Great points. By the time multiple people not in uniform start shooting, who
will know who the bad guy is? The fog of war is well understood, but
the fog of multiple shooters in civilian circumstances is much less talked
about. I think someone should make a simulator just so people can see how
ridiculous it would be if the entire Walmart were armed and shooting at other
In the vast majority of cases, these shooters are attracted to gun free zones
and that should tell us something. But to the larger point the author is making
I suggest two scenarios:First:Random shooter enters location,
no one else has a gun, kills 20, police arrive, shooter kills self.Second:Random shooter enters location, begins firing killing 3, 5
private citizens return fire, shooter dies, in the chaos 3 of the armed citizens
as well as 2 bystanders are killed by "friendly" fire.Based
purely on odds, I would rather be a bystander in the second scenario than the
first. But, for some reason we have decided as a society that the second
scenario would be worse despite much less loss of life. Clearly these numbers
are contrived and that is the first thing that someone who does not want to
directly answer my point will say.
Flawed argument. You select the ONE news article in months in which an armed
civilian attempted to intervene in a high stress and very dangerous situation,
and lost his life. You ignore the DOZENS, if not hundreds of cases over the
past few months in which an armed civilian intervened to halt criminal activity
and save lives. While your points regarding training have some merit, you
overstate your case and lose all credibility in so doing. We might as well
point to one favorable outcome in such a situation and then claim that it
supports the idea that everyone should be armed. The fact that not all people
who wear seatbelts survive an accident is not "evidence" that seatbelts
don't save lives.
Many law enforcement officers have died, not knowing there was another shooter.
If he had not confronted them, would they have still hid in the back
and died? No one knows. The man tried to save lives, and ended up giving up his,
let's not try to politicize it.
Carrying a gun and then defending oneself in the event a criminal attacks you
isn't rocket science. Were such an event to happen, you take out the gun,
point it at the threat and then pull the trigger. Lets not look for one more
excuse to make having guns harder to get and to keep.
An excellent, and sensible op ed. The day will come when a real tragedy will
occur when someone tries to step in and play hero, turning a bad situation into
a complete disaster.
I can name several times, in gun free zones where unarmed people are left at the
mercy of a criminal and have been slaughtered because they had no way to
respond. Can anyone name an instance where a person who was untrained person
responded by shooting the criminal and it turned out bad because they were
untrained? This article is just a back door attempt to take away peoples second
There are symbols we use like crosses, fish and even unicorns. may be we should
use them again so the piano player don't get shot.
"The fact is, permission to carry also grants implicit permission to use the
gun as one deems necessary".+++++That may (or may
not) be true. I haven't spent the time or intellectual effort to determine
which. Reason being that Americans do not have permission to carry, Americans
have a right to carry.
Having people walk around, as opposed to having them in the residence, with
weapons designed to kill persons results in dead persons. Quite a few every
Its no coincidence that all mass shooting occur in gun free zones. Not we want
to make it harder for the law abiding to get guns?
Research is lacking in gun stats ever since the CDC found that having a gun in
the home increases the likelihood a family member will be shot three (3) times.
Congress cut funding for gun research after that finding. People who argue guns
make us safer are wrong. If guns make us safer, and since we have the most guns
per capita in the world, shouldn't we be the safest country instead of
being one of the deadliest?
Its no coincidence that most mass shooting occur in gun free zones. That is
like saying its no coincidence that most multiple car crashes occur on roads
where there are a lot of cars. These "gun free zones" are places with
large numbers of people in a small confined area. Are we shocked that most mass
shootings don't occur in hay fields in the middle of Tabiona? Speaking for
myself, no I am not.
I keep waiting for the NRA and gun advocates to get around to that whole
"well regulated" bit of the right to bear arms.
I'm a combat vet with experience operating in urban environments. I also
have some law enforcement background. And I can tell you that there is nothing
more dangerous to themselves and to others than untrained civilians running
around with weapons and adding more chaos to an already chaotic environment.Too many wannabe Wyatt Earps out there with delusions of grandeur. When
the bullets fly, you either need training to kick in to maintain focus and
control, or you will become another potential threat to everyone else.
