Uvalde, Buffalo Shootings Destroy NRA's Core Argument Against Gun Control

The gunmen accused of the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, were both challenged by armed individuals who tried to stop them—seemingly discrediting the idea that "a good guy with a gun" can prevent killing sprees.

On Tuesday, armed law enforcement officers responded to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde before Salvador Ramos, 18, barricaded himself into a classroom and began shooting children, according to Lieutenant Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In the mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo on May 14, the alleged shooter, Payton Gendron, was confronted by an armed security guard who fired at him. The suspect was protected by the body armor he was wearing and allegedly shot and killed the security guard.

Both incidents appear to contradict an argument frequently made by the National Rifle Association and other opponents of stricter gun controls—that armed individuals can stop these shootings.

National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association annual conference in Dallas. Salvador Ramos (inset) is said to have shot his grandmother before going to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December 2012, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He added that the NRA was in favor of putting "armed police officers in every single school in this nation."

LaPierre, who is currently CEO of the NRA as well as executive vice president, reiterated that claim during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2018.

The NRA is one of the most powerful interest groups in U.S. politics. It spent around $250 million in 2020 on a range of activities, including education programs and gun ranges. The group reportedly spends around $3 million a year on lobbying and grades members of Congress based on their support for gun rights.

Lieutenant Olivarez told NBC's Today program on Wednesday that Ramos had been involved in a domestic disturbance before the shooting and "fled in a vehicle and was in close proximity near the school where we got calls to local law enforcement."

He added that local police had "received a call of a crashed vehicle and an individual armed with a weapon making his way into the school.

"At that point, we had local law enforcement, school officers, as well as state troopers, who were first on scene and were able to hear the actual gunshots inside the classroom," Olivarez said.

"They tried to make entry into the building. They were met with gunfire by the suspect, by the shooter. Some of those officers were shot."

Officers "began breaking windows around the school, trying to evacuate children, teachers, anybody they could, to try to get them out of that building, out of that school."

"What we do know, at that point, the shooter was able to make entry into a classroom, barricaded himself inside that classroom," he said.

"And again, just begin shooting numerous children and teachers that were in that classroom. Having no regard for human life, just a complete evil person, by not having any regard for children, anyone that's inside that classroom, just began shooting anyone that was in his way."

Olivarez explained that a "tactical law enforcement team arrived" and made forcible entry to the building, though they were also met with gunfire. At least 19 children and two adults were killed. Ramos was later shot and killed.

On May 14, the Buffalo shooting suspect, who was been accused of killing 10 people at a grocery store, was confronted by store security guard and retired police lieutenant Aaron Salter. Salter fired his gun at the suspect, who was wearing body armor. Salter was then shot and killed. In total, 13 people were shot in the incident.

Gendron, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.

Former President Donald Trump is due to speak at an NRA event this weekend in Houston where he will be joined by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Republicans.

Newsweek has asked the NRA for comment.