I work in the world trade center in NYC. I’ve worked on government research facilities before that were less well guarded. In part, because the folks working there complained about the security so much the base set up it’s own and stopped using Marines.
I am familiar with firearms having lived in the US. I shoot at a range occasionally, and I enjoy them. So I do not have the visceral reaction you might to the sight of a gun all by itself. However, when you see what is supposed to be a police officer dressed up like he’s about to invade mosul wander by with a squad of other would be soldiers while you are sipping a coffee on your way to work, the contrast is enough to evoke thoughts of orwell.
The other day I saw a couple of these would be soldiers wandering through the cathedral to capitalism we call the oculus, a beautiful train station / mall attached to the WTC. The guy was caring a combat shotgun. And all I could think was… why the hell, of all the weapons in the world, would you bring a shot gun into a train station?
I suppose he could have bean bags or something. Trying to be non-lethal. But he was dressed up in combat clothing, armor, helmet, etc. If you are trying to be non-lethal wouldn’t you try to de-escalate a situation? Why dress like you are ready to call in an air strike? And outside of a beanbag… that fire arm is a war crime waiting to happen. If you fire a slug, or worse a shotgun shell inside of a train station you are going to wound or kill innocent people… lots of them.
At the end of the day, terrorism isn’t that big of a risk, despite what the news may report. Despite what happened on 9/11. I am never afraid of terrorism as I take my morning commute to what was once ground zero. I was in NYC on 9/11… I remember that day. I am still completely unafraid. Terrorism is in no way a risk to the american people, and never really ever has been. And yet, we have guys wandering around in train stations with shotguns dressed like soldiers, all to defend us from the existential threat posed by… well… nothing at all.
All guns may be your reminder of this quixotic pursuit of self annihilation. But to me, it’s that one guy wandering around the oculus with a shotgun.
I’ll just keep sipping my coffee hoping that guy never tries to use that damned thing.