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So Much for the Good Guy with a Gun

Leonard Pitts Jr., Tribune Content Agency on

So much for the good guy with a gun.

That, you will recall, was NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s preferred solution to America’s epidemic of firearms violence. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” he said, “is a good guy with a gun.” He said this on Dec. 21, 2012 — one week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left dead six adults and 20 children ages 6 and 7.

Americans were grieving and demanding action, and this was his answer. The “good guy with a gun” would set things right.

To no one’s surprise, it hasn’t turned out that way. The latest example can be found in Uvalde, Texas — where two adults and 19 children were slaughtered last week at Robb Elementary School while police waited under orders from their incident commander for 78 minutes before engaging the shooter. The good guy with a gun — actually, “guys,” plural, “guns,” plural — dawdled while people died. Police initially concealed this bungling by releasing false and misleading information about the siege.

If the failure sounds familiar, that’s because it is. A good guy with a gun waited safely outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, four years ago as a gunman killed 17 people. And a good guy with a gun was among 10 people killed by a teenager on a racist rampage last month in Buffalo.

All of which underscores what was already obvious 10 years ago: LaPierre’s vision of fixing gun violence by turning schools, supermarkets and movie theaters into Western movie shootouts was always cracked. It has that in common with many ideas put forth by gun apologists.

 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for instance, has a ban on . . . doors. “Have one door into and out of the school,” he says, “and have . . . armed police officers at that door.”

Former FBI agent Maureen O’Connell wants bulletproof classroom decorations. She tells Fox “News,” about “blankets that you can put up on the wall that are colorful and beautiful, but they’re ballistic blankets.”

Or we can teach kids CPR, as former Sen. Rick Santorum once proposed, apparently so that after a shooting, the survivors can at least make themselves useful. Or we can give guns to the same teachers the right wing thinks can’t be trusted with books.

But waiting periods? Enhanced background checks? Permits? A ban on AR-15-style assault weapons? What are you, nuts?

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