What happens if we put guns in schools?
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Advocates claim that the fact that most schools are gun free zones puts students at greater risk. Since they haven't supported this claim with data, I looked up the numbers. Children are about 100 times more likely to be killed with guns outside of school than inside. Even including when they are sleeping, children are out of school about eight times longer than in. Taken together these numbers show that in terms of gun fatalities, the school environment without guns is more than 12 times safer for children than their outside environments.
If all schools require teachers to carry guns, the probability of gun fatalities in schools due to accidents, the use of stolen weapons and the rare mentally ill educator is likely to at least approach the risk outside of schools. This would mean that in the United States we would risk 100 to several hundred additional gun-related deaths of our children in order to satisfy the mythical idea presented by the NRA's that good guys with guns are the answer to the rare but tragic cases of school shootings. Given the realities of what happens in environments with many guns, I'm not sure exactly what to call the NRA suggestion. The word insanity simply isn't strong enough.
It's past time to stop the slide down the slippery slope of saying if some ownership of guns is good, unlimited ownership of guns, regardless of power or responsibility, is better.
ROBERT J. REILAND
First Published January 8, 2013 12:00 am