In a recent column, Ric Llewellyn seemed to advocate the right of citizens to carry weapons in public ("Law-abiding citizens unarmed, vulnerable," March 20). He thought that in the case of several incidents in the not-too-distant past, an assailant would have been prevented from inflicting as much harm if those around him had been carrying arms.
I take exception to this position. Imagine a scenario: You are in a bar. Two men are standing near the bar and one takes out his gun to show it to his friend. Some in the place shouts "Holdup!" Twenty people in the place whip out their guns and blast away. Five people now lie dead. I know that all the gun owners in this country think they are pretty good shots, but that usually only applies to the shooting range or when hunting. We have heard of too many friendly-fire deaths to think that under stress we can shoot that accurately.
Yes, this is an imaginary situation, but it does not take much imagination to create many more dangerous situations and one more likely to occur. Under those circumstances, is the person acting in defense of himself or others criminally liable. What about financial liability?
I believe that the more weapons are in the hands of the out-and-about public, the more we will see inadvertent disasters. I do not believe that in these circumstances there is safety in numbers.