So what will it take? A tragedy is what it looks like it will take. Why is it we always have to bury innocent people before we look at a problem for what it is? If a person enters a facility armed and intent on doing harm, we know by looking at past events involving active killers the police will not arrive in time to do anything except process a crime scene. They cannot arrive in time to do anything else because there is no warning and unless an officer is on the scene, he or she is already too late. How many 911 calls do we have to hear from someone huddling under a desk crying with screams in the background to the steady ‘pop, pop, pop’ of people being picked off one by one getting closer and closer? Once the call “shots fired” goes out and law enforcement officers race to get to the scene to put themselves at risk also, the damage is done. Lives, innocence and the peace of mind that helps us all get through our days believing that ‘everything is going to be ok’ is again shattered for many by one or two crazies who decided to punish others for their own lousy lives.
There is one solution to a criminal with a gun: a competent, armed, non-criminal person or persons. The invention of the gun did not precede violence or murder. Guns can and are used by people wanting to terrorize and kill, but they are not the cause and simply closing our eyes, plugging our ears and screaming “No Guns, No Guns, No Guns” over and over will not solve the problem. Guns are a part of our knowledge and that knowledge cannot be erased. If we legislate away the rights of law-abiding people to keep and bear arms then only criminals will have access to this knowledge. Laws that restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens do nothing more than give criminals the edge and all reliable statistics bear that out. Guns in the hands of law-abiding people deter violence and protect the innocent.
What the anti-gun community does not want to admit is there is only one way to deal with a maniac with a gun, and that is a sane, competent person with his/her own gun. In my community, we have a police officer who works at a school, as a DARE officer. This officer is not permitted to carry a firearm! Why have we not learned by now that “No Gun Zones” are prime targets for criminals? We have all heard of the ‘path of least resistance’ and most of us try to follow it and so do maniacs trying to go out in a blaze of glory. While some of them will opt for the mall or the military base where it’s possible someone else will have a gun and resist, most of them will choose something like the school with the “No Gun” sign full of law-abiding unarmed people. As it turns out, active killers are not concerned about being arrested for carrying a gun into a school but they know everyone else is and they count on it.
Despite what the ‘head in the sand’ set would like to believe, putting buzzers on doors and having a receptionist or janitor oversee who comes in and when is not that much of a safety plan. There is no school that cannot be entered by an armed individual intent upon doing harm and the fact that someone sees him or knows he’s there will not change the outcome unless that someone also has an efficient weapon at his/her disposal. It is sad that people will gamble the lives of children because they have a political view that opposes firearms. It is not protecting children to pretend that there is no evil in the world and that enough rules will keep the evil out.
Children don’t need protection from the truth that evil exists; they merely need to feel protected from that evil to feel safe and happy. The signs probably do that for most children. They hear that bad people have come into schools and killed people but they see that their school has rules against guns and locks the doors and they feel safe. But I’m not talking about making children feel safe, I’m talking about actually protecting them. We do not have to have an Uzi strapped to every teacher’s side, but we do need to equip our schools and the people in them well enough to keep them from being the path of least resistance for the next wacko that wakes up one morning feeling unloved and ready to end it all and get his name on t.v.
Do you know how your kid’s school has decided to handle such an event? Do they have armed police on site all the time? If not, do they have armed, trained and competent faculty? Anything else and the school and you as a parent are just creating a feeling of security for yourselves and any would-be active killer. CALL! ASK! INSIST! Your children are depending on you! We cannot control how evil people will act, but we can take reasonable steps to decrease the likelihood of unspeakable tragedy. Armed schools may not prevent every would-be active killer from going after our children at school; but armed schools can present a less desirable target and, limit the scope of the destruction if one of them tries.
In the end, if we go to this extent and make sure there are competent armed people in our schools “What will our children think?” They’ll think that the grown-ups are taking steps to protect them, just like they do now. The difference is they’ll finally be right.