Here’s the difference between a ‘good guy with a gun’ and a mass shooter

In the wake of the latest mass shooting that resulted in dead children, the debate over the usefulness of armed citizens took a new turn: should we arm teachers as a protection measure against mass shooters?

In addition to teaching our kids, teachers are now being asked to take up the role of the “good guy with a gun.” The pitfalls to this logic are many. After the Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas, conservative media used the tragic event as an example of what can happen if a good guy with a gun is on the scene. But as Vox pointed out last November, that claim doesn’t quite add up.

Before another armed person intervened against the Sutherland Springs gunman, he had already killed at least 26 people and injured approximately 20 others. He managed to shoot more than 40 people before “a good guy with a gun” reportedly helped stop him.

Around the same time, an NRA member and firearms instructor gave an interview to a local news station and spelled out the problems with entrusting private citizens with our safety in the even that someone opens fire with an assault weapon.

“[If] you’re sitting in a church and you’re praying and, you know, it’s a moment of quiet and solitude and everything else, even if you’ve got a gun, and somebody comes in, opens the front door and starts blasting away, you’re going to do what everybody does: You’re going to hit the floor,” Mike Weisser said in an interview with WBUR. “The idea that the average citizen, even if he’s had a little bit of — I don’t want to call it training, just experience in using a gun, because it’s not training — you don’t get trained by just a little time at the range and having some guy tell you, ‘OK, you know, point the gun here. Bang, bang, bang.’ That’s not training.”

His words can easily be applied to the armed teacher scenario.

But there’s an even simpler refutation to this logic: What if the good guy with a gun is mistaken for a bad guy when cops arrive on the scene of a mass shooting? This question caused me to immediately think of the following comic by artist Ruben Bolling:

For more great comics from Tom the Dancing Bug, you can sign up for their email list here. To follow Ruben Bolling, you can look him up on either Twitter or Facebook.

[This article has been updated to reflect current events]



  1. Avatar


    June 9, 2015 at 2:38 am

    that’s the problem with these idiots and their open carry. You can’t tell if they’re about to kill you or not.

  2. Avatar

    Robert Nordgren

    June 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    which is why we can only hope someone with a gun in the crowd guns these idiots down and it is clearly an act of selfdefense and protecting the store and what not from getting robbed

  3. Avatar

    random mouse (@anoynamouse)

    June 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    All data shows that your average person is not trained to handle such a situation. Cops train all the life and get it wrong…and your gun will only make it worse in many cases. For example…bank robberies. No thanks…I don’t need your help making the bad guy more pissed off. Better solution…no guns in public and less manufactured…like countries that don’t have a problem.

  4. Avatar

    Rob Sievert

    June 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I think ISIS still leads the killings by roughly 29,000 to 3…..

  5. Avatar


    June 11, 2015 at 3:21 am

    @anoynamouse Actually, this is false, places that ban guns from public see their homicide rates go up every single time. It gets rid of the whole fear factor of “maybe that guy has a gun.”

    Heres an article from the Crime Prevention Research Center.

  6. Avatar


    June 11, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Actually, places that ban guns in public almost always see a rise in homicide rates, and only lower after raising the police force.

  7. Avatar

    Jordan D

    June 11, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Ah yes, like Mexico.

  8. Avatar

    Robert Roulston

    June 11, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I…what…Mr. Nordgren – you want someone in the crowd to gun them – not trained police?

  9. Avatar

    you r adumbass

    June 11, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    This is the stupidest thing ever

  10. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 1:01 am

    White hats for good guys, black hats for bad guys. Problem. Solved

  11. Avatar

    G Gelding

    June 12, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Someone like this enters a place of business, I would exit immediately and as quietly as possible without any delay.

  12. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 2:24 am

    all an open carry says is that I’m the guy you should shoot first in your murder spree.

  13. Avatar

    J.S.Leslie Jr.

    June 12, 2015 at 9:54 am

    If you want to carry a firearm in a public place, I want you to log 2+ hours a month in a firing range with a certified range officer before you are allowed in a public space with a deadly weapon. Cop, security guard, body guard or private civilian, I want to know you can hit an intended target before you can carry a gun in any public area full of people.

  14. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Take note. . . NONE of them are black!

  15. Avatar

    Robert Jim Post

    June 12, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    If I see an idiot with a gun I go the other way. Open carry my ass right around the next corner as quick as I can. I will not enter an establishment the allows open carry because I value my life.

  16. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Of course not! Any black person who so much as looks at a gun gets shot on sight by the police. The right to bear arms is for white people only.

  17. Avatar

    Casper Sanchez

    June 12, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Is this bad satire or are you a total moron? This is a cartoon. Race has nothing to do with the meaning of this cartoon.

  18. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    The Crime Prevention Research Center has been repeatedly caught using lies about statistics in their efforts to support the widespread dissemination of guns. They are not a reputable source of information.

  19. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Actually, Casper, you should research the Mulford Act, and especially the events that precipitated it.

    The Mulford Act was gun control, supported by the NRA, and signed into California law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan.

    Google it.

  20. Avatar

    David Higgins

    June 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I prefer concealed carry, it’s no ones business but mine to know if I am carrying a firearm because a gun is a tool not a picket sign.

