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Arm our school employees

Denial, ignorance, and fear are not working. | 12/17/2012

The tragic events in Connecticut last week have touched us all; my prayers go out to all involved in this horrific event. Over the weekend, I’ve seen no less than a dozen calls for new gun control laws, ranging from banning anyone who has ever been treated for mental illness, to another ‘assault weapons’ ban. Neither would have prevented this tragedy, of course, but still, the calls go out to DO SOMETHING. This idiot broke at least a dozen different laws in committing this act, and multiple counts of most of them. If he hadn't killed himself, no doubt he’d be looking at multiple life sentences, most likely in solitary, since his life expectancy in general population would be quite short. Needless to say, he wasn't discouraged by the thought of punishment for his crimes. Why would anyone think that adding a few new laws would have stopped him, or anyone who gets the same idea in the future?

LAWS DON’T PREVENT CRIMES, THEY PUNISH THE GUILTY. Law enforcement didn't do anything wrong here, it’s not their job to prevent things like this from happening; it’s their job to find and punish criminals after the fact. Since this guy killed himself, about the only thing law enforcement can do is to tell us exactly what happened, and clean up the mess. In order to prevent this sort of thing, something else has to change. The way I see it, there are 3 things that we could do to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

Option 1, the Brady bunch dream: Ban guns. If we threw out the 2nd amendment and passed a law that made all civilian ownership of firearms illegal… would that stop this sort of crime? How long has the ‘war on drugs’ been raging now, over 40 years? Do you think we might be as successful in banning guns as we have been in banning drugs? The last time we took a popular, widely available product and banned it completely was in 1919, with the 18th amendment, prohibition of alcohol. Everyone remember how successful that experiment was? Banning firearms in this country will not take guns out of the hands of criminals, who are already legally prevented from owning guns.

Option 2: Better security. We could build fences, topped with concertina wire, around our schools, with armed security at the gates. This might work… it’s been fairly successful in Israel. Of course, turning our public schools into prisons might not be very popular, and may well have a less than positive impact on educating our children, but the option is there. I don’t know what the cost would be… how many schools are there in this country? How much would it cost to surround each of them with a good security fence, outfit them with a guard post at all of the gates… I have no idea. Can’t imagine it would be cheap, but hey, they’re getting ready to raise the debt ceiling once again, what’s a few billion added to our current debt?

Option 3: Allow our school employees to arm themselves. This seems to be a very unpopular solution, but would it work? Violent crime rates fall in states with liberal concealed carry laws. Virtually every mass shooting that has occurred in this country has been committed in a ‘gun free’ location. Could an armed teacher prevent this sort of thing? Who knows? At a minimum, they could reduce the number of victims. Seems to me it would be much harder to wipe out classrooms full of kids when the teacher is shooting back at you. Properly trained teachers, administrators, and custodians at our schools are unlikely to injure a student on purpose. These school employees are already being screened, right? Cost to the taxpayer is near nothing... and schools don’t look like a prison camp. Seems the only reasonable solution to me.

Denial, ignorance, and fear. These are _not_ the weapons that our children should have to rely on for their safety.