"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
We've heard it over and over again from the NRA. "If only someone in the theater in Aurora had had a gun ..." "If only one of the teachers at Sandy Hook had been armed ..." "If I'da been there [wherever], I'da capped his ass!"
No matter how many people step up to disagree (I remember one very thoughtful writer, possibly here, saying after Aurora that he was a well-trained, excellent marksman, and after reading about the situation in Aurora felt he stood absolutely no chance of hitting the shooter had he been there, and probably would have ended up killing innocent people if he'd tried), the NRA keeps trotting out this old saw.
I think that perhaps after this weekend's shootings in Las Vegas, we may finally have some pretty strong proof of why they need to retire it.
Today's article in the Boston Globe has this very interesting bit of information:
The suspects fled on foot to a nearby Walmart, where Jerad Miller fired a single shot upon entering, police said. A patron at the store who carried a firearm confronted Jerad Miller, not realizing that he was accompanied by Amanda Miller, who shot and killed the man, police said.(emphasis mine)
Not only did the good guy with a gun not stop the bad guys with guns - he was killed by them. Now, don't get me wrong. I am in no way trying to diminish him by writing this. All I know about him is that he (a) was carrying a gun, and (b) tried to stop two very bad people. For this I have nothing but respect and admiration for him, and my heart goes out to his family.
I would like to note that he "confronted Jerad Miller", rather than just opening fire in what was a presumably a crowded store, suggesting to me that he was probably a thoughtful, responsible gun owner. Again, he has my respect.
I'll also note that one can assume that the two police officers killed were presumably (a) good guys, and (b) armed, and that this did them no good in this situation. Carrying a gun is not a panacea. If a bad guy with a gun ambushes you, you are dead, whether or not you are carrying.
The Globe article also says this:
As terrified customers fled the store, the Millers went to the rear and hunkered down for a firefight with police, McMahill said. Though they exchanged gunfire, ultimately, Amanda Miller shot and killed her husband, and then shot herself, police said.(again, emphasis mine)
It seems to me here that the bad guys with guns were not actually stopped by good guys with guns - they were ultimately stopped by a bad guy with a gun.
So much for "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."