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In our opinion: Enough shots in the dark

Published: Monday, July 27 2009 12:02 a.m. MDT

A National Rifle Association member takes aim as he looks at a display of handguns during a convention.

Associated Press

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Kurt Vonnegut said it best. Pistols are machines for killing other people. That's all they're good for.

And the unfortunate showdown in Bluffdale this past week proves the point.

It's no secret the Deseret News has been concerned over the years with firearms in public. Concealed weapons, in our book, have no place in schools, in churches and in the parking lots of private businesses.

Today, we add they have no place on "neighborhood watch" patrols.

We've also said that guns have a habit of hurting the innocent. The tragedy of handguns isn't that the guilty end up paying but that the decent do.

Such was the case in Bluffdale. Two well-meaning adults met on the street at night and — quick on the trigger — didn't bother to find out each other's motives before "slapping leather." Both men, by all reports, are good men. They are conscientious, kind and want the best for people.

They wanted to make their community safe.

Well, we have to ask. Does Bluffdale feel safer now?

Will people from the rest of the valley think twice before visiting the town after dark?

Get out your letter-writing kits, we're about to make some points we've made many times before.

First, tough guys don't pack firearms. Fearful guys do — people who see everyone around them as a threat and think the worst of every face they don't recognize. Guns don't showcase strength, they showcase weakness.

Second, guns do not make homes safer, they make homes more dangerous. Statistics prove it.

Third, anyone who feels they must "pack heat" while attending church has a very low opinion of God's children.

Fourth, putting pistols in the hands of school teachers may be the worst American idea since the Edsel.

Fifth, revolvers solve nothing. They complicate the problem.

Six, the NRA crowd has it right: Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

We've seen too many gunshot deaths to argue.

In the end, we urge citizens to dial it back.

Shoot your mouth off if you must. Just don't shoot someone else's off.

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