. . . A common refrain from gun proponents after a deadly mass shooting is that if only somebody at the scene had been armed, lives would have been saved. This idea, which underpins most gun marketing efforts, overlooks two important points: that guns in the home are more likely to be used against their owners than against invaders; and that without sufficient training and practice, citizens should not expect to be able to defend themselves with a gun.
In many states, the requirements for a concealed carry permit do not go far enough to establish whether the applicant knows how to operate a firearm in a high-pressure situation. Combined with gun-industry-backed statutes like “stand your ground” laws, it’s a recipe for more gun violence.
The battle over guns should not be between gun owners and nonowners; it should be between a gun industry that wants to promote gun sales at all costs, and an American public that acknowledges that there are legitimate, public-health reasons to regulate the purchase and use of firearms.
A balance can be struck between protecting the individual right to bear arms and the individual need to be safe. Part of that work involves determining what policies are in the public interest, rather than in the gun industry’s interest.