Actual blog post from a Madison, Wisconsin Democrat who’s on the city council in regards to debate over having armed security at a local bank that’s been robbed before. I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the areas you’ll want to make especially sure to not be drinking anything as you read them:
Chase Bank has kindly and diplomatically reached out to meet with me tomorrow evening about security measures at the Milwaukee Street branch. One main topic of our discussion will be the continued plans for an armed guard at the branch. This armed guard would be an off-duty Madison Police Department officer, for which Chase would cover the expense. I want to be sure that I have as much input from all of you as I can so I can best advocate for the neighborhood’s interests and viewpoints.
One thing that current events have forced us to consider is how guns impact safety in all aspects of our lives. As we navigate how we respond to gun violence, there are a lot of pros and cons to having more armed guards to defend us, whether in our schools, or our neighborhood bank branches. This email would get impossibly long if I listed every single pro and con, but I’ll try to get the main points out. I hope that we can unpack the bigger points of the discussion and that you can mull through everything and let me know where you come down on this.
A good number of our neighbors have reached out since the attempted robbery of about a month ago and shared that they feel greater sense of security knowing that there is a good guy/gal with a gun in a place where they bank. I take that seriously. Certainly feeling safe going about our neighborhood should be a basic expectation. If having an armed guard at Chase helps our neighbors feel safer, I definitely hear that. I understand the opinion of many that an armed guard is a deterrent to attempted robberies, and that a guard would almost never to need to actually fire their weapon.
I do wonder if an armed guard at this location truly makes us safer. I don’t want to talk anyone out of their gut feeling on this because you know best what safety means for you. I am concerned that if there is one armed guard at the branch, that instead of one person trying to rob the bank without an actual weapon, as we saw frequently before now, that we might see a group of assailants, armed with powerful guns, attempt a robbery. We do an okay job setting up our officers with weapons, but we don’t need to get into an arms race with would-be robbers. That would be terribly unsafe for everyone in the vicinity, not least our officers.
By the same token, I continue to be concerned with the possibility of gunfire in a residential area, regardless of who is firing the shots. There is a daycare just across the street, next to a senior care facility. Houses abut the bank property on the other 3 sides; some of our neighbors’ living rooms are a couple of hundred feet from the bank lobby. MPD officers are highly trained on when to take a shot and would of course consider their surroundings as factors before firing their weapon. But there is no such thing as a perfect shot, and a bullet from a good guy’s gun travels the same way as a bullet from a bad guy’s gun. You know me, I’m not scared of much, but I would fear everyday that an attempted robbery and a stray bullet from either an assailant or even an officer would lead to tragedy in our district. While an armed guard, a highly trained MPD officer, would increase security in many ways, of course we must admit that more weapons equals more risk.
There’s really only one way to respond to all that:
I’ll bet she doesn’t have that same opinion about armed security at Madison, Wisconsin city council meetings.