Monday, 3 February 2014

Gun control: How do we make soft targets safer?

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Don't take this as an absolute endorsement of a more liberal attitude to guns more as an observation about the consequences of strict gun control:

In November, Interpol’s secretary general, Ron Noble, noted there are two ways to protect people from such mass shootings: “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves [should be] so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

Noble sees a real problem: “How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere.”

“It makes citizens question their views on gun control,” he noted. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past, with an evolving threat of terrorism?’” 

This isn't some bearded, overweight, pick-up driving, jar-drinking redneck speaking but the man in charge of Interpol. So perhaps we should listen to what he's saying - if we are to have strict controls over guns how do we make 'soft targets' (schools, shopping malls, beaches, etc.) safer?

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1 comment:

Bucko The Moose said...

Do we need to make soft targets safer?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for dropping gun control and having armed citizens but is that really the question here?

You could make soft targets safe by adopting draconian infringements on liberty - airport style scanners everywhere the public gather, unfettered stop and search etc. Or you can reel in the security but make them more vulnerable.

How much security a target needs really depends on how much danger it's in. Mass shootings for example, may become media sensations but they are rare. Terrorist attacks are urging governments to clamp down on freedom but they also are rare.

We panic a great deal about public places being vulnerable to events that a really unlikely to happen.

In reality the thing most likely to happen to a person is one on one violence; robbery and mugging. That's where armed citizens would be most beneficial, not to be armed on the off chance they prevent a terrorist attack that they are statistically never likely to witness, but to defend themselves personally.