  21. Avatar


    June 13, 2015 at 12:14 am

    To all you kool aid drinking libtards out there, it’s my constitutional right to open carry a gun. Also I have a concealed carry license and I carry my weapon every where I go. I have been trained in the correct ways to handle any situation that may happen. I have trained myself. And yes I have pulled my weapon on someone. So be thankful there ARE people out there that are not afraid to use their constitutional rights.

  22. Avatar


    June 13, 2015 at 1:45 am

    i guess you don’t get out much then?

  23. Avatar

    Santa Claus

    June 13, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Banning guns does not work. Research Australia. They banned guns and had to buy all those turned in. Result, violent crimes went up as criminals had guns and nothing to fear.

  24. Avatar

    Erik McKinster

    June 15, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Lmao… douche bag…

  25. Avatar

    Erik McKinster

    June 15, 2015 at 2:51 am

    The way you can tell is, the one about to kill you is pointing his weapon at you, and the Patriot will be the one you’re cowering behind, as he takes out the threat… douche bag

  26. Avatar


    June 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    You are really going to cause an uproar in the LE community with that demand since most of them only spend about an hour a year when it comes time to “qualify”.

  27. Avatar


    June 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    So, any time you see a police officer, you run the other way quickly? Apparently you have other issues than just the sight of someone carrying a gun.

  28. Avatar


    June 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    You may not believe me but the truth is that most ccw holders more than qualify for your minimum requiremensts listed. Those of us who choose to carry, open or concealed, (i personally prefer open for comfort and no worry of accidentally exposing my ccw) we take this responsibility VERY seriously. We tend to train much more than the majority police and security officers. I read and studied for well over a year pondering whether i felt competent enough to handle this responsibility. Only after i had done much training and soul searching and training did i actually go through the minimal training required by my state, pay my fees, and strap on a quality holster and firearm. Few carriers are really the brain dead lushes that the left paint us all to be. Those who abuse this right never retain it for long.

  29. Avatar

    Elie C.

    June 18, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Right, which explains why every single first world country who banned or restricted gun ownership ranks a full order of magnitude lower than the US on the violent crimes rate….

  30. Avatar


    July 26, 2015 at 7:04 am

    no body has been shot by anybody that had a gun in open carry most of this is B S i have shot all my life and i will say never pull a gun on someone if you don’t intend to shoot that person and shoot to kill if you must shoot as i have been in iraq 04 & 5 shoot as a last resort you will only have a split second to look and take out the threat but look before you shoot and kill someone that is a bystander. the bad guy you will never see it coming as he will not have his gun on his side for all to see because he does not want to take a chance that a cop would stop him and people would remember a person open carrying a gun so just put it on and go about your business as you would without it don’t act nerviness and if you don’t act strange people will not pay much attention if you act cool so will they..

  31. Avatar

    Emily Hinton

    August 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Actually, Australia’s violent crime rate has not risen since strict gun control laws came into effect in 96/97…guns are not totally banned, you just have to jump through hoops and need to be licenced to own one…the big difference between before and after the law’s introduction? Gun violence has gone down! And other violence seems to have risen, but it’s just because that is now more openly covered in the media.

  32. Avatar

    Tyler Derden

    November 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    I’ve open carried in almost every state I’ve ever lived in and had 0 problems.

    A neighbor I had didn’t like it, but I didn’t even know her….

    In the state thst didn’t allow open carry, I consealed carried.

    I’ve drawn my firearm 3 times in self defense.

    Shooting a person once.

    He lived but went to prison. (He was a wanted felon & he’s ugly now).

    The sheriff thanked me.

  33. Avatar


    November 9, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Cool anecdote. And I’m glad for you. But the evidence clearly shows that your experience is not the norm. The evidence clearly shows that you are more likely to do harm to yourself or your loved ones, that you are more likely to act aggressively (and not necessarily in your best interest) when presented with perceived danger. Your anecdote is the poster story for the fantasy. And I will never believe that your are making the world safer for me. Because the evidence proves otherwise.

  34. Avatar


    November 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    But not in real life.

    did you know that the NRA…yes the NRA….was a cheerleader for the original gun control laws because of the Black Panther movement?

    Of course, the NRA is totally controlled now by ammosexuals and the arms industry, but….

  35. Avatar


    June 19, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  36. Avatar

    kik for computer

    June 21, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Hey there! This is my very first reply on your site so I just wanted to give a fast hello and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest other websites which deal with kik on computer? I am likewise pretty curious about this thing! Thanks for your time!

  37. Avatar

    garageband online

    June 22, 2017 at 3:57 am

    I constantly read your site content thoroughly. I am furthermore thinking about garageband download, you could discuss this occasionally. Have a great day!

  38. Avatar

    important source

    June 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I simply want to tell you that I am just very new to blogging and truly loved you’re blog. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your site . You surely have remarkable articles. Bless you for sharing your web-site.

  39. Avatar

    Pozycjonowanie Stron Gorzow Cennik

    June 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I really like your writing style, excellent information, thankyou for putting up : D.

  40. Avatar

    dentysta gorzów

    June 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top