Despite many years of searching and the six hundredth mass shooting in the U.S. this week alone the legendary figure of the "good guy with a gun" is yet to make an appearance.
One of the most enduring characters in American folklore, alongside the likes of Bigfoot, Paul Bunyan, John Appleseed and Jeb Bush, like all of the above his existence is yet to be verified but many insist that they have seen him.
This may be, however I won't be convinced until I see footage so grainy it's hardly watchable on YouTube that purports his existence, for that is the highest and most reliable evidence you can have of anything.
Sceptics argue that the "good guy with a gun" is like God or Gorillaz being on hiatus, merely wishful thinking, an invention intended to reassure the American public. But this does not dissuade hopefuls who still eagerly anticipate his arrival every mass shooting.
Children put out stockings in the hopes that good guy with a gun will watch carefully over them for another year, toast chestnuts on an open fire and sing joyous songs such as "We're All Screwed" and "Lord Help Us".
Whether or not good guy with a gun really is out there his image will endure and many will still put their faith in him to carry them through rather than actually doing anything to stop shootings.