Kathleen Parker: Armed, dangerous and dead


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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 16, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" actually, the countries with the highest rates of violence are the opposite of much of what you say.

    They have large governments with large amounts of power and are socialist or borderline socialist.

    The government has cradle to grave programs for its people.

    They control everything they through the government, and have high taxes.

    They represent evrything the LEFT desires, and in some cases are a socialist utopia.

    To "Schnee" you do realize that Vermont also has some of the most lenient gun laws in the US don't you? Actually reducing the number of guns does not reduce the number of deaths. If you look at the world where there are few guns, some of those nations with the fewest number of privately owned guns have some of the highest gun deaths. Your hypothesis is wrong.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    June 15, 2014 12:03 a.m.

    Armed citizens stop shooting and prevent deaths every day; many are much better trained and shoot far better than cops and soldiers. You can view the surveillance videos all day long on YouTube. The problem is it's not big news because usually only one or two die - the bad guys. The national media refuses to publicize these as well because it is contrary to their agenda.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 14, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    We apparently see gun ownership as less serious than operating a car. No need to demonstrate skill or good judgment. And bad things happen to "responsible gun owners" too. There's so little room for error with guns, particularly when children are in the picture.

    Also, how should we define "unstable"? Should we include immature, hormonal young men? What about the otherwise perfectly sane men that shoot their wives or girlfriends in a bad moment? These people aren't mentally ill, but they're still going to be out there with their guns nearby even after we identify those with mental illness.

    The gun industry has conveniently stifled research, but we know two things nonetheless:

    1) Gun violence is far more likely to occur when a gun is available than when one is not (!!); and

    2) It is far more likely to occur when a gun is accessible to a male.

    We are implementing the 2nd Amendment in a way that encourages and enables the male appetite for violence. Is this the right we want to protect?

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 14, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    Ms. Parker, I think you need to take a more rational approach and not jump on one incident to make a weak point. We have no idea how the scenario would have played out if one particular aspect had been different. Jefferson did a great job of analyzing the flaws in your perspective.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    Owning guns is a serious responsibility. I totally support the right of Americans to own guns and to use them for target shooting, hunting and so-forth. Owning guns for self-protection in a nation where there are a lot of unstable people is a right that must be exercised responsibly. Guns in private hands need to be locked up and kept where they cannot be accessed except by the responsible owner. Unfortunately, we need to identify those who have mental deficiencies and restrict gun use from or ownership of guns by those individuals. Having a conceal and carry permit must include appropriate training to obtain the permit as well as on-going education in the safe and responsible carrying of the weapon. The people I know who own guns are very responsible owners and good citizens and there are a lot of us.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 12, 2014 7:32 p.m.

    @ 2 bits

    "But we have to resist the knee-jerk reaction of taking away EVERYBODY's "rights" because SOME abuse them..."

    I would argue that it is a knee jerk reaction to buy a gun to feel safe. It is a knee jerk reaction to pass concealed carry laws so people can carry this illusion with them wherever they go.

    These laws are also an abuse of my right to have some say in what kind of society I want to live in. The gun industry and those they manipulate with fear-mongering and bravado have gotten to decide for us that we are going to be a gun-toting, no one-trusts-anyone society while simultaneously crowing about freedom and a law that last made sense about 150 years ago.

    I am sick and tired of my country being controlled by people with the maturity of a 14-year old boy. Your guns don't tell me you're brave or free. They tell me you're a slave to your emotions and it is precisely this type of person that SHOULDN'T have a gun.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    Huntsville, UT
    The DN hasn't banned you, so there is room for the far left's comments.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    "In fact, if you look at the world statistics, we are quite safe."

    Compared to third world nations (and Russia, Brazil, and Mexico depending on how many of them you consider first world) we are. We're like a C student.

    "At the same time it also has the lowest gun related homicide rates in the US."

