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Not so at Taft Union.
Let's be real: The problem with the NRA's proposal to reduce gun violence is that it is not a proposal to reduce or even condemn gun violence. It is an escalation of gun violence, a further militarization of a learning environment that has been rocked by carnage and trauma. It is an acceptance that these acts of terror are inevitable or even normal in our society and we might as well face it. Ultimately, it is what
Let's reject that vision.
The first problem with the NRA's proposal is that it regards mass murderers as sensible actors who can be logically engaged with during an attack. They are not. As writer Dave Cullen wrote, most mass murderers — whether psychopathic, delusionally insane, or suicidally depressed — plan to die in the act. They will not be deterred or frightened by an armed guard. They will shoot to kill. Whether they are shot in the process is of little consequence.
With a semiautomatic rifle, it takes less than 10 minutes to shoot dozens. The Aurora, Colo., massacre, which left 12 dead and 58 wounded, lasted only seven minutes. Shooter
Then there is the childish binary between "good guys" and "bad guys." The NRA argues that most gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens. I think they're right. That doesn't mean the "good guys" have the training or life-and-death responsibility to wield a weapon and kill another human being — especially in situations where it's not clear who or where the shooter is. Every year there are stories like the
Even trained personnel are prone to mistakes. When
The NRA's refrain is not a call to fight gun violence. It's an escalation. But why would we expect meaningful policy proposals from an organization whose mission is to lobby for the business interests of arms manufacturers and related industries? In facilitating the continued sale of guns — whether to private citizens or professional guards — the NRA is merely doing its job.
As responsible citizens, let's do ours. We don't need more good guys with guns. We need bad guys without them.
Zach Schonfeld, 22, of Chappaqua, N.Y., is a senior majoring in English and American studies at Wesleyan University.