New York subway John Rote arrest
Courtesy FNTV
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Want to see some nasty political fighting? Just head to Google or the search box on any social media platform and type in “good guy with gun.” You’ll find all sorts of reasons that guns can and allegedly should be banned, because the victim disarmament industrial complex have made it their job to convince people that good guys with guns either don’t exist or are extremely rare. That, of course, is a lie.

Sometimes, though, the results of that kind of search will turn up someone who almost had a good point. There have been instances where a number of armed individuals are nearby when a crime occurs, but none of them choose step in to save a stranger. There are many more cases where a mass shooting happens in a red state and they rhetorically ask, “Where were the good guys with guns?”

A recent incident in New York answers that question, but it’s not going to make these hoplophobes happy, because it’s largely their fault.

A few days ago in New York City, a homeless man mugged a woman at a subway station. Hearing his threats and her screaming, a bystander came to her rescue. He pulled a handgun out, fired several warning shots (note: TTAG’s writers generally do NOT recommend firing warning shots), and frightened the homeless attacker away from his victim.

What happened next was entirely predictable. The homeless man was charged with a crime, but so was the hero of the story. The charges agains the Good Samaritan? Criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, and menacing.

“I want to be clear: we don’t tolerate this kind of conduct in NYC Transit, period,” the city’s top transit official said after the arrests were made. “Once again cameras recorded a perpetrator, and we are grateful the NYPD made an arrest within hours. Thank goodness nobody was hurt here – but what occurred was outrageous, reckless, and unacceptable.”

What may surprise readers, though, is the reaction of the woman who was saved from a deadly threat (or worse). Instead of being grateful for being saved, she told the New York Post . . .

Of course, I am happy that that man tried to help me and that nobody was injured during this incident, but it’s scary to think that people are carrying guns around the city. I understand why people do it, they see it as their only means of protection. In this case the man risked a lot to protect me, his safety, and the safety of other people on the platform. Yes, I do think he is a hero, but I don’t know, I would likely think him a bigger hero if he tried to help me without the gun. In my eyes, the gun is a little extreme.

If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve probably heard the story of Bernhard Goetz. Back in 1984, he successfully defended himself from four attackers on a New York subway, injuring but not killing his assailants.

Goetz eventually beat charges of attempted murder, but served eight months for unlawful possession and ended up owing one of the assailants he’d shot tens of millions of dollars after he was paralyzed. Worse, his name is still well-known to this day, especially in New York.

Goetz was fortunate enough to have a sympathetic jury, though. Back in 1980s New York, violent crime, both in the city generally and the subway in particular, were very much out of control. If the shooting had happened a few years later when Giuliani was mayor, he probably would have been convicted of more than a misdemeanor weapon possession offense.

At the same time, both of these examples came out of New York. As anti-gunners continually tell us, in states with “wild west pimp-style” gun laws, basically anyone can shoot someon as long as they claim they were standing their ground. But people who are actually familiar with use of force laws know that it just doesn’t work that way. At all.

Even in a pro-gun state, a person who’s carrying lawfully and uses force against a reasonable threat of death or serious bodily harm can still have their lives destroyed. All it take is one short-sighted (or politically ambitious) blue city prosecutor to put a good person through an arrest and criminal trial. That can mean losing their job, their home, and even if prison is avoided, facing years of ruinous civil lawsuits.

With all of that in mind, you wonder why any good guys with guns decide to defend strangers. The stranger, even if they’re an ungrateful, anti-gun Karen, suffers no consequences in the aftermath, but the gun owner risks their freedom, their livelihood, and everything they own. That’s a pretty big ask.

What’s more sad and ironic is that the people asking ‘where are the good guys with guns’ tend to be the same people who are most responsible for the risks the good guy faces. They vote for anti-gun and anti-self-defense “progressive” prosecutors. They feel bad for criminals who get shot, and then serve on juries. They decry public policies aimed at protecting the law-abiding public as somehow “racist” or “fascist”. When possible, they support laws that would put the good guy in prison merely for possessing a gun and support violating people’s Fourth Amendment rights to conduct warrantless searches for weapons (this is actual fascism, BTW).