    Vermont is lowest at .3 per 100k. Utah is T-6th at .8 per 100k. Gun deaths are positively correlated with gun ownership when you look at all 50 states. It's a pretty linear relationship which means that:
    1. on a per gun basis adding or subtracting guns doesn't really change gun death rates.
    2. on a per person basis, adding/subtracting guns increases/decreases gun death rates.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 11, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    USS Enterprise, UT
    To "UTAH Bill" it is a lie to say that we live in an unsafe environment. In fact, if you look at the world statistics, we are quite safe. Some of the most dangerous countries to live in have the most strict gun laws in the world.


    They also have the smallest Governments,
    Lowest wages,
    every man for him/herself,
    Free Market Capitalsim,
    Least Governmetn controls and regulations,
    and Lowest taxes,

    Everything the far-right [and these 2 yah-hoos who did this in Las Vegas]
    and their "Don't Tread of Me" types keep pushing on America.

    Somalia quickly comes to mind --
    a literal ultra-conservative Utopia.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    To "UTAH Bill" it is a lie to say that we live in an unsafe environment. In fact, if you look at the world statistics, we are quite safe. Some of the most dangerous countries to live in have the most strict gun laws in the world. If you look at the US, the highest homicide rates where guns are used are in areas where gun control laws are the most strict.

    Look at Utah. It has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the US. At the same time it also has the lowest gun related homicide rates in the US. How is that possible if the problem is dumb people owning guns?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    Some really don't like 2nd amendment rights. They seem to be constantly trying to find ways to attack it, diminish it, or vilify it.

    This isn't about the NRA. A lot of Americans not connected to the NRA support the Constitution (including the 2nd amendment). Lots of Americans who don't even have guns (like me) support the Constitution (and the 2nd amendment).

    Fighting AGAINST these rights that are in our Constitution... because some people abuse them... Is the same as taking away our other rights because OTHERS may abuse them.

    We don't put everybody in jail... because SOME people rob banks.

    We don't take away everybody's free speech rights... because some people abuse those rights.

    It's OK to have reasonable limits on all these rights... but you don't just wipe them out because the left doesn't like them, or because SOME people abuse them.

    It's inherently risky to live in a "FREE" society. Because there's always going to be SOME people who abuse their liberty to make their own decisions. But we have to resist the knee-jerk reaction of taking away EVERYBODY's "rights" because SOME abuse them...

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    We learn from the NRA...

    Only good guys with weapons can stop bad guys with weapons.

    5 people are dead.

    3 good guys.

    2 bad guys.

    NRA math is working against us folks.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 11, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    "The sensible case isn't that we need to ban guns, as some reflexively would argue. It is that we require reasonable scrutiny of those who wish to own guns, especially to conceal-carry, and require serious training of those who possess them. Even this may be viewed by some as stepping on our Second Amendment rights, but this is an argument without a satisfactory resolution.

    What say we hold our fire and give sanity a shot?"


    Great article Kathleen --
    but beware....

    You just outed youself as a un-patriotic, Pro-Big-Government, anti-gun liberal.

    ...and the Cliven Bundy's, Jaered Millers, and Adam Lanzss "shall not be infringed" supporters are about to shout you down as a Nazi as well.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 11, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    clearfield, UT

    I'll bet there are 1,000 news stories of children "accidently" shooting their friends, siblings, selfs -- than all the "self-dense" stories of a burgalr in my house in the middle of the night' stories out there...

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:31 a.m.


    We've all many times heard it said that a gun is frequently taken away from the good guy by the bad guy. Even in the home. Are you agreeing that is a false statement used by the anti-gun crowd? If so fine. It is true though that if a person does pull a gun to stop a crime they had better be prepared to use it. Just showing it to an armed robber and hoping he will run away is not smart.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    "Many of the anti-carry folks say that in the hands of untrained civilians a persons gun is likely to be taken away from them by the criminal"

    The stat I typically refer to that might be mixed up for that is that if an armed robbery victim has a gun they are more likely to be shot by the robber, not by the robber taking their the victim's gun and using it but by the robber using their own.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 11, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    one old man -

    "But consider this one fact: If guns are used by private citizens to defend themselves 2.5 MILLION times a year, that would mean it happens 6849 times EVERY DAY. Really?"

    The only way that could be true is if someone decides not to commit a crime because he knows the potential victim is armed.

