I thought I posted this last weekend, but now see that I didn’t, so here it is…

On Friday morning, a disgruntled ex-employee of a clothing store shot a former co-worker near the Empire State Building. Then he put his gun back in his briefcase and walked away. A witness alerted the cops, who confronted the shooter, who raised his weapon. The officers responded by firing 16 shots at the man, killing him. But nine of those police bullets ended up in innocent bystanders.

Here’s why I bring this up.

Gun extremists love to claim that if more people had guns, we’d all be safer. When there’s a murder like this one, or a mass shooting like the one at the movie theater in Aurora, they always claim that if there had been gun-owners on the scene, they could have stopped the mayhem. They’ve seen all the movies and TV shows where the villain fires off hundreds of rounds that somehow miss the hero, but he/she squeezes off one shot and kills the enemy — and they think they can do the same. But they can’t.

At the Empire State Building, we had two police officers who were trained in how to use a weapon, and more of their shots missed the target than hit it. Yet the NRA would have you believe that you need a gun so you (who will have a lot less firearms training than a police officer) can always shoot the bad guy. Imagine how much more carnage would have been created in that packed movie theater if a dozen gun-owners had started firing wildly during the melee.

I’m not one of those who thinks no one should have guns, but I detest the lies and propaganda and fear-mongering by the gun lobby, which has effectively convinced so many Americans that they must own a weapon for self-defense. The worst part is that most of those who buy a gun never get any training in how to use it. Isn’t it odd that, before you’re issued a license to drive, you have to prove proficiency behind the wheel, but anyone can buy a handgun and carry it around with no training whatsoever?