Bravo to Kathleen Parker for using her pulpit as a national colomnist to say
what desperately needs to be said. We don't need to take the guns from law
abiding citizens who want to own guns and use them for recreation and
protection. But we do need to know where the guns are in order to keep them out
of the hands of the crazies. The saying "the only thing that can stop a bad
man with a gun is a good man with a gun" is proven to be folly everyday.
When will we stop playing slave to the NRA and the gun lobby and start living by
the principles of this nation, principles that many of us learn every week in
Kathleen, you'd better be careful. Too many articles like this is going to
get you banned from the Deseret News as "too liberal".
Let's ask Pat Tillman's family about extensive training, easily
identifiable uniforms and other identifiers and the remaining dangers of
I wonder if the irony of one of the incidents in these stories has occured to Ms
Parker, or any of the anti gun folks. Many of the anti-carry folks say that in
the hands of untrained civilians a persons gun is likely to be taken away from
them by the criminal. Well here we see two well trained law enforcement
officers being killed and having their guns taken from them too. So now do we
logically conclude that the police should have left their guns home? Or at
least in their car? There is no perfect answer to the many scenarios that can
come up. The only absolute we can count on is that bad guys will get guns, so
good guys should have them too. Even if every gun shop in America were put out
of business, guns would come in from the border just like people and drugs do.
If we can't (or don't want to) control the border, stopping drugs and
people, we could not control guns either.
Its ironic that when bad guys with guns kill, it takes good guys with guns to
stop them! Unarmed people are helpless! I will NOT be helpless!
I mostly agree with the editorial, with the exception that the author appears to
insinuate that we don't have the God-given right to self defense. One need
not be deputized in order to defend one's self. In fact, it's the
other way around - law enforcement derives its authority from the consent of the
governed.The competent adult component of our society ought to look
at the situation carefully and rationally, excluding extremists who would either
attempt to ban guns entirely or who would carry an AR-15 into a JCPenney store.
Here in Utah, it is too easy to get a concealed carry permit - you don't
even have to fire a weapon. That's probably okay for those who grow up
around guns or who make the personal effort to get trained, using for example
the excellent resources of the NRA. But I think many of us badly underestimate
the gravity of concealed carry.I think the news media does the
American public a disservice by not running stories about private firearms used
successfully to protect persons and property. It happens on a daily basis, but
it doesn't make the news.
I resent the fact that entering a public place now means that I am at the mercy
of the judgment of someone who has bought into the illusion that a gun makes
him/her more safe. Are they required to undergo the same kind of training as
our police officers? Why not? How can we expect them to make wise decisions
when even trained officers sometimes get it wrong in the chaos of the moment?
This is just folly and I couldn't resent more this death grip
that our indulgence of gun lovers has had on my country. All that anyone is
buying with a gun is the illusion that you will never experience powerlessness.
Grow up and get real. No one escapes being human.
Jefferson, the claims that dozens, if not thousands of armed citizens defended
themselves are simply and totally FALSE.Please do a little honest
research and you will learn the truth.Simply Google something like
"guns used for defense by citizens" and you will find numerous studies
that completely debunk that myth.You will also find information
about the man who probably started the myth -- Dr. Gary Kleck -- a criminologist
from Florida. Look beyond the articles purporting to support his claims and you
will learn that his conclusions were based on seriously faulty statistical
gathering.If people are honestly seeking the truth about guns, they
will at least try to wade through the bewildering welter of myths, half-truths,
pure nonsense, and real truth until they have finally learned what is true and
what is not.Of course, if one is adamant in their opinions
regardless of which side they may land on, then no amount of study will help
them.But consider this one fact: If guns are used by private
citizens to defend themselves 2.5 MILLION times a year, that would mean it
happens 6849 times EVERY DAY. Really?
