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Letters to the Editor

Bullet proof in the line of fire

Karen Webb January 18th, 2011

They are discussing gun control and Arizona, and someone says if someone had a pistol that day, the guy in Arizona would have been dead.

They are discussing gun control and Arizona, and someone says if someone had a pistol that day, the guy in Arizona would have been dead.

Right, and if everyone had a pistol — which is “supposed” to mean “security” — then everyone would have shot the right person and no one would have assumed there could have been accomplices. Just shoot and sort out the good guys and bad gals later at the morgue.

How do you tell a good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun? Are they going to start requiring they wear black or white hats, or maybe T-shirts or buttons of some sort?

So, how will I know if the guy with the gun who is next to me at the mall, the restaurant, the McDonald’s or in Arizona and other places — the hospital, the church, the train, the bus or even the House Gallery at the Capitol — is a good guy or a bad guy waiting for the opportunity, since we want everyone and their old maid aunt to pack heat?

This is why I make it a point of leaving any and every establishment when I see a person with a gun who is not wearing a law enforcement uniform. Not all police officers can be trusted, but most can. No one who thinks he is never safe without a gun can be trusted by me.

Paranoia is not my friend. When everyone opens fire, no one will know who the perp is.

—Karen Webb

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01.25.2011 at 11:01 Reply

Interesting point.  I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but Arizona is an Open Carry state.  meaning that it's legal for any Arizona citizen to carry a weapon in the open onto any grounds which to not prohibit weapons.  Moreover, NO permit is required to do so. 

My point being that Arizona already had some loose gun laws to begin with, and that did nothing to save Congresswoman Giffords or the many others who became a victim that day.  It's an easy arguement to make that more guns would have limited the bloodshed that day, but I'm not so sure.  Let me explain why.

I was an armed courier in Arizona for a year and a half before moving to Oklahoma.  I also still possess a valid Arizona Concealed Carry Permit.  Because of that, I was privy to specific firearms training.  Part of that training is understanding liability.  This is the part that terrifies any sane individual.  My trainer (a retired Tempe police officer) basically said that regardless of whether you're found NOT guilty in a criminal trial as a result of using a firearm, you can rest assured you will be sued Civilly as a result of drawing your weapon (regardless of whether you discharge the weapon).  And so you see, there is great pause for those law abiding citizens when it comes to drawing their weapons.  That moment of hesitation is going to be the defining factor in the lives of people who at that instant could care less about potential litigation.

From what I learned in my training I can say with extreme certainty, that I will know quickly who is the good guy based on certain factors.  The first of which, is there a law being broken?  If yes, ask yourself this, is someone's life at stake during the commission of that crime?  If yes, draw weapon, if no, do not.  It's that simple.  The ONLY time we are justified in using deadly force is when there is immediate to threat to ourselves or others.  And while making a rapid assessment of the situation is required, I believe a quick thinker can easily ascertain who is the good guy and who is the bad guy.

We should have federally mandated firearms courses which are required for firearm ownership.  The problem with that is, like the healthcare debate, the government cannot legally force someone to buy a service.  The service in this instance is training.  And the gun lobbyists would be all over that.  Personally I don't see the problem with it.  I would like to think that everyone in the U.S. that owns a gun has some clue how to use it and the consequences of using it.  However, the sad reality is that gun use in film and TV glamorizes brandishing a gun, making it seem fun and without recourse.  The act of just pointing an unloaded gun at someone is considered a felony.  And if we could just get every gun owner to know that, then obviously the ones pointing guns at people are the "bad" guy.

I would like to point out that despite my training, and permit to conceal carry, I no longer own any firearms, and do not arm myself with any other type of weapon.  The liabilities of carrying weapons are great enough to discourage me from my own self defense.  How unfortunate.