By Rachel Brody |
Very few people interact with those who are certifiably insane. It is difficult to comprehend how disconnected from reality someone ruled a "danger to self or others" actually is. In many states it is frustratingly hard to even get someone in front of a judge where such a ruling can be made.
The National Rifle Association suggested that we put armed guards in schools to stop the insane from killing school children. The NRA proposal is a possible solution, but I'm not sure it's the best solution or the one our Republic should strive for.
People who own and legally carry guns in America do so because they believe in the Boy Scout motto of "be prepared." That motto, as applied to arms, is valuable to more than just those willing to cope with the annoyance of carrying an extra couple of pounds on their belt. That some people do carry leaves both common criminals and the mentally ill who seek infamy guessing as to whether they'll end up fools in front of an armed citizen.
Americans own guns because they believe in individual liberty and responsibility. They're not happy that they already give up their Fourth Amendment rights to fly. As one prominent gun owner put it, there are real concerns with what a "TSA for Tots" means for the future of our Republic.
And no amount of gun control, up to and including total disarmament, will definitively stop school massacres. The brilliantly delusional are fiendishly clever. The worst school massacre in U.S. history happened at the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan in 1927. A disgruntled and deranged school board treasurer used explosives from his farm to kill 38 kids and six adults while injuring 58 more and committing suicide.
Both our Founders and the statesmen who adopted the 14th Amendment believed that arms in the hands of the citizen would allow all of us to take personal responsibility for both our and society's best interest.
I'd prefer to honor those decisions by removing barriers for teachers who would otherwise carry a gun in their classroom to, in fact, do so. If we supplement them with training and availability of less lethal weapons for those teachers who prefer not to carry a firearm, we would create a deterrent effect that would keep the maniacally insane from targeting our children.
About Gene Hoffman Chairman of the Calguns Foundation.
Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America