A Weapon Didn’t Keep These Gun Lovers Safe

January 4, 2014 Updated: July 9, 2015


It’s been exactly a year since gun lover and business manager of the popular YouTube show FPSRussia Keith Ratliff was found dead in Carnesville, Georgia of a single bullet wound in the head. Ratliff was reportedly surrounded by several guns, but not the gun that killed him. Ratliff’s show  which featured his friend Kyle Myers showing off the fire power of weapons and triggering explosions while faking a Russian accent, were viewed millions of times.


Two months after the death the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it was pursuing leads but by September had not reported an arrest or suspect. How could someone surrounded by guns be murdered, if in fact Ratliff was murdered? “For him not to pull out that gun and try to defend himself, he had to feel comfortable around somebody,’ his brother Kelly Ratliff told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV. “Either that or he was ambushed.”


Ratliff’s death came exactly one month before another inexplicable death of a well-armed and trained person. On February 2, 2013, Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL known as the most lethal sniper in American military history, was killed at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas along with his companion, Chad Littlefield. Charged in the shootings was a 25-year-old fellow veteran Marine Eddie Ray Routh, whom Kyle and Littlefield had purportedly taken to the gun range.


And this week, Frank Petro, long time owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop was killed. Police have charged Jack Edmundson in the slaying who told police he had been shot and wounded by Petro, but he was able to get Petro’s gun and allegedly return fire, lethally.


When asked about the contradiction of highly armed and trained shooters not being able to defend themselves, gun lovers offer a cascade of mewing defenses. Maybe it was a surprise attack, they say. Maybe the shooter came up behind them. Maybe they knew the shooter and didn’t want to shoot. As if these situations wouldn’t  happen with any assault. 


The “sun was in their eyes” excuses of gun lovers when heavily armed people can’t defend themselves show the fundamental fallacy of armed protection. Weapons keep you safe from bad guys except when there is no element of surprise, when the assailant isn’t behind you and when the assailant is not someone you know. Then, they may actually make things worse. Being shot by someone you know is the reason a firearm in the home heightens the chance of getting killed, especially women assaulted by violent domestic husbands and boyfriends. 


There is clear and continual evidence that being armed is no protection against “bad guys,” and sometimes escalates violence like three women recently killed with their own guns. But gun extremists would rather crow about the danger of “gun-free” zones than how guns have offered no protection in extremely non-“gun-free” zones like gun shops and firing ranges. 


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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.