Several combat veterans spoke with The Nation‘s Joshua Holland, in an attempt to expose the “lies” peddled by the NRA and the politicians they own.
Specifically taking on NRA chief Wayne LaPierre‘s now infamous claim that “Good guys with guns kill bad guys with guns,” the veterans said that gun owners cannot simply will themselves to become heroes in high stress situations.
“I think there’s this fantasy world of gunplay in the movies, but it doesn’t really happen that way. When I heard gunfire [in Iraq], I didn’t immediately pick up my rifle and react. I first tried to ascertain where the shooting was coming from, where I was in relation to the gunfire and how far away it was,” said retired Army Sgt. Rafael Noboa y Rivera. “I think most untrained people are either going to freeze up, or just whip out their gun and start firing in that circumstance. I think they would absolutely panic.”
Many combat veterans believe that civilian “good guys” taking on the “bad guys” during an active shooting isn’t as simple as it seems in movies and video games. Although more weapons owners are taking weekend-long tactical weapon training, that doesn’t instantly make a someone ready for combat.
For every "good guy with a gun" story there are about a dozen "unsupervised toddler shoots mom with gun that was just lying around" stories.
— Birdy (@palebirdy) March 9, 2016
Combat veteran John Parker didn’t attack the gunman at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College in early 2015. Although Parker was armed and held a concealed carry permit, he stayed hiding in a classroom. Parker’s years of training alerted him to the fact that opening fire on the gunman could likely do more harm than good.
“We could have opened ourselves up to be potential targets ourselves, and not knowing where SWAT was, their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were, and if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think that we were bad guys,” said Parker,
Ben Carson infamously criticized those in Oregon who stood by, claiming that he would have attacked the shooter with a group of people. However, the GOP candidate fails to take into account that a “good guy” would have to overcome their biological instinct for survival.
The good guy with a gun is a myth. A gun free campus is a safer campus. https://t.co/FLbQwfzA4z
— MD House Democrats (@mdhousedems) March 9, 2016
“The notion that you have a seal of approval just because you’re not a criminal — that you walk into a gun store and you’re ready for game day — is ridiculous,” said David Chipman, a former SWAT team member with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
It’s widely accepted in law enforcement that improperly trained civilians often do more harm than good when trying to help at crime scenes.
Armed citizens can often overreact, like when a Michigan woman opened fire on suspected shoplifters while they fled the scene. In Texas, a “good guy” tried to help a carjacking victim, but because he was improperly trained, he accidentally shot the victim in the head while the carjackers escaped. The Texas “good guy” even fled the scene with the carjackers.
“Despite what we see on TV, the presence of a firearm is a greater risk, especially in the hands of an untrained person,” said Chipman. “The question is: If you see someone running out of a gas station with a gun in their hand, do you want an untrained person jumping out and opening fire? For me, the answer is clearly ‘no.’”
[Raw Story] This post has been updated