Strange as it may seem, the Wild West Style Shootout really isn’t often that conducive to human survival. Sure, it looks good in Die Hard, and in theory offensive weaponry can make a difference in a life-or-death defensive scenario. But, the real world isn’t like the movies, and simply having a gun doesn’t turn anyone into Clint Eastwood of John McClain. Because when the bad guys with guns get the drop on you, “Yippie ki-Yay, Motherf*cker!” will probably be your last words. Assuming you say anything at all.
That truth about guns is something soldiers have known for a long time…which is why they ride around in armored vehicles instead of giant Claymore mines. But it took a reenactment of the Charlie Hebdo Massacre for Second Amendment group The Truth About Guns to figure that out. The Texas-based gun group recently staged a reenactment of the Hebdo Massacre with an interesting twist: this time, instead of the staff members of CH being sissy, limp-wristed liberal Frenchmen, one of them was an armed, gun-toting Texan.
They ran the simulation a dozen times with a dozen different volunteers from the gun group acting as the armed civilian. And the result? Everybody died anyway.
Well, not everybody exactly. Twice, an “armed civilian” shot one of the attackers, adding one to the total body count, but otherwise not affecting the outcome. In another simulation, one of the armed civilian survived…by just running away.
Well. That’s not very McClain.
Inexplicably named group member Nick Leghorn comments:
“It’s the one people are Monday morning quarterbacking at the moment. It’s interesting to see how people react under stress. It’s not what you’d expect people do.”
Ah-ah-ah-ah SAY, boy.
Of course, this isn’t an entirely accurate simulation. You can never call something like this “accurate” when the participants know an attack is coming, and are mentally prepared for it. Pre-game adrenaline coursing through the veins, strategies worked out beforehand; in every sense, the deck is stacked as heavily in favor of the assaulted as possible. There is no element of surprise. And yet, the only survivor was the one who ran away. Well, him, and the two attackers, most of the time.
So, what did we learn from this exercise? That a single, lightly armed civilian can’t hold off two guys with assault rifles who got the drop on them? Call MacArthur — there’s one for military strategic history. If two similarly armed police officers couldn’t halt the massacre, and were indeed themselves killed trying, then it’s no surprised that the “armed civilian” stood about half a chance of accomplishing anything. So, what is the lesson here, if any?
Realistically…that guns are offensive weapons. And until they invent a bullet that can home in and shoot other bullets out of the air, that’s the way it’s going to stay. Bullets are offensive, armor is defensive, getting the drop trumps all else, and an “armed civilian” is more likely to use a gun to save his own ass than anyone else’s.
The heroic “good guy”…it’s a myth that dies hard in the Wild West. Only cowards live life armed to the teeth, and a coward can always be expected to run away. John McClain is the biggest myth of all.
And that, above all else, is the truth about guns.