The heroic Johnny Hurley interdicted an active killer, shooting and killing him, and was then killed by a responding police officer. At the time the officer shot this courageous good guy, Hurley had the killer’s rifle in hand, no doubt in an effort to remove it from the downed threat. Picking up that rifle is, likely, the act that lead to this tragedy.
Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17 year old who was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during riots ended up shooting three assailants who, according to video footage, were clearly assaulting him. While it appears his actions were justified (a jury will decide, eventually) Rittenhouse was running around the streets, during a mob scene, with a rifle in hand. Drawing attention from bad actors? You bet.
In Austin, Texas, a BLM protester named Garrett Foster allegedly pointed an AK47 at a driver. The driver, in what appears to be justified self-defense, used his handgun to kill Foster. If Garrett did, indeed, threaten the driver with the rifle then the outcome is justified. However, in the mayhem of the protest, Foster may have made himself a likely bullet magnet because he was walking around in a tense situation with a rifle in hand.
Guys, I know this might hurt some feelings, but I will say it as clearly as possible: If you keep a rifle in your vehicle for self-defense in the event of an active shooter, a riot, or some other extreme incident, you are not learning from reality. A long gun is of exceedingly limited use in civilian self-defense outside of the home. When in public, the handgun is your weapon.
Think about it: in many active killer situations, what are the responding police officers looking for? Namely, they are seeking a guy with a rifle in civilian clothing. That sounds a lot like you, when you charge into the mall with your AR15 to stop an active killer, does it not? What do you suppose other concealed carriers on the scene will do when they see you, rifle in hand, right after gunfire and screaming erupts around them? Carrying a rifle is a good way to get burned down by responding police or other armed citizens. Ask yourself, in the middle of a riot, when things are tense, and gunfire is just one rash decision away, who is going to get shot first? My guess is the guy holding the rifle.
Now, a dedicated long gun for home defense? Absolutely. I would even submit that a dedicated rifle, at home, for neighborhood defense is worthwhile, as we have witnessed several incidents where armed citizens stopped mass shootings in their own community. Also, if you live in a rural area and keep a rifle in the vehicle to deal with trouble out on the barren country roads, totally legit. But, a long gun in the vehicle, kept for deployment against active killers or aggressive mobs in urban environments? Nope. Rather than adding a rifle to your trunk, add a backup handgun to your body. In the event of an active killer, if you use force, put the gun away as soon as the threat is neutralized. In the event of mob violence, get out of the area, and if you must flee on foot your concealed handgun will not draw any unwanted attention.
We all love rifles, but the handgun remains the primary weapon of the armed citizen against criminal enterprise. The rifle belongs at home for house or neighborhood defense, or for the defense of your liberty.