Proportional Response

April 27th, 2015  |  Published in commentary

This morning there was an attempted shooting at a high school about five miles from my house. Thankfully no one was injured. What struck me most about it, though, was the fact that I was only mildly surprised at the news. School shootings have become common enough that I am no longer shocked by them, even when they are close to home (granted, I am sure that my reaction would have been very different if my son went there or if I knew anyone who attended or worked there).

Now take another almost-tragic event, the shoe bomber. His attempt was also unsuccessful, but anyone who has flown since 2001 is aware of his legacy as they proceed, shoeless, through security checkpoints. What would gun policy look like if our country reacted on the same scale to what are becoming semi-regular school shootings?

I’m not going to talk about what we should do as a country about either of these issues, as it would distract from my point: It is highly unlikely that our systemic responses to these two issues are both correct, and they could both be wrong.

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