“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life”

- Robert Heinlein

And this throwaway line in a seventy year-old science fiction novel has formed the intellectual basis for gun advocates ever since.  It’s totally worked out that way, huh?

In the wake of the manhunt for a former LAPD officer who went on a rampage yesterday, we see how the “armed society” has worked its magic.

Los Angeles police reportedly shot and injured two women delivering newspapers by accident while on a search in Torrance, Calif. for a former fellow officer who is suspected in several shootings. A second shooting was also reported involving Torrance police officers, but there were no known injuries.

There is no doubt that in these situation where police are looking for an armed assailant that nerves are on edge, the victims apparently drove a blue pickup truck that does not seem all that similar to a dark colored 2005 Nissan Titan pickup truck the former LAPD officer is thought to be driving.  Similar pickup trucks should narrow the potential suspects in Los Angeles down to several tens of thousands.

But even if the LaPierre mantra of “only a good guy with a gun” can stop a bad one has any validity it is quite obvious that they are also quite good at stopping other non-involved people completely with the same deadly force.