Can Someone Explain How This Works?

It’s my intention to keep the majority of my political rantings confined to the pages of HUBRIS: The Journal of Cultural Horror. I’d like to keep this page a little bit lighter and breezier, a touch more personal, and maybe even a touch informational and educational. But sometime there are things that I just have to say out loud and in public. Can someone explain how this works?

Let’s accept the premise that has been put forth, and explore the idea a bit. You’re a good guy with a gun. You’ve got your concealed carry permit and you’re armed and everything is legal and copacetic. Shots are fired, people begin to scream, and you realize that you’re in an active shooter situation. Being a responsible gun owner and a total badass, you step out to look for the bad guy. So far, so good.

You see another person with a gun. They see you. How do you know whether they’re the active shooter, or another good guy with a gun? Do you wait until they shoot someone to confirm they’re the bad guy? Do you wait to see if they shoot you? What if the person you see them shoot is the bad guy? What if they assume you’re the active shooter?

Maybe you know the other person — or persons, if we go ahead and just arm everyone under the “polite society” model. You think they can’t be the active shooter, because that’s another teacher, or your neighbor, or some person you’ve seen around a lot who seems completely harmless. Are you sure that they’re not the active shooter? Aren’t there plenty of stories of perfectly nice, otherwise quiet people losing their damned minds and shooting up their own workplace, or a fast food place, or a shopping mall? And if they know you, how do they know for sure that you haven’t gone bonkers?

Who do you know that doesn’t have relationship problems, or money problems, or an ax to grind with their boss, they wouldn’t make you pause and think “Hmm, I wonder if they’ve gone over the edge because of some small stupid thing?” if you ran into them, gun in hand, during an active shooter situation?

So now the police arrive. The only information they have is that there’s an active shooter on the premises. They probably don’t have a good description of the bad guy. All they know is that they’re looking for a person with a gun. Hey, you’re a person with a gun! How do they know that you’re not the active shooter? Do you shout “Don’t shoot, I’m a good guy with a gun and I’m just here to help!“? Isn’t that what a bad guy would say, to avoid getting blown away by keyed-up cops? Not all of these lunatics (active shooters, I mean, not police officers) work alone, either, so how do they (the police, not the lunatics) know that you, and any other good guys with a gun, aren’t working together?

It just seems very messy to me. And potential deadly for you. Good luck, good guy with a gun.

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