Is There Such a Thing as a 'Good Guy With a Gun'?

Email a Friend
A person is hiding a handgun under the denim belt.
From and

Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this segment.

In video games, you're supposed to decide — in an instant — who to shoot and who to spare. There's the bad guy with the bag of money that he stole from the bank. Shoot him and you might earn a few points. But there's also the surprise pop-up — the grandmother. Shoot her and your score goes down.

In real life, those calculations don't always add up so easily. It was a calculation that shooter Joseph Robert Wilcox recently made when he tried to stop Jerad Miller, a man who killed a cop in a Las Vegas Walmart a few weeks back.

Wilcox was armed — he saw Miller and believed he had the opportunity to intervene. But he didn't notice a smaller woman standing by, with a shopping cart and a handbag. That was Miller's wife Amanda, and she too was armed; in an instant, she shot and killed Wilcox.

Wilcox was supposed to be one of the good guys, but owning a gun may have cost him his life.

That tragedy has led Adam Weinstein, a writer for Gawker and long-time gun owner, to stop and think a lot about what it means to be a good guy with a gun — a motto the NRA has reclaimed in the 21st century. Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear our full conversation.