We Need More Guns on the Ground

The great weakness of gun control laws is that they try to attack the problem at a time and place far in advance of any actual attack. The precautions that are used apply to lawful and dangerous gun users alike. No matter what the checks, it is all too easy for the bad apples to escape detection. The tragedy is that later on, at the point of the actual attack, it is easy to identify the killers, but a defenseless crowd is unable to do anything but flee in response. But put even one random person with a gun in the room, and now the attackers face immediate resistance long before the police arrive in force. Because the weapons won’t be in the hands of rank amateurs, it is highly unlikely that the off-duty officers or military personnel will compound the problem by foolish actions. Stopping or slowing down an attack by taking out an assailant could save many lives.

It is no coincidence that those who will recoil against this proposal are the same people who think that the U.S. and its allies should avoid boots on the ground in Iraq. Their timidity in the face of armed mayhem compounds the risks our nation faces. Our misguided gun control champions have to do more than insist that we should try some new gun-control gimmick to make things better. They have to come forward with some concrete plan that works not only in some idealized universe, but in the evermore dangerous environment that we face at home. If we do not arm off-duty officers, San Bernardino could easily become the opening chapter in an ever-lengthening tragedy. In this battle, force must be met with force; better background checks just won’t cut it.

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