On the night of Oct. 1, 2017, a crazed gunman named Stephen Paddock began spraying a country music concert in Las Vegas with gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
When it was over, 60 people were dead, and more than 400 had been wounded.
Amid the bloodshed and chaos that night, Taylor Winston, a former Marine, and an Iraq veteran, stole a pickup truck, and aided by his girlfriend, began ferrying victims to a nearby hospital.
Winston made two trips into the barrage of bullets and helped save an estimated two dozen victims.
Recently, Winston attended the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa.
And unlike the David Hoggs of the world, Winston, in an interview with The Daily Signal, a publication of the conservative Heritage Foundation, was one mass shooting survivor who was not afraid to advocate for the Second Amendment.
When asked for his response to people who demand more gun control after a mass shooting, Winston argued that more guns are not only good but necessary – giving answers that should resonate with conservatives living under a federal government that not only wants to strip away gun owners’ rights but increasingly wants to control more of its citizens’ lives.
“What they experienced was very tragic and horrific, and I don’t want to ever take away from them that their experience was really bad. And their feelings of that situation may be leaning toward … if there were less guns, there would be less violence. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
There’s many, many studies that show more guns equal less violence,” Winston replied.
“Mass shootings are horrific. And I never, ever want to have anyone experience that,” Winston told Daily Signal podcaster, Doug Blair. “But I would go through it again and again and again to protect our gun rights because [the Second Amendment] protects us from something far worse and bigger, and that’s a potential tyrannical government committing genocide.”
“We hope we never have to get to that point,” he added. “And it may not make sense right now because everyone’s so peachy and comfortable and privileged to live in America. And I just think they’re very privileged. And I would say to them, educate yourself on guns, learn more about it.”
“I don’t think we need more laws. We just need more education and just more resources going into helping everyone own a gun.”
Winston called the liberals’ twin approach of defunding police and taking guns away from everyday Americans as “absolutely disastrous.” He suggested that was the view of privileged big-city liberals who live with a near-ubiquitous police presence ready to aid them at moment’s notice.
But he also provided a different twist on the purpose of gun rights.
“We need to remember that we’re all in this together. And we’re only fighting for gun rights. Not because we’re against you, but because we love you and we want to be able to protect you,” he said.
He suggested that liberals’ attitudes toward guns might change if they were exposed to them more often, instead of hiding from them. In other words, they need education.
Winston also had advice for conservatives who argue for gun rights.
“Don’t be abrasive if someone’s really against you. You can’t fight fire with fire. You get more bees with honey,” he said.
“In America, we are free … and we have all these rights because of the Second Amendment. We need people to be able to have these weapons,” added Winston.
But, he advised, “be less abrasive when you’re having conversations with people who have opposing opinions. You will win them over in the long term just by being the better person and being just nicer and … you can help educate them.”
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