‘THE ONLY WAY...’
Conservatives Tout ‘Good Guy With a Gun’ Theory After Armed Men Killed Oklahoma Shooter
After two armed men stopped a mass shooting in an OKC diner, conservative media and gun-rights orgs seized upon the story as evidence that more guns can reduce gun violence.
Two “good guys with a gun” stopped a potential mass shooter at a restaurant Thursday night in Oklahoma City, providing more fuel for the ongoing gun debate as yet another school shooting occurred Friday morning.
Alexander Tilghman walked into Louie’s Grill & Bar and opened fire, striking a woman named Natalie Giles, her 12-year-old daughter, and another child, USA Today reported.
Tilghman was the only fatality in the incident, however, as police identified armed citizens Juan Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Wittle, 39, as having shot and killed the attacker.
“An #ArmedCitizen saved multiple lives last night in #OKC. We hope this serves as a wake-up call for @GovMaryFallin, who just two weeks ago vetoed a constitutional carry bill,” the National Rifle Association proudly tweeted Friday morning. “Just another example of how the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Incidents like the Oklahoma City one, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield said, “support the NRA’S position—the indisputable position of reality that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The “good guy with a gun” refrain is one oft-repeated by pro-gun activists, especially after NRA chief Wayne LaPierre famously uttered it during a speech following the 2012 deadly massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The phrase is used to push back against the notion that stricter gun control would prevent gun violence.
And in the wake of Nazario and Wittle’s actions, pro-gun activists and conservatives alike wasted no time touting the Oklahoma City story as evidential.
Fox News star Sean Hannity’s website featured a headline blaring “GOOD GUY WITH A GUN.”
“Good guy with a gun,” wrote Fox & Friends Weekend host and unofficial Trump adviser Pete Hegseth on Twitter. Conservative radio hosts like Ken Matthews and Jason Rantz additionally tweeted iterations of the popular pro-gun slogan. Rantz added some commentary: “Imagine, for a moment, if we had trained good guys with guns to protect students at school from bad guys with guns.”
“Good guy with a gun saves the day,” read a headline from right-leaning news outlet Washington Examiner. “[W]hile a motive has yet to be determined, we can at least thank this good guy with a gun for helping stop another potential national tragedy,” wrote commentator Siraj Hashmi.
The Washington Times, a similarly right-leaning D.C. outlet, took a similar tone, with author Victor Morton writing that the “potential mass shooting in Oklahoma City was prevented by an armed citizen killing the pistol-wielding gunman,” and that the NRA “connected the dots… as an example of an armed citizenry and the exercise of the Second Amendment.”