The response of the gun-control crowd is predictable. They say that the shooting shows we need even more gun control than already exists in New York, which has some of the most stringent gun-control laws in the nation. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, those laws did not prevent the Tops shootings. Thus, the question naturally arises: Why would even more stringent gun-control laws prevent mass killers from doing the same thing?
What we do know is that those ten employees and customers in that Tops store were unarmed and, therefore, unable to defend themselves from the killer. As I was reading the account of what happened, I couldn't help but grimace over the fact that not one employee or customer had a gun that he could have used to defend himself and the others.
One man did have a gun. He was Aaron Salter, a Buffalo police officer working security at the store. He fired at the shooter but with no effect, owing to body armor worn by the killer. Salter was one of the victims. Yet, several people who survived the killing spree attributed their survival to Salter's actions. According to an article on ABC News, one Tops employee, a mother of seven, said that when she saw Salter pull out his weapon, she knew she had to run. According to that article, "While it is not clear how many more victims were saved due to Salter's actions, [Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph A.] Gramaglia said, 'We're sure he saved lives yesterday.'"
Imagine if two or three of the employees or customers were also armed and able to fire at the killer's head from multiple directions, once they realized that Salter's rounds had not pierced the killer's body armor.