Word from the NRA
Exactly one week after Adam Lanza marched into Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 27 children and staff members in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association finally held a press conference to share its position.
And as you might imagine, their position was unchanged and their solution to school violence was clear: we need more guns, not less.
Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told reporters that the NRA will fund a nationwide program to get armed security personnel into schools. In other words, more guns provide better security than fewer guns.
“Five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy,” LaPierre said on Friday. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
There were plenty of protesters at the press conference who interrupted LaPierre by shouting anti-NRA slogans and holding banners, one of which read “NRA killing our kids.” While they seemed to represent the roughly 52% of Americans now in favor of major gun restrictions, it was obvious the NRA would not back down. And you know what? I’m not sure they needed to anyway.
You see, I kind of agree with the NRA’s idea of armed security officers in schools. Not what you would expect from a Democrat like me, perhaps, but hear me out.
The most effective way to end gun violence is to get rid of all the guns in America, but we all know that will never happen. Even if you limit firearms only to law enforcement personnel, there will still be people who acquire weapons on the black market. Hell, there will even be cops who snap and murder innocent people. So outlawing guns likely isn’t the answer.
If there’s a chance an armed madman will enter a school and start plugging teachers and students, then the only way to stop him is to fight fire with fire. Employing well-trained and armed security officers who are regularly screened, evaluated and certified seems like a reasonable approach. At least there would be a chance for them to take down the shooter before someone got hurt or killed.
Of course, armed security is only one step in the process. To provide effective and comprehensive school security, there should be layers of protection in place. Things like automatically locking exits, surveillance cameras, detailed lock-down procedures, clear evacuation routes, panic buttons and even safe rooms can provide “back up” in case the armed guards fail. They may never be needed, but that’s not the point.
Something needs to change. And perhaps the NRA is right in suggesting we try something different. At this point, can we afford to ignore suggestions that might potentially save American lives?
I don’t think so.
This discussion will continue in the media for God knows how long. And people will come from left and right to either support or criticize the NRA and its ideas. Personally, though, I think we need to examine every option. After all, we won’t know what works until we try, right?
And don’t forget that adding security personnel to schools across the country will also add something else we desperately need: jobs.
Something to think about…
Posted on December 22, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged commentary, crime, current-events, Elementary school, Gun control, National Rifle Association, news, NRA, perspectives, United States, Violence. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.