Last night's massacre in Las Vegas, which killed scores of people and wounded hundreds of others, has put the lie to one of the gun lobby's favorite myths The nonsense to which I refer drips from the mouth of Wayne LaPierre, principal spokesman for the National Rifle Association, almost every time he opens […]
Last night's massacre in Las Vegas, which killed scores of people and wounded hundreds of others, has put the lie to one of the gun lobby's favorite myths
The nonsense to which I refer drips from the mouth of Wayne LaPierre, principal spokesman for the National Rifle Association, almost every time he opens his mouth.
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
You can best understand that drivel if you recognize it for what it is. It's a sales pitch. If you think of yourself as a good guy, get a gun so that you can be hero if a bad buy with a gun suddenly shows up.
You see, the NRA exists mainly to promote gun sales. That's why the organization exploits every big gun tragedy by warning that the liberals in the government are working anew to strip you of your firearms. Such fears invariably fuel spikes in gun sales.
But that logic doesn't readily apply in the Las Vegas case.
If all the good guys at that country music concert last night had been armed — just in case a bad guy with a gun suddenly showed up — the bloodbath would have been far, far greater. The actual bad guy in this case was shooting from a high-rise hotel window, but the victims didn't know that. If the good guys had all been armed, they likely would have exchanged massive gunfire with one another once they spotted their weapons.
In truth, most of the guns owned by would-be good guys usually serve no good ends. They're more likely to be used in suicides or some other tragic situations than to deal with burglars or other miscreants. Oh, sure, we all know of exceptions, but the statistics are overwhelming.
Simply stated, a firearm in the home usually makes the place less safe. And guns in the possession of each and every spectator at a big music concert are more likely to spawn tragedy than to safeguard against a sniper in a nearby high-rise.
That's true even if all the concertgoers are good guys.