On July 11, Dallas Police Chief David Brown criticized law-abiding citizens with rifles who attended the July 7 Black Lives Matter rally — although good guys weren’t the ones shooting at police officers.
Brown said, “There’s been a presumption that a ‘good guy with a gun’ is the best way to resolve some of these things. Well, we don’t know who the good guy is versus who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting.”
DeadState.org gleefully seized on his statement in a piece titled, “Dallas police chief slams NRA’s ‘Good Guy With a Gun’ Theory.”
But the open carry of rifles has been legal in Texas for decades. Not days, not weeks, not years, but decades — so why is it only now a problem? Moreover, “good guys with guns” were not the ones shooting at police officers. The “bad guy with the gun” was doing that — and he clearly differentiated himself from the good guys by doing it.
Does that mean there will not be moments when officers have to approach law-abiding citizens openly carrying long guns and ascertain their intent? No. It does not rule that out.
In fact, we saw that very scenario play out on July 7, when an officer approached black gun rights activist Mark Hughes and asked for his rifle, which Hughes handed over before being taken to police headquarters to be questioned and released.
Video posted by A.D. Samuels captured Hughes’ interaction with the police officer. It shows that his demeanor was one of cooperation and respect — the complete opposite of what was demonstrated by the gunman who was focused on “killing white officers.”
To put it plainly, the differences between good guys with guns and bad guys with guns is not subtle.
And the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” theory — officially given voice by Wayne LaPierre in December 2012 after the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary — is much older than 2012. In fact, it is much older than the NRA. It is as old as man himself, representing an intersection of common sense and natural law.
Thomas Jefferson voiced that same theory when he said, “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes.”
In other words, laws that disarm “good guys” with guns only succeed in taking away the guns of those who never would have used them for harm to begin with.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.