Navy Yard shooting refutes 'good guy with gun' claim

In the aftermath of the horrible shooting in Newton, Conn., Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association forcefully declared that "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." However, the last two shooting tragedies our country has suffered prove that he is dead wrong.

Last month, a mentally disturbed gunman walked into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy just outside Atlanta and started shooting his AK-47 type rifle. When he entered the office he encountered Antoinette Tuff, who was armed not with a gun but with a genuine concern for the troubled man. Antoinette talked to the man and in the end he laid down his rifle and surrendered to police. No one was hurt.

This week, Aaron Alexis, another mentally disturbed gunman, smuggled his shotgun into a secure location and began shooting. He was approached by one of the good guys with a gun, and the man paid for it with his life. Mr. Alexis killed the good guy and took his gun. Then he used the good guy's gun to kill more innocent people. Twelve were killed.

Introducing guns to any situation almost certainly guarantees that the outcome will be more deadly. Guns do one thing, and they do it very well: They kill people.

Peter McIver, Towson