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Cooper: A ‘Conservative Gun Utopia’ With An Armed Populace is No Way to Live

A storefront window with bullet holes is seen at the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)


In Philadelphia today, most people can get a legal handgun and a legal permit to carry it concealed everywhere they go in a matter of minutes. The few who are legally ineligible can buy a gun illegally, or steal one, mainly thanks to diversions from the gigantic legal supply. As a result, thousands and thousands of people out on the streets every night are packing heat, and as we see, some of them are either spoiling for a fight, or jumpy teenagers with poor impulse control.

Any pleasant night out on the town—[Kristopher] Minners, for instance, was a popular mentor out celebrating his birthday, where he hoped to meet some women—can end with you being shot to death by accident. Even [Micah] Towns, who by all accounts genuinely did only use his weapon in self-defense, helped touch off the rest of the pointless slaughter with the fear spread by his shots.

In other words, Philadelphia has become something like a conservative gun utopia, where the problem of a “bad guy with a gun” has prompted a large fraction of the whole population to arm themselves. This is no way for human beings to live.

— Ryan Cooper in An Armed Society Is a Mass Shooting Society

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