Every time a mass shooting hits America, we ask and answer the same questions. People dissect the motivations of the shooter, they talk about terrorism and hate crimes, they wonder at the huge numbers of Americans who die by gunfire. Some note that though tragedies like Orlando make headlines, the real problem is the thousands of smaller tragedies, the lower-profile shootings that add up to kill thousands every year. A few ask if maybe it wouldn't be helpful if it were a little harder to get the most deadly guns, the way that the government has already made it difficult to buy automatic weapons, silencers, and other military-grade gear.
That side of the debate has won very few battles in the last decade, however. The other side, anchored by the NRA and other right-wing groups, holds that guns are good, and more guns are better. The problem, they argue, is not that violent people are walking into nightclubs or schools and opening fire on random civilians, the problem is that those random civilians are insufficiently armed.
These gun rights voices believe, as NRA President Wayne LaPierre once said, that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Bad guys, in this worldview, are omnipresent; it's pointless to try to stop them from getting the most advanced weaponry possible. The answer is to make it easier for good guys to get guns—a project that has been pursued with much gusto and success. That this might make it easier for bad guys (or good guys who turn bad) to get guns is an unfortunate side effect, but in the end, it won't matter, because the goal is to make sure everyone is prepared to engage in a shootout at all times.
And by everyone, I mean everyone. Here is a surely incomplete list of people that gun rights activists believe should be packing heat. Once all of these categories of Americans are all carrying guns on them at all times, presumably we will finally be safe:
"Every black person in America" –Ann Coulter