Armed police couldn’t prevent the Navy Yard shootings. An armed security guard couldn’t prevent the Columbine massacre. A swarm of armed police arrived at the Virginia Tech shooting site within 3 minutes of the first 911 call, only to find the gunman had padlocked the doors.
But that’s not stopping Bristol Community College from considering a plan to arm its campus police:
“It’s a concern in this day and age,” said Wayne Wood, BCC’s public safety director, pointing to campus tragedies across the country like the Newtown, Conn., shooting last December. “All the community colleges are addressing the issue.”
With public universities like the UMass system and Bridgewater State already on the bandwagon, Wood said the move to arm BCC police will “allow us to respond to any kind of situation on campus rather than wait for city or state police.”
If more guns stopped crime, with guns now outnumbering people in the US, we should be crime-free. But arming more people doesn’t stop mass shootings. Contrary to the National Rifle Association’s “good guy with a gun” talking points, an armed civilian with a gun hasn’t once stopped a mass shooting in the last three decades. But as David Waldman has demonstrated with his GunFail series at DailyKos, accidental shootings are far easier to document.
If we were serious about stopping mass shootings, we’d ban the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that are a part of virtually every mass shooting. But even here in allegedly progressive Massachusetts, we’re arming everyone in sight in hopes of protecting us from all the other people we’ve armed.