There’s an unspoken offering of comfort behind every attempt to pass stricter gun control legislation: You don’t need to buy a gun because we have a civil society guarded by plenty of police officers. You will be fine. You don’t need to arm yourself. Nothing is going to happen to you. The evil gun lobby, the Republican Party, and the greater right-wing media is just trying to scare the pants off you so you will add billions of dollars to the firearms industry.
It’s a comfort that remains unspoken, of course, because it conflicts wildly with the tragedies that give rise to these debates in the first place. After all, we don’t go into Guns Are Evil mode after we’ve had months of peace, do we? No, it happens only after scored of unarmed people have been slaughtered by one psychopath or another. Unarmed people who were, to put it bluntly, absolutely not protected by the police.
That isn’t to say anything negative about the police; it’s just a fact. Most police officers are glad to tell you the same: As much as they have dedicated their lives to protecting and serving the public, the simple fact of the matter is that they can’t be everywhere at once. And, as the left is MORE than happy to tell you, not all police officers are cut from the same cloth. There are fine, brave men and women who would walk through fire to save a helpless puppy. Then there are some who are a disgrace to the uniform. And there are others who are, at the end of the day, just human beings who make mistakes.
We’re quite sure that the school resource officer who hid outside while the Parkland shooter was killing students doesn’t fit into the first category, but we’ll reserve judgment on which of the other two categories he belongs in. Plenty of others have called him out as a coward; we’ll let them make that call. Whether he was scared, confused, or simply held in place by shock, we don’t know. What we do know is that his mind will torture him plenty in the coming years; there’s no need for us to pile on.
What’s important to learn from this episode is not that this one guy failed to do his duty or even that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (and the FBI) missed so many opportunities to intervene with Nikolas Cruz over the years. What’s important to learn is that when the shit hits the fan, as survivalists like to say, you can only depend on one person: Yourself.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that, given that obvious truth, we as a society allow you to do what you have to do? That we allow you to defend yourself to the best of your ability?
The Founders thought so. And we agree.