The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Opinion

August 3, 2012

Aug. 4, 2012 Letters to the editor: Lawrence E. Gasch

No far-fetched scenario

Let’s say you decided to spend your Saturday evening at the theater. The movie is a highly anticipated feature and you expect the theater to be well attended so you bring along your Beretta pistol, which is secured to an ankle holster on your leg. When you arrive at the theater you find a large crowd waiting in line. The excitement is electric as the theater-goers file in to find their seats. As you supposed, the theater is filled to capacity.

Now the previews of coming attractions have finished, the opening credits have rolled and the movie has begun. Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light. Instinctively you realize that someone has detonated some sort of incendiary device. For several seconds you are unable to see anything but you can hear chaos in the movie house as panicked people press for the exit. Your vision returns only to discover the semi-dark theater is filled with smoke. Sensing the danger you quickly draw your gun and prepare to stand your ground.

Shots ring out and you see several muzzle flashes from different locations to your right. Several more blasts can be seen from different locations on your left. Unbeknownst to you, other people have brought along their weapons, too. One of the shooters is the bad guy; the others are innocent people such as yourself. Which one do you shoot? In the chaos, the fog of war if you will, how do you decide where to point your gun? More shots blaze from various locations. Gunshot victims are screaming on all sides. If you do shoot, will there be any innocent civilians in your line of fire? Or will your bullet go through the wall and kill someone in the adjacent theater? And what if the bad guy is wearing protective body armor? Your shot may not only be ineffective, but may draw unwanted attention to yourself? What do you do? Who do you shoot?

Far-fetched? I’ll bet the people in Aurora, Colo., don’t think so. But the real question is, do we really need more guns or easy access to them?

Lawrence E. Gasch

Conneaut

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