blaming the wrong thing. Blame the media for giving them the fame they want.