Just a week ago our nation joined together in mourning the loss of twenty-six people to gun violence at an elementary school. Yes an elementary school one of the most innocent places in our society. Twenty of these victims were just six and seven years old, children lost to gun violence. Following this horrific tragedy our nation’s largest second amendment advocate, the National Rifle Association, remained silent. No press releases, no tweets nothing. They even went as far as deleting their Facebook account. Then earlier this week they released a small statement saying they were committed to helping curb gun violence in America. For a split second it seemed like NRA was going to have responsible and realistic contributions to the gun violence discussion in America. Oh were we wrong. Today, in a mind boggling press conference the NRA laid out there plan to stop gun violence in America, essentially more guns.
The NRA is pushing forward with an idea to have armed volunteers in America’s schools. They picked armed volunteers because they would not put any additional budget pressures on the federal government or local governments. Armed volunteer. That sounds a lot like George Zimmerman, an armed neighborhood watch captain who thought a young Travyon Martin was suspicious. When all was said and done Travyon Martin was dead and an armed volunteer was to blame. I do not trust armed volunteers. They often have not received the adequate training that is needed to carry a gun in a policing capacity. An idea like this, without a doubt could lead to killing people who did not pose a threat to the school. I also find the idea of having armed volunteers policing schools ironic. From the description it sounds an awful lot like a police state. Is the NRA really advocating for a police state at our schools in order to defend the second amendment? I just don’t think that is what our founding fathers had in mind.
In this same argument we have heard a push for more police in schools as well. Although it is generally outside of the realm of gun violence, the school to prison pipeline raises other concerns. In short, there are students across America who are leaving school for the juvenile and adult justice systems. Often times their “crimes” are things that students for generations were disciplined for in the school through detention or suspension not jail. More police in schools could easily raise the number of students being funneled into the criminal justice systems. Yes I realize the goals of the additional police are to ward off violent threats but lets be honest school shooting are rare. All these additional police are going to keep busy in the schools by policing students as well. The current level of police in American schools has made the school to prison pipeline a national issue. More police will only serve to aggravate this already troubling problem.
In so many words the NRA told Americans that they are okay with the homicidal maniac getting a gun as long as there is an armed teacher or volunteer there to stop him. Sometimes I wonder if the NRA has a romanticized idea of “how the west was won”, the OK Corral or even when our founding fathers settled arguments with duels. More guns will not stop this problem in fact it likely could lead to more blood shed. When I think about this argument I think about Nancy Lanza an owner of several guns. I think about the armed police officers who patrolled Virginia Tech’s campus everyday. I think about the armed security guard that was present at Columbine High School on that fateful day. There have been more guns present in America and it has not stopped these mass shootings. I refuse to accept a bad guy getting a gun as long as a good guy is there to stop him. No, we need to stop this long before it gets to that point.
Our country lost little innocent children last week. We cannot ignore this as we did with other tragedies. I will not lie, I would love to see the second amendment changed but I know that is not realistic in America today. What I do believe can and should happen is another ban on military like assault rifles. At Sandy Hook elementary school, the good guys with guns, as the NRA calls them, arrived quickly after receiving reports of shots fired at the school. In the short amount of time before the first responders closed in on him, the perpetrator was able to shoot and kill twenty-six people, shooting each victim multiple times. Some victims were shot as many as eleven times. No gun with these capabilities should be in the hands of an average citizen. In my mind they serve no legitimate purpose for everyday use. I hope that Congress and the President really stand up this time and get this done!