Dear Good Guy with a Gun

Dear Good Guy with a Gun,

Don’t expect me to thank you. Don’t expect me to thank you for being the person in the Panera making me and my wife uneasy during our lunch date because you’ve got a piece strapped to your belt. Don’t expect me to feel grateful that your bravado has manifested itself in a loaded firearm that you hope people notice when you walk down the street. Don’t expect me to see you as the hero, because I know you’re not a vigilante who’s locked and loaded “just in case.”

No, you’re hoping that you’re in the “wrong place at the wrong time,” so that you can pull that gun out of its holster, along with some twisted primordial sense of adrenaline, and shoot someone dead. The “bad guy,” presumably, whoever and whenever they are. Not that their actual identity matters. Or motivation. They’re just a trigger excuse for you.

Do you get disappointed every time you hear about a gunman who mowed down a group of innocent people – not because of the tragic loss of life – but because you weren’t there to stop them? Do you imagine yourself in the headlines, shooting after shooting, being lauded as the guy who saved the day? At the synagogue? The high school? The night club? The movie theater? The hospital? The street corner? The preschool? In your fantasy, were you there, before the police, by morbid coincidence, strapped and ready to carry out civilian justice?

Do you secretly hope that these shootings will continue just long enough for you to put on your cape and come flying to the rescue?

When you see kids being slaughtered in their schools do you recognize the irony that by protecting your right – the “good guy’s right” – to load your self-esteem into the magazine of your handgun, you’re also protecting the “bad guy’s” right to load his “mental illness” right there into the chamber too?

You could protect hundreds of thousands more would-be victims of gun violence if you joined the hundreds of millions of Americans advocating for stricter laws. But then there’s no glory in that. No Alamo-style shootout like you’ve been promised by a corporate lobby group. To hell with regulating the violence. Let’s encourage it!

But if it does happen, if you are by some statistical anomaly, in the room where the bad guy starts taking out civilians, multiple lives per second with the weapon you refuse to allow us to regulate, are you less of a killer than them when your bullet ends their life? You yearn for the thrill of the trigger as much as they do, but you’ve found a way to couch your bloodlust in a law that’s been obsolete since 15 years after it was written, and that was 240 years ago.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That’s the line you’re using to justify the infinite massacre of our brothers and sisters and children and friends? Really?! So, what, you and your buddies are going to take on the strongest army the world has ever known (the one with drones and Apache helicopters, 1.3 million active duty personnel armed to the teeth by a $1 trillion budget) with your little AKs? That’s cute.

Your other arguments don’t impress me either. Oh, it’s for sport? There are plenty of other sports out there with equipment that doesn’t result in mass murder. Pick one of those. Oh, it’s for hunting? That’s fine with me – keep your bolt action hunting rifles and regulate the hell out of the rest. If you need an automatic rifle that fires multiple rounds per second to take down a deer, I think you need a different hobby.

Or do I have it wrong? You don’t want to be the good guy with a gun. You just think everyone should be carrying all the time, right? Let’s arm the teachers! If the problem is guns, then the solution is (obviously) more guns.

To protect your house – deadbolts and security systems just aren’t enough. Let’s add bullets into the darkness where your family might be so that you can, I guess, try to kill someone who was stealing your TV? After all, death should be the penalty for theft.

But, you say, the “bad guys” won’t follow the rules. The “bad guys” will get the guns anyway. So we just – what, shouldn’t have rules? Any rule that might be broken just shouldn’t exist…. Where do we draw the line?

Sorry, am I being ungrateful? Of course, that’s fine with you. You don’t need my gratitude. You’re still willing to be my savior when the time inevitably comes. What a hero! But you know what, don’t bother. Because I’m not convinced you are a good guy. I think you’re just a bad guy in waiting.


