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The Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With A Gun Is…An Unarmed Black Man

According to the National Rifle Association (NRA), “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Catchy slogan.

Perhaps it will change now after an unarmed African American man wrested a gun away from the man who opened fire at an Antioch, Tenn. Waffle House on Sunday, killing four and maiming several others.

James Shaw Jr., 29, overcame gunman Travis Reinking, 29, after Reinking entered the Murfreesboro Pike restaurant at 3:25 a.m. and opened fire.

Shaw reported he darted toward the restrooms when the assault started. Reinking turned and fired in Shaw’s direction, grazing him. Reinking advanced before stopping to reload, at which point Shaw lunged toward him, grabbed the gun barrel, yanked the weapon from Reinking’s grip, and threw it over the counter.

About it, Shaw said:

“I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill. I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him. I grabbed the gun and kept it down. He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar.”

In the ensuing scuffle, Shaw shoved Reinking through the entrance, and Reinking–naked from the waist down–fled.

Metro police located and arrested Reinking on Monday after a 34-hour manhunt.

Contrast this with the Broward County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputies who took cover behind cars and a tree as gunman Nikolas Cruz perpetrated the worst school shooting in Florida’s history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

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According to a report from Coral Springs Police Department officer Bryan Wilkins, BSO deputies were already at the school when he arrived within minutes of the active shooter alert. One deputy thought he knew where Cruz was, yet no officer attempted to track him down or assist wounded students and staff.

In the report, Wilkins wrote:

“I saw approximately four Broward County Sheriff’s Office vehicles parked … with their personnel taking up exterior positions behind their vehicles. I drove up just west of the campus building 1200, exited my vehicle, grabbed my AR-15 rifle and donned on my tactical/medical gear. As I was advancing on foot through the chain-link fence, I was advised by an unknown BSO Deputy taking cover behind a tree, ‘he is on the third floor.’ “

School resource officer, Deputy Scot Peterson, resigned shortly after the incident after being criticized for not entering the building after the shooting began.

So apparently the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is…an unarmed black man.

How’s that for a slogan?

Put it on a bumper sticker.

Image credit: Okayplayer

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Written by Ted Millar

Ted Millar is parent, poet, and teacher. His poetry has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also an occasional contributor to Liberal Nation Rising.