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Guns In Schools? Are You Kidding Me?

Opinion columnist Christine Wolf responds to the National Rifle Association's suggestion of placing armed guards in schools, describing it as "the worst idea I've heard in a long time."

Protecting schools with armed guards won’t do a thing. In fact, it’s one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in a long time.

Believe me, I understand why people like the idea – especially those who live closest to Newtown, CT, where a gunman opened fire in an elementary school last month, killing 20 kids and adults. Their worlds are shattered. They’re in shock. They’re angry and they never want to see something like it happen again.

But it will, and a guard at the front door with a pistol won’t save anyone from a determined individual armed with intent and a gun.

It’s time everyone stops the posturing, because that’s really what it is.

The U.S. government claims its hands are tied over the right to bear arms. The National Rifle Association claims we’ll protect people from gun violence with more guns. Local governments claim nothing can be done until Washington changes the laws.

All the while, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to obtain and use guns.

A single mom keeps a gun in her house to feel protected from would-be-intruders or an abusive ex-husband. A disadvantaged young man claims he carries a gun because he and four relatives have been shot and he doesn’t want anyone stealing the drugs he sells to feed his family. A curious pre-teen claims that holding his father’s handgun makes him feel invincible.

It’s all just posturing, and it’s time we stop. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see break-ins turn into bloodbaths, impoverished neighborhoods crackling with gunfire, and accidental shootings ending promising lives.

Some of us are born with mental illness, but not one of us is born with a gun in our hands. We’ll all die someday, and while we cannot prevent death by disease, age or accident — why increase our chances with such easy access to guns?

Don't get me wrong. Armed guards in schools have the potential to teach our nation's kids so much, like the idea that the world's a terrifying, dangerous place and that guns are the way to deal with it.

But, an armed guard, standing at the front door of a school, can do nothing to stop the individual who sits in a car, shooting onto a school playground.  Even a hastily-arranged cadre of armed security personnel barricading every door, window and access point to a school won’t prevent a seemingly balanced teacher who, one day, snaps inside her classroom, pulling out a gun from her bag and shooting her own students.

Feeling horrified reading that last sentence? Then you know how I feel about Americans’ access to guns.

Christine Wolf January 12, 2013 at 03:42 PM
This just in: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/11/armed-janitors-approved-school-shootings_n_2458167.html?icid=maing-grid7|maing5|dl1|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D256328 Ironic, I supposed, when you read this: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2005-02-15/news/0502150304_1_janitor-girls-bathroom-handgun
lucas January 12, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Whose going to find the Janitor when trouble starts?
Christine Wolf January 16, 2013 at 02:45 PM
The NRA just blasted the President for his skepticism about guns in schools. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/nra-video-obama_n_2483118.html?icid=maing-grid7|maing6|dl1|sec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D257711
Jim January 16, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Our President just announced 19 executive orders to "curb" gun violence (human violence) all 19 of which should have been incorporated in our culture and/or law long, long ago. This begs the question where have the leaders been. In some cases the government has CAUSED the problem by deemphasizing mental health diagnosis and treatment. It all confirms my suspicion that the government and the politicians who run it are incompetent and venal. And to boot none of the points address the obvious fact that most law abiding gun owners own a gun not to protect themselves against crime but because they fear the government. Maybe Obama should look into the reasons for that.
Jim January 16, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Why are there armed guards in Obama's kids school?

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