Common Sense: Could you do it?

By Brent Davis

The debate over gun control completely misses the real issue. Giving everyone a gun isn't the answer. Neither is taking away pistols, rifles and shotguns of law abiding citizens.The real heart of the matter is a question we all must ask of ourselves and is vastly more important than a trivial alliance to conservative or liberal ideology.
On Tuesday, a young man in Houston ran from building to building cutting people with a knife. For illustration purposes in this column, the nature of the weapon isn't important. Whether it was a box cutter, a sledge hammer or an assault rifle isn't relevant.
Imagine this scenario.
Students in Professor Smith's chemistry class are minutes away from the end of the daily lecture. They are putting up equipment and talking to each other. Just as the class ends, they hear a noise out in the hallway.
Screams for help. Cries of pain. The pop of gunfire.
The university is located in a concealed carry state and has adopted a resolution allowing students who are legally registered to carry their guns on campus.
Three students in Professor Smith's class reach into their backpacks and pull pistols. A Glock. A Deringer. A 38 Smith & Wesson.
The armed students step into the hallway. They see another student, gun drawn, standing over the body of a wounded man. Each fires upon the armed student who falls to the floor, wounded. Doors of other classrooms open and two more students with pistols are on the scene.
Text alerts are hitting the cellphones of students warning them of a gunman in the building where the chemistry lab is located. Students evacuate in fear.
Soon, sirens herald the approach of police and SWAT teams. They have the same information. Students wounded, number unknown. Gunman reported in building.
The police jump from their vehicles and move toward the building, pistols drawn. They see students running from the building, some with firearms in their hands.
The SWAT team enters the building. Seeing 5 armed students standing near wounded and presumed dead individuals, they take control of the building. "Drop your weapons! Get on the floor!"
Regardless of an individuals position on gun control or concealed carry, this scenario is not unrealistic.
The questions we all must answer are simple. If weapons are allowed on campus, whether it be a university or an elementary school or any level in between, will we be able to pull the trigger? Will we be confident that the student we see running down the hall is the shooter or simply a scared young man trying to get away from danger? Will we be able to fire a second shot into a person who is wounded and still trying to get away? Are we confident that if the police arrive and see us standing over the person we shot, will they understand we are the hero and not the killer?
I don't think any of us can honestly answer these questions without hesitation or reflection. Ask a policeman how it feels to shoot another person. Ask them if they were prepared to see the damage a bullet can do to a human body. Ask them if they ever forget the moment.
Ask them. Then ask yourself.
Could I do it?

Brent Davis is editor of The Saline Courier. He can be reached at