Letters to the Editor

Gun-free zones are safer

At the recent NRA event, Donald Trump proposed eliminating public gun-free zones. The presence of many armed attendees would deter killers, and good people could go places once again “without feeling frightened.”

Really? At least two fallacies preface such a policy.

First, Trump seems to assume that the presence of other weapons deters all would-be killers. However, we know that many jihadists are suicidal; they aspire to be martyrs. In a public gathering, they would shoot first and then welcome the glory of retaliation.

Second, Trump ignores our long history with would-be assassins. From Lincoln to Kennedy and from Reagan to Gifford (and countless others), the gunman arrived to kill one targeted person.

In a crowd of heat-packing people, there is no deterrent to the killer shooting first. Trump’s policy would likely reduce the number of suicide bombers; they’d become suicide gunmen, and in greater numbers.

With a hundred guns scattered in an auditorium, no public figure’s armed guards could monitor that sea of faces, and no public figure would be safe.

Alas, with each public murder, the NRA would continue to blame someone else. And Trump would be in more danger on any platform.

George Hunter