The Bullets Coming Back – Didn’t

Many people in the crowd in Dallas the night a crazy man started shooting police were carrying guns. Openly. Strapped to their backs. AR-15 assault rifles. Twenty or 30 people openly carried these guns, ready to go. These guns can fire 45 bullets per minute — some estimates say they can fire 180 per minute. That’s one bullet per second, almost. Or three bullets per second. Per second.

Donald Trump, the expert on courage under fire, has said many times that if people were armed when a crazed gunman starts shooting, they’d take the gunman down. “Bullets coming back the other direction” would at least minimize casualties, Trump said after the Paris shootings.

In an interview this month that ran in Valleurs Actuelles, Trump referenced the November terrorist attack on Paris and said, ‘Do you really think that if there were people in the crowd, who were armed and trained, things would have turned out the same way?’

‘I don’t think so. They would have killed the terrorists. It makes sense,’ he said.

The GOP front-runner for president then declared: ‘I always have a gun on me. I can tell you that if I had been in the Bataclan or in the cafes I would have opened fire.’

In Dallas, no one fired back but police, according to everything I’ve read.

In fact, both the mayor and the police chief of Dallas said having armed people in the crowd made it more confusing and difficult for the police to identify and focus on the shooter. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said it was hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys and, in the wake of the shooting, “he supported tightening the state’s gun laws to restrict the carrying of rifles and shotguns in public,” according to The New York Times. Police Chief David Brown said that when the shooter started firing at police amid the crowd, the armed civilians ran. And police had to determine if they were part of the crime going down. “Someone is shooting at you from a perched position, and people are running with AR-15s and camo gear and gas masks and bulletproof vests, they are suspects, until we eliminate that,” he told the Times. “Doesn’t make sense to us, but that’s their right in Texas.”

Trump is always happy to tell the world he’s right. After the mass murder in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the master of modesty and human decency tweeted, while victims were still being counted,”Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

What will he say after Dallas, where at least 20 people in the crowd were armed with enough firepower to take down the entire assemblage, not just a single shooter?

Trump is wrong. Trump is a drooling moron. But he won’t tweet that.

— Bruce Benidt



2 thoughts on “The Bullets Coming Back – Didn’t

  1. jeremypowers30734911 says:

    Gun possession is, in a way, a great cowardice. You can display your gun and it says to everyone: “Don’t fuck with me.” Yet, unlike soldiers and police, no one who is carrying a firearm is expected to use it. Under the old constitutional militia laws you did, but not today. And certainly the police in Dallas ran TO the gunfire, where the guys carrying their weapons ducked for cover as if the only benefit that gun gave them was that they probably had a real good idea of how much damage a gun in trained hands can do. I suppose, in a sense, that the collective effect of lots of people carrying guns, or potentially carrying guns, will make criminals think twice about who they attack. But after the whole conceal and carry fad wanes, the criminals are going to realize that none of the two-bit gun-toters are planning to do anything when faced with a real crisis.

  2. Dennis Lang says:

    The George Saunder’s essay on the Trump campaign (“Trump Days”) in the July 11/18 “New Yorker” is to me at least a frightening reminder that this Presidential race is far from over despite the expressed brainless insanity of Donald Trump. His followers don’t care.
    As someone said, he’s running against the one candidate he can defeat, equally distrusted–Hillary Clinton.

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