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Yet at the same time, the number of mass shootings is on the rise in the United States. That’s a result of the NRA’s greed-induced campaign to make sure anyone and everyone in America — including suspected terrorists and domestic abusers — have unfettered access to semiautomatic assault-style rifles that allow a punk teenager to live out his power fantasy by mowing down 20 first-graders in two minutes. Anyone who opposes background checks for every gun sale is taking the position that these children’s lives are an acceptable price to pay so that they, too, can enjoy their fantasy of saving the day by taking out the bad guy. Everyone I’ve met who opposes background checks eventually explains to me that I’ll someday be sorry when the jackbooted government thugs arrive to tyrannize me and I have to rely on the gun nut to protect me. I’ve never needed a gun yet, and if I did, I’d be unable to rely on anyone else to protect me for the simple reason that it almost never happens, despite the fudged statistics of the gun nuts and the NRA. The gun is rarely used to defend against crime for the simple reason that the bad guy always has the element of surprise on his side. The armed guard at the Orlando nightclub and the armed cop at Columbine were both powerless to halt those attacks.