(Editor’s Note: part one of this series can be found here)
The idea of the NRA advocating for a government solution to a government caused problem is absurd. Yet again government restriction caused a problem by restricting teachers from protecting themselves and students from harm in schools. Instead of advocating for the spread of individual liberty by way of citizens embracing their Second Amendment rights, the NRA instead wants more spending by the government on the backs of the children, ostensibly to protect the children. Who is protecting the children from the increasing burden of debt? There are two ways to enslave a nation and while the NRA claims to defend them from being enslaved by the sword, do they have no quarrel with them being enslaved by debt?
The NRA proposal increases the size, scope and power of the federal government, the very thing the Second Amendment is intended to prevent. Irony abounds. There is probably little doubt that the NRA intends to profit from it, but the more astounding thing is that they willfully ignore decades of case law and SCOTUS rulings which explicitly relieve the government from responsibility for protecting anyone, even with a known, pre-existing threat – rulings that they themselves trumpeted as proof for the importance of the right to bear arms! In short, their plan discourages individual initiative and liberty, and encourages statism and a government monopoly on the use of force.
What the NRA should’ve done was encourage individualism and free markets. There is an innate supply and demand when it comes to defending one’s life and the NRA should’ve taken the opportunity, after a week of deafening silence, to strengthen the free markets as the supplier of personal needs. There is an overwhelming demand for personal safety by teachers as evidenced by packed, teacher-only classes in Utah, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and other states. Further, these teachers are willing to personally supply, it at no cost to the government, meaning taxpayers, or (by way of the national debt) their students.
If teachers are such wonderful people, as the teachers unions insist that they are, and if they so greatly care about the students that they teach, as the teachers unions insist that they do, then why continue to forcibly disarm them from defending the very children they love so much? Further, why aren’t the teachers unions funding initiatives to protect their union members and their dear students during the inevitable deadly minutes between the time a gunman starts trying to massacre them and the time law enforcement shows up?
Instead, the presidents of both major teachers unions issued a joint statement saying, “Guns have no place in our schools. Period.” Well guess what, they’re clearly already there!
The fact of the matter is that civilians are always the real first responders because they’re the ones forced to immediately deal with whatever matter of life or death has arisen. Public safety workers are actually the second responders, so let’s not minimize the importance or capabilities of our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.
The simple truth of the matter is that security plans don’t work. One teach from Ohio signed up for a gun course because the teachers in Newtown followed their security procedures and still weren’t able to save their kids. She said, “I would do anything to protect them. Putting them in a lockdown drill and hiding them in the closet isn’t enough. It’s time for something to change.”
It is time for something to change, and it’s time for schools to stop pretending that trying to keep kids out of sight of the bad guys will keep them safe. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said, “More guns are not the answer. Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher.” Actually, it is.
Utah already allows concealed carry in its public schools – the only state in the nation to allow it – and they have no school shootings. Again, a state’s citizens are the real first responders and state’s should stop disarming them under the guise that law enforcement will protect them, when the states bank on the fact that law enforcement doesn’t have to protect anyone from anything, as their best protection from lawsuits.
The next glaring error that needs to be addressed is the “police perfection” fallacy. Pinning a government badge on someone’s chest doesn’t mean they are any better than anyone else – frequently it means the opposite. Police can, and often do, make mistakes. The NYPD shot and injured 9 bystanders in front of the Empire State Building while trying to stop an individual walking calmly away down a sidewalk after a bizarre attack on an individual (in a “gun free” zone no less) that they had a personal issue.
Certainly law enforcement does mean to do well, but to pretend that they are any better trained with firearms, or that they train more often, than regularly practicing civilians is simply not grounded in reality. Not to discount that there are some officers that are quite proficient with firearms, but there are many civilians that are far more proficient with their firearms than the average police officer. For any that would like to dispute that idea, note the scathing article in the New York Times on December 9th, 2012 about the NYPD firearms training facility where many officers are simply run through programs with minimal time in scenarios.
Practical shooting competitions, which thousands of civilians take part in each month, are far more realistic than static law enforcement re-qualifications, and the added stressors of time, movement, multiple targets, equipment malfunctions, cover and concealment add up to highly competent civilians who are, in many cases, able to hold their own, and then some, with law enforcement when asked to join in simunition training exercises.
In addition, the “police only” idea ignores the importance of the mental confidence with which any aggressor can attack unarmed folks. Actual incidents have show repeatedly that any armed opposition creating doubt in the minds of bad guys exponentially reduces the damage they can inflict and typically ends the confrontation immediately – with or without shots being fired. People can argue about what the cause of school shootings is, but what is not up for argument is that these attacks can and will continue until individuals are allowed to defend themselves with equal force against their attackers. Why didn’t the NRA focus on that?
Image: Courtesy of Work Projects Administration Poster Collection (Library of Congress); http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3f00000/3f05000/3f05700/3f05717r.jpg; author: Federal Art Project; public domain