A week after a brain-fried miscreant in Newtown, CT shot and killed 26 people including 20 children, Executive Vice President of the NRA Wayne LaPierre exclaimed at the organization’s annual meeting in response to another mass shooting, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” The implication was that if only schools employed armed guards, if only teachers could carry weapons into 3rd grade geography class, such mass murders could be a thing of the past. Reinforcing LaPierre’s prescription was Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who said days later, “No teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones.”
We’ll probably never have a better laboratory to test Wayne’s hypothesis than the site of this week’s massacre of five white Dallas police officers by a racist ex-Army Reserve soldier named Micah Johnson. Deployed in Afghanistan, Johnson was well-trained by the Army in urban assault tactics which he applied in downtown Dallas during a “Black Lives Matter” protest. And at that protest, more than a dozen people along the march route were carrying AR-15s and other long guns as is their legal right in Texas.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that about 20 people in “ammo gear and protective equipment and rifles slung over their shoulder” participated in the rally last Thursday. According to Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown, “They were wearing gas masks. They were wearing bulletproof vests and camo fatigues, for effect, for whatever reason.” Rawlings went on to say, “It’s logical to say that in a shooting situation, open carry can be detrimental to the safety of individuals.” Rawlings is a Democrat, so of course whatever he has to say on the subject is addled bullshit anyway.
But the item I found interesting was not the presence of wannabe Rambos outfitted for combat, but that when the shooting began, they ran. And because they ran in the middle of the shooting, Brown said the police on the scene viewed them as suspects. “Someone is shooting at you from a perched position, and people are running with AR-15s and camo gear and gas masks and bulletproof vests, they are suspects, until we eliminate that.” I wonder how many of them, if any, came to the rally expecting to be considered suspects in a deadly shooting rampage. How conflicted would the sentiment have been among the pro-gun, pro-cop segment if one of the men there carrying a semi-automatic rifle had been shot and killed by a police force that thought he was aligned with the killer Micah Johnson?
But let’s go back – why were they running? Wasn’t each of these 20 or 30 people a “good guy with a gun”? Why weren’t they scoping the assailant and leveling him with their heavy weaponry? If their instinct was to run instead of fight back, why did they bring the guns in the first place? Was it all just for show – a middle finger to guys like Rawlings and Brown?
Dallas posed a prime opportunity for the good guys with guns to stop a bad guy with a gun – and it didn’t happen. Just like it wouldn’t have happened in an Orlando disco; or in a theater in Aurora, CO; or on the campus of Virginia Tech. It’s a fantasy.
Concealed-carry proponents will argue the opposite, but every story I can find about armed citizens saving the day deals with an individual confronting another individual – the drunk who wanders into someone’s home, the petty thief who threatens a couple in their bedroom, a ruffian bent on stealing the take at a Seven-Eleven, the husband who shoots his wife’s nunchuck-wielding ex-husband.
Read “The Armed Citizen: Proof Guns Save Lives” in The Daily Caller. Or Armed Citizen Stories in The Armed Citizen. Or 10 Stories That Prove Guns Save Lives in Townhall. Or any of the plethora of reports assembled on the NRA’s website.
All fine stories of good guys stopping a bad guy – but none involving a mass-shooting. None involving an active shooter wearing body armor and loaded to the gills with weapons and ammo firing away in a dark, crowded public venue.
That’s a fantasy that one day will get a law-abiding, AR-15-toting dude a round between the eyes from a cop in the fog of urban war.
You really can’t blame Gretchen Carlson for suing Fox if what she said about her ancient and doughy boss, Roger Ailes, is even remotely true. How could anyone perform on TV with the thought roiling near the surface of their brain of the sweaty, bulbous, jowly, flatulent, cheese-toed Ailes struggling to extricate his piece of sclerotic pork from under a vast, hanging shelf of a belly?
Her case is even better than those doomed souls who were forced to sweep the floors of the reactor the day after Chernobyl melted down.