Then they run around on social media, showing how proud of all of that they are. All while having the audacity to wonder where the good guys with the guns are.

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  1. Fortunately, they are incorrect when it comes to defensive gun use not out numbering offensive gun use in a crime. Thousands of times daily good guys with a gun either discourage, pre-empt, or effectively deal with potential or real crimes in action by the use of a firearm or other implements. Also, I don’t see a distinction made between criminal use of firearms offensively. Including crazy people in the normal population that kill people at random or with whom they feel they have something against does not fit the pattern of law abiding gun owners who are not mentally or emotionally disturbed. Just another attempt at manipulating stats to justify the unjustifiable.

    • No one. Absolutely no one is obligated to save or help their fellow man. You are on your own. The same goes for ukraine and israel. America first.

      My everyday carry is for me and my loved ones.

      • If we dont stop the wars in you Crane and itsreal the dominoes will fall over like they did in Vietnam. Then the next thing you know Americans will be buying Communist products made in America,,,,,,errrr , uh yeah.
        I like Smithfield bacon.

  2. Self fulfilling prophecy

    The good guy with a gun most certainly does exist. It’s just that the left does everything it can to hide it.

    As a statical matter though, it’s easy to make it seem rare. The left has done everything it can possibly do to keep people disarmed. Their effort have purposefully made it so as few people as possible will be armed when it’s needed most. Gun free zones are some of the best examples of this. Democrats fight against conceal carry and make it nearly impossible for many people to have guns to start with. If the good guy with a gun is rare, it’s only because that’s how the Democrats want it.

  3. “There have been instances where a number of armed individuals are nearby when a crime occurs, but none of them choose step in to save a stranger. There are many more cases where a mass shooting happens in a red state and they rhetorically ask, “Where were the good guys with guns?”
    That’s because dumb bitches like you would TRY and Convict them in the media. They would be bankrupted and their live become a living HELL! Because of you KARENS!

    • “There have been instances where a number of armed individuals are nearby when a crime occurs, but none of them choose step in to save a stranger.”

      Note: the alleged number of persons available to carry firearms is insignificant to the number of firearms in the wild, and the total population. It would be exceedingly rare for an armed civilian to be present at any place a crime is taking place in, or near locations where large numbers of people are present; even fewer where firearms are prohibited. The resulting number of good guys with a gun does not act as a deterrent.

    • Sad to say, Slayer, you are correct. Why bother to defend the innocent and defenseless-a natural reaction for many-in exchange for losing your freedoms, your reputation, and/or having your entire life destroyed over it? For some, it is better to just walk away, let the criminal do his thing, and sorry to the other innocent victim. It is a sorry world (and country) to be living in when that is the end result. For when people like Daniel Penny are raked over the coals by the media for defending the innocent (in that NYC subway), it just gives one food for thought the next you end up in such an unfortunate situation. Future Karens will still wonder why there was no one to help them, and they still will not get it.

    • Not at the point I would ever enjoy watching it happen but not at the point I would risk my freedom or my families security to protect someone insistent on letting the police handle all security. This of course varies depending on where in NY I happen to be but Albany NYC Buffalo Syracuse etc yeah not happening……….Troy we shall see after that last election shocker.

    • Haven’t we all ever heard of “community standards”? When the people vote to let criminals go free, and to persecute the “heroes”, this is what you get.
      “The beauty and terror of democracy is that the majority of the people get the government they want, and they DESERVE.”

        • “Problem is we don’t live in a democracy.”

          Oh, but we do. We don’t live in a public democracy, but the “majority rules” scheme is the bedrock of even a republic. And “ballot initiatives”, which bypass legislatures, are becoming more prevalent.

          Effectively, representatives are simply reflections of the majority of voters. Representatives are elected to do as the majority of voters want; representatives are not wise old owls who temper the fever of the majority of voters, but carry the majority message to the legislatures, delivering the voice of the majority of voters; democracy by proxy.

