Actions by the police during the apprehension of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the individual who recently murdered 2 police officers in Santa Cruz provide valuable lessons on who should be permitted to carry arms in public.
I learned these lessons in Vietnam over 40 years ago. They are still valid and always will be.
As an old soldier, I paid very close attention to police actions in Boston, where the police captured Tsarnaev alive, with no casualties among either police or civilians and in my home town of Santa Cruz where they killed the murderer of two of their fellow officers in a shootout shortly after the event, again with no police or civilian casualties.
I noted, as you probably did, that in both cases the police initially cordoned off the areas where they believed the perpetrators were, and removed civilians or had them shelter. They then assigned relatively small groups of officers to apprehend the perpetrators.
In both cases, they maintained very tight control over the densely populated urban environments. The reason for this was readily apparent - they wanted to avoid casualties and the primary way of doing so was to have only their own personnel armed and authorized to fire in the immediate area.
Even then there were a lot of bullets flying at the moment of apprehension. So many in Boston that I was unable to count them. In Santa Cruz, I counted about 45 shots in less than a minute. Each was potentially lethal.
The right/NRA insists that everyone should be permitted to carry loaded weapons, in schools, bars, government buildings - everywhere.
Imagine what would have happened in Boston and Santa Cruz, if this had been the case. Uncontrolled armed would-be vigilantes. Lots of shooting and god knows how many innocent casualties, or as the military calls them, collateral damage.
I rest my case.
And congratulations to our fine police, firemen and EMT personnel for jobs well done.