Having the chance to stop a mass shooting is the moment of vindication every “good guy with a gun” dreams of, right? John Parker Jr. — an Umpqua Community College student and armed veteran with a concealed carry license — was only 200 yards away when Chris Harper Mercer went on his mass shooting rampage on Friday. Yet he let that moment of glory go for the best of all possible reasons: He and his fellow veterans/students on the scene took stock of the situation and realized that rushing in would only make a terrifying situation even more dangerous.
John Parker told MSNBC that he and his fellow students — who were hanging out in the veterans’ lounge when the shooting began — offered to help. The staff declined and advised them to stay in a nearby classroom instead. The group of veterans seemed to agree at the time, as Parker explained.
“Luckily we made the choice not to get involved. We were quite a distance away from the building where this was happening. And we could have opened ourselves up to be potential targets ourselves, and not knowing where SWAT was, their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were. And if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think that we were bad guys.”
The young veteran added that he and his fellow students were “trained to go into danger,” and that if there “was something we could do [to help] we were going to do it.” But they weren’t about to do something stupid to prove their bravery. And although he is passionate about gun rights and started talking about the Second Amendment, he also came across as soft-spoken, restrained and not willing to lie about what happened to advance a false pro-gun narrative. The interview with John Parker also gives the impression that he’s far from the only student who conceal carries on campus, giving lie to the constant myth that mass shootings only happen in “gun free zones.” Concealed carry is perfectly legal on college campuses in the state of Oregon.
Watch Sean Hannity Try To Put Lies Into John Parker’s Mouth.
But after John Parker was done with MSNBC, Sean Hannity from Fox “News” got his hooks into him and began reframing the narrative. By the end of his intro, he’d already claimed Parker was “not allowed” to try to take the shooter down.
Welcome back to “Hannity.” This is a Fox News alert. Joining us now, John Parker. He’s an Air Force vet who was on the Oregon campus at the time of the shooting. And he did have a concealed weapon on him. He was not allowed to go to the scene. John, thank you for being with us. How many years did you serve in the Air Force, sir?
Throughout their brief exchange, Hannity kept trying to get John Parker to agree with his false set of “facts” — like that UCC is one of those “gun free zones” that attracts shooters and that he and his veteran schoolmates were “locked down” from the crime scene. Alas, for the Fox “News” host, he kept coming up empty as Parker looked increasingly uncomfortable (though whether with Hannity’s agenda or with being on camera in general we will probably never know). Hannity even took a few seconds to bloviate about having armed security guards in America’s schools, but Parker had nothing to say about that.
Here’s the video with Sean Hannity’s interview with John Parker: