T.J. Lane walked into a high school in Ohio this week and killed three students and wounded two with a .22 caliber handgun. This is a tragic event and our condolences go out to the victims, their families, and everyone affected by the actions of T.J. Lane. With that being said, I want to use this situation to teach some of the realities of handguns and hopefully dispel some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding handgun stopping power.
It seems like the traditional gun media (gun magazines) are hashing out the stopping power issue every month and creating more and more hype, hysteria, and nonsense. People laugh at 9mm handguns as being “mouse guns” and revere the .45acp as a “man stopper”. Most people have their favorite caliber and consider everything else to be worthless when it comes to self defense. This is very narrow-minded in my opinion and does not take the facts into consideration.
The reality is that any gun is deadly. Three students were killed this week by a .22 caliber handgun. Can a .22 be used for self defense? Yes, and very effectively. In this case it was used to commit murder, and in fact most murders are committed by smaller caliber weapons.
My point is this, don’t discount the 9mm and anything else smaller than a .45acp for self defense. The best self defense gun is the one you are comfortable with and shoot well. A .22 pistol in the hands of a confident, accurate shooter is better than a .45acp in the hands of someone who’s afraid of it. Forget this nonsense surrounding the stopping power argument and use the gun you are most comfortable with.
Another “take-away” from this week’s tragic shooting is that bad guys are cowards and will run when confronted. T.J. Lane, armed and in the process of committing murder, turned and ran when confronted by Coach Frank Hall. Coach Hall chased Lane from the building and saved many lives. I’d like to salute Coach Hall for his bravery and confronting evil.