Steve Cornett, Sartell
Dennis Dalman’s recent column “Death raises questions in gun-crazed culture” proves once again he is looking at things from a very narrow point of view.
The reference to the Stand Your Ground law saying it is unnecessary because “if someone kills an attacker because of imminent threat, that fact can be established through an investigation, resulting in exoneration.” Consider the Good Samaritan law which prevents someone who voluntarily helps another from being sued for ‘wrongdoing.’ The need for this law in our sue-happy society has already proven that what is actually the right action to take can lead to endless court battles or even jail time. Should we have the need for either law? Common sense says probably not. But if we need one, then we need the other.
If you, Dennis, are in a parking lot being beaten and I walk by, I will intervene and provide assistance because it is the right thing to do. However, if in the process of helping you, an attacker pulls a weapon on me and threatens to attack me, I will pull my gun (which I discretely carry with me, as I have a State of Minnesota-issued “Permit to Carry a Pistol” – complete with authorized training) and I will warn the attacker I will shoot. If they do not back off and continue to threaten me, I will use my weapon. Does this make me, as well as all gun owners, a “barbaric gunslinger” as your column mentions in the last paragraph?
At least the majority of people in the Wild West knew what a gun actually did, just as people in Switzerland do today (where there are more guns per capita, but lower murder and robbery rates per capita than in many other countries). In the United States today, many citizens have viewed the results of gun fire only in video games or on movies or television and find it “cool.” Does that make the Wild West more or less “gun-crazed” than citizens of the United States are now?