The canard constantly being foisted upon the public by the National Rifle Association is that the only solution to gun violence is to have everyone armed under the theory that only a good guy with a gun can stop the bad guy with a gun.
Of course, this self-serving prescription offered by an organization that is essentially a lobbying group for gun manufacturers is based on a faulty and dangerous assumption that in the chaos of a public mass shooting incident that everyone will be able to distinguish exactly who the good guys and the bad guys really are.
Apparently, police officers responding to reports of an active shooting incident — one that resulted in the death of one of their fellow Arvada, Colorado, colleagues — couldn’t tell the difference after they shot and killed a good Samaritan who had shot the cop-killing suspect with his handgun almost immediately after the initial murder took place.
The incident all began when the brother of Ronald Troyke, contacted the Arvada police department to request a welfare check on his brother whom he feared was about to “do something crazy,” according to a report by CNN.
Indeed, as the police went looking for Ronald Troyke, he was driving his truck to the town’s Olde Town Square area where he parked his truck behind where Arvada police officer Gordon Beesley was walking through the parking area responding to a report of a suspicious person.
Troyke then exited his vehicle with a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun and proceeded to shoot Officer Beesley two times.
“Officer Beesley did not reach for his gun and takes no defensive action — he simply turns in response to the suspect who then shoots and kills him,” the statement issued by the Arvada police department explains.
Troyke proceeded to shoot out the windows of the adjacent police cars before returning to his truck to get his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle before heading back to the Olde Town Square.
Seeing what had just transpired, Johnny Hurley, a 40-year-old “good guy with a gun” who had apparently paid a little too close attention to the NRA propaganda, took out his handgun and shot the perpetrator as Troyke was rushing back to inflict more mayhem on the scene.
Having heroically prevented the cop-killer from harming anyone else, Hurley made the fatal mistake of retrieving the AR-15 from Troyke after shooting him.
What happened next is the stuff of nightmares and the reason why crime-fighting is best left to the professionals.
“A responding Arvada Police Officer then encountered Mr. Hurley, who was holding the suspect’s AR-15,” the Arvada police department’s statement said. “The officer shot him.”
The responding officer’s aim was as good as both Troyke’s and Hurley’s had been, and the good Samaritan quickly succumbed to the fatal shot.
“Arvada PD views Mr. Hurley’s actions as heroic; it is clear that he intervened in an active shooting that unfolded quickly in a busy commercial area in the middle of the day, and that he did so without hesitation. Mr. Hurley’s actions certainly saved others from serious injury or death,” the Arvada police admitted their mistake in their statement.
The truth of the life-saving nature of Johnny Hurley’s quick action was further reinforced when the police found a note in Troyke’s truck threatening to wreak carnage on the local law enforcement officers.
“Today I will kill as many Arvada officers as I possibly can,” one line in the note read.
“I just hope I don’t die without killing any of you pigs,” Troyke wished in another.
Both the initial shooting of Officer Beesley and the unfortunate mistaken killing of the hero of the story, Johnny Hurley, are now under investigation.
While Hurley’s vigilante response to the situation likely prevented further casualties from Troyke’s violent rage, his inadvertent killing demonstrates the risks that can occur when exactly who is “the good guy with a gun” remains uncertain in the chaos of an active shooting situation.
It’s fairly obvious that if neither Troyke nor Hurley had access to guns, as is the case in countries with sensible gun regulations, none of this tragedy would have taken place.
Hurley’s death is just one more reason why the NRA — and its reprehensible messaging to American gun owners — needs to be shut down.
Original reporting by Keith Allen at CNN.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.