St. Louis, MO—
During a crazy mixup in a St. Louis shopping mall today, an accidental gunshot from an otherwise law-following citizen set off a chain reaction of other gun-related accidents.
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 guess I must have forgotten, and my handgun fired from inside its holster while I was trying on different pairs of jeans.”
“When I heard that gun shot, I decided I would be the famed good guy with a gun you hear about in the news sometimes,” said Keith Foster. “I figured the gunshot was fired in the X&L store, so I got out my handgun and ran inside. Once in there, I could see a guy in the middle looking suspicious. It turned out 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 the terrorist and must have just shot another customer or something. So I crouched behind a rack of clothes near the front of the store, and I shot him in the leg and dropped him.”
“Unfortunately, I saw the second guy go in the store and had heard both shots, so I figured that that guy running into the store 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, saw the man on the ground in the middle of the store, and realized I was in a do-or-die situation with the guy I watched run inside, 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, and then the other guy in the middle of 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 trying to decide if I should preemptively shoot one of them again, when all of a sudden there’s a loud bang I realize I just got shot in the back.”
“So I was just shopping around when I heard the gun shots go off, and luckily for everyone in the mall I am a secret good guy with a gun always prepared to fight for my life,” said Kenny Crunchmann. “So I ran several stores down in the direction of the sound of the gunshot, and as I’m running and trying to assess the situation I hear another shot and then a second shot. I figure we got ourselves a real gun fight here, and as I ran up I saw a guy a little inside the X&L store holding two guns, so I pulled out my gun and shot him right in his hip. Then I ran away because my permit for concealed carry is kind of like three 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 for saving the lives of their employees.”
The three wounded participants of the giant mixup have 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, and we were thinking it would be really helpful if society could somehow make it more obvious who is a good guy with a gun and who is a bad guy with a gun, you know? Like if good guys with a gun could wear some kind of badge or something that says ‘Good Guy With A Gun’ or whatever. Or maybe even a 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? And honestly, maybe we could train these good guys with guns, because the lesson from today is that all of us maybe need a little more training to learn how to better assess stressful and dangerous situations. Like if good guys with guns would maybe have to take a class or something, or there was an academy or something for them to earn degrees from. Cause you don’t just want everyone getting involved, you know? So yeah. We think it would be really cool if society had very highly trained good guys with guns that wore uniforms so everyone could understand they would be the ones to handle dangerous situations in order to keep widely dispersed, untrained individuals from taking matters into their own impulsive hands and making dangerous situations more dangerous and confusing for everyone. Yeah, if only there was something like that for all the good guys with guns in this country.”
“I think we all learned a valuable lesson,” said Mr. Phillips. “Us four good guys with guns turned a totally normal, peaceful situation in a public mall into a mass shooting incident that never would have happened if we weren’t all carrying guns on us with selfish paranoia that our personal safety is more important than the collective safety of the public from us. 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 shot. Maybe people would behave safer with their guns if they were financially responsible for the damage their guns do. Just a thought.”