        • @Sam I Am
          That is the result of Democrat Left efforts and lies. The US is a republic but is turning into the the democracy the left wants so much. The longer they are in power, the more destruction takes place and the more we lose the American dream.

        • Prndll I can’t argue the accuracy of that point. Up my way we cannot afford to pretend we are anything but a republic as the loss of civil rights to follow would be imaginable only to those who saw their homelands fall to the various flavors of communism. Court cases suck but are about all that is holding things somewhat together across a wide variety of issues. Thankfully our attorney general and much of the office of is retarded and does not advance her agenda well in court.

  4. But the data shows….. BS deception excuse again!

    The reason the data shows crimes with guns out numbering defensive uses with guns is, one, a defender was not there, two, because the data sources don’t track ALL defensive gun uses overall.

    Seriously, law abiding gun carriers are frequently prohibited from carry guns in many public places and being the law abiding people they are they do not carry there and are not when the crimes happen there and people get injured/killed. However, in cases where a law abiding gun carrier can carry and they do and they engage the criminal, overall there is much less to no injury/death.

    For cripes sake, this ‘But the data shows….. BS deception excuse’ what a stupid thing to say. It rained outside, but not inside the house…so the data shows its rains outside far more than it does in the house … well duh of course. Its the same for law abiding concealed carry holders, if you don’t count their DGU’s, or they are not armed when a crime happens … well yes, of course the data is going to show more crimes with guns than DGU uses. In other words, if you bias the data by not including all the relevant factors then one thing is going to appear to be more than another thing. Like the rain example, if you don’t include the factor that the house is enclosed with a roof and that keeps the rain out then you can proclaim stupidly ‘data shows it rains more outside a home than inside a home.’ like its some kind of ‘official’ revelation to appeal to people who are too stupid to understand … like you know, Jennifer Mascia.

    • Yep,
      There is no good guy with a gun to stop the mugging in Central Park because it’s illegal for anyone to be there armed.

  5. 1. No good deed goes unpunished.

    2. Civil immunity is an important part of the SYG package. Most SYG states leave it in the table, AFAIK…

    3. Even if only 1 person in 10 is a carrier, the odds of no one having a gun in a random group of ten people are .9^10 = 35%. If a more patriotic 3 in 10 carry, that number falls to .7^10 = 3%. Which of course means a 97% chance of 1 or more armed victims.

    Criminals are planners, and the potential shot-in-back factor is a great deterrent. And don’t worry, when staying on the sidelines is not an option, people WILL try to defend themselves.

    • The “hero” acted like an old west cowboy by “throwing” a boo-lit from his snubby. Would I jump in? I DID 40 years ago in Chiraq. Totally unarmed except my arms were pretty big. Now going on 70 not so much. Wife,sons & friends I’d fight to the death🙄

    • Finally; a poster who understands the math.

      After observing the persecution of Kyle Rittenhouse, there is no way in heck that I would incur the risks of death, injury, arrest or civil liability to rescue some stranger, especially if I was in a Democrat city.

      My attitude might be different if I was in a situation where I could shoot, shut up, and not have to shovel.

  6. The Big Apple is wormy.
    Using force to save someone is frowned upon by big government because that builds unity. Big government doesn’t like unity in the United States.
    We are supposed to stand around screaming, “oh , oh, oh, wont someone please help that old lady. Call 911.”

    • Yep. I’m a small man and I’m not going to risk death for someone that doesn’t want my armed help. I’m not going to willingly enter in to a fistfight with a criminal. The point of carrying a gun is that it reduces the risk your own death to defend yourself, or someone else, from a person that does not respect your life and will end it to get what they want.

      People like her have this weird idea that muggers, rapists, and murderers live by the same moral code as her. Even when faced with direct violent evidence of the contrary. Or maybe she does share the same moral code… And if she was poor/homeless, she would be willing to kill people to get something shiny.

      • Massad Ayoob states that carrying but not drawing your firearm can take anxiety down to a tolerable level so you think clearly and get away easily. Pull it and you either must use or it will taken and used on you. If you use it fire all rounds at center mass until attack stops.
        AND do not talk to police.

