D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is an outspoken proponent of gun control (in a district which already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation). So, when asked by 60 Minutes how people should respond to being near an active gunman, Lanier's response was bemusing as The Washington Times reports, saying that the "best option for saving lives before police can get there” would be for citizens to try to subdue, or even kill, the gunman.
In an interview Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Chief Lanier was asked what should people do if they are in the vicinity of an active shooter like the those who carried out the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
As Townhall.com notes, to anyone paying the slightest attention to the fight over gun laws in the District, Lanier’s statement is curious, given that she’s been an outspoken proponent of gun control in D.C., which already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
“Your options are run, hide or fight,” Chief Lanier said. “I always say if you can get out, getting out is your best option. If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”
While gun rights supporters have long advocated for the ability to carry firearms so individuals are able to protect themselves and potentially even intervene in such a scenario, the advice rang hollow for those in the District, where firearm ownership is tightly regulated. As The Washington Times reports, Lanier's advice is a little confusing...
“This is sound advice,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “But considering the draconian gun laws in the District, it will remain difficult, if not impossible, for most private citizens to do what the chief is suggesting.”
“We’re glad Chief Lanier departed from the usual narrative and encouraged people to fight back,” Mr. Gottlieb said. “But her advice would have more credibility if she were to take a leadership role in reforming the District’s gun laws. You can’t fight back if you don’t have the tools, and the only way to take a gunman out, as the chief suggested, is to shoot back. That’s pretty hard if you don’t have a gun.”
It was unclear whether the police chief’s evolving view on how the public should engage with an active shooter also might mean a change in her stance on the city’s restrictive handgun-carry laws.
Chief Lanier noted during the “60 Minutes” interview that her advice was a departure from prior advice dispensed by police, who typically have encouraged witnesses to report a crime to police rather than to intervene.
“We’ve never told people take action... This is a different scenario,” she said.
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