The popular saying goes "guns don't kill people, people kill people." It's an adage former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura believes in, and the basis of his argument in this Big Think interview. Ventura is of the opinion that taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is the wrong approach for preventing mass violence. He also wonders whether more good guys with guns could stop bad guys with guns before they fulfill their murderous objectives.
Ventura is the author of several books including American Conspiracies, which was recently released in its second edition.
Jesse Ventura: What could we do to control the mass shootings that have been happening? That’s the gorilla in the room, isn’t it? The 3,000-pound gorilla because always remember this: I have a gun safe at home and never in my life have I come home and found those guns misbehaving. I’ve never walked in and heard them going off. I never walked in and nothing — because there’s something required. It’s called a human being that has to pull the trigger. And what can we do about it?
Well, I was governor when Columbine happened and I took a great deal of heat when I made the statement that had there been a legit conceal and carry in that building, lives could have been saved. And let me make this statement. Do we care more about our money or our kids? Well, the natural answer is, of course, our kids. But the reality answer isn’t that because isn’t there an armed guard in every bank? And yet the schools have no one to protect them. Guns are banned at schools. There’s nobody there to protect the kids.
Now going to my training in the Navy SEALS. We were trained to think like the enemy. If I were a terrorist and this is terrorism. This is, you know, terrorism in our country happening here. Of course I’d hit a school. There’s nobody there to stop me for 20 minutes. Now I gave the solution 15 years ago. Nobody abided by it and yet how many schools have been attacked since Columbine? A lot. You’ve got law enforcement, retired people out there and retired military special forces guys out there that are phenomenal with weapons. You hire one as a janitor. He wears two hats. The kids in school know him as Bob the janitor. He sweeps the floor. He does all the things the janitor does. But Bob is carrying a concealed weapon on him for protection of that school. Kids don’t need to know about it, only the principal. Then at least you’ve got somebody on site who can provide protection if some psycho decides they want to go and commit mass murder. Well, you may not get him before he does it, but you might save some lives.
Now I know people are going to say oh, you’re saying to solve guns with guns. Well, sometimes that’s the way it has to be done. And taking guns from honest people is not the answer because as the cliché goes, then it’ll be the bad guys got them because they’re not giving them up. Now should you stop the loopholes that these gun things? Of course. Of course. When I went for conceal and carry in Minnesota shall issue, what’s required. Background check, gun safety course. You have to go to the range and prove you can hit what you aim at. Taking guns from law-abiding citizens is not going to stop what’s happening.