A column today by Jacob Sullum asserts that had Major Hasan's victims had firearms, some deaths could have been prevented. This analysis may be correct, but it is horribly short-sighted. He apparently advocates allowing everybody to carry guns wherever they may be; this ignores the fact that the instances in which carrying a gun contributes to more violence and death far exceeds the instances in which violence and death could be prevented.
Think of how many instances of heated arguments there are compared to instances of mass shootings as Major Hasan committed. A thousand to one? A million to one? Think of the hundreds of road rage incidents in this country every day. Think of the hundreds of barroom arguments there are every day. Any one of these instances could easily escalate to deadly violence if one of the participants had a firearm.
One can only conclude that limitations on firearms save many more lives than it costs.