I've never had that much respect for the Wackenhut security company before. I've seen it operate in several countries, and it is not staffed, generally speaking, by the most enthusiastic, go-getter types. But Wackenhut certainly performed well yesterday, at a tragic cost. The guards responded to Von Brunn just as they should have, and shot him immediately without hurting a single bystander. If the guards had not been armed, the Holocaust Museum would have been the scene of a massacre.

I think the Jewish community should take this as a lesson, in particular those institutions that are only "protected" by unarmed guards. You can't fight a rifle or a shotgun with a stick, or a whistle, or good intentions. Only armed guards are at all capable of stopping an attack. American Jews -- and this is broad generalization here -- are queasy around weapons. This queasiness is rooted in our urban and suburban existence. But one of the lessons of the Holocaust to me -- I said this in my book, Prisoners, to some criticism -- is that it is more difficult to kill an armed Jew than an unarmed Jew. I'd rather see Jews guard Jewish institutions than non- Jews, because it's our responsibility to defend ourselves (that's my vestigial labor Zionist ideology speaking), but if JCCs and synagogues and Jewish museums don't want to pay extra for Israeli guards, than at least they should hire well-trained and armed protection. Wackenhut would do quite nicely, it seems.