• Raymond Takashi Swenson

    We all know how to protect ourselves from mass shooting of unarmed civilians. The White House and the Capitol and all Federal courthouses have armed guards, metal detectors and x-ray machines. They have put the resources in place to catch anyone carrying a weapon and have the weapons to defend themselves and others. When somoeone like the attacker in Connecticut demonstrates how vulnerable unarmed people are to attack by the unbalanced, it is hypocritical in the extreme for the president, a man whose children are protected by an armed Secret Service detail when they are at school, to call on the rest of us to disarm ourselves and make oursleves even more vulnerable to attack. The people who carry out these attacks are cowards. They do not attack police stations or military bases. They do not attack the places where drug dealers hang out. They seek out places like schools and shopping centers where ordinary citizens are promised a “gun free environment” but there is no physical security to protect us from shooters.

    After the 9/11 attacks, the Federal building where I worked tried to prevent a truck bomb attack. However, rather than put real resources into prevention, the management simply set out orange traffic cones in the parking spaces next to our building, and told those who worked there to not park in those places. All they accomplished was to provide reserved parking for Osama bin Laden.

    The same is true when we put up signs announcing “gun free zones” but don’t back them up with armed guards and gun detection equipment. No one is likely to invade the Federal courthouse where I am going this afternoon, but the schools my grandkids attend are totally vulnerable. If we claim to care about our children, let’s guard them the way the Secret Service guards the president’s daughters.