A city-council member in Madison, Wisconsin, extrapolating arguments about school security, is arguing that armed guards make banks less safe and that she fears “an arms race with would-be robbers.”
Amanda Hall, the alderman for District 3, made the comments in a blog post concerning a request from a Chase Bank branch on Milwaukee Street to have an off-duty Madison police officer work the bank as armed security, at the bank’s expense.
The bank in the university town had been hit been by several armed robberies in the past year, one of them deadly, according to Madison TV station WMTV, channel 15.
But Ms. Hall said in a blog post on her pages of the City of Madison Common Council site that adding armed guards just encourages violence.
“Current events have forced us to consider is how guns impact safety in all aspects of our lives … [including] having more armed guards to defend us, whether in our schools, or our neighborhood bank branches,” she explained.
She applied common anti-gun arguments to the particular case of a bank and said having more people armed encourages crossfire and gunfights.
“I do wonder if an armed guard at this location truly makes us safer,” Ms. Hall said. “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.”
Arming guards encourages criminal to arm themselves even more, according to Ms. Hall.
“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,” she explained.
Ms. Hall elaborated that the bank has residential neighbors and a day-care and senior-care facility across the street and crossfire from the “good guy with a gun” is equally dangerous.
“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,” she said. “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.”