The NRA — and some letter writers to this newspaper — claims that all that is necessary to prevent an assault by handgun is to arm the possible target. I believe the claim goes something like, “No one would dare attack someone if they knew they were armed.” Well, in the past few weeks alone seven law enforcement officers around the country have been killed by handguns. All were armed. This is only a small sample of just how ridiculous and actually dangerous these claims are.
Over and over, atrocities like Columbine, Aurora and Newtown are committed by ambush. This is the one common denominator — not whether the targets were armed. No amount of arming potential targets will prevent deranged killers from finding a way to carry out surprise attacks.
Preventing deranged killers from having easy access to weapons, however, is one obstacle that should be put in place. There is only one reason the NRA and its backers refuse to have reasonable conversations about real possibilities for reducing attacks. It has nothing to do with rights — victims have rights too. It is all about control.
The NRA has a Scientology-type control over its members. It also has demonstrated that it controls the U.S. Congress. The rest of us are helpless to make any change unless we can summon enough moral outrage and spine enough to stand up for true rights — those which protect us, too.