2012 was a bad year for those who value the time-honored right to bear arms. Between the fatal shootings in Aurura, CO and Newtown, CN—with several others spread throughout—it seems that the forces of gun control may finally pass new legislation designed to restrict gun ownership. But their approach is wrongheaded. Gun control will do little if anything to prevent these tragedies from occurring, and it will be law abiding Americans that pay the price.
First, it is important to note that even with in this unusually violent year, mass shootings are exceedingly rare. When 20 children are gunned down in school, it becomes national news. When 40 die in automobile accidents every single week, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
But humans are sensationalist creatures, and it is not surprising that such a violent attack against innocence itself would spur us to action. And certainly, we should take responsible measures to ensure that such tragedies are avoided as much as is possible. But what measures?
About the only thing we can be certain of is that the legislation currently wending its way through Congress would not have prevented Newtown from occurring. Banning assault weapons or restricting gun shows or eliminating high capacity magazines would not have kept Adam Lanza from stealing legally purchased weapons and using them to commit murder. The gun control lobby argues that it is simply pushing for measures that are long overdue. Instead of fighting the last war, they are trying to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.
But if that is the case, they are headed for failure. As long as guns are legal, incidents like Newtown will continue to occur. Behind closed doors, many in the gun control movement readily admit that fact, and in reality, their goal is a United States where guns are illegal altogether. The arguments for and against that position have been made over and over again, and I will not rehash them here. But what’s important for now is to recognize that here in the real world, guns are not going away. So if we want to protect our children, it’s time to take action.
In a mass shooting, the goal of the gunman is to kill. He will not take hostages. He has no demands. He will kill until he runs out of ammunition, victims, or until he is killed himself. It is a dereliction of our duty that we send our children to schools that have no security and no way to stop such events from happening. Certain members of the faculty should be armed. They should be trained in the use of a weapon, and they should receive extra pay for taking on this responsibility. If one of the teachers had been armed and properly trained in the use of a firearm at Newtown, more children would be alive today.
This is not a call for allowing everyone in the world to bring guns to schools. I am not claiming that simply going out and buying a gun will make you safer. But having trained, responsible, security officials would make our schools safer. Mass shootings at police stations are rare indeed.