Issue One: Guns in America
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Regarding placing firearms in schools, as suggested by the National Rifle Association:
First, arming teachers is beyond ridiculous. As a retired teacher, I know that teachers have many balls to juggle, and now some want them to take on another potentially deadly one.
Second, what about the fact that teachers are not immune to mental issues? I know of three such cases.
Finally, there was an armed guard at Columbine who apparently exchanged gunfire with the killers.
Good guys' guns
As a former National Rifle Association member, I agree that NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre was seriously remiss in not addressing the gun-show registration loophole and the crazy, widespread availability of magazines for assault rifles that can hold more than 10 rounds.
But he was absolutely correct on the widespread availability of obscene blood-and-guts video games and Hollywood movies and the need for increased armed personnel in our schools. The only thing that stopped Adam Lanza was "a good guy with a gun" in the school; unfortunately the good guy was a 911 call away.
The arguments by the National Rifle Association regarding gun-related violence make no sense whatsoever. The gun-related violence in the United States has been disproportionately high and consistent with an unprecedented number of guns sold. This has been the case since the 1970s, well before the time of video games.
Also, the incidence of mental illness is not an order of magnitude higher than that in other developed countries. So, let us focus on gun ownership rather than deflecting attention onto other factors which may or may not be significant.
Our third party
I have heard people wish for a viable third party. It appears from the news that we have one already: the National Rifle Association. One question: In all these schools the NRA wants to protect, where are they going to put their single, armed "good guy"?
First Published December 30, 2012 12:00 am