Good Guys, Bad Guys, and The Guns
One of the main positions the gun advocates take when there is a debate about guns is that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” In theory, this may sound as a valid statement but, as with everything, it should be use in an specific context and along with facts to back it up.
Lets take for example the Sandy Hook shooting that took place in Connecticut where 20 children were murdered. A few days after the tragic event, as it was expected, this catchphrase was present in the public appearance of the Executive Vice President of the National Riffle Association that addressed the incident. In his speech, Mr Wayne LaPierre reacts to the incident blaming video games, films, and music for this kind of violence explaining that these industries “sells and stows violence against its own people.” It is true that nowadays violence can be found in movies, music, and video games but this is not what is killing people, guns is what is killing people. And the idea that those industries are selling and stowing violence against its own people… well, lets ask NRA members and pro gun advocates Chuck Norris and Clint Eastwood what do they think about it.
Another interesting point made by Mr. LaPierre is the one about how society cherishes more banks, celebrities, and stadiums than our kids. His point is that there are armed guards protecting the previous ones and that we have ignored the security of our kids, even to the point of banning guns in schools. Lets break this down. Yes, there are armed guards in banks because money is storage in banks and thieves, since humans came up with the concept of money and decided to keep it in these institutions, have always tried break into the banks and steal it. This is not the case of schools and children. Yes, also there are some celebrities and sports stadiums that are protected by armed guards but those cases have their own reason such as being continuos threatened and being terrorist targets. The point is that you can not compare them as equal. It is true that sadly the Sandy Hook tragedy is not the first one but the argument should not be focus on why there are not armed guards in schools but why do we have high capacity machine guns on the streets and why people can access them so easily.
Mr. LaPierre believes that having guns in schools will reduce or even completely avoid tragedies such as the Sandy Hook shooting to happen again because at “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well, who can determine who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? What if the “good guys” can not do their job as it is the case of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because people and organizations such as the NRA are stopping them to do so? Can good guys be trusted to keep the weapons in a safe place to avoid accidents or, worst, that the weapon ends up in the hands of bad guys?
As we can see, catchy phrases can sound valid but we need to understand the context and the facts to consider them as that, as valid. The one about “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is a valid one, if we use it in the context of a cheesy movie or a video game, so it is the case of “don’t fight fire with fire”