Dear Mr. Bieber,
I appreciate the sentiments offered in your letter (“We have got your back,” April 1, 2018). You hope that those of us who are unarmed will feel confident and encouraged because those of you bearing concealed weapons are all around us, in the background, to protect us.
I’m sorry to tell you that those of you bearing concealed arms actually make me feel less safe. I appreciate the uniform of a police officer because I can identify my protector in advance. These officers act under authority we’ve given them. If it helps you understand my point, I, as a citizen, haven’t given you authority to protect me and I don’t want to. I don’t have any clue about your discipline or accuracy with a weapon. You tell us that you are on heightened vigilance, will never cower, and fear the threat of execution. This doesn’t give me confidence even with your honed training since we know how challenging it is for highly trained police officers to respond under stress.
You seem to be living under a lot of stress and that makes me nervous. Jumpy people carrying hidden guns make me more fearful, not more confident.
It would be a favor to me if you didn’t have my back. I hope you’ll consider leaving your weapons at home where you have a right to protect yourself, but where I’m not in your line-of-fire in public.
Really, thank you, but thanks anyway.