  7. Next time you get into an argument with an anti-gun idiot, ask them why aren’t criminals obeying existing laws against violent crime? They should also get the opinions of the many Israelis and their families who were impacted by the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks about how not having a gun available was a good thing.

  8. What they ignore is that Chicago alone has more homicides than dozens of states combined. A place that concealed carry is difficult to do legally. Maybe those dozens of states that have almost no DGUs don’t need them because they secured peace via preparing for war?

  9. if a good guy gets prosecuted by an anti-Constitution bigot ot target by by oath breaking LEOs, find the most successful ambulance chasers you can find and keep the bigots in court for every imaginable law regarding frivolity, retaliation, discrimination, oppression under color of authority, violation of due process, violation of oath, aiding and abetting criminals, and I’m sure the list can be made much bigger.

    Make sure expected pay off number is huge, but it has to include a public apology at a called and advertised news conference at noon on Wednesday.

  10. This is a good question and the answer in inponderable. How does anyone KNOW that a good guy with a gun was present ors even in the vacinity of a mass shooting if he/she does not reveal to authorities his/her presence?

    The fact is that a good guy with a gun is not out there looking for the bad guys with guns. The good guy owns possesses and carries to DEFEND himself not out looking for trouble. It’s a question of being in in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time.

  11. Helped a stranger once, got arrested for it. Charges were dismissed after the trial, but never again. If you can’t be bothered to take steps to protect yourself, don’t expect me to do it for you.

  12. A very high percentage of these hi profile mass shootings are committed in “gun free safe zones” and that is why a good guy with a gun can’t help.

  13. Half the problem is up front in the very first paragraph. If you’re going to Google Goolag to search or use social(ist) media, you’re already starting on the wrong foot…

  14. I will freely admit that my primary purpose for carrying a gun in public is to minimize the chance that I am murdered and no longer around to parent my children. “It’s for the children”. Yes.

    Because of this, my plan in all but the most extreme situations is to blend in and flee.
    Cowardly? Maybe. But that’s where my head is at now. My instinct is to help people.

    Once my kids are grown and they no longer need me, my response will change. But for now it’s all about getting home at the end of the day.

    • One last thing. As I think about it, I think in most cases I fear the consequences from our own criminal and civil legal systems more than I actually fear the aggressor.

      An active shooter situation where I have the element of surprise is perhaps the only situation I can see getting involved.

      • How sad is that, Don? At least with the criminal who is trying to rob you, rape your wife, invading your house, you know what you are up against, you know what he wants. But try to defend your home against him, and suddenly, you have no idea what in the hell to expect in the after math. You are at the mercy of your state (and local/county) laws, courts, juries, and judges who, if any of them get up on the wrong side of the bed that day, may destroy YOUR life because you defended yourself. And even then, if you are cleared of any wrong doing, you still may end up in court because the stupid family of said, let’s say robber who died because you defended yourself, sues you for “wrongful death”. I have studied the laws in my state, and even then… just never know.

        • Joseph Lozito had no gun and was attacked by a crazed man on a subway. Mister Crazy was being sought (he had already murdered a half dozen people) and police saw him attack Lozito and actually hid and when Joe the good guy stopped the bad guy police stepped in and said “Look what we caught!” Lozito needed over 300 stitches and he paid his own hospital bill because court said “immunity” for cops. F New York and… I salute Joseph Lozito.
          Read all about it:

  15. WWMATD? I have no idea, and hope I never need one. That said: Warning shot? One-handed? From a snub-nose? Draw your own opinions.

  16. @Prndll
    “The US is a republic but is turning into the the democracy the left wants so much. The longer they are in power, the more destruction takes place and the more we lose…”

    ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’
    – B. Franklin

  17. at no point was this ny shooting a good thing or a good shoot.
    the guy was a complete screw-up, especially after he dumped the gun to get rid of it.

    anyone that thinks it was a good shot is stupid.


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