I enjoyed Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook’s May 22 column, “Open-carry law makes our job harder,” but I question some of his assertions.
A primary concern for Chief Holbrook is that an open-carry law “will significantly complicate police interactions with citizens, resulting in many unintended consequences.”
But have uniformed officers had any difficulty identifying plain-clothes officers during an incident? Don’t officers respond without problem when a homeowner has just shot a burglar? When a licensed gun owner shoots a thug brandishing a firearm in a convenience store, does the record show that cops are likely to kill the hero when they arrive?
Our law enforcement officers have responded to calls like these thousands of times, yet I’m not aware of any problems with out-of-control “friendly fire” by uniformed officers against plain-clothes officers. We haven’t had mass killings of gun-owning homeowners by cops, or cops wantonly shooting heroes who just saved innocent civilian lives.
Why? Because law enforcement officers are trained to identify their target, and what’s beyond their target.
I’m right there alongside Chief Holbrook in his concern for the safety of his officers. But a primary concern for the rest of us is the safety of our family.
Gun laws can be an emotional topic. It’s important that we depend on data rather than emotions when discussing them.