Let's avoid 'Wild West' mentality

Friday, December 11, 2015

Iowa is a concealed carry state with some restrictions. A person must obtain a permit to carry a concealed gun, requiring training as established by the state.

We support both the ability of Iowans to obtain such a permit and the restrictions. Based on what we have been able to ascertain, the vast majority of Iowa gun owners, including those who carry concealed handguns, have used this privilege responsibly.

What is concerning is the suggestion that emerges after every well-publicized shooting spree - that more of the public become armed to deal with mass murder.

There might be rare situations in which armed civilians could intervene in mass murder. We wouldn't want to prevent the possibility of that happening;

however, despite the level of publicity mass killings get, they account for only a tiny fraction of the more than 11,000 gun homicides in the U.S. annually.

They account for an even smaller fraction of the total gun threats or displays of weapons that don't necessarily result in fatalities.

The real danger of encouraging an over-eager and poorly-trained mass of armed citizens, is that they would undoubtedly escalate some situations into tragedies.