Letters to the Editor: If only the off-duty cop at Costco hadn’t had a gun


To the editor: The attorney for an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who shot and killed a man in Costco after a brief physical confrontation said his client “had no choice but to use deadly force” (“Costco shooting: LAPD officer was 20 feet away when he opened fire, police say,” Sept. 29).

In a split second, the good guy with a gun became a killer who fired 10 rounds from a distance of 20 feet.

In the same situation, what could a good guy without a gun have done? Retreat, perhaps?

In the presence of a gun, an argument, altercation or a confrontation too often escalates and too easily becomes homicide. In the absence of a gun, it’s likely that an unarmed 32-year-old man with an intellectual disability would still be alive.


Please remind me about how guns make us safer.

Loren Lieb, Northridge

The writer is board president of the group Women Against Gun Violence.


To the editor: Police officers get perks that are not available to ordinary citizens because they lay their lives on the line for the public good. This is fine as long as they really lay their lives on the line.

A police officer who, when faced with the slightest potential for personal danger on or off the job, would always opt for deadly force over other nonviolent alternatives such as retreat, is not laying his life on the line. In fact, an individual with such a mindset, albeit sincere, should probably not be a police officer and should certainly never be allowed to carry a gun in public.

The victims of the incidents in the Corona Costco and the Dallas apartment complex, where a man was shot in his own home, would both be alive today if they had not had the misfortune to cross paths with overly sensitive off-duty cops carrying guns.

Pamela Foust, Los Angeles