By guest author Dr. Mike Corgan
“Run, Hide, Fight” is a new reality police video promulgated by the Boston University Police for the BU community.
The film, featured on some local news programs, is a powerfully realistic depiction of what could happen if a mass shooter went into action on the campus.
The instructions are clear and disturbing. Learn escape routes from your office. If you sense that an incident like the Aurora theater shooting is occurring. run away, even if others are too scared to do so. If running isn’t possible, hide or barricade yourself into a secure and presumably bulletproof area. Finally, be prepared to fight as best you can if trapped.
Is this the stuff of some latter-day paranoid McCarthyite fantasy? Alas, as recent events have all too graphically shown, mass shootings can and do occur anywhere.
Unfortunately, we as a citizenry can’t do much in advance about gunmen intent on violently settling grievances, then adding random killings to their spree.
But we can do something about the amount of killing taking place. So can the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The Second Amendment protects the right to “keep and bear arms” but like others in the Bill of Rights, this right is not absolute. You can’t own a machine gun or many other military grade weapons. Problem is the NRA tries to keep the prohibited list as small as possible and even shrink it.
It is the military grade weaponry (e.g., 100-round magazines for semi-automatic assault-type rifles easily converted to full automatic firing) that make the mass killings possible. Without abrogating the Second Amendment, we can do something about that.
The NRA is fond of using the “slippery slope” metaphor to argue that any restriction on gun ownership is a step to confiscation.
That argument works the other way, too. The continued loosening of gun laws can also lead–and has certainly already led–to mass killings that have become far too abundant.
Michael T. Corgan, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of International Relations, Boston University