The solution to stopping murders in public places was articulated by the National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, when he declared, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Unfortunately, the failed logic behind this solution forces our communities to accept some gun related injuries and deaths.
She died to identify the bad guy
The “good guy shoots bad guy” theory assumes that the public will accept at least one gun related injury or death. Because the bad guys don’t wear lapel pins identifying their association with evil, we don’t know who the bad guy is until he pulls out the gun and pulls the trigger. Consequently, we must allow the criminal or bad guy to kill at least one person before the armed citizenry can train their sights on him and take him down.
A room full of guns is not a deterrent to the psychotic
The NRA position that “good guys” with guns are the great equalizers to the “bad guys” only works if society accepts that a certain amount gun violence, injury and death is permissible. The unstable psychotic male is not deterred by a room full of other gun toting guys. When the bad guy is pushed over the cliff because an argument or psychotic event, he just starts shooting, regardless of his personal safety.
I shoot, therefore I am
It is only after he starts shooting can he be identified as the bad guy. Therefore, you must have at least one round fired, probably more with today’s semi-automatic hand guns, in order for the NRA strategy to reduce gun violence to activate. However, even after the bad guy shooters pops off a round it can still be difficult for law enforcement and the good guys to figure out who the bad guy might be.
Case study in gun violence in a public place
Recently on New Years Eve in Old Sacramento two people were murdered in the blink of an eye from a bad guy that could have been a good guy. As New Years Eve revelers gathered to watch fireworks a fight broke out in a sports bar. An employee tried to break up the fight and was shot and killed. The shooter ran through the crowd with a nearby security officer in pursuit where more shots were exchanged.
Excerpts from the story reported in the Sacramento Bee, Killings raise questions about future Old Sac New Year’s Eve events.
Police said Montoya drew a gun and fired at the 30-year-old woman and her 35-year-old husband. Both the woman and her husband were hit by gunfire, as was the employee, who was in his 20s, police said.
A security guard rushed in and exchanged shots with Montoya, police said, before the shooter tried to flee the scene. The guard had his gun pointed at the bloodied suspect and was giving commands when police found both of them outside the bar, Gigante said. Officers immediately grabbed both individuals, not knowing exactly what had happened.
Nearly 100 city police officers and a dozen private security officers were in Old Sacramento patrolling the 9 p.m. fireworks display. Police – including some on horseback – responded to the shooting within seconds, witnesses said.
Who is the victim, good guy, or bad guy?
In this instance, we have a public venue crawling with police officers and security guards and some idiot with a hand gun managed to kill two people and wound two others. The police response was excellent and it is doubtful that other patrons in the bar could have prevented the carnage by drawing their NRA approved “good guy gun”. If anything, good guys shooting guns may have created more injuries, deaths and chaos. Even when police did arrive on scene the article mentions that they weren’t sure who the bad guy or the good guy was. Who is to say that the shooter apprehended wasn’t acting in self-defense in response to another aggressive bar patron?
The only scenario that would have prevented this tragedy is if the shooter had no gun at all. All the good guys with guns were in Old Sacramento and they couldn’t prevent the murders.
Good guy guns hinder law enforcement
The gunman’s act of shooting people identified him as the bad guy. But once others pull out their “good guy guns” law enforcement arriving on the scene would have a hard time determining who was the bad guy and who was the good guy. All you have are lots of people in civilian clothes, guns drawn and looking to shoot someone. Do the cops fire on all the people holding firearms because one of them might be the bad guy? Does law enforcement hang back and let innocent people get shot from either the good guys or the bad guys?
In the heat of a gun battle, it can be hard to determine the good guys from the bad guys. Bad guys don’t always run and they may not always fire first. If a good guy drops a robber with a toy gun trying to rob a store, does that make the good guy now a bad guy?
Good guy guns don’t stop bad guy shootings
Only in the most optimistic circumstances would the NRA’s “good guy guns” prevent gun violence. In the overwhelming majority of cases, we have to have the shooter kill someone so the good guys can identify him. This scenario is essentially what we have now; gunmen shooting people with no thought to the consequences. The public is tired of identifying the bad guys after they fire shots and people die. The NRA logic that you need a death in order to stop a death is derived from failed logic and will be rejected by our communities.
White House Petition to Tax Guns and Ammo for Mental Health
Facebook page supporting the tax on guns and ammo for mental healthcare