Armed customer shoots store robber


I read this story about a store customer with a concealed carry permit who gunned down a man who was attempting to rob the store. Allegedly, I guess we have to say. This was in Chicago not long ago.

If the thesis that concealed carry and other such practices will reduce gun violence is really true, then we should hand nukes over to Iran and save them the trouble of developing them.



There was another recent story, referred to in the article to which you link, in which Walmart security people chased a suspected shoplifter into the parking lot. As he drove away in his SUV, a woman drew her properly licensed weapon and opened fire at his car.

This is precisely the NRA position. That each person should protect himself or herself and come to the rescue of others who may be in danger.

Indeed, many of the Republican candidates proclaim, in response to the French terrorist attacks, that the French people should have been armed to defend themselves. Supposedly the strict gun control laws are the cause of these deaths. Here’s a report of Donald Trump’s remarks, for example.

Thus the NRA and its fellow travelers have in mind that any of us might engage in what the military calls close quarters combat. Any military man or woman will tell you that this type of gun fight is distinct from training yourself how to unlock your weapon’s safety, fire at a target while standing straight, arms forward, both hands gripping your weapon, shooting at a stationary target that is not shooting back at you. It is also distinct from what the NRA and its armed acolytes have in mind, which is something from the old western movies, Gun Fight At the OK Corral. The kind of fight in which the bad guy yells insults as he and the good guy stand face to face, 30 feet apart on the unpaved street of a ramshackle cow town.

I’m not an expert in close quarters combat, but I understand that soldiers, and the police too, consider it difficult and frightening. For one thing, in such gun fights, or knife fights for that matter, the gunman who draws first and who shoots first has a major advantage. In the circumstances that the NRA imagines the bad guy has drawn first, which is how the homeowner or shop keeper knows he is a bad guy. Then the bad guy is supposed to wait while the good guy draws his weapon.

It’s big picture thinking on your part to see the parallel with the armed standoff  that arose during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. A similar standoff is now in place between India and Pakistan, and we might hope between North Korea and South Korea and Japan behind whom we stand.

This was known as Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD! If they struck us with nuclear weapons we would strike back overwhelming nuclear force. This plan of nuclear deterrence proved effective, and is likely a key reason why there has been no nuclear attacks since we bombed the Japanese in 1945.

Just as in close quarters combat, however, the first shooter in a nuclear war has a major, and possibly insurmountable advantage. For this reason, we worked hard to ensure that our nuclear forces could survive a pre-emptive nuclear strike. It’s why we put our Minuteman missiles in concrete and steel hardened underground silos. Why we might put armed B-52s into the air, some flying at all times, during crises. Why we spent billions of dollars on our amazing Polaris and Poseidon nuclear submarines, It is why we buried out nuclear strike command and control center deep underground in the Colorado Rockies.

Unfortunately, in close quarters combat, you cannot absorb a “first strike” and retaliate. Maybe the guy next to you, or the fifth one will have the presence of mind to get off an accurate shot, but not likely.

The NRA joke is that an armed society is a polite society. Of course, the opposite is true. An armed society is on a hair trigger, since the most hot tempered or injudicious person will grant himself the shoot first advantage.


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