I hold that the outcome of the Cold War proves has evidence that a arms race/nuclear deterrence did work in keeping the USSR from establishing bases on this side of the globe and brought about the collapse of the USSR and their grip on various counties in the European Continent.
At a micro level, I believe we are seeing the same cause and effect with criminal action/mass shootings. Individuals who engage in mass shooting do not go to local police departments to act out their acts of terrorism. Due to knowing the odds are against them in carrying out their acts of terror. Just like bullying theory, a bully only picks on those whom he/she perceives to have an imbalance of power with.
As long as there are those in the world who want to see the demise of the United States ideals an imbalance or equivalent power must be maintained.
While people say nuclear deterrent works, what if there were't any nuclear weapons in the first place? We could live a less fearful life. All it would start is a holocaust - just because we didn't stop the bomb. Wouldn't it be easier if nuclear weapons were a thing of the past? More to the point, plenty of people the bombed country are probably innocent - and their lives are ruined by two people having an argument that they most likely don't support. How much difference is there between a mass shooting and dropping the bomb, anyway?