In a recent article published in the Pocono Record, Jenna Ebersole examines whether guns in public settings create safer environments. Although certain gun proponents argue that allowing private citizens to carry firearms is the most effective way to prevent a shooting, numerous law enforcement officials beg to differ. “When it comes to dealing with the public in volatile situations, we’re the experts,” explained Captain Brian Kimmins of the Stroud Area Regional Police. “[Private citizens] may be the best shots in the world, but they don’t know how the law works.”

Our own Shira Goodman, Executive Director of Ceasefire PA, explained that private gun owners are almost never able to help secure a fatal scenario; more often, taking vigilante actions endangers the public. “Good Samaritans with guns — guys or girls who just happen to be in the right place at the right time and who stop a bullet by drawing his/her own firearm — are incredibly rare. Almost mythical, in fact,” Goodman said.

Even certain gun advocates concede that the police, above all else, should be dealing with dangerous incidents. “I’d rather dial 911. Try to get the police there and take care of it that way,” explained Art Krueger, president of the Blue Ridge Cherry Valley Rod & Gun Club in Sciota. “God forbid you discharge your firearm and you hit an innocent,” he said.

Read more about the debate here.