Here’s How the Texas Church Massacre Exposes the Massive Flaw in Leading Pro-Gun Myth

As it typically goes, following the most recent mass shooting at a church in Texas, Republicans offered their usual “thoughts and prayers,” while gun fanatics insisted that gun regulations wouldn’t have prevented this. Though pro-gun supporters were delighted to find out that one individual who lived near the church heard the gunfire, grabbed his gun, and chased off the monster who brought an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle into a church, killing 26 people.

Finally, a “good guy with a gun” chased off a “bad guy.”

Without a doubt, Stephen Willeford is a hero. The problem is, while his heroism probably saved lives, 26 people were murdered before any “good guy with a gun” showed up.

Let’s take a moment to really think about the ridiculousness of one of the most popular gun-nut talking points: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.

For a moment, let’s assume that’s true.

Many of these same pro-gun people also think open carry should be legal. Which means in their ideal society, everyone would be walking around openly carrying a weapon.

So, if gun fanatics were to get their way, meaning that practically every person walking our streets would be carrying a gun, then explain to me how, exactly, can we tell the difference between the “good guys” from the “bad guys” prior to the “bad guys” opening fire on innocent people?

I’d like to point out that, just prior to the monster who killed 26 people at that Baptist church on Sunday, he could have just been a “good guy with a gun” roaming around with his AR-15 — which is legal in Texas.

While it’s true he shouldn’t have been able to own guns, and the Air Force has admitted they made a mistake, unless you’re running background checks on every person out carrying a gun, then there’s no visual way for ordinary people to know if someone should or shouldn’t be legally carrying or owning firearms in public. So it would have been perfectly reasonable for people to see this madman prior to this massacre and think, “Oh, look, just another patriotic good guy with a gun exercising his Second Amendment rights.”

Just like what happened in Colorado a couple of years ago when people actually called the police on a man who was marching through their neighborhood with a gun, only to be told by law enforcement that there was nothing they could do considering it was legal to open carry there.

He went on to kill three people.

I’m not trying to downplay the bravery shown by Willeford to run toward gunshots at a nearby church. His courage very well could have saved lives.

The problem is, 26 people had to die before that happened — which is a huge problem.

So, if you’re a gun fanatic whose argument is that this tragedy “proves good guys with guns save lives,” I’m sorry — but you’re an idiot. You’re literally arguing that people might have to die before “good guys” can stop the “bad guys.”

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to let me know what you think.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • strayaway

    An even bigger gun problem occurs in blue places like Chicago and Washington, D.C.. Chicago is closing in on 600 homicides this year. That’s the equivalent to two church shootings a month. Washington, D.C. has very strict gun control laws yet it has a higher gun homicide rate than any state; 17x that of Vermont. We already have a gun control law that would have prevented Mr. Kelley from passing the federal gun registration process. He fractured his son’s head, beat up his wife, and lied on the gun registration paperwork; all felonies. The other problem is that the Air Force failed to report this to the federal government as required so the federal government didn’t catch this. The argument made here is that we need more laws like Washington,D.C. has but the flaws are that Washington, D.C.’s laws don’t work well, criminals lie, and the federal government (Air Force) didn’t hold up its end of following existing laws.

    • Benjamin Edge

      You and others who make this argument are being disingenuous. The reason shootings are a problem in places like Chicago and Washington, DC is because despite their tough gun laws, they are surrounded by states with lax gun laws, with dealers more than willing to supply the market. Unfortunately, my state is one of those that willingly supplies those guns.

      • strayaway

        There is a contradiction in your logic. If surrounding states had weaker gun laws, then gun homicides would be higher in those states. They aren’t. Instead, gun homicide rates in those surrounding states with weaker gun laws are lower.

    • AF_Cheddarhead

      The problem in big cities like Chicago and Washington is the poverty combined with the availability of guns from surrounding areas with lax gun laws.

      • strayaway

        Compare the poverty levels of say West Virginia or Michigan’s Upper Penninsula or even Mississippi with that of Washington. Washington,D.C.. Washington, D.C. is not poor and spends more on public school students, per student, than do 48 states. You missed my point that all those other poorer places are swimming in guns, have less gun laws, and still have far fewer gun homicides, per capita, than Washington, D.C.. There must be other factors.