In the wake of the horrific Sandy Hook massacre, the President finally got his rationale to renew the national “discussion” “about guns”. All right then. We’ve talked about the Second Amendment for decades, and found that there is no way around it. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that twenty some years ago smoking in California was not restricted by any state law. When the restaurants were required to provide non-smoking sections (it’s for the kids!) some smokers quit because, they believed, their habit will eventually become illegal. I thought they were paranoid. I was never a habitual smokers because I figured it’s a tough addiction to break for a woman who wants, eventually, to become a mother. When smoking in bars was outlawed, I wowed to keep lighting up. Some bars were turning a blind eye to it, but, given how so few people had the cancer sticks on them, I rarely found an opportunity to do so. A year ago a friend of family was a street fair when he got in a fight with an overzealous father who felt that he was smoking too close to his baby. The overzealous dad probably had the law on his side because our friend was too close to a restaurant.
Guns are not cigarettes. Tobacco users were plenty aware of the damage they were likely causing to their bodies, but gun owners believe that ownership is righteous. And while an individual can’t stockpile a lifetime worth of puffs, the firearms in possession of American citizens will last decades if not centuries. Still, the anti-smoking regulation is something to keep in mind when considering another “assault weapon” ban.
The NRA President Wayne LaPierre put something different on the table, namely armed guards in public schools. I’m with Just A Conservative Girl who says:
I am so astonished, flabbergasted, and appalled at the presser that Wayne La Pierre and the NRA held today. While he started out just fine, it just got creepier and yes Orwellian as it went along.
A federal program that puts an armed guard in every school across the country? Uh, no. The security of a particular school system is a local/state issue, not a federal one. Smitty over at The Other McCain accused me of being so federalist. My reply, you’re damn skippy I am. What conservative can get behind this suggestion? This is something that the left would do, not the right. Not the gun part, but the federal government control part. I mean the irony of all this is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Some on the right are heralding this as the great cure-all, and the left is screaming about it. Neither of things are true.
First and foremost, I am 100% against forcing a teacher to become a gun toter. Many teachers would not want to do this, and as an American citizen that is their right. The second amendment says nothing about every American must bear arms, it says the government can’t infringe upon that right. Even if the teacher was someone who liked guns, I still think it is a bad idea. All the students would know that the teacher is armed and I believed it could be a huge distraction; especially in schools were violence is an everyday part of life for the student body. What I would be willing to go along with would be highly trained and certified guard of some sort. I know where I live the police department has a unit of people who are hired out to all kinds of locations, even to some jewelry stores in the area. But only if the school system wants this type of thing. I don’t think it should be forced on a federal level. This is something that state/locality should decide upon. I know here in Virginia there is discussion if our Constitution would even allow the commonwealth to force this on every school system. A bill is expected to be put into our legislature next month. We will see how it goes.
I also don’t understand how a conservative leader would want to see more federal intervention in public schools. We do have armed guards at malls, but not by presidential decree, mind you. I don’t trust the federal government with the school children. Judging by how well DHS and No Child have worked out, I don’t want yet another cumbersome bureaucracy. Instead of extending federal jurisdiction over our schools, we should dismantle the DOE. But I’m glad that some localities are taking the initiative to protect their pupils.
While I believe that unthinkable events like school shootings are unlikely to happen near me. Lenore Skenazy is always great for perspective:
It’s impossible not to feel afraid, sad, sickened and deeply pessimistic when something like this occurs. However, “something like this” — well, there aren’t a lot of somethings like this, and that’s a truth I am desperately trying to remind my heavy soul. It may feel like “school shootings happen all the time,” but they don’t. They are rarer than rare. They are as unpredictable as anything can be. And if today we find ourselves making a mental list, “Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook,” that’s because they are few enough, in a country of 300 million, that we know their names.
This does not mitigate our sorrow, but it can — with some effort — mitigate our fear. It is not to dismiss the parents’ pain that I encourage you to turn off the TV. It is to keep some perspective. The perspective that almost dare not speak its name. The perspective that the vast majority of children in America will never encounter a psychopathic mass murderer at school, and to guard them as if they will is unnecessary.
Worse, it is bordering on ungrateful.
I would like to have armed personnel on my daughter’s campus. Not the armed guards, but armed personnel. Teachers, janitors, principals — whoever volunteers to carry guns — and I would like their identity to be secret. I believe that the sickos who commit mass murders do so because they can, and I want to make their planning impossible or near impossible. If everyday people instead of uniformed guards will carry weapons, school campuses will not feel like military zones. Not so much because our schools will be less of targets of opportunity (they will), but because it’s normal.
Harrison of Capitol Commentary argues against the armed teachers:
This idea sounds good at first but aren’t so many Conservatives lecturing people about how incompetent teachers are and now they advocate them carrying guns? And many public schools are filled with violent children whose parents don’t bother to raise them… do we want them to play “which teacher is carrying a gun?” in the classroom?
I don’t distrust teachers as much as Harrison. The very individuals who fill out kids brains with propaganda are willing and able to fight and die for them. They are not necessarily bad people; they are just wrong, and I don’t think they can’t be trusted with security if they volunteer to provide it. Dangerously violent “children” are usually teens, and that’s a whole different matter, and something that should be decided locally.
A side benefit of introducing armed personnel on campus would be an increased conservative presence. I don’t think most teachers in our school district will agree to bear weapons. School districts like ours will end up with new hires who are likely to be conservative, and it’s good for the kids to be exposed to people who think differently from other adults in their lives.