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Reflections: More Guns in Schools? A "Completely Dumba - Idea"
More Guns in Schools? A "Completely Dumba - Idea"
By William L. Bulla
Weekly Contributing Writer
Recently horror descended upon one of our schools. Of course, I am referring to the tragic massacre at Newtown, Connecticut that has re-ignited a national debate over gun safety. It was an episode where some mentally disturbed youth, killed his mother with her guns, then used them to attack an elementary school, killing both students and teachers.
Immediately, Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's executive vice president, blamed gun violence in general, and mass shootings in schools in particular, on the fault of songwriters, singers, the people who listen to them, movies and TV script writers and the people who watch their work, video game makers and players, and advocates of gun control. Yes, he blamed the shooting on everyone and everything except the proliferation of high-capacity weapons and his organization's efforts to prevent any restrictions on people to use them.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun", LaPierre said upon revealing his idea to place an armed police officer, or armed volunteer in every American school. Some of the most tragic event in the last few years occurred in places where armed guards were present.
Apparently, he had forgotten that Columbine High School had armed security guards and the University of Virginia has armed campus police when those schools were attacked. Anyone planning to attack a school will certainly consider taking out the armed guard or teacher at the beginning of the attack. The simple truth is that more guns equal more death.
"Guns have no place in our schools. Period. We must do everything we can to reduce the possibility of any gunfire in schools, and concentrate on ways to keep guns off school property and ensure the safety of children and school employees", stated the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association in a joint statement.
But in spite of this joint statement, schools in Utah are currently training teachers in the use of pistols. Will the teachers carry the weapons? Will the pistols be locked up so the children can't reach them? How often will the teachers train in the use of the weapon? A course on learning how to clean, load and fire a pistol will not provide any great amount of protection. How will the teachers be trained to overcome their passive lifestyle and shoot it out with some one? And, what if a teacher fails her shooting tests? Will she then not be able to teach? What if the shooter is dressed in body armor like the Colorado theater shooter wore? Is the teacher supposed to do a difficult head-shot under fire? There are many questions I don't believe have even been considered.
After the gunfire ended at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the loss totaled 20 children and six women at the school, the gunman's mother at home, and the gunman himself. The deaths were tragic events that led to a wave of reaction about gun control and gun legislation in America. Yet, LaPierre's message to the Congress was that there should be no banning of assault weapons or any gun control issues. He pushed for federal funding needed to revamp the nation's school security, with the idea of posting armed guards outside every school as a centerpiece of the plan. So, is the NRA such a powerful political force in Washington that it will probably influence that issue?
Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, called the NRA's proposal to put armed guards in American schools as a "completely dumba - - idea" on Wednesday, following the fatal shooting of two firemen in Webster, N.Y. "I guess Mr. LaPierre would then say that firefighters need to have armed guards go with them," Nutter said he believes the American people will demand action on gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school massacre, as well as previous mass shootings like the one that killed a dozen people in a Colorado movie theater in July.
Our schools must be places where our teachers can safely educate and nurture our children. I don't believe adding armed guards, or armed teachers, will stop random acts of violence of mentally ill individuals who, in an act of insanity, took the lives of innocent people.
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.