In video games, you're supposed to decide—in an instant—who to shoot and who to spare. There's the bad guy with the bag of money that he stole from the bank. Shoot him and you might earn a few points. But there's also the surprise pop-up—the grandmother. Shoot her and your score goes down.
In real life, those calculations don't always add up so easily. It was a calculation that shooter Joseph Robert Wilcox recently made when he tried to stop Jerad Miller, a man who killed a cop in a Las Vegas Walmart a few weeks back.
Wilcox was armed—he saw Miller and believed he had the opportunity to intervene. But he didn't notice a smaller woman standing by, with a shopping cart and a handbag. That was Miller's wife Amanda, and she too was armed; in an instant, she shot and killed Wilcox.
Wilcox was supposed to be one of the good guys, but owning a gun may have cost him his life.
That tragedy has led Adam Weinstein, a writer for Gawker and long-time gun owner, to stop and think a lot about what it means to be a good guy with a gun—a motto the NRA has reclaimed in the 21st century.