Deterrence is not prevention

Yesterday, the President said this:

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law—no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that—then surely we have an obligation to try.

There is one step we can take. We know it works every time.

We know the formula these shootings follow. They stop immediately when met with armed resistance. It happens every time.

We know it works. It’s an easy step. It’s laid out right in front of you.

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens—from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators—in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

Making sure it’s harder for me to protect myself, my family, and random strangers who might be in the area from lunatics and psychopaths who are not deterred by “gun free zones” is the only thing that makes me “powerless in the face of such carnage.”

I am disempowered by fiat. Remove the limits on me protecting myself and these things will cease happening.

What people like Dianne Fienstein et al are proposing are “deterrents” to ownership by people who wouldn’t do this sort of thing in the first place. They do nothing to prevent these shootings. They didn’t work in Germany, or Britain, or Norway, or Mumbai.

You can’t stop crazy.

You can, however, change how you react. If more of these guys were put down by good guys before the body count hit double digits, two things would happen:

1: The “glory” of high body counts would cease to be a motivating factor.

2: Fewer people would die

Isn’t that the goal? Don’t we want the same thing?

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