It appears at some point I'll be in a Walmart with everyone shooting at
each other and nobody sure who started it. This whole country is
just getting ridiculous. It's like we're trying to live out an action
flick. Life does not have to imitate art, but it usually does anyway.
Mountanman said "Its ironic that when bad guys with guns kill, it takes good
guys with guns to stop them!"That didn't work out in the
case of Chris Kyle, an ex-Navy Seal sniper who was killed my a fellow military
man. Was Kyle armed at the time? He was at a shooting range so I think we can
assume he was. Did it save his life? Unfortunately the answer is, no. Our
current gun culture seems to be spreading the message that violent action is the
way to resolve conflict in our lives. There are alternatives. No one wants
your gun if you are a law abiding citizen. But somehow we have get a better
handle on who has the guns.
@MountanmanHayden, IDIts ironic that when bad guys with guns kill,
it takes good guys with guns to stop them! Unarmed people are helpless! I will
NOT be helpless!6:54 a.m. June 11, 2014=========== In case you missed it...The ironry is that all the people
WITHOUT guns did not get hurt.It was 2 GOOD guy cops and some GOOD
guy cop-wanna-be with a gun that were the only ones who got shot.Oh,
and the 2 bad guys who shot themselves.BTW -- I'm waiting to
hear about the investigation of these 2 radical right-wings also staying with
Anti-Govenment, armed stand-off Cliven Bundy's ranch...Stay
The idea that carrying a gun will stop gun violence is ludicrous. The Las Vegas
shooting demonstrates that. Two armed police officers who were ambushed and an
armed civilian who knew there was a threat could not stop the violence. People
like Mountanman may get emotional satisfaction is saying "Unarmed people are
helpless! I will NOT be helpless!" but the reality is that they are mostly
helpless even when carrying a weapon. It is a totally false, fraudulent sense
of security. Pay heed to the words above of "Unreconstructed Reb". The
gun debate has become absurd and farcical. The gun nuts are bullies, even
bullying the NRA when it makes an extremely rare rational statement.
"God-given right to self defense." Are you kidding me? See, this is an
example of the conflated, grossly exaggerated arguments of gun advocates.
What we need is less angry teenagers with guns (that's up to the parents,
not the government). And less mentally defective people with guns. The
problem is knowing who those mentally defective people are. That's hard
for the family and the people close to them to determine... I don't know
how the Government (who actually knows very little about us and our mental
state on any given day) to detect problems in time.The solution is
also not to infringe on 2nd amendment "rights" and disarm EVERYBODY...
just because the Government can't detect the mentally defective ones well
enough.=======IMO... We need to keep an eye on our
family members (and that means all of us, not just somebody else). And not
allow family or friends access to guns when they are drunk, depressed, or
hanging out in a dark place and showing signs of wanting to hurt people or being
unstable. The government can't do that... only the family and friends
First of all when our forefathers established the 2nd amendment it was to
protect citizens against a tyrannical government...period (to appease
Anti-Federalists). Their intention wasn't for all untrained citizens to
carry weapons among large numbers of people (ie not in their homes). I'm
sure if someone had said to James Madison that the 2nd amendment would embolden
people to believe it was their right to carry weapons as untrained
"militia" in crowds of civilians it would have given him pause about the
verbiage in the amendment. One commenter said it best...when do we get the
"well-regulated" part of the 2nd amendment?
So many of you are looking at the ideal of how you would like things to be and
not the reality of the country we live in. Open borders, constitutional
freedoms and protections, ect. are the reality. That is why we have illegals
here, drugs here, criminals here, ect. Now for the hard truth. Nothing can be
done about people having firearms anymore than we can stop crime. We've
had a war on crime, drugs, poverty, ect for decades now. They all still exist
and always will as long as we have a society based upon individule freedoms and
liberty first. That's just the price we pay to have our country.
one old man -"But consider this one fact: If guns are used by
private citizens to defend themselves 2.5 MILLION times a year, that would mean
it happens 6849 times EVERY DAY. Really?"The only way that could
be true is if someone decides not to commit a crime because he knows the
potential victim is armed.But how could anyone possibly know what is
going on in the mind of a would-be criminal at any particular time?It's got to be just another made-up "fact" that
"Conservatives" are so fond of reciting.
