Tonight the president addresses the nation on the urgent matter of national security in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre. I predict he will complain about guns and violence but offer only token measures to counter the escalating peril of homegrown extremism.
We need to take action because in an open society like ours a driven killer regardless of motivation can inflict terrible damage.
The fact is, we have to protect ourselves, especially our children like banks protect gold and money. That does not mean more armed citizen vigilantes, which will only lead to more tragedies as well-meaning amateurs make mistakes or leave weapons where children can get access.
What we need is a vastly expanded professional security system to supplement law enforcement. All schools, government offices and businesses, including restaurants and clubs above a certain size should have an armed person charged with security in the event of an emergency.
In a school it could be a coach or off-duty cop or teacher or administrator with appropriate training.
These designated Safety Officers can also be drawn from the expansive ranks of retired and former members of law enforcement and the Armed Forces.
Plus, Homeland Security can be beefed up, armed and expanded to protect all transit hubs, buses, trains and other public facilities.
The key is professionalism, including training. Facilities that are unprotected could be held liable in the event of an attack.
We have to do something because the storm is coming. But giving granny or drunk Uncle Fred a GLOCK 9mm is not the answer.