I am appalled and heartbroken that Montpelier has experienced yet another "officer-involved shooting" resulting in the death of a city resident who did not deserve such a violent end to his troubled life.
It has come out in the news reports that the "gun" the victim was carrying, and provoked the officers, was a pellet pistol. However, when I saw the photo of this "gun" in the news reports; it looked so much like a real, lethal gun I can fully understand why the officers involved may have thought their lives were at risk.
Here's my idea: Require all manufacturers of these realistic-looking "guns" to make them out of materials that are bright florescent colors. To start with, pellet guns could be bright pink, water "pistols" could be bright blue and all "toy" guns would be required to indicate their identity by being made with bright neon yellow materials. Furthermore, "real" guns would be prohibited from showing any of these colors.
I realize that so clearly removing any confusion over what is a "real" gun and what is a less than lethal imitation or toy would make them unpopular with a lot of people — even kids. But if creating this clearly visible distinction could save just one disturbed adult or an innocent child or even a criminal seeking to fool his victim, don't you think it would be worth it? Not to mention sparing our law enforcement officers from the anguish of needlessly taking a life.