    But how could anyone possibly know what is going on in the mind of a would-be criminal at any particular time?

    It's got to be just another made-up "fact" that "Conservatives" are so fond of reciting.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    So many of you are looking at the ideal of how you would like things to be and not the reality of the country we live in. Open borders, constitutional freedoms and protections, ect. are the reality. That is why we have illegals here, drugs here, criminals here, ect. Now for the hard truth. Nothing can be done about people having firearms anymore than we can stop crime. We've had a war on crime, drugs, poverty, ect for decades now. They all still exist and always will as long as we have a society based upon individule freedoms and liberty first. That's just the price we pay to have our country.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 11, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    First of all when our forefathers established the 2nd amendment it was to protect citizens against a tyrannical government...period (to appease Anti-Federalists). Their intention wasn't for all untrained citizens to carry weapons among large numbers of people (ie not in their homes). I'm sure if someone had said to James Madison that the 2nd amendment would embolden people to believe it was their right to carry weapons as untrained "militia" in crowds of civilians it would have given him pause about the verbiage in the amendment. One commenter said it best...when do we get the "well-regulated" part of the 2nd amendment?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    What we need is less angry teenagers with guns (that's up to the parents, not the government). And less mentally defective people with guns. The problem is knowing who those mentally defective people are. That's hard for the family and the people close to them to determine... I don't know how the Government (who actually knows very little about us and our mental state on any given day) to detect problems in time.

    The solution is also not to infringe on 2nd amendment "rights" and disarm EVERYBODY... just because the Government can't detect the mentally defective ones well enough.


    IMO... We need to keep an eye on our family members (and that means all of us, not just somebody else). And not allow family or friends access to guns when they are drunk, depressed, or hanging out in a dark place and showing signs of wanting to hurt people or being unstable. The government can't do that... only the family and friends can.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    "God-given right to self defense." Are you kidding me? See, this is an example of the conflated, grossly exaggerated arguments of gun advocates.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    The idea that carrying a gun will stop gun violence is ludicrous. The Las Vegas shooting demonstrates that. Two armed police officers who were ambushed and an armed civilian who knew there was a threat could not stop the violence. People like Mountanman may get emotional satisfaction is saying "Unarmed people are helpless! I will NOT be helpless!" but the reality is that they are mostly helpless even when carrying a weapon. It is a totally false, fraudulent sense of security. Pay heed to the words above of "Unreconstructed Reb". The gun debate has become absurd and farcical. The gun nuts are bullies, even bullying the NRA when it makes an extremely rare rational statement.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Hayden, ID
    Its ironic that when bad guys with guns kill, it takes good guys with guns to stop them! Unarmed people are helpless! I will NOT be helpless!

    6:54 a.m. June 11, 2014


    In case you missed it...

    The ironry is that all the people WITHOUT guns did not get hurt.

    It was 2 GOOD guy cops and some GOOD guy cop-wanna-be with a gun that were the only ones who got shot.

    Oh, and the 2 bad guys who shot themselves.

    BTW -- I'm waiting to hear about the investigation of these 2 radical right-wings also staying with Anti-Govenment, armed stand-off Cliven Bundy's ranch...

    Stay tuned...

  • ECR Burke, VA
    June 11, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Mountanman said "Its ironic that when bad guys with guns kill, it takes good guys with guns to stop them!"

    That didn't work out in the case of Chris Kyle, an ex-Navy Seal sniper who was killed my a fellow military man. Was Kyle armed at the time? He was at a shooting range so I think we can assume he was. Did it save his life? Unfortunately the answer is, no. Our current gun culture seems to be spreading the message that violent action is the way to resolve conflict in our lives. There are alternatives. No one wants your gun if you are a law abiding citizen. But somehow we have get a better handle on who has the guns.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 11, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    It appears at some point I'll be in a Walmart with everyone shooting at each other and nobody sure who started it.

    This whole country is just getting ridiculous. It's like we're trying to live out an action flick. Life does not have to imitate art, but it usually does anyway.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    Jefferson, the claims that dozens, if not thousands of armed citizens defended themselves are simply and totally FALSE.

