One of the NRA's favorite bumper-sticker fallacies is that "a good guy with a gun" can always thwart "a bad guy with a gun." There's a rhythm to it, and it's brief enough, making it a nearly perfect line for slow-witted yet constitutionally-protected gun hobbyists to repeat on Twitter and elsewhere. The only thing that doesn't work about the slogan is that it's complete and utter horseshit.
Any serious law enforcement official will tell you that a shoot-out between victims and mass-shooters will only inflame the situation, trapping other victims in the withering crossfire between the assailant and the other shooters -- one of the many reasons why police and other officials don't randomly bum-rush an active shooter situation before fully establishing a strategy for disarming the shooter.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, thinks he knows better than trained professionals.
On Monday, Trump told his brainwashed supporters that he has a better idea.
Karoli Kuns reports:
As he held his finger like a pretend gun to his forehead, Trump said, "If we had people with the bullets going in the opposite direction — right smack between the eyes of this maniac." [...]
"If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes boom, boom, you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight," he added.
A beautiful, beautiful sight? A beautiful, beautiful sight? Really?
If I didn't know any better, I'd swear Trump was trying to ditch his own campaign into the side of a mountain. There was nothing "beautiful, beautiful" about what happened at Pulse. And adding to the number of bullets flying around the room wouldn't have made it so. Indeed, by all accounts, a crossfire situation in a darkened nightclub during a frightening and confusing active shooter scenario would've absolutely resulted in more casualties, not fewer.
Let's clear up a few things.
First, many of the recent gun massacres did, indeed, occur in places where alleged "good guys" could carry guns. The FBI told Politico recently "that active-shooter scenarios occur in all sorts of environments where guns are allowed—homes, businesses, outdoor spaces."
Secondly, if other clubgoers at Pulse had opened fire, how would law enforcement determine who were the good guys and who was the bad guy? Short of that, how would other clubgoers know the difference? Would Trump know?
In the last 30 years how many mass shootings have been thwarted by "a good guy with a gun" in the United States? According to Mother Jones, zero. None. In fact, one in every five shootings at hospital ERs occur using a firearm taken from an armed guard.
A few years ago, the author of American Sniper, Chris Kyle, who also happens to be the American military's deadliest sharpshooter, was gunned down. At a rifle range. While carrying a firearm. Not only that, but the gunman shot and killed a second man, Chad Littlefield, who was also carrying a firearm. Two good guys with firearms couldn't stop one bad guy (in this case a veteran suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).
Honestly, I wonder what Trump would've done if he had been at Pulse. Not too long ago, an overzealous attendee stormed the stage during a Trump rally, forcing the candidate to practically shit his pants and cower in the arms of his Secret Service protection. For Trump or anyone else, it's not an uncommon reaction.
Invariably, the "good guys" are only able to react after the shooter has already gunned down his victims. Such was the case during the Oregon massacre on the UCC campus. It was also the case in Tucson, where Gabby Giffords was nearly killed. In terms of law enforcement's role as "the good guys," I think we all recall the assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan while we was flanked by Secret Service agents, each of whom was carrying a either a handgun or an Uzi submachine gun.
And does it really matter when the evil-clown who's been inexplicably promoted to GOP nominee for president thinks it would've been "beautiful" to see more dead Americans at Pulse?