Opinion: A ‘good guy’ with a gun could not stop 26 innocents from dying
To the editor: Your headline seems to imply that having neighbors with guns is a good thing because Stephen Willeford — the “good guy” neighbor of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas — was able to wound mass killer Devin Kelley. (“In Texas, a good guy with a gun took on a bad guy with a gun, feeding both sides of the gun control debate,” Nov. 6)
Never mind that Kelley killed 26 people anyway.
What will solve the nation’s firearm homicide problem is not neighbors with guns, but rather no neighbors with guns.
In 2015, there were 36,252 firearm deaths in the United States; in Japan that year, there was one nonsuicide gun death. Given that Japan’s population is 38% of America’s, if it had the same rate of gun violence as the United States, it would have lost more than 13,000 people to firearms in 2015. Needless to say, Japan has strict gun control.
Over the last 50 years, more Americans have been killed by guns than in all the wars in the nation’s history. Why?
Terry De Wolfe, Monterey Park
To the editor: The shock of the Texas church killings had hardly cleared before the liberal gun-control machine went full speed ahead despite the fact that it took another hero with a semi-automatic rifle to stop this monster.
It takes a gun to stop a crazed mass killer.
What needs to be emphasized is that the police cannot protect us, and once that is established, we must be allowed to protect ourselves. The “right to keep and bear arms” means just that. How many lives would have been saved if just one person in that church had fought back using a gun?
Michael A. Pacer, Paso Robles
To the editor: Examine for a moment the appalling stupidity of this “good guy” delusion. After only 26 deaths and 20 other people injured, a legally armed good guy steps up and saves the day.
It’s a great argument, but only if one is willing to accept the 46 casualties as unavoidable collateral damage. The simple fact is we have consciously chosen unfettered gun ownership over lives.
One must also realize that so many of these armed heroes are one angry traffic dispute, one alcohol- and testosterone-fueled bar argument, or one curious child away from another tragedy. We’re so desperate to believe our “good guy” theory that there was actual discussion as to which bullet killed the bad guy in Texas — the one in his leg or his torso, or the one he put into his own head.
I suggest we reread the Constitution with a sober and educated mind and get rid of the trove of armaments that resides in the hands of people we hope never get angry.
Kevin Wilby, La Crescenta
A cure for the common opinion
Get thought-provoking perspectives with our weekly newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.