Eric Moutsos presents quite a muddled-up collage of facts and non-facts, truth and prejudice as he rambles around the topics of gun rights, gun violence, American identity and others. (”Without guns, there is no America,” June 10)

“There is no America without the right to bear arms. Without guns, we’d still be British.”

How sad that he considers his gun to be a symbol of his freedom. How sad to imagine that there is nothing more to the American identity than the right to bear arms! I can hear many Americans and British disagree: What about football and rugby? What about soccer (the real football)? Sports bars and neighbourhood pubs? Good old-fashioned diners and pub dinners? Labor Day in September and Bank Holidays in May? Special Agent Gibbs and Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby?

Moutsos does not do his former employer, the Salt Lake City Police Department, any favors when he describes his interaction with car drivers he pulled over as a cop. When they informed him that they were permit holders carrying guns, he would smile at them and remark “Thank you for exercising your God-given right to carry a gun!”

That is an inappropriate remark. First of all, what does it have to do with the reason for being pulled over? Shouldn’t a police officer behave professionally at all times, discussing the matter at hand and nothing else? Second, he may have offended some of those drivers — as he says, some would give him a blank stare — who would have liked to tell him where to shove it, but didn’t dare doing so out of fear of repercussions.

He adopts a very black-and-white perspective when claiming that the only way we can protect what we value (our children, for example) is with guns. But shouldn’t guns be the last resort? As a security agent, if you have to resort to using your gun, doesn’t it mean that you have failed to solve the issue using other means, and have let the situation escalate?

Naively, he wonders if the millions of people persecuted in the totalitarian systems of the 20th century could have defended themselves against their regimes if they had been armed.

The answer is: it wouldn’t have mattered. Studying history may be more helpful in dealing with governmental abuse of power than acquiring guns.

He is right to be proud of the freedoms we enjoy in this country, namely the freedom to have ideas and express them freely. (By the way, the British enjoy those freedoms, too.) But since when is having ideas the same as carrying guns?

What are we without our right to bear arms? he asks. Oh, so many, many things! America is more than its guns.

Anne Luecke

Anne Luecke, has a master’s of public administration degree from the University of Potsdam, Germany, and has lived in Utah for 10 years.