THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
By: Dr. Charles Ormsby – January 2013
The recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut was horrific to say the least. By all accounts, the unarmed staff members, administrators and teachers acted with great courage while trying in vain to stop the carnage. The killing did not stop until the police arrived at which point the deranged killer shot himself. Twenty children and six staff members were senselessly slaughtered.
In the aftermath of this killing spree the talking heads are all abuzz about ways to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again. Predictably, the left is using this event to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The implicit assumption made by the leftist proponents of stricter gun control laws is that if certain things or acts are made illegal, those things or acts will cease to exist and they will no longer pose a threat.
It must be nice to live in Fairyland. Adam Lanza broke numerous Connecticut gun laws before his killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School. None of the laws he broke made one bit of difference.
Aside from Adam Lanza killing his mother, just his possession of the guns he brought to the shooting broke several Connecticut laws. First, Connecticut requires citizens to be 21 before possessing a handgun – Adam Lanza was 20. Connecticut requires an eligibility permit for possessing a handgun – Adam Lanza didn’t have one. Connecticut requires a special permit to carry a handgun outside one’s home or place of business – Adam Lanza didn’t have one. A handgun safety course is required of anyone carrying a handgun – Adam Lanza never took a safety course. It is unlawful to carry any firearm on public or private elementary or secondary school property – Adam Lanza wasn’t deterred by that law. Loaded rifles may not be carried in a motor vehicle – I’ll bet Adam Lanza ignored that prohibition on the way to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
And, of course, laws against murder didn’t deter Adam Lanza either.
Maybe if we passed another law, say outlawing the Bushmaster rifle Adam Lanza used in the killings (or ones like it), that would make these senseless killings a thing of the past. Or how about outlawing clips holding more than ten rounds? Or rifles with a folding stock? Or rifles that look really mean?
Of course the left’s love for all these restrictive firearm laws has little if anything to do with stopping senseless murders. The left’s intelligentsia knows that such laws are probably responsible for increasing, not decreasing, the likelihood of such massacres. It is all about disarming the citizenry and making the people more dependent on and more subservient to big government. The more gun laws we pass, the more killings of disarmed citizens that occur, resulting in more excuses for more gun laws. The cycle is self-reinforcing. The government’s power grows and the citizen’s freedom is diminished.
We should consider a different approach – one that works.
The NRA recently suggested that armed policemen/guards be placed in our schools. As a life member of the NRA, I respect the organization’s advice but disagree in this instance. The NRA approach would be prohibitively expensive and probably less effective than a substantially less costly plan. At most, a somewhat increased and randomized police presence should be a minor ingredient to a successful plan.
After 911 some of us suggested that airlines be allowed to arm their pilots and/or co-pilots (in addition to employing other inexpensive measures such as reinforced cockpit doors and more effective passenger screening/profiling). Notice I said “allowed” – not “required” – to arm their crews. Not only would airlines that choose to arm their crews not have any attempted hijackings, passengers would flock to them and away from their more timid, politically correct competitors (Which would you choose to fly?). Within a year nearly all airlines would have armed crews and hijackings would be a thing of the past.
The key to discouraging – if not eliminating – school shootings is similarly obvious, but offends the sensibilities of the imbecilic, politically correct, big government, lunatic left: Arm a random subset of administrators and teachers.
Each community could decide for itself: do nothing, foot the bill for openly armed security guards in each school, or adopt a variant of the plan suggested below.
The plan: All regular day-employees of a school who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon would be asked if they would volunteer to carry while at work and take on the role of stopping the taking of innocent life in the event of an incident. Those who volunteer would undergo a thorough review by state and local law enforcement agencies. These agencies would then provide recommendations to a panel of school administrators and local law enforcement personnel. A subset of those volunteering would be selected and would be put through a several weekend course designed by law enforcement officials (probably including strategies for delaying the perpetrator while law enforcement was en route, combat pistol skills, when the use of deadly force is appropriate, what to do when the police arrive, etc.). This training would be refreshed annually.
Those selected would be instructed to not advertise their selection or when they were carrying, but they and the administrators would know those who were selected and would create a plan for alerting them in case of an incident.
Barring acts of gross negligence and taking into account the circumstances attendant to any particular incident, state law would expressly protect those selected from any criminal or civil liability if they were called on to use their weapons,. The weapons carried would be approved or provided by local law enforcement. Teachers/administrators selected would be paid a modest stipend for fulfilling this role and for their training time. The goal would be for approximately 5-10% of staff to participate (with a minimum of two even in small schools).
Finally, any school adopting this plan would make their participation VERY PUBLIC. They would advertise their adoption of the plan and tell the nuts out there: “Don’t even think about it! We are armed and we will protect our precious children.”
I’m sure that numerous improvements could be made to this plan by law enforcement professionals. But it is a good starting point, not only for K-12 but also for our universities and colleges.
I’m willing to bet that schools adopting this plan or a variant of it would experience a substantially lower frequency of such attacks. And if an attack did occur, the carnage would be substantially less than what would have occurred without the presence of armed staff.
What objections would there be to this plan? Armed teachers could start killing children? They can do that now. Get a knife; get a gun … nobody will stop them from entering the school because they are already approved to be present! This doesn’t raise the risk from these teachers any more than the risk of pilots crashing their planes is increased by letting them have a gun.
Banning assault weapons will be TOTALLY ineffective in stopping such crimes. Disarming law-abiding citizens only encourages such attacks.
If you love your children, demand a real plan that will protect them … not a fairy tale plan designed by leftists with an anti-gun agenda that has nothing to do with protecting your children.
And if you think the suggested plan is way off base, just Google “Harrold, Texas.”