The Fallacy of the “Good Guy with a Gun”
After a gunman took 100 people hostage at a Texas church this month, police burst in and shot a man holding a gun.
But that man, Tony Garces, had taken the pistol away from the gunman after churchgoers were able to tackle him.
“I got the gun,” he told KVII-TV. “I thought it was over. but they the cops shot me. The good guys shot me.”
Just before police arrived, several of the hostages managed to wrestle the gunman to the ground, and Garces snatched the weapon from his hand.
Responding officers then came into the building from two entrances and saw Garces. At least one officer opened fire, and Garces was struck in the neck and torso.
The is pretty straight-forward: when the police arrive on the scene, they aren’t going to know who the “good guys” are and who the “bad guys” are. They will, however, likely shoot guys holding guns. Luckily Garces was able to disarm the perpetrator and to survive being shot by police.
Events such as the above illustrate why trite characterizations of “good guys” and “bad guys” are tiresome and unhelpful. That is the backyard “pretend like” talk of youth or the stuff of action movies. Real life is complicated and this actual example of that fact ought to give pause to the notion that arming teachers is our solution to school shootings.