@happy2behere"Many of the anti-carry folks say that in the hands of
untrained civilians a persons gun is likely to be taken away from them by the
criminal"The stat I typically refer to that might be mixed up
for that is that if an armed robbery victim has a gun they are more likely to be
shot by the robber, not by the robber taking their the victim's gun and
using it but by the robber using their own.
SchneeWe've all many times heard it said that a gun is
frequently taken away from the good guy by the bad guy. Even in the home. Are
you agreeing that is a false statement used by the anti-gun crowd? If so fine.
It is true though that if a person does pull a gun to stop a crime they had
better be prepared to use it. Just showing it to an armed robber and hoping he
will run away is not smart.
happy2bhereclearfield, UTI'll bet there are 1,000 news
stories of children "accidently" shooting their friends, siblings, selfs
-- than all the "self-dense" stories of a burgalr in my house in the
middle of the night' stories out there...
"The sensible case isn't that we need to ban guns, as some reflexively
would argue. It is that we require reasonable scrutiny of those who wish to own
guns, especially to conceal-carry, and require serious training of those who
possess them. Even this may be viewed by some as stepping on our Second
Amendment rights, but this is an argument without a satisfactory resolution.What say we hold our fire and give sanity a shot?"======== Great article Kathleen -- but beware....You just outed youself as a un-patriotic, Pro-Big-Government, anti-gun
liberal....and the Cliven Bundy's, Jaered Millers, and Adam
Lanzss "shall not be infringed" supporters are about to shout you down
as a Nazi as well.
We learn from the NRA...Only good guys with weapons can stop bad
guys with weapons.5 people are dead.3 good guys.2 bad guys.NRA math is working against us folks.
Some really don't like 2nd amendment rights. They seem to be constantly
trying to find ways to attack it, diminish it, or vilify it.This
isn't about the NRA. A lot of Americans not connected to the NRA support
the Constitution (including the 2nd amendment). Lots of Americans who
don't even have guns (like me) support the Constitution (and the 2nd
amendment). Fighting AGAINST these rights that are in our
Constitution... because some people abuse them... Is the same as taking away
our other rights because OTHERS may abuse them.We don't put
everybody in jail... because SOME people rob banks.We don't
take away everybody's free speech rights... because some people abuse those
rights.It's OK to have reasonable limits on all these rights...
but you don't just wipe them out because the left doesn't like them,
or because SOME people abuse them.It's inherently risky to live
in a "FREE" society. Because there's always going to be SOME
people who abuse their liberty to make their own decisions. But we have to
resist the knee-jerk reaction of taking away EVERYBODY's "rights"
because SOME abuse them...
To "UTAH Bill" it is a lie to say that we live in an unsafe environment.
In fact, if you look at the world statistics, we are quite safe. Some of the
most dangerous countries to live in have the most strict gun laws in the world.
If you look at the US, the highest homicide rates where guns are used are in
areas where gun control laws are the most strict.Look at Utah. It
has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the US. At the same time it also has
the lowest gun related homicide rates in the US. How is that possible if the
problem is dumb people owning guns?
@RedShirtUSS Enterprise, UTTo "UTAH Bill" it is a lie to say
that we live in an unsafe environment. In fact, if you look at the world
statistics, we are quite safe. Some of the most dangerous countries to live in
have the most strict gun laws in the world. ======== They also have the smallest Governments,Lowest wages, every man
for him/herself, Free Market Capitalsim, Least Governmetn controls
and regulations, and Lowest taxes, Everything the far-right
[and these 2 yah-hoos who did this in Las Vegas] and their "Don't
Tread of Me" types keep pushing on America.Somalia quickly comes
to mind -- a literal ultra-conservative Utopia.
@Redshirt "In fact, if you look at the world statistics, we are quite
safe."Compared to third world nations (and Russia, Brazil, and
Mexico depending on how many of them you consider first world) we are.
