Army Veteran Chris Mintz is being hailed as a hero today by both the left and right in the wake of the horrible shootings that took place in Oregon. You see him smiling above as the hard warrior he is, despite his wounds. Chris charged the assailant and did his best to protect others for as long as he could until his wounds made that no longer possible. Regardless of what you think about the gun control debate, it seems that we can honor the act of a noble man without partisan bickering. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that a few American service members were hailed as heroes for storming and beating the living crap out of the would-be jihadi in Paris. Once again, I think we can all acknowledge the merit of those who sacrifice self to protect others. Men of action are very much what such scenarios call for as sooner or later, such men via law enforcement usually show up and take over the show. And without dragging you into the entire gun control debate, because let’s be honest your Facebook feed has been throwing that at you all day, I just want to tackle one very narrow nuanced portion of the debate.
Good Guys with Guns
Unfortunately, the NRA has coined the “good guys with guns” phrase lately and has such made it a little politically charged. So let me offer this quick point of clarity. George Zimmerman is not a good guy. You of course, know him as the Florida man who shot and killed Travon Martin during an altercation preceded by Zimmerman thinking he was up to no good. I’m not here to debate whether the shooting is justified. I am just here to say George Zimmerman is an absolute douche. He got in way over his head as he clearly lacked the skills to handle himself in what should have been a routine law enforcement encounter. He should have stayed his unskilled, weak butt in his truck and gotten out of the way for real good men with better situational awareness and judgement to handle the situation. I have seen very little out of George Zimmerman since the trial that indicates he is in fact, a good guy.
Chris Mintz, is what I would classify as a good guy. I would put myself in the “good guy” category. I am a Marine Veteran of Iraq and I generally like to do no harm to people. Those service members who tackled the jihadi in Paris, good guys. Many of you reading this blog are probably good guys. Ladies, not to exclude you, I’ll give many of you the good guy label. It is just too much work to type women every time I say, men, so work with me here. I know a good guy who has zero military experience, but practices gun safety and marksmanship. Great guy, and if you are in a crowded movie theatre under attack, you would hope he is among the crowd and armed. A couple of nights ago in Houston, a “responsible gun owner” accidentally shot the victim of a carjacking in the head while he was trying to kill the carjackers. This man is not a “good guy.” Are you tracking with me?
Weapons in the Community
Just because you carry a gun doesn’t mean I want you to be the first person throwing down lead when something goes down. Yes, you should always reserve your right to carry a weapon, but if you don’t know what the heck you are doing, perhaps you not try to citizen arrest that kid stealing a candy bar. Because there are guys with guns and then there are “good guys” with guns and as such, I just want to ask the question whether “good guys” have a responsibility to carry? I agree with President Obama in that he will probably have to step to the podium and address another mass shooting before his term is up. I also agree that, “just more guns”, aka douche Zimmerman, being out there is not necessarily the right approach. However, this nation is full to the brim of good men of good character and good mind. Do we have a responsibility to be ready if we know our natural inclination is to act and protect the weak?
Oh, and let me just say that proponents of open carry miss the mark as well. While it might be your right, I don’t think you are helping anyone. First of all, you just influence those on the bench of the gun debate towards the side of gun control when they see you shopping at the grocery store with your AK-47 around your neck. Second, all you do is mark yourself as the target. Because if I am going to plan a mass shooting, I’m going to shoot the guy holding an AK first while I have the element of surprise and then now I got me two guns. Not helpful, not in the least. The first time the enemy should see your weapon is when he sees the muzzle flash. End of story.
So to wrap this up, I just want to point out that in the wake of 9-11, America took two approaches with regards to air safety. We stepped up the screening process, aka let me touch your butt TSA peeps, and then we put “good guys”, aka Air Marshalls on planes. And if we are honest with ourselves, mass shootings of this type are a version of terror. The TSA is not 100%, laugh, or perhaps even 50% effective in preventing all illicit goods from getting on a plane any more than background checks will prevent bad people from getting guns.
But both are a mild inconvenience to those of us who mean no harm and if it stops one terrorist from boarding a plane with my family or stops one guy who has been seeing a psychiatrist because he likes to eat his own poop from showing up at the movie theatre where my family is watching a movie, I can live with that. The 2nd amendment is settled law and there are enough “good guys” for me to believe no one is going to take it from us. But if we are going to keep calling gun laws, “common sense”, ought we not find points where all agree to prove the sense is indeed common.
As such, I also just think that there should perhaps be strong consideration for America ensuring enough literal “good guys” with training are out there armed and ready. What a fascinating idea it would be to have a vetting process of these “good guys” and give them a national conceal carry permit. Imagine if Obama were the President to give the actual “good guys” a national permit to carry a weapon anywhere. Again, I am not saying the rest of you can’t carry weapons as well. I’m just saying, know your skill level, know your role, and perhaps you just guard home base if you don’t know what you are doing. For I ask again, do “good men” have a responsibility to conceal carry a weapon? Best wishes and speedy recovery to “good guy” Chris Mintz.
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