Who are ‘good guys’?
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