Yesterday, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre proposed that we have armed officers protecting our schools. This, of course, sent the gun-control Left into a tizzy. Their proposed solution, of course, is more gun control.
Personally, I believe LaPierre’s suggestion is impractical as he proposed it, but for the moment, let’s disregard that. There are variants on his proposal that are more practical. Let’s just stick with the general concepts: banning certain types of guns vs. having armed people in our schools.
Ostensibly, the goal of whatever plan we implement is to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook from happening again. So if that’s the goal, let us ask these two simple questions:
- Whether or not you like LaPierre’s idea, would it work?
- How would banning weapons that the shooter wasn’t using help?
I can totally understand the idea of being unnerved by having people with guns in schools. But as LaPierre correctly noted, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” If a staff member had had access to a gun, could he have stopped the shooter? Yes, he could have. It doesn’t guarantee he would have, nor does it guarantee that the shooter wouldn’t have inflicted some damage first, but it beats waiting several minutes for the police to arrive. If you want to take it a step further, one of the primary reasons that a homicidal psychopath chooses a school or another gun-free zone in the first place is precisely because he knows that he has several minutes of free reign because no one there will be armed. The moment the shooter encounters any sort of resistance, he takes himself out. If the shooter knows that someone in the school has a gun, does he even choose a school for his rampage in the first place? Possibly not.
As for the second question, the answer to that is pretty obvious. Ban certain types of guns, and the psychopath will simply use another type of gun. Or a modified gun. Or he’ll acquire the gun he wants illegally — what does he care about the law, since he’s going to kill himself anyway?
So why do people support a ban on certain types of guns if it obviously isn’t going to help? Playing amateur psychologist for a moment, I believe the reason is a simple fear of guns and little more. I used to hunt with my father, and as a result, I took a gun safety course and know a fair amount about them, but I don’t really like guns personally. I don’t like holding something that could kill somebody if I messed up with it. That said, I know that if I held a gun, it would not suddenly make me go off on a murderous rampage. Yet there are people who seem to believe that merely putting a gun in someone’s hands can do that. Some would go so far as to say that only soldiers and law-enforcement officers should have guns. That’s how dictatorships come about, and it’s precisely why we have a Second Amendment. (Never mind that such a measure still wouldn’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals, since they tend not to obey laws by definition.)
It also fits with a general theme between liberalism and conservatism: If a conservative doesn’t like something, then they don’t practice it or use it, but if a liberal doesn’t like something, it must be banned or regulated. We see it with large soft drinks in New York City, Happy Meals in San Francisco, and light bulbs everywhere. Shows of religion, what you eat, what kind of car you drive — extreme liberals want to control all of these things. Guns are in that category, too.
Gun control advocates don’t want to let this crisis go to waste. Unfortunately, their solution doesn’t solve the problem.