This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Every new story about gun violence brings on a surge of letters contending that if more people carried guns, those situations could be reduced in severity or even avoided. Those arguments always cause this scenario to pop into my head:
A shooter opens fire. Chaos and panic ensue. A bunch of armed citizens, hearing the shots, draw their weapons and rush to the scene. They find panic, chaos and guys pointing guns at one another.
Is one of the guys with a gun the shooter, his accomplice or a would-be do-gooder? Even if you know who the original shooter is and you shoot at him, what do the others do? They can't know your role or intentions.
Now the police arrive. Same panic and chaos, but now with more dead or wounded lying about and guys holding guns. Guess what happens next?
At the recent shooting at the Empire State Building, one man shot someone he had a beef with. Trained, experienced police arrived on the scene. They shot the shooter but nine bystanders also went to the hospital. Imagine the outcome if it had been amateur night.
More guns? Yeah, you bet.
Paul B. Choberka