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Common sense and guns must go together

Common sense tells most of us we do not need to openly carry a gun in a public place. Yet there are states in this country that allow people to openly display and carry guns. Other states, like Minnesota, allow concealed weapons in public if a permit has been granted.

Last week was a violent one. Two police officers and a bystander at Walmart in Las Vegas were killed by a pair of gunmen who then took their own lives. A shooter at Seattle Pacific University killed one man and wounded two others in Washington. Three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were killed and two were wounded by a shooter in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Violence can erupt at any time, any place, against anyone. Schools, business places, shopping centers, restaurants and workplaces have all been the scene of shootings.

We expect police officers to deal with a certain level of risk in the line of duty but what about the common, ordinary citizen? No one wants to believe they will be killed or wounded as a result of some berserk rampage by a stranger. Yet it is a risk we all must run to maintain a peaceful society.

The Pioneer Journal supports the idea of common sense in the handling of firearms and displaying them in public. If you are going to carry a gun, know how to use it. If you keep guns in your home, keep them out of sight and unloaded — especially if you have children around.

There may be no firm answer to the threat posed by homicidal maniacs who carry guns and simply want to destroy life but carrying guns into public places is certainly not a solution.

The Pioneer Journal editorial represents the collective voice of the newspaper's editorial board.