Following the tragic shooting in Dallas Thursday night that left five police officers dead and six others wounded, there’s been plenty to discuss about what happened, why it happened and how it happened.
While I try not to politicize tragedies unless there’s a legitimate point to be made, I couldn’t ignore how what happened in Dallas completely debunked one of the main talking points gun fanatics use: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.
Not only were there around 100 armed police officers at this event, but there were also at least 20 open carry advocates marching at the time the shooting began. That means there were plenty of “good guys” with guns there — and it didn’t do one bit of good against a determined “bad guy” with a gun.
Well, during an interview on Face the Nation, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings absolutely destroyed the dangerous stupidity of open carry laws when violent events like what happened that night take place after he was asked about Mark Hughes, an African-American male who police had wrongly identified as the possible shooter. You see, while Hughes was just there to protest, he was also openly carrying an AR-15 strapped to his back.
“You know, in dealing with the law of gun holding, you can carry a rifle legally, and when you have gunfire going on, you usually go with the person that’s got a gun,” Rawlings said. “And so our police grabbed some of those individuals, took them to police headquarters, and worked it out and figured out that they were not the shooters.”
“But that is one of the real issues with the gun right issues that we face, that in the middle of a firefight, it’s hard to pick out the good guys and the bad guys,” he added.
That’s exactly what people like myself frequently say about the idiocy of open carry laws.
If there’s an active shooting going on, and police show up trying to figure out who’s the “bad guy,” there’s no way to know that if a bunch of random civilians are running around flashing their guns. In a situation where it’s dark, and chaos is unfolding, if a bunch of “good guys” are out there, firing weapons at someone, how are police officers supposed to know who’s “good” and who’s “bad”? At that point, anyone with a gun is (and should be) considered a suspect.
“I wasn’t there real time to kind of see it go on, but the common sense would tell you, you don’t know where the gunfire’s coming from,” Rawlings stated. “There were individuals that ran across the gunfire. They were in the body armor, camo gear with rifles slung over their shoulders, so it sure took our eye off the ball for a moment. We got them out of the way, we figured out what was happening, and we did our business.”
Again, I would like to point out that, while there were over 20 open carry activists there – not a single one attempted to engage the shooter.
But Mayor Rawlings hit the nail right on the head.
While gun fanatics frequently like to talk tough about active shootings, the truth is, what we saw in Dallas proved that one “bad guy” can still kill quite a few people even with over 100 “good guys with guns” on the scene. On top of that, when the shooting began to take place, police officers were actually distracted by armed civilians because, as the chaos was unfolding, it was nearly impossible for law enforcement officers to confidently identify who was “good” from “bad.”
I know it’s not going to change any of their minds, but the horrific shooting we saw in Dallas not only proved how dangerous (and idiotic) open carry laws are, it also debunked most of the main talking points gun fanatics frequently use to sell their ridiculous notion that we need more guns to combat gun violence.
Watch the interview below via CBS News: