After the shooting in a Colorado theater, gun activists argued that an armed citizenship would have been able to protect itself. Here is the flip side to that argument. In the story below, a lone gunman shoots a co-worker and then points his gun at the police. When the shooting ended, nine additional people had been shot- all by the police. In their efforts to shoot the gunman, police peppered bullets into the crowd as well. These were all trained law officers. Now go back to that theater and imagine armed citizens shooting back at the gunman in a crossfire. Imagine the terror of the moment, and then imagine looking across the room at other armed people not knowing if they were with the shooter or not. In a moment of panic, might you point your weapon at them just to be “safe”? And could they possibly be having the same panicked thoughts about you?
What the police did here was very human, and it raises the question of whether well armed citizens in a crowded city are actually safer.