Arm everyone? Let’s not.

The “arm everyone” crowd is squawking up a storm now, claiming that the Binghamton tragedy wouldn’t have happened if more people had been armed, because someone inside the American Civic Association would have killed the shooter before he killed so many people.

It’s an argument one hears after every major shooting. Kid shoots up his highschool? Highschool teachers should be armed. Guy shoots up his university? Blame “no guns” policies on university campuses. Shooting in a hospital? Arm the doctors.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want to live in a society where all interactions between human beings are influenced by the fear of what deadly weapons others might be concealing. Perhaps the “arm everyone” conservatives would be fine with living in a society pacified and atomized by terror, but I would not.

And historically (and in many contemporary examples elsewhere in the world) this has not worked out so well.

Every culture has its bad aspects, and weapons fetishism and the rush to meet violence with violence are two of ours.

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