Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Firearms do not make us safer

In a recent letter to the Sun (“‘Gun-free zones’ offer false security,” June 4), the writer argues that “an armed society is a polite society” and asked, “Have you ever seen a mass shooter go into a police station to carry out his nefarious plan? He knows better.”

Recent events in Las Vegas have exposed the folly of believing that we are safer if all citizens were to carry firearms all the time. The day after the letter was published, a local man was shot for simply knocking on the wrong door, having confused the home of the shooter with his intended destination. Such “accidental” shootings would increase in frequency if more people had guns, as would “heat of passion” shootings in situations such as road rage or domestic conflicts.

The horrible tragedy of the two police officers shot in a local pizza restaurant also exposes the lie that a gunman will “think twice” if he believes that his victims could be armed. In addition, it makes clear that carrying a gun is of little value for protection in a situation where an attack is planned and unexpected, as is the case with most mass shootings.

The notion that a heavily armed society is a safer one requires a denial or willful ignorance of basic human nature. If everyone had guns, the only ones who would be safe would be those willing to shoot first.

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