A good guy with a gun. How many times have you heard that phrase in recent years? When Adam Lanza murdered innocent children in Sandy Hook Elementary School, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre assured us they would have been fine if someone had been armed at the school, because, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”
After each tragedy in America, after each call for some sort of gun control, someone from the NRA is sure to trot it back out.
Thursday night in Dallas, Texas, there were a lot of good guys with guns, people doing their duty to keep the streets of a city safe and allow for a peaceful protest by Black Lives Matter activists. Five of them are now dead. Seven more were severely injured.
Why? Because of Micah Xavier Johnson, now identified as the bad man with a gun in a state with some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation, who murdered police officers on the streets of Dallas.
There’s no waiting period to buy a firearm in the Lone Star State, nor is there state registration. And a new Texas law that went into effect just this past January allows for state residents to open carry handguns, while long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, do not need to be concealed so long as they’re carried in a manner that “won’t cause alarm,” nor do they need to be licensed. There’s no limit on assault rifles or the number of rounds you can have in a magazine. Machine guns, suppressors and short-barreled firearms are likewise all legal in Texas.
With laws like that, Texas is the perfect place for a bad guy with a gun.
And sadly, five good guys with guns have now lost their lives because Wayne LaPierre and every gun control advocate parroting him is wrong. A good guy with a gun is often helpless in the face of a bad guy with one.
In fact, when The Huffington Post looked at FBI data of mass shootings, it found that just 3 percent of the 160 active shooting situations that took place between 2000 and 2013 were ended by armed civilians coming to the rescue. Of those “good guys with guns,” four were security guards, just one an average joe. What’s more, 10 percent more of these incidents (13 percent) were actually ended by the actions of unarmed civilians.
And on the flip side, a Washington Post analysis of data from the FBI and the CDC determined that for every one “justifiable” gun homicide in 2012, there were 34 criminal gun homicides, 78 gun suicides and at least two accidental gun deaths.
We hear often that law enforcement officials are against gun control. One survey of police officers says that as much as 91 percent of them are against federal regulations because they say they will do little to reduce violent crime. In that same survey, 86 percent said tragedies such as Newtown or Aurora would have been avoided if there had been someone legally armed on the scene.
What do they say now? Now when 12 people who not only had guns but were trained far better than the average citizen were shot in cold blood, five of them fatally?
The horrifying truth made evident with this tragedy is that guns do indeed kill people, and the more there are, the less safe we are — even our brave men and women in uniform. Because widespread access to guns makes it that much easier for bad guys to spew their hate to the world with a bullet.