Another NRA Myth Gets Busted

Open carry supporters attended a counterprotest in front of the McKinney Police Department in June 2015. Photo credit: Dallas Morning News

Open carry supporters attending a counterprotest in front of the McKinney Police Department in June 2015. Photo credit: Dallas Morning News

A murderous, criminal thug shot 12 police officers and two civilians in Dallas on July 7. Five of the police officers died.

In the chaos in downtown Dallas, as the cops tried to figure out who was shooting, how many shooters there were and where they were, a new and completely unnecessary challenge developed: which of the semiautomatic rifle-carrying guys in body armor and camo were the shooters and which ones were would-be vigilantes, exercising their Second Amendment rights? In the chaos of an active shooter scene, who’s the bad guy and who’s the heavily armed psychopath?

How do you tell the good guys from the bad guys?

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said: “It’s logical to say that in a shooting situation, open carry can be detrimental to the safety of individuals.” WC thinks he has a point, and it’s a point that undermines the entire ammosexual argument.

The NRA always claims that the only thing standing between you and the bad guy is a good guy and a gun.1 In Dallas, there were protestors and folks watching the protest who were carrying assault rifles. When someone started killing cops, you can understand why those cops were concerned about the gun-toters. The NRA and the ammosexuals want it all to be so simple: these are the good guys, these are the bad guys; shoot the bad guys. But as any cop whose been in a live fire situation will tell you, real life is much more complicated. You can’t tell where the shots are coming from, crowds of people are screaming and running and bloody chaos is the norm. If the cops can’t find the bad guys, you really expect an untrained, inexperienced gun nut to do better? Seriously?

C.J. Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, said police should be able to separate the good guys from the bad guys in such a scenario because “the bad guys are the ones shooting.” But wait, WC thought the whole point was the the gun nut good guys would be shooting the bad guy? Is Mr. Grisham saying the “good guys” won’t be shooting? Then why are they carrying firearms? What’s the point?

Mr. Grisham is also quoted as saying, “If you can’t identify a threat, you shouldn’t be wearing a uniform. It’s not that difficult to tell the difference between a bad actor and a good actor,” he said. “The good guys are going to obey commands, the bad guys are not.”

Mr. Grishman is either incredibly naive or incredibly dishonest. In the sheer panic and chaos in Dallas, where the cops were the target and no one knew how many shooters there were or where they were, the cops are supposed to tell the guys trying to murder them from ordinary gun nuts? In crowds of screaming, panicked people, with folks injured and bleeding, you can’t make yourself heard, or the cop may be too far from the “good guy” to even shout at him? But Mr. Grisham expects the cops to be able to sort it all out?

Our police are, as a class, pretty good, but no one is that good. The Dallas Police, by most accounts, are among the best, and they got it wrong, identifying Micah Hughes, one of those heat-packing bystanders, as a “person of interest.” Imagine if one of Mr. Hughes’ fellow travelers had been firing at someone he thought was a bad guy and a Dallas cop saw it? Do you think the vigilante would have survived the experience?

So here’s the point: if, as C. J. Grisham says, the good guys with guns wouldn’t be shooting, then what’s the point of their carrying firearms? And if they are shooting, how are the cops supposed to tell them from the bad guys in the chaos of an active shooter situation?

Once again, the whole premise for armed civilians, for open carry and public display of firearms, falls apart if examined closely. And all the while the body count climbs.



  1. WC is pretty sure that the NRA means firearm. The Army used to punish soldiers who called their firearms “guns” by making them run laps, often naked, carrying a heavy carbine, and chanting, “This is my rifle./This is my gun./One is for fighting./One is for fun.” 

One thought on “Another NRA Myth Gets Busted

  1. Dallas Police Chief David Brown was shown on TV saying precisely what you state here regarding inability to tell who’s who. “In the chaos of so many people running, we don’t know whether the armed person running with them is a good guy or is one of the shooters.” or words to that effect.

    There was a similar scene developing last week in Cleveland in advance of the convention. TV reporters showed gun carrying men who claimed to be there to assist in control even as they made a show against different demonstrators. Thankfully there were no incidents but the same difficulty was ready to present itself if shooting started. In an Open Carry state like Ohio, the police would have been immediately disadvantaged in precisely the manner that Dallas Chief Brown specified.

    The gun nuts continue to serve this country poorly and there has not been enough attention on how great a problem they are in active shooter situations and how vicious is their nonsensical thinking about important public safety issues.

    Paul B. Eaglin

Comments are closed.