In Roseburg, a "good guy with a gun" explains why he couldn't help

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

It's the go-to line on the crazy right: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

The idea is that if we just arm everyone -- including classroom teachers -- to their teeth, the "bad guy with a gun" will be deterred. (Nevermind that many mass shooters are suicidal.)

But at Umpqua Community College, we had an example of at least one "good guy with a gun" present on campus. John Parker Jr., a military veteran and UCC student, explains that while he ran toward the scene, pulling his gun could have resulted in even more deaths -- including his own. Watch:

When we found there was an active shooter on campus, we were going to go see if we could intervene. Veterans are trained -- Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army -- we're trained to go into danger, not just run away from it. If there was something we were going to be able to do, we were going to do it. Luckily, we made the choice not to get involved. ... Not knowing where SWAT was on their response time, they wouldn't know who we were and if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think we were bad guys.

And that's the whole point. It's bad enough that there's one guy running around with a gun. If suddenly, a whole bunch of civilians start pulling weapons, you're far more likely to get huge amounts of crossfire as confusion overwhelms the scene.

Next time someone pulls that line on you, ask 'em a simple question: How exactly would that work? If police respond to an active shooter scene, and find three people brandishing weapons, how are they supposed to figure out which ones are the good guys and which ones are the bad guys?

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