In the wake of the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, even leading Republicans are endorsing some forms of gun control. The public’s demand for action is understandable. But the action must be effective, and gun control won’t be. The country is awash in guns, and if someone wants one, he will get it regardless of what controls are in place.
There is something else we can do to stop mass shootings that I think would work, in many if not all cases. I have proposed it before. It is something President Trump could launch on his own initiative, without having to get it through Congress. What is it? A universal militia made up of men who take a pledge to attack any shooter they encounter.
This militia would have no organization, uniforms, or government supplied weapons. It would simply be a roster of men who signed a formal pledge to attack rather than run away if someone opens fire in a public place. They would do so whether they were armed or not. If enough men rush a shooter, they will be able to take him down. Some of those men will die, but in the process they will save many other lives, especially those of women and children.
We know this can work. In two recent cases, one in North Carolina and the other in Colorado, shooters who tried to commit massacres in two schools were stopped because the man nearest them attacked them and took them down. Both of those men died. But no one else did. In both cases, the police said the men who tackled the gunman saved many other lives. They prevented mass shootings.
The problem cannot be left to law enforcement. Unless we are lucky enough to have a cop immediately on the scene, by the time the police arrive we will have mass casualties. Fast police response is of course important. But in most cases even the fastest response will be too late. The state’s duty is to prevent killing, not respond to it. Only if the men on the scene act immediately can a massacre be prevented.
A militia of men who have taken a pledge to act also shifts the moral calculus. Mass shooters usually want attention, either to themselves or to whatever cause they represent. If the nearest man or men take the gunman out, the attention shifts to them. Again, that happened both in the Carolina and the Colorado cases. If shooters know they will not become the center of attention it may decrease their motivation. It also shows other Americans that we are not helpless. Americans can still take care of themselves rather than wait like sheep to be slaughtered.
I have intentionally said “men” should be offered a chance to take the pledge and join the militia. The feminists will howl at that. But human nature is such that men will act to protect the woman at the expense of the mission (the same thing happens on a battlefield if women are present). Women’s duty in the case of a mass shooter is to run or hide, call the cops, and encourage the men on the scene to fight. Those have been women’s role in danger and always will be. Men and women are not interchangeable.
Even nut-case mass shooters without agenda are an element of Fourth Generation war because they undermine the legitimacy of the state. The state arose to guarantee order: safety of persons and property. If the state cannot do that, it loses its legitimacy. We don’t just need a response by the state to the mass shooter problem, we need an effective response. Gun control isn’t one. The militia I have proposed can be, if not in every case, certainly in many. A state that leaves its citizens at the mercy of random massacres is a state whose days are numbered.
Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.