    Please do a little honest research and you will learn the truth.

    Simply Google something like "guns used for defense by citizens" and you will find numerous studies that completely debunk that myth.

    You will also find information about the man who probably started the myth -- Dr. Gary Kleck -- a criminologist from Florida. Look beyond the articles purporting to support his claims and you will learn that his conclusions were based on seriously faulty statistical gathering.

    If people are honestly seeking the truth about guns, they will at least try to wade through the bewildering welter of myths, half-truths, pure nonsense, and real truth until they have finally learned what is true and what is not.

    Of course, if one is adamant in their opinions regardless of which side they may land on, then no amount of study will help them.

    But consider this one fact: If guns are used by private citizens to defend themselves 2.5 MILLION times a year, that would mean it happens 6849 times EVERY DAY. Really?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 11, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    I resent the fact that entering a public place now means that I am at the mercy of the judgment of someone who has bought into the illusion that a gun makes him/her more safe. Are they required to undergo the same kind of training as our police officers? Why not? How can we expect them to make wise decisions when even trained officers sometimes get it wrong in the chaos of the moment?

    This is just folly and I couldn't resent more this death grip that our indulgence of gun lovers has had on my country. All that anyone is buying with a gun is the illusion that you will never experience powerlessness. Grow up and get real. No one escapes being human.

    June 11, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    I mostly agree with the editorial, with the exception that the author appears to insinuate that we don't have the God-given right to self defense. One need not be deputized in order to defend one's self. In fact, it's the other way around - law enforcement derives its authority from the consent of the governed.

    The competent adult component of our society ought to look at the situation carefully and rationally, excluding extremists who would either attempt to ban guns entirely or who would carry an AR-15 into a JCPenney store. Here in Utah, it is too easy to get a concealed carry permit - you don't even have to fire a weapon. That's probably okay for those who grow up around guns or who make the personal effort to get trained, using for example the excellent resources of the NRA. But I think many of us badly underestimate the gravity of concealed carry.

    I think the news media does the American public a disservice by not running stories about private firearms used successfully to protect persons and property. It happens on a daily basis, but it doesn't make the news.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 11, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    Its ironic that when bad guys with guns kill, it takes good guys with guns to stop them! Unarmed people are helpless! I will NOT be helpless!

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    I wonder if the irony of one of the incidents in these stories has occured to Ms Parker, or any of the anti gun folks. Many of the anti-carry folks say that in the hands of untrained civilians a persons gun is likely to be taken away from them by the criminal. Well here we see two well trained law enforcement officers being killed and having their guns taken from them too. So now do we logically conclude that the police should have left their guns home? Or at least in their car? There is no perfect answer to the many scenarios that can come up. The only absolute we can count on is that bad guys will get guns, so good guys should have them too. Even if every gun shop in America were put out of business, guns would come in from the border just like people and drugs do. If we can't (or don't want to) control the border, stopping drugs and people, we could not control guns either.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:35 a.m.

    Let's ask Pat Tillman's family about extensive training, easily identifiable uniforms and other identifiers and the remaining dangers of friendly fire.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:08 a.m.

    Kathleen, you'd better be careful. Too many articles like this is going to get you banned from the Deseret News as "too liberal".

  • ECR Burke, VA
    June 11, 2014 5:16 a.m.

    Bravo to Kathleen Parker for using her pulpit as a national colomnist to say what desperately needs to be said. We don't need to take the guns from law abiding citizens who want to own guns and use them for recreation and protection. But we do need to know where the guns are in order to keep them out of the hands of the crazies. The saying "the only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun" is proven to be folly everyday. When will we stop playing slave to the NRA and the gun lobby and start living by the principles of this nation, principles that many of us learn every week in church?

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    June 11, 2014 4:09 a.m.

    I'm a combat vet with experience operating in urban environments. I also have some law enforcement background. And I can tell you that there is nothing more dangerous to themselves and to others than untrained civilians running around with weapons and adding more chaos to an already chaotic environment.

