Back in the early 1990s, Tom Tomorrow published a cartoon with a series of people in different situations, all with guns in hand. He was making fun of the saying, “An armed society is a polite society.” In each panel, this was indeed the case. The last panel was a man standing over a dead man on the ground, “I said after you!” It was a great cartoon because it gets to the heart of this myth. An armed society is a polite society until it isn’t.
WCMH-TV in Columbus, OH just reported on a case which shows the lie to this kind of gun apologetics. People were celebrating Christmas Eve at a nightclub in Columbus, the Breeze. Someone sprayed a group of people with champagne. It doesn’t say whether it was intentional, but I don’t doubt it. People are like that. Big deal. Well, one of the people in the group thought it was a big deal. He or she pulled out a gun and started shooting. One man was shot twice in the chest and a man and a women were injured by flying debris. They are all now in the hospital in stable condition.
It looks like the shooter is not in custody. The police aren’t saying. But they are saying that they don’t have the gun. I would think if they have one they have the other. But that isn’t really the point. The shooter isn’t likely any great menace to society. Instead, he or she is just some drunk who shouldn’t have a gun.
I’m sure there are situations where it is best that everyone have a gun. A war, for example. But in general, I just don’t see that having more guns is going to make a situation safer. Even in a situation where there is a shooter, having a gun has various disadvantages. It makes it more likely that you will become a target. And it might make you attack when you should just run. But the main thing is that in the overwhelming number of cases, there is no shooter. And having a gun is most likely to turn you into a perpetrator rather than a hero.