By Teresa Welsh |
The reaction to the NRA's statement on Friday has been epic. The NRA is pushing for armed officers in schools, which is a somewhat different approach from what Gun Owners of America has advocated—letting principals and teachers who are qualified to carry in their states to do so at schools, as well.
But opponents like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey are saying that allowing guns in schools at all—even for the express idea of letting a good guy stop a school-yard killer—is not "conducive to a positive learning environment."
Well, Governor, many would say that seeing a psychopath like Adam Lanza, who had an online page dedicated to Satan and who is shooting up an elementary school, is not very conducive to learning either.
Christie's statement is reminiscent of what liberals used to argue after the 9/11 terrorist attack, when Gun Owners of America argued that pilots should be able to carry guns on planes.
The left responded that putting weapons in pilots' hands wasn't "conducive" to a safer flying environment. Of course, they ignored the fact that pilots can't fly the plane if terrorists have gained access to the cockpit and slit their throats.
Whether we're talking guns or box cutters, bad guys always seem to manage to get weapons. But we made fliers much safer when we put guns back into the hands of those pilots who wanted to get permits.
In fact, there haven't been any shootouts on planes, and publicizing the fact that pilots are now armed has served as a deterrent to future hijackers.
It's this principle of self-defense which explains why we haven't seen any school massacres in places like Utah and Harrold, Texas, where teachers or principals can carry concealed. Come to think of it, we also haven't heard of any horror story scenarios in these jurisdictions—like students finding a gun in a purse, or a teacher accidentally firing his weapon.
Concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding segment of society. They are eight times less likely to commit a crime than the average citizen and—in light of a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics study on police abuse—almost 800 times less likely than law-enforcement.
That's why Gun Oweners of America will be encouraging more states to emulate places like Utah. Constitutionally, the states should be the ones working out their school security issues. But at the very least, Congress should repeal the Gun Free School Zones Act and stop threatening to punish law-abiding teachers and principals who want a gun to stop another Adam Lanza from killing students.
About Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America
Gene Hoffman Chairman of the Calguns Foundation.