The Folly of Hardening “Soft” Targets


Once again, the NRA and their surrogates tell us that the solution to gun violence is putting more guns into circulation. They say, “the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is by having a good guy with a gun.” It would really be great if it were that simple. Take the example of Las Vegas. Here we have a bad guy shooting out of a window high above the concert crowd. How was a good guy with a gun going to stop him? Or take for example of the Aurora, Colorado theater mass shooting. The bad guy with the gun starts shooting. Suppose that a good guy starts shooting back. Further, suppose another good guy draws his concealed weapon. He or she has to decide if the first good guy is really a good guy or another bad guy. In the confusion can anyone instantaneously determine who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Clearly this scenario would quickly turn into a fiasco of death and disability as chaotic cross fire ensues. Undoubtedly schools are soft targets. But should we expect our teachers and professors to also be paramilitary personnel. Carrying this further, consider what other entities are soft targets. Nursing homes and preschools certainly are. Shopping malls typically have security, but security guards can’t be everywhere as the mass shootings in Omaha, Nebraska and Burlington, Washington shopping malls have shown. And, of course our churches. The latest tragedy being in Sutherland Springs, Texas. So, should preschool teachers, nursing home orderlies, mall sales persons and even the teen behind the popcorn counter at the movie theater pack heat? Should we arm our preachers, liturgists and ushers? Even if we do, is a concealed weapon any match for an AR-15? If more guns is the answer, then I guess we all need to buy stock in the gun manufacturers, and those of us that survive can have a more lucrative retirement. Could it be any more transparent that the rights the NRA and their surrogates really want to protect is the right of arms manufacturers to make obscene profits from of our pain?