Salt Lake City Police Chief Burbank Carries Gun To Intimidate Fearful Public

Salt Lake City, Home of the 2015 NTOA Tactical Conference
Salt Lake City

USA –-( “Right from the start, let me say that I honor the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, although the editor in me wants to clarify its language to make it easier to understand,” columnist Peg McEntee for The Salt Lake City Tribune claims in a Friday opinion piece.

Evidently from McEntee’s “clarification,” the way she would “honor” it is to remove “and bear” from the text, as her column quickly degenerates into a hit piece against lawful open carry—that is, the prevalent practice and custom at the time the Constitution was ratified.

“Simply seeing someone carrying a handgun, rifle or shotgun can cause fear among the unarmed,” McEntee asserts as an unqualified universal truism. “If I were to see someone with a .45 strapped to his hip, I’d have no idea who that person is and what his intentions are and would get out of there quick.”

So the conduct of the person would not factor into things?

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank weighs in, telling McEntee “a bad guy with a loaded weapon can do ‘a lot of damage very fast,” while admitting that “in his 20 years as a policeman, ‘we’ve had very few problems and concealed-weapons holders. It’s not a big issue.’”

Yet “bad guys” predominantly carry concealed. So why would he assume an openly carrying citizen, conducting himself peaceably, would be “a big issue”? Especially since the record in other open carry states shows that—as with initial “Dodge City/blood-in-the-streets-over fender-benders” hysteria raised over concealed carry—such fears have proven to be unfounded?

Perhaps the chief’s mindset explains. Perhaps this is simply projection:

But open-carry is different, he adds. For example, a law enforcement officer openly carries a weapon for its “intimidation factor. In law enforcement, that’s the message you send.”

Really, chief?  That’s your message to your employers? That’s part of the training for your sworn officers? If we look in their personnel jackets, we can find where they have been instructed by their command staff that the reason they carry guns openly is to indiscriminately intimidate the public?

Or just the “bad guys”?  Is he saying it works?

His magic “Only Ones” authority costume somehow makes it all OK if he does it?

That Chief Burbank is giving official sanction to doing exactly that which the hoplophobes accuse peaceable gun owners of does not register on Peg’s irony meter?

Evidently not, and that’s OK with some of the comment posters, coming up with such powerful intellectual arguments against those siding with liberty as accusing them of smelling, of being “paranoid, egotistical, pretend cowboys,” or a “card carrying member of the KKK or a white supremest” [sic], and of course, the obligatory master debaters who feel compelled to inject rocket launchers and penis size into the discussion.

So is Second Amendment-honoring Peg saying she’s OK with armed citizens as long as she doesn’t see their guns? Isn’t that the reason frightened little children pull the covers over their heads, to shield themselves from the bogeyman? Isn’t that why we put blinders on horses, to keep them from spooking at things which are not a threat, but which they might perceive as a catalyst for ignorance-induced panic?

No, Peg would look pretty silly in a bridle, although it would seem somehow appropriate for someone leaving a trail of offensive ideological droppings behind her. Perhaps, as in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” she ought to start carrying a towel—one of its uses described  therein was “to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a bush, but very ravenous).”

Kind of like those who insist that the role of government is to strip us of our rights and keep us intimidated.

About David Codrea

David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at

David Codrea

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Jim Wiseman

I don’t totally disagree. If I am somewhere where I am not “allowed” to have a gun, but in the presence of someone who is allowed, I am somewhat anxious.

Kyle Reese

"Simply seeing someone carrying a handgun, rifle or shotgun can cause fear among the unarmed,”

Arm yourself Dumb Azz

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. (1920)


The intimidation factor works for some, not all. If you don't fear death or firearms the intimidation factor goes out the window. Not saying this about your departments uniform, but well know police corruption in your community will help destroy the environment that you work in and is a better intimidation factor. The local criminals will move out or stop committing crimes in fear of being charged or tried for crimes they did not even commit. Some innocent people will do time, ending up with a record and not able to get a job when free again. Your department will… Read more »