Ulvade exposed a contradiction in our policy compromises around gun regulation.

Policy arguments driven by emotion will often have incoherent gaps in their logic, and the Ulvade shooting exposes a big one.

Emotional people tend to focus on the most-dramatic element in a scene, which in this case is the shooter, and the solution appears to them to be removal of the gun.  The problem is that it simply isn’t possible to remove all dangerous implements from the hands of those who are driven to evil, and the more we try, the more we’ll affect others.  Even the most “common sense” of restrictions affects our lives in deep ways.  For one thing, they require that we cannot insist our Constitution and Bill of Rights must be read literally by means of the words on the page.  No small thing, that.  If the words aren’t literal, then who gets to interpret them?  The documents cease to be an agreed basis for our coexistence, but rather a tool for gaining social leverage.

This observation does not necessarily imply a position on gun regulation; the point is only that we should strive to make decisions based on facts and a thorough understanding of our assumptions.

One assumption that Ulvade swept entirely away is that we don’t need guns for self-protection because our modern society has a police force to protect us.  What we witnessed, instead, was the police mainly protecting people from their own impulse to do something to protect children from the slaughter.  The story was the same not long ago in Parkland, Florida.

What happened in between those horrific events reduced our ability to trust in police protection even more.  With head-spinning speed, the activists’ call went from putting a police officer in every school to getting police out of the schools — indeed, getting them off the streets altogether and defunding them.

In other words, not only can we not trust that individual police officers will actually live up to the expectations on which we rely in order to take the burden of self-reliance off our own shoulders, but we can’t trust our fellow citizens not to get swept up in a moral mania and trample our policy compromises into the ground.  The parents outside the school were easy to restrain with guns, while the shooter was dangerous and intimidating to authorities.  The lesson is worth contemplating as we ponder disarmament of the citizenry.

Everywhere around a school shooting are complicated, thorny problems.  At a minimum, we must resist the lure of the crowd and its madness.


Featured image by Jacob Morch on Unsplash.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ken Williamson
Ken Williamson
9 months ago

Justin–The Ulvade shooting has one glaring fact that needs to be cleared up, what happened to the school security person?

Was there an actual security person assigned to the school in the first place?

First reports were he engaged the shooter and was wounded outside the school.

That changed to he was off campus, heard about the 911 calls, immediately drove back passing the gunman as he crouched behind cars in parking lot and confronted the teacher who opened the door thinking she was the shooter.

Now we hear the teacher who opened the door saw the gunman, ran back in to get her phone to call 911 and as she went through the door kicked the rock away from the door which closed but did not automatically lock.

This is the door the gunman used to access the school.

However, what happened to the supposed armed school security person?

Rhett Hardwick
Rhett Hardwick
9 months ago

First, let us realize that the Second Amendment was put in place not to allow citizens to provide for their defense. Rather it was implemented to create a “check and balance” against the power of a Federal standing army. This is not to say self-defense is not a worthy objective. I am thinking of a woman I know, in Virginia. She lives on a small farm and has been advised by the local police that response to a 911 call would require 20 minutes. She keeps a loaded shotgun in the house.

It also occurs to me that Mr. Biden is the best salesman for the AR-15. His threats to make them illegal will cause them to fly off the shelves. I also tire of reference to the AR-15 as a “high powered assault weapon”. The .223 cartridge used in the AR-15 is as nothing when compared to the 30-06 cartridge used in the WWII Garand.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.