America Must Devise A Plan To Build Hard Targets to Prevent Mass Shootings

 June 7, 2022

America has “hardened” many potential targets, including the White House, the Capitol, federal office buildings, and airports, in response to attacks from terrorists and from psychos. Even the French have identified the Mona Lisa a hard-target. If something of valuable is “soft” (vulnerable), then it is only fitting and proper to defend it. 

So now, since May 24, with the mass murder in Uvalde, TX, America must ask the question ? What do we do to prevent this from re-occurring? As an across the board policy, The U.S. must attend to what is long overdue: harden (or fortify) our schools. America’s children deserve our best effort at protection. 

The effective hardening of a target, involves the integration of identifying where a threat is possible, deterring an attack, and when necessary - neutralizing the attacker.

Over the past almost ten years many legislators, mostly Republicans, have put forth proposals to attend to school safety. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), as well as House Republicans have been trying to introduce legislation do just that, however, time and time again they have been thwarted by democratic leadership.

Many Democrats have come out against hardening school as targets. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said recently on May 26:

“Hardening schools would’ve done nothing to prevent this shooting . . . More guns won’t protect our children.” 

-Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

That remark flies in the face of the reality that, it was literally a good guy with a gun that killed the bad guy with a gun. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said the following day:

"Ultimately, as we all know, what stops armed bad guys is armed good guys," 

-Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

In fact, what was the purpose when on May 26, after making the above comment, Schumer used his power as senate majority leader to block a Republican school-safety proposal? Why this opposition to hardening the targets?

It would seem many on the left just simply don’t believe in policing. Additionally, progressives may secretly fear that a hardened-target plan could work. This would ultimately water down momentum and take energy away from their favorite axe to grind - gun control or confiscation.

A recent poll out shows that a majority of Americans favor arming teachers as an option. It would be better if the police were handling school safety, but that does not seem to be working. The apparent failure of the Uvalde authorities is a chilling reminder that without strong leadership, deterioration of a profession is possible in any organization – even those of first response.

An even better question is – has the vilification of the police these past few years had an effect on police morale? Especially, causing them to consider the cost in taking risks which could ultimately cost them personally. This could be in light of the fact that they could be sued or fired? The coming investigation of the Uvalde tragedy will serve as an opportunity for the nation to learn about how to harden a target. America should take this seriously.

Along with the proposed solutions possible, America needs to mindful of the fact that people kill and guns don’t. We are dealing with a sickness of the mind here and an attitude of the heart. America’s youth (the recent shooters) are reaching out for notice in a system that has also failed them.

In his reaction to this failure, regarding an earlier school shooting, former Los Angeles police officer J. Warner Wallace identified four driving causes:

“an increase in social media use”; “an increased dependency on prescription medicine”; “an increase in single parent households”; and “a decrease in traditional Christian values,”

-J. Warner Wallace, Officer LAPD

The idea of hell or religious consequences, including the notion of evil, has been mostly banished by our culture. As a nation, we have allowed, tacitly, the Christian morals this country was founded upon, to be subjugated to progressive liberal thought which does not include God. Today’s youth are growing up without any moral underpinnings. When one has no morality, there is no self-control and the mind reaches and stretches for whatever significance it can find - even to the point of shooting and killing others. Hence for these mentally lost persons, life has no value, no meaning, no reason to be and evil abounds. Essentially, we don’t need gun control but rather evil control.

Banning violent videogames and guns to remove the tiny minority of players, and gun owners who may be a danger is just not feasible. How would they be identified?  That’s the challenge of living in a free society. Joe Rogan, radio personality put it this way:

”This country has a mental health problem disguised as a gun problem.”

-Joe Rogan

Improving our national focus on mental health needs addressed. If America is to maintain a good society, the thought processes for a good (moral) population, it means moral and ethical instruction, especially for Americas young. Thomas Sowell, a political observer reminds us that-

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.”

-Thomas Sowell

The Media it turns out bears a central role in this process. As the Media declines in its reporting, we see increases in the expression of evil. To this point, Elliot Ackerman, an eight-year Marine Veteran, including multiple tours in Iraqi and Afghan combat zones, began a recent article by citing academic studies showing that over-the-top media coverage does inspire copycats and displays the powerful narratives in their ability to excite the worst among us. He concluded:

“A sickness is sweeping our land; one of its symptoms is these shootings. A certain subset of young men is trying to bring meaning to their lives through gun violence. Stories are where people have always gone to find meaning.  We need to tell a different story; the current one is killing us”.

-Elliot Ackerman, Marine Veteran

America has a responsibility to harden the soft targets in our society. But, we need to keep in mind that the ultimate hard target is the human soul. America’s focus should be on the mental stability, moral resilience and honorable character that is required for a good society. We cannot legislate morality, but we can seek to reduce the opposition to what is true, just, and moral. If we fail as a nation to attend to these things, America will only see increased evil demonstrated, lives lost and our nation at risk of imploding from the inside out.

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