It's difficult not to second-guess NYPD Officer Peter Liang's perceived need to unholster his service handgun in the apparent absence of a direct threat ["Tragedy in stairwell, anger at his funeral," News, Dec. 7].
However, one thing can be certain: Modern handguns do not discharge if dropped or jostled, despite what you see in fictionalized TV gunplay. Handguns have passive safety mechanisms built in to prevent discharge unless the trigger is both pulled and held to the rear.
Standard training in every law enforcement academy in America instructs students to keep their fingers off the trigger unless they intend to fire. The resulting unintended fatal shooting is a tragedy for both Officer Liang and his victim, Akai Gurley.
Paul Caparatta, Oceanside
Editor's note: The writer is a retired senior firearms instructor with the U.S. Treasury Department.