I assume most of you have read/seen the NRA’s response to the Sandy Hook shooting, so I’ll cut right to the chase. Their plan is to put a police officer in every school in America. This stupid idea has been roundly destroyedmany times over by many people who are much more well spoken than I am, and who’ve torn apart each of the NRA’s points one by one. I just have one thing to add.
When you talk about putting police officers in schools, or arming teachers with guns, you’re essentially talking about turning schools into a militarized zone. You already have your armed guards, why not add in some barbed-wire fences and bars on the windows while you’re at it? And you know what? This will probably reduce school shootings. It’ll be insanely expensive, but it’ll work.
But there’s more to a solution than just decreasing school shootings. Imagine how the students will feel when they have to spend their days in a secure bunker, patrolled by armed guards. How safe do you think they will feel when they’re surrounded by guns? How do you think they will feel when they have to wear bulletproof backpacks just so they don’t get shot in school?
It seems to me like enacting these changes should be a last resort option. Arming our teachers and putting police in schools should only be done if all other options have failed. These sorts of things are drastic steps that should only be taken in desperation. They should not be our go-to solution to curb gun violence.
Yet the NRA and other gun-rights advocates seem all too willing to jump to this solution immediately. Their first instinct is to go straight to what is, essentially, the nuclear option in their response to the shooting. They spare no consideration for the expense, the inconvenience, or the trauma their solution would inflict on all of us, especially our children.
And the truth is, other solutions would also work. As this study shows, gun control is very strongly correlated with reduced gun violence. There is no question that increased gun control, in the form of an assault weapons ban, background checks, and other limitations (all measures that the NRA staunchly opposes), will absolutely lower the rates of gun violence in the United States. Will these measures prevent all gun deaths and mass shootings? No. But it will prevent the vast majority without imposing a police state in our schools.
The fact that the NRA immediately went for the police state option says a lot about their priorities. Most people rightly view that as a last resort option because it harms our children, whom we view as more important than our guns. However, the NRA proposes the police state option first because their priorities are backwards. The NRA supports protecting our children with armed guards over taking their guns away because they believe that their guns are more important than our children. To them, gun control is the nuclear option, not escorting our children to school with SWAT teams.
This clearly shows how backwards the NRA’s position is. They view their right to own and shoot guns as more important than our safety and happiness. They would prefer we lived in a constant state of terror, always ready to defend ourselves from the guns that are so ubiquitous in our culture, because the alternative would mean that they’d have to give up their favorite toys. This conversation is about trying to find a way to protect our children, and with their skewed priorities, the NRA has clearly demonstrated that it deserves no part of it.