The pro-gun crowd will quickly point out how much better they are than the cops at hitting their targets. SOME of them are, for sure, but some cops are well-trained marksmen too.We had a shooting near the Empire State Building. An aggrieved ex-employee of an apparel company killed his former co-worker, and was himself killed by police. Except for the famous-landmark location, it was not actually a very big story. Remember the mass shooting at the lumberyard in North Carolina earlier this year, or the one last October at the California cement plant? No? Neither does anybody else except the grieving families.Nine passers-by were also wounded, and it seems almost certain that some or all were accidentally hit by the police. This isn’t surprising; it’s only in movies that people are good shots during a violent encounter. In 2008, Al Baker reported in The Times that the accuracy rate for New York City officers firing in the line of duty was 34 percent.And these are people trained for this kind of crisis. The moral is that if a lunatic starts shooting, you will not be made safer if your fellow average citizens are carrying concealed weapons.
The average gun owner is not better trained and better equipped to handle an emergency than the average law enforcement officer, in spite of what the tiny fringe element of extremists says.
Good guys carrying guns in public does not make us safer. The proof is in examples like Tucson, where the armed civilians DID NOT STOP IT, and in the most recent Empire State Building incident, in which the shooters made matters worse. Both of those, interestingly, were not gun-free zones.
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