While Democrats and the media responded to the mass shooting in El Paso with renewed demands for gun control, many El Paso residents are responding in a different way. Yesterday Reuters reported that Hispanic residents of the city are buying guns and flocking to concealed carry classes:

More El Paso residents than ever before crowded into a class over the weekend to become certified to carry a concealed gun in public in Texas after this month’s mass shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people…

Michael McIntyre, general manager of Gun Central, one of the largest gun shops in El Paso and the host of the class, on Friday said his store tallied double the usual number of sales in the week following the attack, something that did not happen after previous mass shootings in Texas.

Most of the sales were for handguns, which can be strapped to an ankle or shoulder under clothing.

“I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.

“We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said.

This strikes me as a rational response to what happened in El Paso where an entire group of people were targeted by a racist killer. It would be insane to carry on with life as if that hadn’t happened, especially for the people who were there that day or knew someone who was.

McIntyre, the gun store owner, tells his students that the first thing they should do in case of a mass shooting is run. It takes a lot of training to face off with a shooter in a public space in a way that doesn’t endanger other people. Still, a sensible response to what happened is to calmly and safely prepare to fight back in a worst-case scenario. As McIntyre tells Reuters, “This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”

I wish he were wrong about that of course, but this problem seems to be spreading through the media like a contagion. Every deranged loser who turns to murder as a way to become famous with other deranged losers online helps inspire the next one to act. In fact, the El Paso shooter already allegedly inspired a man in Norway to attack a mosque. Maybe we’ll eventually get a handle on how to cover these events without giving the killers what they crave, but we’re clearly not there yet.

America is never going to be a gun-free zone. So long as we have violent racists looking to kill people while they shop or pray, armed self-defense remains a reasonable response to the threat.