Hardly a day passes when The Post and Courier does not report a shooting incident. The National Rifle Association preaches that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun." It would like to see everyone packing heat so that during an emergency, the "good" citizens can take action without police presence.
The obvious question is "How do you identify the bad guy?" Suppose you are in a department store and see a person carrying an assault rifle. Do you feel safe or do you feel threatened?
If someone started shooting and everyone took out their guns, how would the shooter be identified? Even if the shooter was known, and the "good guys" took action, wouldn't innocent people be at risk during a crossfire?
Regardless of training, people do not react the same way under pressure as they do on a firing range. There are numerous accounts of policemen missing their targets and hitting innocent bystanders.
During the summer of 2012, for example, two counter-terrorism officers in the Empire State Building killed an armed suspect, but nine innocents also were wounded. One can only imagine the mayhem caused by a shooter in a dark movie theater if most of the audience carried guns and decided to be heroes.
Sometimes you have to be stupid before you get smart. Those people who advocate the guns for all and everywhere philosophy will soon realize the lunacy of this idea when gun-toting hotheads begin to pull the trigger every time someone plays loud music or takes a disputed parking space.
A safer route would be to place reasonable restrictions on firearms such as licensing, background checks and limiting rounds. This is not a Second Amendment issue, it is a common-sense issue.
Daniel Legare Place
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