Traverse City Record-Eagle

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December 1, 2013

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Prevention is best

Perhaps the National Rifle Association’s president is thinking that the best way to deal with an active shooter is to have a good man with a gun. Such thinking probably stems from the American folklore that every able-bodied man could grab their musket off the mantle and successfully defend his community. However, the facts do not support the myth.

The citizen soldier did poorly in the War of 1812, and their lawless behavior in the war against Mexico was criticized by the regular army. The belief that untrained or poorly trained citizens can defend against trained soldiers was laid to rest.

To believe that untrained citizens can effectively handle an active shooter is not only naive but ignores our poor history regarding citizen soldiers. Relying on untrained citizens to deal with an active shooter not only places their life in danger but also could result in injuries to others. Even when trained individuals are involved with an active shooter, others have been injured.

Like with fires, the best way is through prevention. Let us begin to prevent active shooters by enacting universal background checks designed to keep guns out the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable.

Ronald C. Marshall

Petoskey

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