Who are ‘good guys’?

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Two points re­gard­ing the ir­re­spon­si­ble Repub­li­can ef­fort to al­low un­re­stricted carry of con­cealed guns on Arkansas’ col­lege cam­puses:

1. The NRA and the leg­is­la­tors who live in its pocket ar­gue that all it takes to stop a “bad guy with a gun” is a “good guy with a gun.” I’m sure John Hinck­ley thought he was a good guy; so did Lee Har­vey Oswald; so did the Sandy Hook shooter. Be­cause, in our own minds, we are all “good guys,” mas­ters at fab­ri­cat­ing self-serv­ing jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for our be­hav­ior. So al­low­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of guns on col­lege cam­puses puts large num­bers of lethal weapons in the hands of peo­ple who may, un­der the press of some per­ceived in­sult or in­jus­tice, de­cide that as “good guys” they are per­fectly jus­ti­fied in us­ing their guns to set­tle a score.

2. The hu­man brain is typ­i­cally not fully wired for crit­i­cal func­tions such as im­pulse con­trol un­til about age

25. In­sur­ance com­pa­nies knew this through ex­pe­ri­ence long be­fore neu­ro­sci­en­tists con­firmed the fact through di­rect ob­ser­va­tion. That’s why pre­mi­ums for car in­sur­ance re­main high un­til our 25th birth­days. Be­cause we are all, in a sense, men­tally de­fec­tive un­til our adult brains are fully de­vel­oped. Of course, just hav­ing the proper hard­ware doesn’t guar­an­tee that in­di­vid­u­als will de­velop skill in ap­ply­ing it—as our Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­tors demon­strate to us every day.

If we are wor­ried about the pos­si­bil­ity of shoot­ings on cam­pus, we should hire more cam­pus po­lice and train them ex­ten­sively. Leav­ing the job to am­a­teur “good guys with guns” is a pre­scrip­tion for more, not fewer, gun-re­lated deaths on cam­pus. ALEX MIRONOFF


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