    Too many wannabe Wyatt Earps out there with delusions of grandeur. When the bullets fly, you either need training to kick in to maintain focus and control, or you will become another potential threat to everyone else.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 10, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    I keep waiting for the NRA and gun advocates to get around to that whole "well regulated" bit of the right to bear arms.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 10, 2014 10:55 p.m.

    Its no coincidence that most mass shooting occur in gun free zones. That is like saying its no coincidence that most multiple car crashes occur on roads where there are a lot of cars. These "gun free zones" are places with large numbers of people in a small confined area. Are we shocked that most mass shootings don't occur in hay fields in the middle of Tabiona? Speaking for myself, no I am not.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 10:08 p.m.

    Research is lacking in gun stats ever since the CDC found that having a gun in the home increases the likelihood a family member will be shot three (3) times. Congress cut funding for gun research after that finding. People who argue guns make us safer are wrong. If guns make us safer, and since we have the most guns per capita in the world, shouldn't we be the safest country instead of being one of the deadliest?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    Its no coincidence that all mass shooting occur in gun free zones. Not we want to make it harder for the law abiding to get guns?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    Having people walk around, as opposed to having them in the residence, with weapons designed to kill persons results in dead persons. Quite a few every day.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    "The fact is, permission to carry also grants implicit permission to use the gun as one deems necessary".


    That may (or may not) be true. I haven't spent the time or intellectual effort to determine which. Reason being that Americans do not have permission to carry, Americans have a right to carry.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:27 p.m.

    There are symbols we use like crosses, fish and even unicorns. may be we should use them again so the piano player don't get shot.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    I can name several times, in gun free zones where unarmed people are left at the mercy of a criminal and have been slaughtered because they had no way to respond. Can anyone name an instance where a person who was untrained person responded by shooting the criminal and it turned out bad because they were untrained? This article is just a back door attempt to take away peoples second amendment rights.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    An excellent, and sensible op ed. The day will come when a real tragedy will occur when someone tries to step in and play hero, turning a bad situation into a complete disaster.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    Carrying a gun and then defending oneself in the event a criminal attacks you isn't rocket science. Were such an event to happen, you take out the gun, point it at the threat and then pull the trigger. Lets not look for one more excuse to make having guns harder to get and to keep.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:12 p.m.

    Many law enforcement officers have died, not knowing there was another shooter.

    If he had not confronted them, would they have still hid in the back and died? No one knows. The man tried to save lives, and ended up giving up his, let's not try to politicize it.

  • Jefferson Kalispell, MT
    June 10, 2014 9:04 p.m.

    Flawed argument. You select the ONE news article in months in which an armed civilian attempted to intervene in a high stress and very dangerous situation, and lost his life. You ignore the DOZENS, if not hundreds of cases over the past few months in which an armed civilian intervened to halt criminal activity and save lives. While your points regarding training have some merit, you overstate your case and lose all credibility in so doing. We might as well point to one favorable outcome in such a situation and then claim that it supports the idea that everyone should be armed. The fact that not all people who wear seatbelts survive an accident is not "evidence" that seatbelts don't save lives.

  • Solutions not Stones Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    In the vast majority of cases, these shooters are attracted to gun free zones and that should tell us something. But to the larger point the author is making I suggest two scenarios:

    Random shooter enters location, no one else has a gun, kills 20, police arrive, shooter kills self.

    Random shooter enters location, begins firing killing 3, 5 private citizens return fire, shooter dies, in the chaos 3 of the armed citizens as well as 2 bystanders are killed by "friendly" fire.

    Based purely on odds, I would rather be a bystander in the second scenario than the first. But, for some reason we have decided as a society that the second scenario would be worse despite much less loss of life. Clearly these numbers are contrived and that is the first thing that someone who does not want to directly answer my point will say.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 10, 2014 8:13 p.m.

    Great points. By the time multiple people not in uniform start shooting, who will know who the bad guy is?

    The fog of war is well understood, but the fog of multiple shooters in civilian circumstances is much less talked about. I think someone should make a simulator just so people can see how ridiculous it would be if the entire Walmart were armed and shooting at other shooters.