A Good Guy Without a Gun

Published by Brian Bayer

With a degree in journalism from John Carroll University, Brian's post-collegiate road took him to Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he spent three and a half years wearing various hats, including as a teacher, a community outreach volunteer, and a freelance writer focusing on themes of social justice, poverty, and healthcare. While bearing witness to incredible injustice and inequity, he decided to seek the solutions by returning to his hometown of Pittsburgh and to pursue a graduate degree in International Development, which he earned in 2021. He is a proud fellow of the New Leaders Council, alumni of the Johnson Leadership Portfolio program, and serves as a board member with the Sto-Rox Neighborhood Health Council. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Progress Pages, he hopes to provide a creative outlet for innovative minds seeking to elevate progressive ideology.

6 thoughts on “Dear Good Guy with a Gun

  1. You should play poker. You can read minds. You can read the minds of all CC permit holders and just KNOW they are crazy and want to get arrested, booked and taken to court first by the police, and then by the crazy person’s (or their family’s) lawyer. They all yearn to be that “white” Hispanic in Florida who’s life was recked after shooting the thug who assaulted him.

    You would clean up at those tables with your ability to read minds.


      1. Paragraph 1, I don’t know where you live, but 99% of people who carry, carry concealed. If you see someone open carrying, it’s likely they are off duty police officers, plain clothes officers or security guards. You might get a political activist from time to time, trying to make a point, but usually that’s in blue states. So you’re right, they’re not a vigilante, they are likely a cop. Maybe you should talk to them and thank them for their service.

        Paragraph 2, maybe that’s the narrative you’ve swallowed, but it’s not the truth. In my case, the majority of people that I personally know who carry a firearm are women. Now, if you think that the average women is carrying a firearm because she is a bloodthirsty murder looking for an excuse to quench that thirst…. that’s on you.

        Paragraphs 3 & 4, see my response to paragraph 2.

        Paragraph 5, When you see kids being slaughtered in their schools I’m upset that the government has created a free fire zone for crazies. I know that if every teacher was required to train with and carry a firearm while on duty there would likely rarely be a school shooting again. And the few that happen would have a lower loss of life.

        I once could have been killed when a crazy person said he was going to leave the restaurant, go to his car, get his shotgun and kill everyone there. He went to his car & left. But as he walked to his car I realized… I had gone to a school event before going out to dinner so, like the law abiding citizen I am, I had taken my pistol and secured in the vehicle…. and had forgotten to retrieve it when I left school property. How ironic. If that guy had been a little crazier, I and the people in the restaurant might have been killed by a gun free zone. (As soon as he left, I ran to my truck, retrieved my pistol and waited to “couch your bloodlust in a law”, or in sane person words, I simply stayed with the restaurant workers until the police could arrive and take their report) I’m sure glad he only claimed to have a shotgun. You can only kill 3 to 6 people with a shotgun before reloading. Much safer than two AR-15’s and a pistol. (that’s sarcasm)

        Paragraph 6, you seem to think that crazy violent criminals would turn in their guns. Clearly not, and if they didn’t have a gun and they had difficulty getting one, would magically be transformed into peace loving person. That they wouldn’t use a car to run down children in the playground, or knives, or bats or explosives, or poisons. Because that’s what crazy people do. Take the guns away and they become sane, right? Your obsession with the fantasy in your head on the motivations of legal gun holders is quite odd.

        Paragraph 7, so now you’re saying that anyone who defends someone less able to defend themselves is a thrill seeking murderer. By this standard, I assume you also condemned the police in Tennessee who took out the shooter because of their thrill seeking bloodlust?

        About the rest… the second amendment was put in place so that if the government stopped following the rule of law, stopped enforcing the constitution. The people would have a chance to throw them off their perch as our lord and masters. I’m sure you laugh at that. What a bunch of crazy people. You can’t fight tanks, and jets and nukes! Keep in mind, the US spent $30 billion a year and thousands of lives over 20 years in Afghanistan. And we were beaten by a bunch of uneducated goat herders with AK-47’s and salvaged artillery shells.

        If President Trump was re-elected, please don’t pass out, if he was re-elected and he is the fascist monster you see in the closet. What would you do? If the military supported him as he arrested his political enemies on trumped up charges. Seized the assets of opposition parties and media. Broke up “mostly” peaceful protests with gunfire from his thugs instead of telling the police to back off. What would you do?

        I’m guessing you’d put on a MAGA hat and kiss his ass. After all, you have no means to resist.


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