St. Louis, MO—
During a crazy mixup in a St. Louis shopping mall today, an accidental gunshot from an otherwise law-abiding citizen set off a chain reaction of several other gun-related incidents.
Four area men were involved, and three of them suffered non-life-threatening wounds after believing the mall was under attack from armed delinquents.
“It all started when my gun accidentally discharged,” explained Ralph Stoddard. “I have a concealed carry permit, and I’m usually so good at leaving the safety on, but this time I must have forgotten and my handgun fired from its holster while I was trying on sweatpants in the X&L store.”
“When I heard that gunshot, I decided I would be the famed good guy with a gun you hear about in the news sometimes,” said Keith Foster. “It sounded like the gunshot was fired in the X&L store, so I got out my handgun and ran inside. Once inside, I could see a guy coming out of the dressing rooms looking suspicious, so I opened fire! I guess it turned out later that he was just embarrassed, and was trying to act like he wasn’t the one who fired the gun, but, at the time, while I was assessing the situation, I figured he was a terrorist who had just shot some other customer or something. So I crouched behind a rack of clothes near the front of the store, and I shot him in the leg!”
“Well, I was nearby in line for a jumbo pretzel, and saw the second guy run into the store and heard him fire his gun, so I figured he was the terrorist,” explained Terry Phillips. “I knew I had to protect the mall and be a good guy with a gun myself. I ran up, assessed the situation, and realized I was in a do-or-die situation with the guy, so I shot him where he was crouching behind a mannequin and a rack of clothes. The bullet grazed his ribs and knocked him down, and I ran up and grabbed his gun so he would be neutralized as a threat. That’s when he started screaming that he was the good guy with a gun. But then the other guy in the store started insisting that he was a good guy with a gun too. So I was just standing there trying to figure out who was telling the truth, and whether I should preemptively shoot one of them again, when all of a sudden there was a loud bang! I fell to the ground and quickly realized from the searing pain that I had just gotten shot in my leg!”
“So I was just shopping around when I heard all the gunshots go off, and, luckily for everyone in the mall, I’m a secret good guy with a gun I always conceal carry to be prepared to fight for my life at all times,” said Kenny Crunchmann. “As I was running in the direction of the sound of the first gunshot and assessing the situation, I hear another shot and then a third shot. I figured we got ourselves a real gun fight here, and as I ran up I saw a guy in the middle of the X&L store holding two guns! So I pulled out my gun and started blasting! I fired the whole chamber, and then I ran away because my permit for concealed carry is kind of, like, seven years expired. What a day. I’m not saying I’m a hero, but it would be nice if the X&L store gave me some coupons on sweatpants for saving the lives of their employees and who knows how many other shoppers.”
The three wounded participants of the giant mixup say they’ve bonded from the incident during their hospital stay.
“It’s kind of funny how it all worked out,” said Mr. Foster. “Thankfully, no one was killed, but we’ve been talking about what went wrong. We were thinking it would be really helpful if society could somehow make it more obvious who is a good guy with a gun, you know? Like if good guys with guns could wear some kind of badge or something that represents clearly ‘Good Guy With A Gun’ or whatever. Or maybe even a full uniform of some type when they go out, just so that people know who’s the qualified person to react to active shooting incidents, you know? It turns out that having too many good guys with guns only exacerbates the confusion and danger of public shootings! And, honestly, maybe we could train these good guys with guns to be professionals, because the lesson from today is that we were all a little hasty in assessing the dangerous situation in a safe manner. Like, if good guys with guns would maybe have to take classes or something, or if there maybe was an academy or something for them to be certified in some official way to carry guns in public and be called to come handle all the dangerous situations. Cause you don’t just want everyone getting involved in an emergency, and taking matters into their own impulsive hands, and making dangerous situations more dangerous for everyone. Yeah, if only there was something like a certified team of official good guys with guns in society.”
“We good guys with guns turned a totally normal, peaceful day in a public mall into a mass shooting incident that never would have happened if we weren’t all carrying guns on us and living paranoid that our personal safety is more important than the collective safety of the public from us,” said Mr. Phillips. “Really makes you think, doesn’t it? And, like, maybe good guys with guns ought to start having insurance for their guns. These hospital bills are outrageous, and none of us have the money to afford the medical bills of the guy we each shot. Maybe people would behave safer with their guns if they were financially responsible for the damage their guns do so they don’t whip out their guns immediately. Just a thought.”
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