We're like a C student. "At the same time it also has the
lowest gun related homicide rates in the US."Vermont is lowest
at .3 per 100k. Utah is T-6th at .8 per 100k. Gun deaths are positively
correlated with gun ownership when you look at all 50 states. It's a pretty
linear relationship which means that:1. on a per gun basis adding or
subtracting guns doesn't really change gun death rates.2. on a per
person basis, adding/subtracting guns increases/decreases gun death rates.
RanchHandHuntsville, UTThe DN hasn't banned you, so there is
room for the far left's comments.
@ 2 bits"But we have to resist the knee-jerk reaction of taking
away EVERYBODY's "rights" because SOME abuse them..."I would argue that it is a knee jerk reaction to buy a gun to feel safe. It
is a knee jerk reaction to pass concealed carry laws so people can carry this
illusion with them wherever they go.These laws are also an abuse of
my right to have some say in what kind of society I want to live in. The gun
industry and those they manipulate with fear-mongering and bravado have gotten
to decide for us that we are going to be a gun-toting, no one-trusts-anyone
society while simultaneously crowing about freedom and a law that last made
sense about 150 years ago.I am sick and tired of my country being
controlled by people with the maturity of a 14-year old boy. Your guns
don't tell me you're brave or free. They tell me you're a slave
to your emotions and it is precisely this type of person that SHOULDN'T
have a gun.
Owning guns is a serious responsibility. I totally support the right of
Americans to own guns and to use them for target shooting, hunting and so-forth.
Owning guns for self-protection in a nation where there are a lot of unstable
people is a right that must be exercised responsibly. Guns in private hands
need to be locked up and kept where they cannot be accessed except by the
responsible owner. Unfortunately, we need to identify those who have mental
deficiencies and restrict gun use from or ownership of guns by those
individuals. Having a conceal and carry permit must include appropriate training
to obtain the permit as well as on-going education in the safe and responsible
carrying of the weapon. The people I know who own guns are very responsible
owners and good citizens and there are a lot of us.
Ms. Parker, I think you need to take a more rational approach and not jump on
one incident to make a weak point. We have no idea how the scenario would have
played out if one particular aspect had been different. Jefferson did a great
job of analyzing the flaws in your perspective.
We apparently see gun ownership as less serious than operating a car. No need
to demonstrate skill or good judgment. And bad things happen to
"responsible gun owners" too. There's so little room for error
with guns, particularly when children are in the picture.Also, how
should we define "unstable"? Should we include immature, hormonal young
men? What about the otherwise perfectly sane men that shoot their wives or
girlfriends in a bad moment? These people aren't mentally ill, but
they're still going to be out there with their guns nearby even after we
identify those with mental illness.The gun industry has conveniently
stifled research, but we know two things nonetheless:1) Gun violence
is far more likely to occur when a gun is available than when one is not (!!);
and2) It is far more likely to occur when a gun is accessible to a
male.We are implementing the 2nd Amendment in a way that encourages
and enables the male appetite for violence. Is this the right we want to
Armed citizens stop shooting and prevent deaths every day; many are much better
trained and shoot far better than cops and soldiers. You can view the
surveillance videos all day long on YouTube. The problem is it's not big
news because usually only one or two die - the bad guys. The national media
refuses to publicize these as well because it is contrary to their agenda.
To "Open Minded Mormon" actually, the countries with the highest rates
of violence are the opposite of much of what you say.They have large
governments with large amounts of power and are socialist or borderline
socialist.The government has cradle to grave programs for its
people.They control everything they through the government, and have
high taxes.They represent evrything the LEFT desires, and in some
cases are a socialist utopia.To "Schnee" you do realize that
Vermont also has some of the most lenient gun laws in the US don't you?
Actually reducing the number of guns does not reduce the number of deaths. If
you look at the world where there are few guns, some of those nations with the
fewest number of privately owned guns have some of the highest gun deaths. Your
hypothesis is wrong.